Behaviour at Acle Academy ‘requires improvement’ after surprise Ofsted visit

Tim Phillips, head teacher at Acle High school.

Tim Phillips, head teacher at Acle High school. - Credit: Archant © 2011

An Ofsted inspector has said behaviour at Acle Academy 'requires improvement' after making an unannounced visit to the school.

Acle Academy formerly Acle High School.Picture: James Bass

Acle Academy formerly Acle High School.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Jason Howard observed students in class, scrutinised documentary evidence and held discussions with teachers and staff when he carried out the monitoring inspection earlier this month.

He said the inspection was carried out 'because the Chief Inspector was concerned about behaviour at the academy' and concluded that it required improvement.

But he also praised the school's work to keep students safe and secure, describing it as 'good', and said youngsters 'behave well' around the South Walsham Road school.

In a letter to headteacher Tim Phillips he said students indicated that attitudes towards learning were variable, and this was evident during the lessons he observed.

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He added: 'In some lessons, activities are not engaging enough and significant numbers of students find their work either too easy, or too difficult.

'As a result, a small number of students, often boys, make little progress themselves and disrupt the learning of others – sometimes to a considerable degree.'

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Mr Howard said these issues were particularly evident during his inspection in a number of lessons where the usual teacher was absent.

But he added that students were 'engaged, worked hard and supported both each other and their teachers when activities were stimulating and pitched at an appropriate level of difficulty'.

In particular he highlighted a Year 7 English lesson where the 'teacher's effective planning helped students write well-structured and creatively-expressed poetry'.

During his inspection some teachers did not record incidents of disruption on students' planners, he said, which made it more difficult for leaders to analyse trends accurately, plan improvements and establish their impact.

He praised leaders and teachers for creating a safe environment and said youngsters moved around school calmly, enjoyed good relationships with each other and the adults who supervise them and got to lessons promptly.

He also said 'rare incidents' of bullying were followed up effectively and this was supported by the academy's monitoring information.

Mr Phillips said the report recognised a number of positives but said areas highlighted in need of improvement would be looked at 'speedily'.

'Whilst setting out a number of strengths the report also identifies areas that require improvement and in particular, the need for some teachers to be more consistent in planning engaging lessons and following the school's behaviour policy,' he added.

'Academy leaders and governors will consider the main findings of the report and will ensure that the areas requiring improvement will be addressed speedily and effectively.'

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