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Springfields School gains the top grade
12:00pm Thursday 14th March 2013 in News
Springfields Academy has been classed as Grade One and described as outstanding by Ofsted after an inspection in February.
The school provides support for vulnerable children with complex learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.
Now it is one of the first schools to be classed as Grade One under a more rigorous inspection framework launched in January.
Under new rules, schools are given just half a day of notice, or less, before the inspection.
Inspectors observed more than 20 lessons, interacted with pupils, visited the academy’s farm, held meetings with staff, students and members of the governing body, and scrutinised questionnaires completed by staff and parents.
The report said all groups of pupils make exceptional progress.
Thanks to learning programmes and the extensive range of sports offered, pupils’ engagement, confidence and teamwork skills have all increased.
Consistent progress in average point scores – a measure of comparing examination results between schools – has occurred at over the past three years.
Ofsted noted a substantial improvement was made in 2012, with some pupils taking GCSE maths early, and the introduction of BTEC National Diplomas is predicted to increase potential.
The quality of teaching at was also marked as Grade One.
Inspectors reported that assignments were always carefully matched with students’ needs and reflected teachers’ high aspirations for their 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.
It accredited the behaviour and safety of children as outstanding.
The environment was described as “happy, friendly and courteous”, creating a sense of trust in the staff’s behavioural management techniques. Ofsted also found the leadership outstanding.
One of the many groundbreaking initiatives of the academy is The Extreme Classroom, based on the idea that pupils excel when they are challenged, pushing them beyond the limits of expectation.
Principal Trystan Williams said: “We are extremely pleased with our achievement. The effort of staff and pupils is astonishing.
“We will continue to live up to this high level of recognition in years to come.”