STUDENTS and staff at a Westergate school are celebrating after education watchdogs praised its work.
The Ofsted inspector said the Ormiston Six Villages Academy had made a rapid improvement and swift and decisive action had been taken to lead to good and improving outcomes for students across all the school.
The overall ‘Good’ rating, which was repeated in every category, came just 20 months after the academy was deemed to be ‘Inadequate’.
But dedicated principal Umbar Sharif has transformed the work which is carried out at the Lime Avenue site.
She joined just days before the previous inspection in January, 2016, and her relentless hard work was noted by inspectors in the latest report for addressing key areas for improvement.
Ms Sharif said: “The report is testament to the hard work and belief of our fantastic staff, the commitment and support of parents, the unfailing support of our sponsor, Ormiston Academies Trust, and the encouragement of the interim executive board.
“I would also like to thank our student body, who are the epitome of excellence and have risen to meet the high expectations that we have set for them.
“We will continue to work hard to raise their aspirations and to provide them with the high standard of education they deserve.”
The latest inspection, which was published last week, took place on two days in the middle of last month. It was led by Paula Sargent.
She said: “Leaders are ambitious for the school and its pupils. They have created a positive and warm environment for learning. Higher expectations have helped pupils to make faster progress.
“Teachers know their pupils well. They increasingly use questioning skilfully in lessons to develop pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding further.”
The work has seen results for Year 11 students improve year-on-year and an emphasis on better writing skills.
More than 40 lunchtime and after-school groups are offered to earn praise from the inspectors for developing the wider skills of the school’s 500 students.
Ms Sharif joined the school as part of the government’s talented leaders initiative. This matches exceptional headteachers with schools in the UK.
She and her team have been supported by an interim executive board, established to ensure the governance of the academy and to help to drive improvement.
Interim board member Ken Lloyd said: “The governance board is absolutely delighted that the time and energy invested by so many people has led to this well-deserved rating. This is an academy that is really going places.”
The backing of the Ormiston Academies Trust also earned praise from Ofsted. The trust’s interim chief executive, Nick Hudson, said he was delighted to see the hard work and dedication at the academy recognised.
The inspectors gave two ways in which standards could be improved further. These were to challenge pupils harder and give better advice to them.