Ark Alexandra is on track towards being a ‘good’ school, says Ofsted.

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians

Letter from Ofsted: PDF icon10184376 - Ark Alexandra Academy - 139821

I am pleased to share with you the letter from Ofsted from their monitoring visit in July. This visit could not change our current grade but could recommend if we were ready for a full inspection. I am pleased to report that Ofsted inspectors have praised Ark Alexandra Academy’s positive progress and said, “Leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action for the school to become a good school”.

The school’s current Ofsted rating of ‘Requires Improvement’ was conducted in 2017 when it was Ark William Parker Academy (Ark Helenswood Academy was previously rated a ‘Good’ school). Since becoming Ark Alexandra in 2019, the school has rapidly improved, which was noted on 13th July 2021 when Ofsted last visited as part of its monitoring schedule.

As you know, I joined the school in September 2020. I am very proud that the inspector commented that our leadership team had shown “unwavering determination to do what is necessary to provide pupils with a better education” and, that “parents have an increasingly positive view of the school”.

The inspector spoke to staff, students, parents, governors and local stakeholders. He understood what we are trying to achieve as a school - giving all students access to the best teaching and extra-curricular opportunities to achieve high standards in and outside the classroom.

Some of the key strengths noted by the inspector are:

“Pupils are learning and remembering more of what they learn. Leaders have introduced renewed approaches to teaching knowledge and concepts. Teachers are using these approaches more consistently. During the lessons I visited, teachers used well-thought-through explanations to enthuse and interest pupils. Teachers also assessed pupils’ learning and dealt with any misconceptions quickly.

Pupils are concentrating more in lessons. They are more focused on their work and there are fewer disruptions to learning. Staff and parents agree that leaders manage behaviour well. The pupils I spoke with told me that they feel safe in school. They also said that bullying does not happen often and that if it does, it is dealt with well.”

The report highlighted that one of our priorities is reading. The school has invested heavily in staff training and new books to support our students and encourage a love of reading.

The inspector also noted that we revised our personal, social and health education curriculum. Hence, students have a better understanding of issues such as e-safety, equality and respect. With the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we know some students need extra support with managing their worries. So, it is fantastic that students mentioned that they are finding our new counselling service helpful.

We still feel like a new school, and there is so much we want to do, but I am confident our next inspection will be even more successful. We thank all of the parents, carers and school staff for their continued support in building an excellent and thriving Alexandra community.