Academy praised by Ofsted

— Academy retains ‘Good’ status following positive inspection visit —

Students and staff at Ormiston Horizon Academy in Stoke-on-Trent are celebrating after Ofsted officially confirmed the school is ‘Good’ in all areas.

Inspectors said the secondary school, part of Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT), has high expectations for students, is a “positive environment”, a place where students can “be who they want to be in an inclusive community”, and that all students “show the values of respect, resilience and responsibility”.

They added that OAT has invested time and resources to develop the school, with trustees and governors providing both challenge and support. The Ofsted report states that “this has helped the academy to improve.”

The Ofsted report, which can be read here, contains a number of other key highlights, including that:

  • The academy has made the strong progress since the last inspection, including working quickly to improve the curriculum.
  • “The school has high expectations for pupils’ behaviour. Lessons begin and end in a calm and orderly manner. Pupils know they can report any behaviour issues, which staff deal with rapidly.”
  • “The school prioritises pupils’ personal development. Staff support and encourage pupils’ wellbeing and mental health very well.”
  • Enrichment is strong, with students taking part in a range of activities such as chess, girls’ football and cadets. Students also represent the community on the local authority’s Youth Council.
  • “Teachers build on increasingly complex subject knowledge over time.” For instance, inspectors reported that Year 9 pupils in English could explain how Shakespeare’s texts discuss power and gender imbalance.
  • The academy identifies students who need extra support with their reading quickly and ensures they receive the relevant support to improve their reading skills.
  • “The school quickly and accurately identifies pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teachers provide pupils with the additional support they need.”
  • Personal, social, health and economic education at the academy is well-planned and sequenced and students benefit from a detailed careers programme.

To drive the academy further forward, it will be continuing to develop its approach to education to ensure that any knowledge gaps for students are closed and that they have the opportunity to build a greater depth of knowledge within their learning, alongside continually improving attendance rates.

Over the last four years, staff have worked tirelessly to improve key areas of the academy and provide a good education for all our students, which have been highlighted within the report.

The whole team remains resolute in their commitment to continuing to push Ormiston Horizon Academy to achieve and build on their positive progress.

Andy Fitzgibbon, the Principal at Ormiston Horizon Academy, said:

“I am delighted that Ofsted has again judged the academy to be Good. I am very proud of the brilliant team here, who have been rewarded for the hard work they put in every day to help our students fulfil their potential.

“The report highlights the strong foundations that our team, with the support of Ormiston Academies Trust, have created.

“I would like to thank all our school community – staff, parents and of course students – for ensuring that Ormiston Horizon Academy is a happy and flourishing environment where our students feel well supported in their development.

“We are committed to building on the key points Ofsted has raised to ensure we continue on an upward trajectory and deliver an ever higher standard of education for our students.”

Tom Rees, Chief Executive Officer of Ormiston Academies Trust, said:

“Many congratulations to all those at Ormiston Horizon Academy for this success. I look forward to supporting the school so that we can achieve even more together, with the school building on our core mission to provide great teaching, every day, for every child.”