Great Yarmouth academy gets good Ofsted report

Great Yarmouth Primary Academy head teacher Bill Holledge celebrating its good Ofsted report with year 6 pupils.

Picture: James Bass Great Yarmouth Primary Academy head teacher Bill Holledge celebrating its good Ofsted report with year 6 pupils. Picture: James Bass

Monday, June 9, 2014
5:13 AM

The first school in a high-profile chain of Norfolk academies to be subject to a full Ofsted inspection has been judged “good”, with “outstanding” leadership.

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Great Yarmouth Primary Academy’s report has been keenly awaited because its sponsor, the Inspiration Trust, now runs seven Norfolk schools, including Thetford, Hethersett and Cromer academies, and the Sir Isaac Newton Sixth Form free school in Norwich.

The academy’s predecessor school, Greenacre Primary, was put into special measures in 2010, but judged “satisfactory”, with “good” capacity for sustained improvement, the following year. It became a sponsored academy in September 2012.

Today’s Ofsted report says most children enter the school “with skills and abilities that are well below those typical for their age”, but the large majority reach standards above those expected for their age by the end of the early years foundation stage.

Lead inspector Prue Rayner wrote: “The headteacher is uncompromising in the belief that pupils from the local area can succeed as well as those in the highest achieving schools in the country.

“He has galvanised staff and set high expectations for outstanding standards which are well on the way to being met. In addition, behaviour has improved significantly and pupils talk about their academy with pride.”

Among other innovations, the school has introduced a longer school day, with Year 5 and 6 pupils staying until 6pm on Monday to Thursday, and held enrichment activities to give pupils opportunities they might not otherwise have, including ballet, sailing and horse riding.

The report noted the school’s successful use of additional pupil premium funding from the government to help improve the performance of children from low income backgrounds.

Headteacher Bill Holledge said: “We have used it quite creatively. Some of that has gone towards the longer school day. We have had pupils in for Saturday morning lessons for eight or nine weeks, which makes a real difference.”

The report said some teaching is not always good enough, but Mr Holledge said the school has a “significant cohort of highly effective teachers” who can help their colleagues.

18 comments

  • OHT ...you couldn't be further from the truth. Never mind enjoy your bliss ignorance but readers please look at the facts for yourself since all I want is transparency and fairness for ALL schs be they academies, LA schs etc rather than the horrible political lies that we are told which creates division and contempt.

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    Sportswagon

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • OHT I suspect we posted our last comments at the same time with yours landing first. I agree that accountability is essential and have no objection to the principle of inspections, but the trouble is that the current system does seem tainted due to government's dogged determination to drive through its academy programme and ignore any success achieved by LA schools.

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    N

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • OHT, just out of interest are you a governor or involved in education in any way? From your comments I doubt it. Thank you for pointing me in the direction of the Ofsted dashboard, however it really wasn't necessary as I am fully au fait with both it and the principles of inspections, not to mention the FFT dashboard which is another useful tool. I have been through a number of inspections, including one as a chair of governors, where we were judged to be a good school, so with the greatest respect I really don't need a lesson in reading dashboards or inspection criteria. Given your apparent unquestioning support and belief in the current system perhaps you should step up to the plate and volunteer to be a governor (there are plenty of vacancies) and then you might understand the points Sportswagon and I are making. And as for 'old guard' I'm not sure what you base that assumption on, I don't think I'm old enough for a start! I reiterate my previous comments, I fully support attempts to raise and maintain standards and even acknowledge that some academies have their place in this respect, but one size does not fit all and the bias shown towards academies regardless of how well they are really doing just to save political face, is staggering.

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    N

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • Sportswagon "OHT with the greatest respect you need to read much more widely ....." Ha ha now we all have the measure of your patronising mindset. - almost definitely a retired teacher who has had a bad inspection experience and is expressing it via a misinformed agenda. Have you read the Ofsted 'dashboard' figures as I previously suggested? I doubt it. They plainly indicate overall progress in 'most' areas.....which is enough to warrant a positive judgement. Now read the judgement criteria in the 'inspectors handbook' document (Google it) and you will see this decision is justified. I personally think academies are a disastrous policy and am in favour of more centralised control in conjunction with LEA's .......but this time with uncompromising accountability at ALL levels, possibly run by Ofsted. However I'm only commenting on the evidence and the result.

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    One Horse Town

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • Incidentally if you want the truth it fares even worse for 7 yr olds in all areas but doubtless you will gloss over this too.. You have also 'forgotten' that the low results I mention take into account its catchment in the similar schs category which reveal terrible results except in writing which is stunning.

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    Sportswagon

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • I agree with you N and want the same thing which is fair and open inspection and it to be non political. OHT with the greatest respect you need to read much more widely and then you will understand that in comparison Greenacre is doing very badly in reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar and other schools with much better results have fared worse from Ofsted. Be in no doubt that but for RDS and academy status this sch would be labelled as failing. What's with the old guard....u seem to make lots of erroneous assumptions!!

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    Sportswagon

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • Ok let me put you all right (Sportswagon; N etc). If you google Ofsted and then go to 'data dashboard' for this particular school it will show a summarised picture of how the school is doing in all the important areas. Now, although areas such as reading still need improvement, others such as writing, maths, attendance (excellent given the school's catchment) and 'closing the gap' (how children on free school meals etc) perform in comparison to their peers is good or rapidly improving. If you bothered to read the inspection criteria (easily found) it states that judgements are not based on 'any single indicator' but is linked to a school's progress over time. Inspectors are only interested on the IMPACT of school strategies on pupils' learning and progress and the capacity shown to get even better. It's mainly down to leadership and the young man in charge needs to be congratulated rather than being castigated by the 'old guard'.

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    One Horse Town

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • OHT, I'm not sure what your experience of education is, if any, but the issue you don't seem to understand is that the current set of results data for this school is less than impressive and if this were an inspection of a school, with exactly the same circumstances, activities and results etc but which was not an Academy, it would be judged no higher than Requires Improvement. I am not a political animal, but instead am genuinely interested in helping my local school be successful so the children get the best education possible, hence why I am a school governor, and I see first hand the inequalities of the current education system. I have no issue with attempts to provide extra curricular activities of a broad and varied nature to children in communities where they would not usually be able to access them, nor do I doubt the commitment of the Headteacher to do the best for his pupils. HOWEVER, I do have an issue with there seemingly being one rule for schools connected with government cheerleaders whose schools achieve good inspection results and one rule for the rest. I have said many times on these forums that it is a disgrace how education is being kicked about as a political football. I sincerely hope that the children in this academy are provided with a quality education. However, the government's favourite method of judgement, ie results, currently suggest that it is not good enough.

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    N

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • What a strange perception OHT...nothing to do with knocking Greenacre which I know well but to do with short changing these lovely kids with lies and make belief and condemning them to future problems that yet more useless politicians will play games with.

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    Sportswagon

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • Sportswagon (the name twee people like to use for their estate cars) A Headteacher transforms education in a school within a deprived area thus annoying all those who used to love knocking it.........from a safe distance in Miss Marple land. Incidentally, with regard to the earlier 'how dare state schools offer private school activities' comments regarding horse riding etc. Well....tough! By the way Sportswagon, do you live in Yarrmouth or are you a retired teacher?

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    One Horse Town

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • How pathetic OHT..."downplay success in a deprived area.." Open you r eyes and look at the facts rather than believe an Alice in Wonderland Ofsted report!!

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    Sportswagon

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • I have now submitted two comments that take the opposite view to those expressed so far.......but they haven't been published. I thought the EDP were impartial? Does the moderator know someone in education? A friend of mine currently works as an intern at the Daily Mail. If this isn't published I'm sure they'll be interested in a regional newspaper that's trying to downplay success in deprived areas such as Great Yarmouth........rather than the leafy lanes of affluent areas near or in Norwich.

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    One Horse Town

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • I wrote a comment that disagreed with all those here who would prefer a 'nice' school in a 'nice' leafy lane area inhabited by 'Midsummer Murder' pillars of the community in their twee lives of self-delusion. The headteacher's impact on pupils (because that's all that matters) and leadership of his staff in a deprived area has rightfully been acknowledged by Ofsted. He should be congratulated and rewarded for proving all the doubters WRONG.

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    One Horse Town

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • You are spot on N.......it is a national disgrace but it will eventually come back to bite the politicians very hard.

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    Sportswagon

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • I wonder what the outcome would have been if this had been a non-academy school with exactly the same circumstances and results........ This is where I get so frustrated by the politics being played with the education system and our childrens lives. It is shameful! This is clearly demonstrated by the numerous occasions when Ms Truss is quoted in the press praising academy schools whenever they achieve a Good or Outstanding Ofsted report. However the silence is deafening when an LA school achieves the same; Thorpe St Andrew High school's recent Outstanding being a case in point!

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    N

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • So a school with the bottom results in punctuation, spelling and grammar, reading and maths ...all at 11 years old is graded Good. Is this what we have come to. Politicians and Ofsted colluding to avoid what would otherwise have been a failing school so that RDS isn't shown up. How can a school be good with such dismal results......of course it can't be but who cares about the truth anymore?

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    Sportswagon

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • Sour grapes Daisy. Give the staff and pupils the credit they deserve. Would your opinion be any different had the school been in the middle of an affluent leafy lane area rather than in the middle of a council estate in Great Yarmouth (which adds even more to their accomplishment).

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    One Horse Town

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • Did anyone really expect anything else from Ofsted of this pet project school run by the trust headed by Tory donor Theodore Agnew-who was lining up for the chairman of Ofsted but has now dropped out. If the staff of Greenacre had been given this pupil premium years ago one wonders how many children would have had a better deal and if the school would ever needed to become an academy. I for one am still waiting for the EDP to do an in depth report on the realities of the extended day, what extra curricular activities the children are really getting as well as extra lessons. Extra lessons are a good thing-but not if they are used to coach for SATS to bump up league tables. This was always a tough school with a lot of very deprived kids, it should always have been getting extra help, same as many schools in Norfolk which have long been underfunded in comparison with inner city schools

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, June 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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