Welcome to Gloucester Academy.
I took on the leadership of Gloucester Academy from September 2015. I am really excited about the opportunity of working closely with our students, our team of staff and with parents to accelerate our journey of improvement. My school leadership is all about an unshakeable belief that, through commitment and effort and great teaching, all children can succeed.
I moved from King’s Oak Academy in Bristol, part of the Cabot Learning Federation of schools, where I was Principal for 4 years. This academy has rapidly improved, was judged GOOD by Ofsted and is now significantly oversubscribed. I have seen at first hand how working within a family or Federation of schools can drive up standards and make a difference to the lives of children. Previously I was Deputy Headteacher at Highworth Warneford School in Swindon I was part of the team which led the school to become “outstanding”. In my work in Swindon I worked with Mr Colledge, Secondary Director of The White Horse Federation and GA Interim Principal, and who will continue to work closely with me and the team of staff at GA, to support our students.
Effectiveness of leadership and management (Quote from latest Ofsted report)
Since arriving at the start of the year in September, the new Principal has provided inspirational and dynamic leadership. Students and staff are unanimous in their praise for the way he has tackled difficult and longstanding problems, created an atmosphere where everyone wants to do well, and established a real pride in the academy. Both students and teachers value highly his constant presence around the academy and in lessons. He has very quickly established highly effective relationships with everyone; this is impressive. He is supported well by the team of senior leaders who value the clarity of their roles and purpose that the Principal has brought.
Since the start of this academic year the academy’s leaders, supported well by the White Horse Federation and by governors, have improved many aspects of the academy, building on work started towards the end of the previous year. Since becoming part of the White Horse Federation, the academy has received high quality and effective support; for example, from the CEO, the secondary director, the leader of professional development and the secondment of key teachers.
Students’ behaviour in classes and around the academy and their attitudes to their work have improved dramatically. Teachers’ morale and confidence have risen significantly. One middle leader said that ‘the morale and happiness amongst staff is the best it has been for 17 years’.
Strand (subject) leaders, year progress leaders, the leader of the Year 7 ‘new basics’ curriculum and others, form a strong, cohesive and influential middle leadership team. They have been supported and had their skills developed extremely well through the regular sessions with the White Horse Federation professional development leader.
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment (Quote from latest Ofsted report)
The quality of teaching is improving and there is considerable good practice to build on. The academy has introduced a strong framework for what good and better teaching looks like. This has been supported well by focused training for teachers. Teachers’ morale and confidence are much improved. Encouragingly, the impact of good teaching on students’ progress and quality of work was seen in lessons across a wide range of subjects including English, mathematics, science, geography, history and languages. This provides a secure basis for further improvement. Teaching assistants are deployed well in these lessons. They are actively involved in supporting a range of students to learn well.
The quality of Year 7 students’ work in the ‘new basics’ projects is often high. This curriculum establishes basic skills, such as literacy and enquiry techniques, very well.
Teachers mostly mark students’ work regularly and frequently and often provide them with useful feedback.
Personal development, behaviour and welfare (Quote from latest Ofsted report)
The improvement in students’ behaviour is marked. They are overwhelmingly positive about the changes made by the Principal and many now enjoy coming to school and their lessons. The achievement of such improvement in such a short period of time is testament to the impact of the new Principal and the support from senior and middle leaders.
We are proud of the international feel of the academy, and our local community links are also really important to us. Our New Basics curriculum in Yr7 has strong links with developing countries, and we also support local charities each year. We aspire to be a global school at the heart of our local community. We have strong links with a range of our partner primary schools, and this helps our Year 6 students make a smooth transition. Through our website, I hope you will gain a feeling of the Academy and the support that we give to every individual student. I want this Academy to be the best that we can be for all of our children, and through a strong programme of continuous improvement we are achieving this.
If you are interested in visiting us then simply contact the Academy office for us to arrange a tour. We would love to hear from you!
DFE registered no. 916 6906
The White Horse Federation, Plymouth Street, Swindon, Wiltshire SN1 2LB
Registered company number: 087075785
The White Horse Federation is an exempt charity