Ofsted update (June 2021)

Our last Ofsted Inspection at Richmond Academy took place in January 2019.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused major disruption to schools and subsequently the re-inspection of Richmond Academy is now overdue.

However, there is a great sense of pride from the Richmond team as there have been many improvements since the last inspection and, as there hasn’t yet been an Ofsted report to confirm this, I thought I would share some of these successes with you.  Our CEO and myself believe that Richmond is a good school and we are keen for Ofsted to return so that we can celebrate this with our school community.

I hope you enjoy sharing these successes and seeing all the things that the team have worked hard with to bring improvements to our school.

Ms Helen Evemy, Headteacher

Leadership and Management

The Senior Leadership within the school is now well established; the headteacher and her team have been working relentlessly to drive improvements and build strong relationships with the wider community.  By embedding high expectations in all areas, there has been a significant impact across the school.  Within the classroom, support from leaders is evident; the Deputy Heads regularly support teachers in reviewing learning, adapting teaching and driving progress to ensure that learning is at the forefront of each day.  Alongside other professionals, the SENCO has built a robust system of support for our pupils with additional need and regularly works with staff and families to embed practices to improve outcomes. 

At the end of the last academic year, Reception and Year 2 were on track to meet the national average in the statutory assessments.  Equally, the current Year 6 cohort would have exceeded the national progress measures should the SATS have taken place.

During the pandemic, the leadership team worked tirelessly to review and amend the curriculum to ensure that all pupils were given opportunities to recover from lost learning on their return to school; this is an ongoing review cycle to ensure that the long-term Wider Curriculum plan continues to build upon knowledge as they move through the year groups.  Within the school a team of Middle Leaders is developing to embed good practice in all subjects.

Remote Learning

During school and bubble closures, the leadership team have worked tirelessly with staff to provide remote learning that is of a high quality and that meets the needs of all.  Teachers and teaching Assistants quickly adapted to teaching this way so that, on return to school, children were not as disadvantaged as feared; if a child had to isolate then their learning carried on to ensure that when they returned to school they were on a par with their peers in school.

Communication with Families

The school is ably supported by a Parent Support Advisor and Safeguarding Lead who, with their strong relationships with families, can identify and provide additional support when needed.  They work relentlessly to source resources or external providers to ensure that our families’ welfare is as important as the child’s education.   Along with the Senior Leadership, being present around the school and outside with our parents has meant that issues are resolved swiftly. 

The Parent Forum is well established and more parent views are sought on matters both at a school level but also on wider Trust issues that the Board of Directors have asked for feedback on.  A report is summited each term to the Board from the Headteacher and this feedback could then impact on strategic decisions.  During the pandemic the CEO sought feedback weekly from parents and the remote learning was adapted where relevant. 

Our Weduc communication app is the main platform for communication between home and school. Three quarters of our families regularly interact with the app, enabling them to share in news about their children at school as well as the more functional information such as key dates and changes to any arrangements.

Whilst the majority of our families were at home during the pandemic, regular welfare calls were made and continue to be done so since returning on the 8th March.  There are good relationships within the local community too and the school have been able to signpost many families to additional support during this time.  We have

At the start of the pandemic the Trust fully funded support for Free School Meals and set up an additional fund to provide support for families who, due to being furloughed or in financial difficulty, needed help with white goods or essential items such as beds. Our drive to support our families is relentless and purposeful.

Our Weduc newsfeed

Personal Development and Well-being

This area has seen substantial improvements as the Richmond team fully believe that a culture where a child’s personal development and well-being is a priority will bring good outcomes.   Our school has a dedicated and fully staffed Nurture classroom and cohorts of children access this resource throughout the year to enable them to access their learning in their class.  This academic year we have been driving to establish ‘Every class a Nurture class’; implementing the six principles of Nurture in every room.  Through using Boxall assessments, we have been able to tailor interventions and strategies for all.

Behaviour

At Richmond the whole team has been passionate about improving behaviour for learning for all.  A robust and consistent behaviour policy is now embedded which means that all children are treated fairly.  A recent survey of our parents supports this fair and consistent approach which demonstrates the support our families have for the school.  The leadership team support class teams when facing challenging conduct and parents are always kept informed; enabling the school and family to work together. 

Relationships with outside agencies such as Early Help and SEND teams are strong and the school will seek advice where it is needed to strengthen the school/home trust relationship.  Our approach is very much that home and school have to work together for the best outcomes for children. 

All behaviours are logged to enable the leadership team to review regularly to ascertain if there are any patterns that require additional support; where behaviour is concerned any behaviour is communication and we have a duty of care to listen to that communication and adapt where needed.

Attendance and Welfare

Our Welfare team is now established and effective; we work closely together to remove barriers and encourage our pupils to attend school.  The pandemic has presented additional barriers but the school team work relentlessly with families to overcome these.

Pre-COVID our percentage of persistent absentees had decreased and we expect this to continue as we continue through our journey.

 

Watch our attendance video!

Richmond Academy was inspected by Ofsted 30–31 January 2019. You can read the full report below:

"Officers and trustees of The Stour Academy Trust have high expectations and are relentless in securing the necessary improvements. They are systematically reversing past weaknesses and creating a culture of achievement in the school."

"The headteacher has brought stability and a renewed sense of ambition to the school. She has won the confidence of staff, pupils and many parents and carers with her clarity of vision and openness."

"Pupils benefit from a broad and balanced curriculum and a range of extra-curricular activities. Leaders ensure that pupils are prepared well for life in modern Britain."

"Leaders provide effective support for teachers, many of whom are new to the school and the profession. Teachers are proud to work in the school and benefit from high-quality training."

"Arrangements for keeping pupils safe are exceptionally strong. Vulnerable pupils and their families receive timely and effective support"

You can also find the latest Ofsted Report here:

https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk