Excellent first Ofsted report for Wallscourt Farm Academy

June 05 2016

Wallscourt Farm Academy, a new primary school on the border of South Gloucestershire and Bristol, has been highly praised in its first Ofsted report.

Wallscourt Farm Academy, a new primary school on the border of South Gloucestershire and Bristol, has been highly praised in its first Ofsted report.
Inspectors rated the academy, which opened in Cheswick Village in September 2013, as good with outstanding features and said it showed sustained and continuing improvement.
“This inclusive school is at the heart of the community. Pupils are thriving,” they said.
The Ofsted team spent two days in April at the academy, which currently has 170 pupils and will eventually take in up to 420.  The inspectors noted that: “All staff have ‘bought into’ the Wallscourt Farm approach to teaching, learning and assessment.
“They strongly believe that every child has the potential to achieve and become an active, independent learner. This approach ... is resulting in inquisitive and motivated learners. Great consideration and care have gone into making this school a safe and exciting place to learn.
“The school’s unique ‘enquiry-led curriculum’ provides a wealth of learning opportunities for pupils to explore and discover. Nonetheless, leaders ensure a rigorous focus on the teaching and learning of key mathematical and literacy skills.”
Lead inspector Catherine Leahy added that the planned, whole-school approach supported all pupils to think deeply and learn about the world around them. Children took pride in their work and had very positive attitudes to learning. The most able were challenged to ‘deepen their learning’ and showed perseverance and resilience, while children with special educational needs made outstanding progress and disadvantaged pupils made good progress.
Teachers were said to be continually building on already good subject knowledge so they could plan learning that would engage the children. The contribution of experienced and well-trained teaching partners was acknowledged, as well as the good use of opportunities to learn from other academies in the Cabot Learning Federation and through the link with the University of West of England.
The inspectors highlighted the relentless drive and ambition of the school’s principal Susie Weaver, to ensure that all children received a high quality education. “Leaders and all staff are uncompromising in their absolute belief that every child can and will succeed at this school as a result of the high-quality care and support each receives.”
The inspectors described pupils’ behaviour as exemplary. “In the school’s open-plan learning environment, there is a calm and purposeful atmosphere that encourages pupils to learn effectively,” the report said.
Strong relationships between children and staff and with families were found to be key to Wallscourt Farm’s success. Children had absolute trust in their teachers and parents were overwhelmingly supportive .The school’s early years provision was judged to be outstanding.  “Teachers plan exciting and engaging learning opportunities in the well-resourced indoor and outdoor learning environments. Children quickly develop their imagination, independence and love for learning,” Ofsted reported.
Miss Weaver said that everyone at Wallscourt Farm was thrilled with the report.
“We are immensely proud of the report and feel it really reflects us, as a new and growing school, and where we are on our journey. We were so delighted that the children’s attitudes towards learning and life shone out and that the contribution of all involved has been recognised by the inspectors,” she said.