Howard Community Academy’s Ofsted report praises ‘happy’ school for its strong leadership
Leaders at Howard Community Academy have been commended by Ofsted for their “strong and shared vision” which has helped the school to improve quickly.
Howard Community Academy, part of multi-academy trust Anglian Learning was inspected on 18 and 19 January 2023. At the academy’s last full inspection, all areas were judged to be ‘Inadequate’. This meant that significant improvements needed to be made when the school joined Anglian Learning in 2020.
The latest report now judges four out of five of the assessed areas as ‘good’. These include ‘behaviour and attitudes’, ‘personal development’, ‘leadership and management’, and ‘early years provision’. Due to a “legacy of weaker education” at the school before it joined Anglian Learning, inspectors felt, in line with leaders’ evaluation, that that more time was needed to embed and evidence the improvements in the ‘quality of education’. However, this also received an improved rating from the previous inspection.
In the report, the primary school was complimented on its execution of a “well planned and sequenced” school curriculum: “Lessons include opportunities for pupils to revisit prior learning. This helps to remind them and remember what they have learned before.”
Inspectors also celebrated the good behaviour of pupils in lessons: “They listen carefully and participate actively in their learning. Pupils are helped to talk about their feelings and know there are calm spaces to go to if they feel upset or need to be on their own.”
Alison Weir, Headteacher at Howard Community Academy, said: “We are delighted with our latest Ofsted report. We have received a great deal of praise for our ethos of high aspirations for all, our strong leadership, and our commitment to strengthening pupil outcomes. These characteristics underpin our commitment to providing a safe and nurturing environment, where all our pupils can thrive and develop their love of learning.
“We are very proud of the significant improvements the school has made during the last two years. Given a little more time, we are confident that this report highlights that the fundamental processes and improvements are now in place to make Howard Community Academy a ‘Good’ school in every element of its work.
“I am beaming with pride at this recognition of the hard work and dedication of our colleagues, families, wider community and Anglian Learning. Our community remains at the heart of our vision and we can all be proud of what we are achieving together.”
The academy’s staff were described as “kind and caring” who “take care of the children and focus on their social and emotional needs and welfare” and involve parents “to share their children’s learning through effective communication between school and home.”
The academy received significant praise for its “bright and engaging environment” for Early Years Foundation Stage children: “Leaders have identified the importance of developing spoken
language and communication. As a result, teachers plan activities that help support the youngest children to communicate. There are spaces for children to work in small groups and to learn outside.”
Trust and school leaders were praised for their devotion to propelling the school’s shared vision: “Leaders have united, galvanised and enthused the staff through their vision for success. They have worked effectively to build positive relationships with the community. Staff and most parents are fully behind the improvements that leaders are driving.”
Jonathan Culpin, CEO of Anglian Learning, said: “I am incredibly proud of the transformation that has taken place at Howard Community Academy. Alison, her team, and many individuals across our Trust have worked tirelessly to support the academy’s young learners and their families, establishing the academy at the heart of its community as a place where learning feels irresistible and inspiring.”