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Ofsted report on Greendown launches Lydiard Park Academy
West Swindon’s secondary school Greendown in Grange Park has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted for the second time in succession.
This was an excellent achievement because under a new tougher inspection regime headteacher Clive Zimmerman was told that the inspectors would have to be convinced that the school should retain its status of being in the top 25 per cent of schools in the country.
The key points in the report recognise that:
• Achievement is good. Students’ positive attitudes and good behaviour play a key role in the quality of their learning in the classroom;
• The quality of care, guidance and support students receive is good, and this ensures that they feel safe in the school;
• The curriculum is good and has developed well since the last inspection;
• Teaching is good. Teachers show enthusiasm for their subjects and have good subject knowledge;
• Lessons are well planned, learning objectives are appropriately challenging and teachers provide support or extension where needed;
• The headteacher and other senior leaders have a clear vision of where the school is going and this is shared across the school;
• The tracking of students’ progress is rigorous and systems are understood well by students. There is regular monitoring of the work of departments;
• Good arrangements for the care of students contribute well to their good personal development. The school focuses well on the development of literacy as students enter the school;
• The school is preparing students well for the future;
The report concludes that the school has a good capacity for further sustained improvement and to reach the outstanding grade, it needs to;
• Be more systematic in ensuring that the best assessment and feedback strategies are consistently applied;
• Develop staff training that is bespoke to the identified development needs of each teacher, so that all teaching is consistently good or better.
Mr Zimmerman said, “Ofsted visits have become much tougher and more intense since the last inspection in 2008, with inspectors spending a lot of time observing classes and assessing the school generally. It is particularly pleasing that Greendown has retained its position in the top quarter of schools in England.
“We have made a promise to parents and pupils that by the time we officially reopen as Lydiard Park Academy in September 2012, we will have implemented the changes required by Ofsted and will be operating at a level that Ofsted describes as outstanding.
New look and enhanced offer from 25 year old school. Royal relaunch hoped for
Although Greendown will technically achieve academy status from 1 August, it will spend a year implementing changes including a new uniform and logo, new colour scheme throughout the school and new literature, ready for the relaunch as Lydiard Park Academy in September 2012, exactly a quarter of a century after it opened in September 1986.
There will be two major specialist developments:
• links with the Villiers Park Trust whereby teachers are trained to prepare pupils with academic aptitude to join a new gifted and talented programme in Year 10 which will see them individually tutored by Villiers Park staff towards a place at Oxford or Cambridge University;
• the launch of the Lydiard Park Sports Academy as described in the July Link. In conjunction with Performance Development Systems, pupils with sporting talent will work to programmes tailored to the demands of training and education. This is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.
From September 2012 the Academy will be running a bus services from parts of North Swindon, and from Sparcells and Peatmoor, to make it easier for pupils from further afield to attend.
Princes Anne opened Greendown in April 1987. Lydiard Park Academy is making enquiries as to whether another royal visit might be possible.