Following a 2-day inspection at the end of April, our latest Ofsted report is now available.
The inspectors recognised many areas in which we are delivering on the ‘Wayland Guarantee’ and preparing your son/daughter for their next steps. Ofsted also recognise improvements we have made in student achievement, which led to our best ever results last summer.
Despite these important positives, the inspectors’ overall judgement was that we require ‘Special Measures’ to improve.
This overall grade, and our grade for Leadership and Management, were mainly brought down by perceived weaknesses under ‘Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare’. This covers things such as students’ understanding of the risks posed by those with extremist beliefs, awareness of issues such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), bullying and the use of homophobic or other unacceptable language, and students feeling safe in school.
Post-Inspection Action Plan
Whilst we are naturally very disappointed with this judgement, we have wasted no time in taking action on all of the areas for improvement highlighted by Ofsted.
Following changes introduced in the summer term, there is now more checking of student work books, more emphasis on correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and a renewed focus on ensuring excellent attendance.
Wayland Academy students took part in a wide range of activities during School Diversity Week.
We have also extended our work with students around equality and diversity and wider issues linked to pupils’ wellbeing. This included our participation in School Diversity Week (click here to watch our School Diversity Week video), an excellent workshop on The Effects of Racism that was run by Unity for our Year 9 students, and the Saltmine Theatre Company’s well-received Stand for It? production and discussion with students exploring issues of radicalisation and extremism. We have also done some ground-breaking training around FGM, with other schools in the county now looking to follow our lead.
Saltmine Theatre Company’s excellent Stand For It? production helped deepen students’ understanding of issues of radicalisation and extremism.
We are doing more to listen to students about their experiences, providing new ways to feedback any concerns about bullying and behaviour, and actively involving students through our new PALS role. There is now a box for reporting concerns in our main reception, and you can now also report concerns to our Safeguarding team via the web site.
These and other measures will help us move quickly back to a much better standing with Ofsted. If inspectors visited us tomorrow, I am confident they would arrive at a different judgement, but unfortunately we have to wait a full year before we are re-inspected.
Things Ofsted say we are doing well
- “Teaching is increasingly effective”. Ofsted found evidence of teachers using “a range of techniques to engage [pupils’] interest, check their understanding and fulfil the ‘Wayland Guarantee’ by delivering activities that offer appropriate challenge to pupils of all abilities.”
- Teachers “are prioritising the needs of disadvantaged pupils, especially boys, when they plan learning. They use a range of strategies that ensure these pupils are engaged in their learning. They monitor their progress carefully, and provide effective and timely support that helps individuals get back on track.”
- The Accelerated Reader programme at Wayland Academy has been met with “enthusiasm” by students and had a “positive impact on their reading ages.”
There was praise from Ofsted for the positive impact of the Accelerated Reader programme at Wayland Academy.
- Wayland Academy has “high quality” impartial guidance for students about their next steps, which means that “pupils are able to pursue courses that are a good match for their interests, aspirations and abilities when they leave the school at the end of Year 11.”
- Wayland Academy is successfully raising students’ aspirations through work experience opportunities and visits to find out about their future options for degree level study at university.
Last summer’s GCSE exam results were the best ever at the academy. Excellent advice and guidance, together with our links with partners such as City College Norwich, mean our students have outstanding progression.
Your continuing support is vital to your child’s success
As always, parents/carers can play a huge part in supporting the success of your child at Wayland Academy Norfolk. In particular, you can help support their learning by:
- Ensuring your son/daughter has excellent attendance;
- Making sure they bring the right equipment to school for all lessons;
- Reinforcing the importance of making all of their written work well-presented and to the best of their ability;
- Encouraging your child to improve their literacy skills by reading for pleasure at home;
- Letting us know if you have any concerns at all regarding any aspect of your child’s welfare at school.
If you have any questions or concerns related to any of the above, I am more than happy to discuss these with you. Please contact the school on 01953 881514 to arrange an appointment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Principal, Wayland Academy Norfolk