Ofsted praise for Peterborough academy

One of Peterborough’s biggest school’s has been rated as ‘good’ in its latest Ofsted inspection.

Staff have been celebrating at Thomas Deacon Academy in Peterborough after inspectors rated the school as good in all areas.

Thomas Deacon Academy

Thomas Deacon Academy

In his report, lead inspector John Lucas praised teachers, pupils and the leadership team at the school.

Thomas Deacon Academy opened in 2007, and the school was recently expanded to include a primary school, to work along side the secondary school and sixth form.

Rick Carroll, Principal of Thomas Deacon Academy, said: “We are delighted with the comments from the inspectors which reflects the hard work of everyone in the academy’s community, including the pupils, parents, members of staff and the Trust.

“The academy’s leaders, throughout the junior and senior buildings and the sixth form, have the highest aspirations for all the pupils that join us. We will continue to work hard to make sure our students leave the academy with the academic results, but also as well-rounded individuals that will enable them to thrive in the modern world.

“I’d like to thank everyone for the support they have shown the academy in helping us achieve this fantastic report.”

Mr Lucas said: “Teachers have a good grasp of their subjects and how to teach them. They check pupils’ understanding and help those who are not sure or who get stuck. Pupils are confident to speak in lessons. Pupils use knowledge from their previous learning with ease to discuss more complicated work. This was noticeable in art, English, history and religious education.”

He added: “Leaders are dedicated to providing all pupils with the best quality of education and care. Leaders reflect on what is working and make changes where they are needed. They take stock of staff views and act to improve their well-being. Leaders make sure that teachers get appropriate training.”

Inspectors also praised a number of initiatives that have been introduced to drive standards. The report said: “In the junior school, pupils who find reading tough get expert help so that they can catch up. This support continues for as long as pupils need it.”

The inspectors added: “Pupils can take part in many extra-curricular activities. For example, pupils are proud to be members of the school’s large Combined Cadet Force (CCF).”

However, along with praise, the team of inspectors also gave staff a list of areas to improve on.

The report said: “Curriculum leaders in science have made changes to how the curriculum is planned and delivered. Leaders should review the amendments that they are making to the key stage 3 curriculum. They should make sure that this area of the science curriculum has the cohesion evident in other key stages and in other subjects.

“About 90 pupils progress from the junior school to the senior school. In some subjects, such as history and languages, leaders need to change aspects of the key stage 3 curriculum so that it builds more coherently on what these pupils learn in key stage 2.

“Leaders have high expectations for all pupils, including those with SEND. Pupils with SEND are provided for well in most subject areas. Leaders should make sure that teachers support these pupils to learn equally effectively in all lessons.

“Leaders have put in place a strong and effective pastoral care system. Very many pupils told inspectors how well cared for they are. A very small number of pupils said that they would like even more ways to report any worries that they may have. Pastoral leaders should review and, where necessary, make adjustments to the many avenues through which pupils can report any concerns.”

Julie Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Deacon Education Trust, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone at Thomas Deacon Academy for achieving this excellent report. The inspectors’ comments mirror our own view of the impressive work that is taking place at the school.

“As a Trust we work as a close partnership of schools to provide the very best education and opportunities for every child and share this best practice with each other.”

The two-day inspection was one of the first to be completed under the new Ofsted framework that was introduced in September 2019. It assessed the academy’s performance in five key areas – the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and the sixth form provision. All areas were judged to be ‘Good’.

The report will be uploaded to the Ofsted website today.