Hall Park Academy was deemed ‘an improving school with several areas of good provision and practice’, according to Ofsted inspectors who visited just before the Easter holidays.
On a previous inspection last year, the school was marked as requiring significant improvement.
But this time, the inspection team noted upgrades in areas such as SEND provision, curriculum planning, safeguarding and the range of enrichment opportunities available to pupils.
The school’s judgement was raised by one level, from category 4 to category 3, with the inspector saying she was ‘of the opinion that the school no longer requires significant improvement’.
Ofsted spent two days at the Eastwood school, where they visited lessons, looked at pupils’ work and spoke to a wide range of stakeholders including pupils, parents, teachers, leaders and governors.
The inspection team said that Hall Park Academy had good leadership and management.
The report reads: “Together, senior leaders are focused on the right priorities to improve the school.
“Pupils know that staff have high expectations of what they can achieve.”
They acknowledged that the curriculum was ‘well planned’, noting that ‘most pupils engage well with their learning because they want to be successful’.
And the latest report also recognised that ‘most pupils enjoy coming to school and get on well with staff’, ‘most pupils are polite, well behaved and feel safe in school’, and that ‘pupils readily contribute to the wider life of the school and its local community’.
Hall Park’s successful Sixth Form, where almost all students go on to study at university, college or do an apprenticeship, was also praised for its ‘broad range of subjects’ and the support students receive from ‘knowledgeable staff.’
The report reads: ‘These students have positive attitudes towards their studies and attend well.
‘Students enjoy their increasing independence and responsibilities.’
Headteacher David Crossley welcomed the report, and said: “We are pleased that the report recognises the progress that the school has made since inspectors lasted visited, just two terms ago.
“This is the culmination of much hard work by staff and students. We remain focused on our improvement priorities to deliver the high standard of education that our students and local community deserve.”
Executive headteacher Stephanie Dyce added: “It is good to see that inspectors have acknowledged the strength of leadership at Hall Park, recognising that the team are in a good position to continue to move the school forward.
“We will continue to build on the strengths highlighted in the report such as the successful sixth form, provision for SEND students and the high quality of the personal development curriculum.”
Listed below are further comments made by inspectors following the recent Ofsted inspection:
Trust leaders and governors work in partnership to challenge and support school leaders.
Staff benefit from training available through the trust and opportunities to work with other colleagues. They say that leaders are mindful of their well-being and workload when making changes.
The curriculum is well planned. Teachers have thought carefully about what pupils should learn and by when in each subject.
Pupils appreciate the wide range of enrichment activities on offer.
Pupils enjoy reading. They are proud to wear their ‘reading millionaire badges’, for participating in the reading programme.
They value the support they get planning their next steps when they leave school.
The number of incidents of poor behaviour has reduced since the pandemic began.
Pupils learn about personal, social and health issues. They consider what it means to be a good citizen [and] understand why it is important to be tolerant of others.
Bullying is resolved when staff know it is happening. New strategies are beginning to make a difference.
The provision for pupils with SEND is improving.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.