Tuesday 15th February 2011 by C. Freeman
Brooke Weston has been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted Inspectors who praised every aspect of the Academy including its leadership, teaching and ‘can-do’ culture. Their 15-page report said: ‘Brooke Weston Academy provides students with an outstanding education. This is because the outstanding leadership of the academy knows precisely what needs to be done to ensure students get the best possible start. The staff work incredibly hard to meet the needs of every individual student regardless of their background.’
The report, compiled after a two-day inspection in January, awarded outstanding grades in 30 out of 31 categories. The inspection team, led by Rashida Sharif HMI, observed 56 teachers in 52 lessons and consulted with students, staff and Governors. In addition they took into account 470 parental questionnaires and student and staff questionnaires.
Their main findings included: ‘Students make outstanding progress as a result of mostly outstanding teaching and excellent monitoring and intervention strategies. Students are exceptionally well behaved and highly motivated. Classrooms are stimulating places to learn; lessons have a buzz of activity that reflects students’ excellent attitudes and teachers’ high level of commitment.’
Inspectors praised the ‘outstanding curriculum’ that provides students with ‘a wealth of highly memorable opportunities within and beyond the academy.’ They noted the teachers’ ‘excellent subject knowledge and their very good relationships with students’ and said: ‘it was clear how carefully teachers ensure that their lessons are well planned, sharply focused, skilfully managed’ enabling students to ‘learn in an extremely well ordered and stimulating environment, which inspires and contributes to students’ enjoyment and achievement’.
Students received extensive praise from the Inspection team who remarked that they ‘rise to the challenge of high expectations. They behave exceptionally well and work very hard … The academy is a harmonious community where students from all backgrounds get on very well together and feel completely safe … students immensely enjoy attending the academy and this is reflected in their outstanding attendance.'
In the sixth form it was noted that ‘students make outstanding progress’. ‘Care, guidance and support are a truly outstanding feature of the provision in the Sixth Form. Students say that "teachers encourage us to aspire for the very best" and as one student put it "reach for the stars."'
More than a third of parents returned their questionnaires and the ‘vast majority were overwhelmingly supportive of the academy’s work, praising the care, guidance and support offered to them and their children. All those who responded stated that their children were very happy at the academy, well cared for and enjoyed attending.’
The report stated: ‘the academy works outstandingly well with parents and carers and also with an impressive range of external partners to achieve the outstanding outcomes for its students. Students, in turn, appreciate the very high quality support, which they say is based on their teachers knowing them and their specific needs and which guides them to prioritise their work and well-being.’
Principal, Trish Stringer was praised for her ‘excellent leadership, drive and strategic vision’ while the ‘astute and very well informed’ governing body was noted for its work: ‘One of the many strengths of the academy lies in the cohesive community which leads to all staff, students and governors working together as a team.’
Miss Stringer said: ‘I am immensely proud of the Inspectors’ findings which highlight the high levels of commitment evident across the Academy. Everyone involved at Brooke Weston received recognition and praise for their work and commitment to excellence. This vision and will to succeed, shared by all at Brooke Weston, has contributed to this outstanding report.’