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Inspectors Report Improvements In Attainment At KSA

Government inspectors have reported that Kettering Science Academy is making satisfactory progress following a visit to the Academy a year after it opened.

HMI inspectors spent two days at the Academy in October for the monitoring visit, ahead of a full Ofsted inspection in 2011-12.

They reported that attainment has improved across the Academy and that progress in the Primary Phase has accelerated.

Inspectors said there has been a focus on improving the quality of teaching and learning and providing pastoral support for pupils.

They recognised the ambition by KSA to bring about change and raise aspirations, commenting: "There is a clear drive for improvement from the academy's sponsors, governing body and senior leadership teams. Senior staff are passionate about the ability of all pupils to achieve more and have better choices and opportunities.

"The emphasis on raising aspirations and achievement for all while making clear links between attendance, behaviour and achievement reflects good evaluation of the previous systems in place."

The progress made, inspectors say, is "testament to the capacity the academy has to improve further."

The report praises the efforts by Primary Phase staff to improve outcomes for children, reporting that "a more stimulating curriculum coupled with careful use of assessment and tracking have helped improve the quality of learning across this phase of the academy."

Inspectors also commented on children's good behaviour, enthusiasm for learning and improved attendance.

Anne O'Neill, Principal of the Primary Phase, said: "In July 2008, inspectors regarded only 50% of teaching as satisfactory or better; now 100% of our lessons are judged to be satisfactory or better, with more than 60% rated as good or better.

"I'm really proud of the staff for their hard work in improving the curriculum. They have always believed in the pupils' ability to achieve a higher standard than they have in the past.

"They have been dedicated and meticulous in the planning and delivery of the curriculum.

"We intend to build on and improve these standards further."

In the Secondary Phase, inspectors highlighted the improvements in GCSE results, including a 5% point increase in the numbers of pupils gaining A* or A.

They also acknowledged improvements in behaviour, reporting that during break-times "pupils behave more responsibly and react well to the trust being given so that classrooms are open to them.

"Detailed recording of incidents and behaviour has enabled the academy to analyse all behaviour incidents. Interventions and support have been adapted as a result with well-placed emphasis on praise, rewards and consistency in sanctions."

Pupils' support for improvements within the Academy was also flagged up, in particular the 'Heroes' programme which has seen older students mentoring younger pupils.

Areas for improvement highlighted in the report include replicating best practice in lessons across the curriculum and improving attendance in the Secondary Phase.

Secondary Phase Principal Martin Campbell, who has been in place since Easter, said his ambition is for teaching and learning to be graded as good at the full inspection.

He said: "Inspectors have recognised that we're heading in the right direction and staff have worked very hard to put the building blocks in place for improvement.

"There is real optimism for the future.

"We're going to achieve improvements in teaching and learning through extending the curriculum and creating more exciting opportunities for students to show their talents.

"Creating a curriculum that has breadth and depth will ensure that the outcomes for students in terms of GCSE and A Level results are the best they can possibly achieve."

To read the report in full click here.