Sandymoor’s remarkable turnaround: Achieves good Ofsted rating

  6 June, 2024

Students and staff at Sandymoor Ormiston Academy are celebrating the academy’s transformation after Ofsted announced that it is now good in all areas. In its previous inspection, in 2018, Ofsted inspectors had judged it to be Inadequate. But a year later the school joined Ormiston Academies Trust in 2019 – and today its transformation was confirmed by Ofsted in a hugely positive report that is full of highlights. Inspectors said the academy has “progressively raised its ambitions for what pupils can learn and should achieve” and has “successfully strengthened the quality of education,” with the school’s leaders and teachers well supported by the trust.

Ofsted also congratulated the academy on its “ambitious academic and vocational curriculum” which has “fostered pupils’ desire to attend regularly and to learn with enthusiasm.”

Throughout, the report highlighted how teachers provide “meaningful opportunities for pupils to recall, use, and apply their knowledge,” and “are well supported to develop their knowledge of the subjects that they teach.”

Alongside this, Ofsted praised improvements in personal development and welfare since Sandymoor joined Ormiston. The report highlighted the “support from the trust to develop the knowledge and skills of all” those who work in the school community, the “friendly and warm” atmosphere at the school, and the “high expectations of what pupils can achieve.”

Other strengths noted in the report include:

  • “Pupils make secure gains in what they know and remember. They are ready for their next steps in education, employment and training.”
  • Pupils’ “highly positive attitudes” towards learning helps them to “engage well with lesson activities and they demonstrate the resilience that they need to stay focused when faced with challenges.”
  • The academy has “skilfully utilised support from the Trust to develop the knowledge and skills of all who work within the community”. Consequently, inspectors noted that the academy has “successfully strengthened the quality of education that pupils receive.”
  • “Subject curriculums are appropriately aspirational and carefully ordered” so “more pupils are choosing to study a broader and more balanced range of subjects.”
  • “The school promotes reading well. Staff often model the use of high-quality language in subject lessons.”
  • “The schoolworks closely with pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) to ensure that the needs of these pupils are identified accurately and swiftly. Staff benefit from specialist training so that they feel confident to support these pupils in lessons.”
  • “Pupils develop their interests and talents through the rich offer of extra-curricular clubs and activities that take place during and after the school day.”
  • “Pupils benefit from carefully crafted opportunities that enhance their personal development” and they “are introduced to the information and guidance that they need to support their decisions about their future education or career pathway.”
  • “The trust works in harmony with members of the local governing body”, providing “well matched support and challenge for the support” to support us to improve further.

Sally Jones, Principal said: “We’re so proud Ofsted has recognised Sandymoor’s transformation, and our continued hard work and efforts to strengthen our student outcomes with this incredibly positive Ofsted report. It’s excellent that inspectors noted how our ambition, high-quality teaching and staff support, and rich development opportunities are helping students to achieve their fullest potential.

“I would like to thank our whole school community – committed colleagues across Sandymoor and Ormiston, parents, and young people – for what they have done. We are all so excited for the future of Sandymoor.”

Tom Rees, Chief Executive Officer of Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “I am very proud of Sally and her brilliant team at Sandymoor for what they have achieved. The school is providing an excellent standard of education for its students, and this has been righty recognised by Ofsted. I look forward to seeing the academy build on this success in the months and years to come.”


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