Calne's Springfields Academy achieves best possible Ofsted accreditation (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Calne's Springfields Academy achieves best possible Ofsted accreditation
3:53pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
Springfields Academy has become one of the first schools to achieve the highest accreditation as “outstanding” under the new framework launched in January, in a report conducted by Ofsted in February 2013.
Schools are now given just half a day of notice, or possibly less, before the inspection is due to begin while schools achieving Grade 3, previously described as “satisfactory”, are now classified as “requiring improvement”.
Ofsted, the official national body inspecting educational standards, describes schools in the prestigious Grade One category as “outstanding” and “highly effective in delivering outcomes that provide exceptionally well for all pupils’ needs.”
Springfields Academy provides extensive academic and vocational opportunities for pupils, nurturing their education and interests. Pupils demonstrate and building on their abilities, sharing it with their peers.
Trystan Williams, principal of the academy, said: “We are extremely pleased with our achievement in the Ofsted report.
"The effort of staff and pupils here is astonishing. We are all hugely proud, and we will continue to live up to this high level of recognition in years to come.”
Inspectors observed over 20 lessons, spoke to pupils, visited the academy’s farm, held meetings with senior staff, students and members of the governing body, saw questionnaires completed by staff and parents and examined records documenting the effectiveness of the academy’s work.
The report stated that all groups of pupils make exceptional progress from initially low starting points.
This was attributed to the carefully constructed learning programmes and to the extensive range of sports offered by the specialist sports college, pupils' engagement, confidence and teamwork skills have all increased.
A consistent progress in average point scores - the measure of comparing examination results between schools - has occurred at the academy during the last three years.
Ofsted noted a “substantial” improvement was made in 2012: some pupils took GCSE mathematics early, and the introduction of BTEC National Diplomas is predicted to further increase pupils' potential to attain higher qualifications.
The quality of teaching at the academy was also marked as Grade One.
Ofsted reported that assignments were carefully matched with students' needs, and yet reflected teachers' high aspirations for the children's development.
The report praised the teaching staff's method of questioning the children in order to fully gauge students' understanding, the use of modern technology and other modern resources, and the sense of discovery, excitement and trust instilled in the classroom.
Ofsted accredited the behaviour and safety of children at the Springfields Academy with the title of “outstanding”.
The environment was described as “happy, friendly and courteous”, creating a sense of safety and trust in the staff's behavioural management techniques.
As an academy for pupils with complex learning difficulties and challenging behaviour, this particular comment shows the institution's commitment to their vision of developing their social capabilities.
The Springfields Academy’s impressive track record of awards includes Outstanding School of the Year and Outstanding Special Needs School of the Year, titles won at the 2012 Times Educational Supplement Awards.
In the same year it also achieved the Special Education Needs Provision Award at the Business Education Awards.
The academy achieved the full award level of accreditation from the International School Awards in 2009.