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West Norfolk Academies Trust celebrate as all its schools rated ‘good’ by Ofsted simultaneously for first time





All 11 schools run by a West Norfolk academy trust have simultaneously achieved a ‘good’ status from Ofsted for the first time.

West Norfolk Academies Trust has celebrated the achievement, with North West Norfolk MP James Wild praising the hard work of everyone involved with its schools.

The Trust includes 11 schools, both primary and secondary, and for the first time, they are now all rated as ‘good’ simultaneously.

West Norfolk Academies Trust celebrates Good Ofsted across all schools. Picture credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
West Norfolk Academies Trust celebrates Good Ofsted across all schools. Picture credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media

Mr Wild said: “It was a pleasure to be part of West Norfolk Academy Trust’s celebrations.

“This is a tribute to the hard work of pupils, teachers, and staff.

“One of the first visits was to Smithdon, in Hunstanton, and having achieved a good rating, this should be an exciting year as the School Rebuilding Programme plans move ahead.”

West Norfolk Academies Trust celebrates Good Ofsted across all schools. Picture credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
West Norfolk Academies Trust celebrates Good Ofsted across all schools. Picture credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media

A special celebration was held at Springwood High School on Friday, January 19 and involved pupils and staff from across all the schools.

Officials at the Trust said that it is very much part of the community and jointly celebrates special occasions and student achievements.

The annual carol service, music week, an art exhibition in Lynn’s St Nicholas Chapel, and a Music Hub Playday are all jointly presented and include each of the schools.

Andy Johnson, chief executive officer, said: “We know that the Trust is only as good as its staff, and we work hard to ensure everyone is supported to do the very best for the pupils in their care.

West Norfolk Academies Trust celebrates Good Ofsted across all schools. Picture credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
West Norfolk Academies Trust celebrates Good Ofsted across all schools. Picture credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media

“To have all our schools rated as Good is a fantastic achievement and reflects the hard work and commitment the Trust and the wider communities have put into each one of our 11 schools.

“Our ambition for pupils is consistently high, wherever they are learning, and we will continue to ensure they all have the very best opportunities available to them - whether they are in their first year or final year with us.

“We are all good, so now we aim for outstanding and the hard work continues from here.

West Norfolk Academies Trust celebrates Good Ofsted across all schools. Picture credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media
West Norfolk Academies Trust celebrates Good Ofsted across all schools. Picture credit: Ian Burt/Barking Dog Media

“The parents and wider school family are incredibly supportive, and we thank them for all the help they have given.”

Trust chair Roger Livesey said all the trustees were “absolutely delighted” that all 11 schools were now good.

He said: “There is no doubt that this is down to the superb leadership of the trust, the excellent headteachers at the schools, and their inspirational and hardworking staff, congratulations to them all.

“All our secondary schools are heavily oversubscribed, an indication that the trust continues to head in the right direction.

“To have all of our schools awarded good by Ofsted is a huge achievement and we are only too aware of the hard work everyone connected to the schools and Trust has put in.

“But, while celebrating the moment, we also need to look forward and aim even higher.

Among those celebrating is Clenchwarton Primary School which is on course to become an Outstanding school, according to its latest Ofsted report.

The report published in March 2023, said: “A joyful and inspiring place to learn. Pupils know what kindness and politeness should look like because their teachers model these to them.” It added that if the inspection had been able to award a grade, it was on course for Outstanding.

“Pupils find their lessons fascinating and they are keen to learn. Their teachers help them to listen and work hard. Pupils’ learning successes spur them on. They are expected to challenge themselves.”

The report highlighted the wide range of clubs and activities on offer at the school, and praised the fact that “leaders went out of their way to give pupils the best opportunities that will enable them to lead happy, successful and fulfilling lives”.

The huge amount of extra-curricular activities is a constant theme throughout all of the Trust’s schools, with a wide array of groups and clubs for pupils to choose from.

Springwood High School in Lynn had its latest Ofsted published last December and the inspectors highlighted several aspects of the school, including both leaders and governors having a “good understanding” of its strengths.

The report said: “A well-planned and ambitious curriculum is in place, including for students in the sixth form.”

With 1,892 pupils it is the biggest of the WNAT schools and the inspection team noted the positivity of students who were positive about their education.

“Pupils take pride in the presentation of their work. They value the wide range of subjects they can choose,” said the report.

The high aspirations for students and praise for ambitious curriculums is a common theme across all 11 schools.

Marshland High School in West Walton, with 726 pupils, has “committed and passionate” trustees and governors.

“A carefully constructed curriculum supports pupils’ personal and academic development well,” says the latest report published in 2018.

At St Clement’s High School, the inspection team noted: “Adults have high expectations of how pupils should behave and what they should achieve.”

With 663 pupils, the school’s most recent Ofsted was published in June and it highlighted the “community ethos of this small school”.

“Leaders act in pupils’ best interests. They are inclusive and ensure equality of opportunities for all pupils.”

Smithdon High School in Hunstanton is the most recent school to have an Ofsted report published as it has only just been revealed.

The school has improved from ‘requires improvement’ and headteacher Amanda Gibbins said the upgrade was a “testament to the whole Smithdon community and the hard work of everyone involved”.

Progress figures in all areas have improved since the previous report in 2019 and the school has high expectations that the pupils understand.

The trust’s primary schools are also all good, with a consistent reference to comprehensive curriculums, strong community ethos, and strong leadership.

Gaywood Primary School was noted as being a ‘strong community’ in its report published in November 2021.

“They sing joyfully together in assemblies. They listen carefully to each other when sharing work,” it says.

The report for Heacham Junior School highlighted the quality of teaching and the fact pupils celebrated each other’s successes.

The report said: “Leaders at all levels are involved in creating the right curriculum for the pupils.”

The village’s infant and nursery school was also praised for “admirable” behaviour of the pupils and the expectations of the staff.

“Leaders have designed a curriculum that inspires pupils. Teachers regularly check what pupils know and understand,” said the report published In December 2022.

Snettisham Primary School’s Ofsted was published in July 2022 and again highlighted the “ambitious curriculum.”

“From early years onwards, children enjoy a challenging curriculum that is well planned and sequenced,” says the report.

“All pupils benefit from strong and supportive relationships with each other and with staff,” the inspector noted.

At West Lynn Primary School, the positive attitudes of pupils and the well-planned curriculum were among the highlights of the report published in October 2019.

“We saw good-humoured and respectful conversations between pupils and staff. These positive relationships help to create the school’s calm and purposeful environment,” it says.



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