Celebrations As Reynolds Academy Rated Good By Ofsted For A Second Time
Reynolds Academy staff and pupils celebrate Ofsted success. Pictured with Reynolds Academy Principal Andy Clark, TMAT Chief Executive David Hampson and Reynolds Academy Vice Principal, Lisa Waring, are pupils: Mohammad Alqasim, Laylah Bensley, Georgia Bott, Ashley-James Toop, Spencer Smith, Lily-Grace Steer, Loic Downham, Leon Bee and Janey Ling.
Reynolds Academy staff and pupils are celebrating today after the school was rated 'Good' for a second time following a short inspection by Ofsted, who also called it a "friendly, caring and welcoming school."
The report highlights the 'good quality of education' within the Tollbar Multi Academy Trust school. It also commends the Academy's strong leadership, and how effective it has become in making pupils' reading a priority across the school. Staff are delighted that their relentless drive for improvement has been recognised.
The report says: "Your system for checking pupils' progress is particularly geared towards spotting when pupils are at risk of falling behind in their reading skills. To catch these pupils before they start to struggle further with their reading, you have set up various reading intervention strategies.
"To further strengthen pupils' reading skills, you have overhauled the ways in which the teaching of reading is connected to pupils' writing. Across both Key Stages there is a consistent approach."
It continues: "The very large majority of the time, pupils are challenged at the right level. For example, teachers' questions are skilfully posed so that pupils are required to think more deeply in their answers. In their writing, teachers routinely set work which is challenging. Pupils' writing shows that they typically respond well to the challenge, such as the use of more complex sentence structures to express ideas with greater nuance. They make strong progress as a result."
This latest inspection says the Academy has also addressed areas which it felt had room for improvement following the first report in 2015. It says: "At the previous inspection, you were asked to address two areas for improvement. The first of these was to ensure that pupils were challenged more consistently in their learning. You have taken effective steps to ensure this has been done.
"The second area you were asked to address was to narrow the gaps in achievement between disadvantaged pupils and non-disadvantaged pupils. While there is still more to be done, you have been effective in many of the actions you have taken to improve this area."
It continues: "Following some disappointing outcomes at the end of Key Stage 2 in 2016/17, you took decisive action to bring about quick improvement. You introduced much more detailed and rigorous systems for checking pupils' progress in reading, writing and mathematics. To make sure that this had a positive effect on pupils' progress and attainment, however, you strongly linked the monitoring information to the quality of teaching.
"Through the use of 'Provision Maps,' teachers' planning is much more closely aligned to what pupils need so that they can make strong progress from their starting points."
The report praised the Academy for prioritising pupil attendance since the last inspection. It says: "You have been tireless in your work to improve rates of pupils' attendance, drawing on the capacity of the Trust and the Local Authority to help."
However, it adds: "Despite your relentless efforts, rates of pupils' attendance remain stubbornly below the national averages. You are battling a high frequency of parents taking their children out of school during term time for unauthorised holidays. However, there are some encouraging signs of improvement to rates of attendance, especially for some of your pupils with persistent absence."
Safeguarding at Reynolds Academy is also complimented by Ofsted. It says: "You and your leadership team have ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose.
"Staff understand their responsibilities for keeping children safe, including what they must do should they be worried about any pupil or the conduct of any staff. Governors have a firm grasp of their responsibilities towards checking on your safeguarding processes and their effectiveness. You have established an open, enquiring atmosphere around safeguarding so that you do not miss any opportunities for strengthening your practice.
"As a result of your safeguarding practice and culture, all of the pupils I spoke to said that they feel safe in school. Parents and staff share this view."
Andy Clark, Reynolds Academy Principal, said today: "I am very proud of this report. Staff have worked tirelessly to improve upon areas which were highlighted in 2015, and this is recognised by Ofsted. I am delighted for the children, who are an absolute credit to the academy and their families.
"When we became an Academy in September 2013, our main goal was to raise aspirations and provide the children with the knowledge and wider skills to prepare them for Secondary Education and beyond. I feel that this report reflects further improvement over the last four years, which is so important for the community we serve. Everyone connected with Reynolds Academy should feel very proud today.
"There is of course, always room for further improvement. We are aware that pupil absences are still a problem for us and we urge parents to strongly consider not taking their children out for unauthorised absences during term times as this seriously impacts their rate of development. That being said, we have a fantastic Academy here and the pupils and their parents deserve praise for their continued contribution to that."
David Hampson, Chief Executive of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, said: "My thanks go to all of the staff at Reynolds Academy for their relentless drive for improvement. This report is very positive and as always the Trust will ensure that the Academy continues to move forward to provide the very best education for the children in its care."
Reynolds Academy PrincipalRebecca Scott
Tollbar MAT Chief ExecutiveDavid J Hampson
OBE, BSc, BA.