Steiner Academy is still shaping its identity - Ofsted

June 30 2017

FISHPONDS’ newest school, Steiner Academy Bristol, has has its first Ofsted inspection and has been found to require improvement.

FISHPONDS’ newest school, Steiner Academy Bristol, has has its first Ofsted inspection and has been found to require improvement.

However, the team of three inspectors, who visited in May, acknowledged that the leaders’ efforts were hampered by the 268-pupil academy’s “unusual context and circumstances”.

“The school is still in its infancy, growing at a rapid rate and still in the process of defining its identity. Leaders are having to reshape the school so that it fulfils the Steiner ethos while meeting the needs of the pupils who attend the school,” their report said.

Frequent changes of staff in some areas of the school had also made it hard to establish consistency of expectation and practice across subjects, it noted.

Attendance said to be was too low and exclusions too high.

Lead inspector Steve Smith said the right action was being taken to improve aspects of the school’s work, such as teaching, assessment and behaviour. 

He also said that the Steiner ethos and curriculum developed pupils’ craft skills, imagination and creativity, and he praised the positive relationships between staff and students.

Principal Angie Browne said: "Our school is working hard to create an approach to learning that is genuinely different. Because of this we've had very high demand for school places and we are lucky to have a really active and supportive parent community. 

"We're really pleased that Ofsted has recognised our difference, and that they have judged us against our own standards and ethos rather than expecting us to be something that we're not. Ofsted's report identifies our good practice, with our Kindergarten rated as 'Good' and specific mention in the report of good teaching and good relationships between staff and children. 

"Creating a new kind of school with a different curriculum, new assessment methods and new teacher training programmes at a time when funding is so tight was always going to be a huge task and we would agree with Ofsted that there are areas that still require improvement. However, the school is making progress in the areas that require improvement and Ofsted has also recognised this in their report."