Shirebrook Academy given thumbs up by Ofsted inspectors

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STAFF and pupils at Shirebrook Academy are celebrating after being given the thumbs up by Ofsted inspectors during a recent visit.

The education watchdog said the Common Lane school was ‘making good progress in raising standards’ following its switch to academy status in September 2010.

Ofsted praised the academy’s innovative curriculum and its decision to switch to one-year GCSE courses, which raised achievement and widened participation in previously less popular subjects.

The academy’s literacy standards were also praised and inspectors noted that an increasing proportion of lessons were described as good or outstanding.

“In the best lessons, teachers set very clear objectives and high expectations,” said the report.

“Students have positive attitudes to learning and the effective relationships formed by staff encourage them to concentrate and persevere in tasks. Almost all groups make good progress and no group underachieves.”

Pupils were also praised for good attendance with rates approaching 95 per cent - well above the national average.

Ofsted recommended that teaching and learning could be strengthened in science to raise attainment and accelerate students’ progress. Inspectors also said that teachers should assess students’ understanding effectively in lessons and use this information to challenge them according to their differing abilities.

Academy principal Julie Bloor praised the school’s staff and pupils.

“The good report is the result of a great deal of hard work from staff and pupils, which, along with the new building taking shape, is helping us to spread the message to the wider community that something special is happening here,” she said.