Ofsted praises Ormiston Denes Academy’s improvement

  15 September, 2021

Ormiston Denes Academy has been praised by Ofsted for “continuing its drive to make the school better” for students. 

The report says that inspectors found that leaders and teachers at the academy in Lowestoft had made significant improvements, including in the curriculum, in PSHE and for pupils who have special needs. Inspectors also highlighted the important role that Ormiston Academies Trust, which sponsors the academy, is playing in the academy’s progress.  

Key areas identified in the latest report include: 

  • Praise for students’ conduct, with the report noting courteousness “both in and outside the classroom”, and students, staff and parents all remarking to inspectors that behaviour has improved.  
  • Leaders have prioritised PSHE lessons, which are well-planned and focus on students’ needs, with teachers supporting them to make well-considered decisions about their next steps. Inspectors heard from students about how much they value those lessons, which raise awareness of the issues affecting them.  
  • Inspectors particularly observed that even against the backdrop of the pandemic, the academy has continued to work hard on ensuring good attendance.  
  • Ormiston Academies Trust is supporting the academy “to access the expertise it needs to develop the curriculum and leaders’ skills further” and leaders, governors, and the Trust work closely together to improve the school. 
  • Leaders were also commended for improving support for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Ofsted found a “clear understanding of the emotional and behaviour needs of students with SEND” and that there is a focus on improving the support they are getting in the classroom.  
  • As a result of leaders’ actions, curriculum plans have improved. With the support of the Trust, leaders are now providing teachers with training to improve the curriculum further. 

Kate Williams took up the post of principal after several years as an experienced senior leader at other OAT schools including as principal at Flegg High Ormiston Academy. She said that the academy is determined to build on these strong foundations. 

Principal, Kate Williams, said: “Ormiston Denes Academy is very proud of the work that staff and students have put in to achieve this outcome. This positive Ofsted report is the result of a real team effort, with everyone – students, staff and parents – playing their part and that is what we are seeing at Denes. 

“Since starting this term, I have already seen the excellent foundations that have been put in place and I’m looking forward to continuing to support the upward trajectory of the academy this year and beyond.  

“Everyone is pleased to be back in the classroom and have certainly hit the ground running: I know we’ve got a great year ahead.”  

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