Headteacher praises ‘hard work’ after school’s Ofsted turnaround

Staff and students at Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill celebrate the school's 'good' Ofsted rating

Staff and students at Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill celebrate the school's 'good' Ofsted rating Picture: GOODERHAM PR - Credit: Archant

The headteacher of a Haverhill secondary school has praised the “hard work” of staff, students and the community after receiving a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted.

Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill has been graded 'good' by Ofsted Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill has been graded 'good' by Ofsted Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: Archant

Castle Manor Academy's grading from the education watchdog marks an impressive turnaround as the new rating comes just two years after inspectors found the school to 'require improvement'.

The upturn in fortunes comes on the back of some strong exam results and the entire school community pulling in the same direction, according to headteacher Vanessa Whitcombe.

"This success comes from a huge amount of hard work of students, staff, parents and the community working together," she said.

"The increased exam outcomes we have experienced over the past three years are of course a great measure of this, but I am so pleased that much more about our school has been noticed and captured in this report."

MORE: Students praised for organising Christmas present collectionThe school received 'good' gradings across the board from Ofsted for its overall result, who praised the "significant" improvement since the previous inspection.

The report said: "Leaders know the school well. They address weaknesses effectively. Consequently, since the previous inspection teaching, achievement, behaviour and attendance have improved."

Inspectors also highlighted senior leaders' "clear vision" for the school and the positive relationships between staff and students.

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"Relationships between staff and pupils are very positive. As a result, pupils are happy and engage successfully in their learning," the report added.

MORE: More schools set to benefit from pioneering mental health projectMrs Whitcombe added: "Our commitment, passion and belief in our fantastic young people means that we continue to drive forward to make Castle Manor even better, as a centre of excellence in our community where learners flourish.

"We are a school with expert staffing, strong pastoral support and passionate leadership, providing all the ingredients to be able to continue to grow from strength-to-strength."

Tim Coulson, chief executive of the Unity Schools Partnership, of which Castle Manor is a member, said: "We have known for some time that Castle Manor Academy is a 'good' school and are delighted to see recognition of this by Ofsted.

"We are proud to be associated with the school and I would like to extend my congratulations to staff, students and governors for this achievement."

To improve further, Ofsted said teachers need to develop their questioning skills to routinely challenge pupils to think more deeply about their learning, and reducing the absence of pupils who are disadvantaged and those with SEND.

To see the full report, click here.

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