Ofsted Praise Academy

Dartmouth Academy Ofsted second monitoring visit on 5th and 6th October 2016

Ofsted Praise Academy

Ofsted Inspectors have praised the “clear improvements in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment” at Dartmouth Academy following their two day visit earlier this term. They stated that “Leaders and Managers are taking effective action towards the removal of Special Measures”.

They were impressed by the way in which the Principal, Tina Graham, is developing successfully a culture of high aspirations and expectations, and could see the evidence of this in the way in which the pupils now aspire to reach more challenging targets. The fact that the Academy achieved the best GCSE results in the schools history in 2016 is seen as clear evidence of this higher aspiration. There is a strong focus in the Academy on improving literacy, and a rigorous approach to checking the quality of teaching.

Inspectors commented on the positive relationships between pupils and staff and on the calm orderly environment. They were impressed by the consideration that pupils show to one another and to staff. Pupils say that they feel safe in the Academy, and they like the fact that teachers know them well and that they know each other well in a small school.

Inspectors praised the way in which teachers track pupils’ progress, and they liked the way in which teachers check the understanding of pupils and then adapt the lessons in order to address misconceptions and deepen learning. They also commended the quality of marking and feedback across the Academy, and commented that the most able pupils are responding well to the higher expectations in lessons.

They were very impressed by the Early Years work at the Academy and commented that “children continue to get off to a flying start”. They also commented on the “high quality support which is provided for the Academy by the Academies South West Multi Academy Trust”.

They identified as priorities for further improvement a refining of the use of assessment for individual pupils to identify next steps and for leaders at the Academy to continue to refine the use of data in order to track progress of individual students, pupils and groups in each year group.

Principal Tina Graham said “I am absolutely delighted that Ofsted have recognised and praised the improvements that we have made over the last 12 months. I have been very impressed by the way in which our pupils have risen to the higher expectations that we have of them, and delighted to have this external confirmation that we are improving rapidly. I am very grateful to our staff, pupils and parents for all the hard work and commitment that is making this possible”. Executive Principal of Academies South West Roger Pope said “I would like to congratulate Mrs Graham and her team for achieving this recognition by Ofsted that all their efforts are bearing fruit. Ofsted Inspectors are always rigorous and thorough on their visits, and I am delighted that the Academy has come through with flying colours”.

Ofsted second monitoring visit letter Oct 2016