27 May, 2022
Ormiston Venture Academy has been awarded the gold quality mark for Social Moral, Spiritual Culture learning (SMSC).
The SMSC quality mark recognises schools for their efforts in supporting children and young people to raise their aspirations while instilling strong values such as compassion and hope. The SMSC is awarded by Young Citizens, an education charity that helps to educate, inspire and equip the active citizens of tomorrow.
Throughout the selection process, the academy showcased to the accessors their extensive provision for spiritual, moral, social, and cultural education, including their strong student voice network.
The verification process consisted of interviews with students, parents, governors, assistant principals and principal Simon Gilbert-Barnham. The assessor from Young Citizens was truly amazed by what she learned about the academy and its community and commented that the opportunities afforded to pupils in the academy were outstanding.
A number of areas of strength were highlighted in particular, including the academy’s student voice programme, the academy’s rewards system, the Venture Way itself and all the communication with parents. The assessor concluded that ‘Ormiston Venture Academy is a school where, students are noticed, pushed and encouraged to do well and succeed. It’s a community school where they promote what they have to offer and take a true interest in students.’
When asked to describe their school in one word, students said, “Encouraging, incredible, fun, inspiring, supportive, unique, outstanding, rewarding, creative, achieving, respectful, communal and world class.” One student went on to say, ‘It’s a school filled with opportunities and the facilities are excellent!’
Having spoken with governors and teachers, the assessor commented: “Students have grown in confidence in themselves and their abilities and, most of all, in understanding their potential.
“Parents were heart-warmingly honest and positive about Ormiston Venture Academy and used words such as ‘fantastic’ and ‘helpful’ when describing the school.”
Mr Doggett, director of learning cultures and lead for SMSC at Ormiston Venture Academy, said: “It was amazing to have the opportunity to showcase what we truly believe to be strengths of the academy to someone entirely neutral, only for them to recognize the same strengths as we do.
“We are delighted to receive this prestigious gold award in recognition of the opportunities that are provided for our students to help them to prepare to be resilient, skilful and well-informed 21st century global citizens.”