‘Our school isn’t good, its brilliant!’: Scarborough's Woodlands Academy 'thrilled' with outcome of latest Ofsted inspection

Staff and students at Woodlands Academy celebrate a good OfstedStaff and students at Woodlands Academy celebrate a good Ofsted
Staff and students at Woodlands Academy celebrate a good Ofsted
The principal at Woodlands Academy said she is ‘thrilled’ with the results of a recent Ofsted inspection in which the the school achieved a 'Good' rating across all aspects.

This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved, including staff, pupils, and parents.

The school, which provides education for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities from ages 2 to 16, has made significant progress since its previous 'Requires Improvement' rating in 2020.

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Ofsted's feedback highlighted several strengths of Woodlands Academy including its tailored curriculum which is organised into curriculum pathways that that are designed to meet pupils’ SEND and individual needs.

A celebration was held which included cakes and drinksA celebration was held which included cakes and drinks
A celebration was held which included cakes and drinks

The school’s positive learning atmosphere was also noted by inspectors who said: “Pupils move around the school calmly. Staff set clear expectations. They model positive behaviours well through a patient and friendly approach. This ensures pupils feel secure.”

Pupils’ personal development was highlighted as a strength of the school’s work.

Governors were recognised as being passionate about the school. The report said: “They have successfully overseen the development of the school from a local authority school to standalone academy and more recently, to joining a specialist academy trust.”

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The school’s positive culture of safeguarding was also praised.

Vice principal Amy Hewitt chatting with a studentVice principal Amy Hewitt chatting with a student
Vice principal Amy Hewitt chatting with a student

Michelle Hockham, Principal, said: “I’m very proud of the staff, pupils and the wonderful parents who have worked so well together to progress our strategy and improvement, sometimes in very challenging circumstances.

“Of all the positive feedback from the inspection process, perhaps the most cherished is that from parents which is perhaps summed up in these comments: ‘He loves going to school’, ‘she has come on leaps and bounds’, ‘moving him to the school has been the best thing I’ve done for his education’, ‘I’d highly recommend Woodlands’.

“We will not be complacent, We have ambitions to continue building on the successes so far and have already addressed the actions that the inspection helpfully identified.”

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Al Thompson, Chair of Governors, added, “The Governors are absolutely delighted for the team, pupils, and parents.

Catering teacher Sally Barton chatting with visitorsCatering teacher Sally Barton chatting with visitors
Catering teacher Sally Barton chatting with visitors

“In recent years, the school has been on a big development journey, and as this inspection testifies, the team have worked hard to ensure the school is a great place to learn and thrive.”

A statement issued by the school read: “Woodlands Academy remains committed to providing high-quality education and support to its students, ensuring they have every opportunity to succeed and thrive, as we look to the future and moving to our new premises, we will support our team to build on this success and provide even more opportunities for our pupils.

“To underpin this goal, we would like to forge closer links with our wider community and businesses and invite you to make a real difference by supporting us.”

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Elizabeth Horne CBE, Chief Executive of Horizons Specialist Academy Trust said: “This is a super outcome for the academy and reflects the positive journey of the school since the last Ofsted inspection. I am delighted that we have another Ofsted graded ‘Good’ school within our Trust.”

The school community celebrated togetherThe school community celebrated together
The school community celebrated together

The Chair of the Trust, David Walker MBE, expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the Trust, for the hard work of the Principal, senior leaders, staff, pupils and the wider school community.

When the news was shared with pupils, one said: ‘Our school isn’t good, its brilliant!’.

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