• Tue. May 28th, 2024

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School achieves first ‘good’ rating in its history despite coping with pandemic

STAFF and pupils are celebrating after being rewarded for their efforts during a pandemic with the first ‘good’ in the history of the school.

Ofsted inspectors rated Haughton Academy, part of the Education Village Darlington, ‘good’ in the key areas of quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management, leading to an overall good rating for effectiveness.

Until now the school has been ranked ‘satisfactory’ under the old Ofsted ratings and more recently ‘requires improvement’.

For principal for the past seven years Jonathan Lumb the result was even more impressive as at the time of the inspection 18 staff were off sick on the first day, 15 on the second, as were many pupils.

He said: “We have a high quality and settled leadership team, excellent heads of department and middle management and a talented and dedicated teaching staff who have the unstinting support of governors, pupils and parents.

“We aim to ensure that all pupils succeed at university, or a real alternative, excel in their careers and have a great life. The good rating is testament to all the hard work of everyone in our school community which has pulled together to make sure learning is the very best it can be. To achieve this against the backdrop of a pandemic is tremendous.”

Inspectors said over the past three years the school had been transformed.

“Leaders and staff have high expectations for all pupils,” the report said. “The expectations are lived out daily by staff and pupils through the school’s clear set of core values, P.R.O.U.D (prepared, resilient, open-minded, united and determined). These values are the heartbeat of the school.

“Pupils benefit from a broad curriculum which is challenging and ambitious. Pupils are interested learners at Haughton Academy. This interest is nurtured and developed by staff. Pupils told inspectors they enjoy coming to school. They feel safe and know if they need help they can approach any member of staff.”

The report went on to praise pupil behaviour stating: “Behaviour in lessons is calm. This creates a positive atmosphere in lessons where pupils can focus on content without distraction. The personal development curriculum allows the pupils to learn about a wide range of different issues that relate to the local community and beyond.”

Chief executive of the Education Village Academy Trust Mike Butler said: “This Ofsted rating of good is richly deserved and reflects the unrelenting efforts of Jonathan, his staff, pupils, governors and families who invest their all in the school on a daily basis.

“I am delighted that Haughton Academy is providing Darlington and the Tees Valley with a rich seam of talented, committed and conscientious young citizens who I’m sure will go on to benefit the region in years to come.”

Head boy Tom Kipling said: “It is brilliant. Over the past five years we have seen the school transform and we are really proud of the result.”

Deputy head girl Paige Morehead said: “I think the school has grown with us and it is great to be leaving with a good rating.”

Head girl Aimee Cassidy added: “I am really proud to be a pupil at Haughton Academy. Mr Lumb and the senior leadership team have worked really hard and it has paid off. We are really proud of him as well.”

Deputy head girl Gagandeep Bura said: “It is amazing to see everything we have achieved together, united and I am glad to leave the school with the very best memories of studying here.”

By French