The Sir John Colfox Academy is celebrating a very successful Ofsted inspection report which has judged the school to be “Good” in all aspects.
Headteacher, David Herbert said, “We are delighted with the report we have received and think it captures our school. It reflects very well on our students and in many ways it is their report, they are the ones who achieve the high standards. There is a lot of recognition in the report of the hard work of students and staff and this is richly deserved. I am very proud to lead such a committed group of people”.
Lead inspector, Kathy Maddocks, reported that “the top tier of leadership in the school, including trustees, governors and senior leaders, is a very efficient body”. She praised the ambition of the Headteacher, Trustees and Governors which has resulted in good outcomes for students over several years.
The behaviour of pupils was judged to be good with pupils conducting themselves well. They quickly followed requests from staff so that learning flowed smoothly and without interruption.
Inspectors praised the curriculum of the school which ensures all groups of pupils, including the more able and those with SEND, achieve well in core and foundation subjects in key stages 3 and 4.
The Sixth Form was particularly praised as results are in the top 10% in the country for A levels. The innovative partnership with Yeovil College to expand choice in the sixth form was singled out as this has “enabled more learners to continue in education and has filled a much needed gap in local provision”.
These good outcomes across the school are due to high quality teaching. Teachers are described as using their strong subject knowledge to challenge student’s thinking and sustain their interest. They use questioning skilfully to probe answers and plan effectively for the support of all students.
The report states that “the personal safety and wellbeing of pupils are secure”. Students have opportunities to learn how to keep themselves safe and are confident and assured. They enjoy learning about how to stay healthy and about emotional and mental health, safe and positive relationships and how to prevent substance misuse.
Careers education was seen as a strength of the school with option choices at key stage 4 being broad and reflecting suitable pathways for education, employment and training. Extra-curricular opportunities, including in sport and the arts as well as programmes to enable students to develop their reflective and collaborative skills through inter house events, leadership opportunities like the Edge and competitions such as Youth Speaks, help the school to develop a more rounded education.
The Sir John Colfox Academy is a member of the Minerva Learning Trust and the report commented on the benefits to the school that comes from being part of that larger body. In particular, transition between primary and secondary schools within the Trust is described as “seamless”. The Trust has also brought “a greater focus on the needs of individuals and the support required to improve pupils’ academic outcomes”. Sharing good practice, working together and close collaboration between the heads is having a positive impact.
“This is a really pleasing report”, said Kay Taylor, Executive Principal of the Minerva Learning Trust. “It recognises what we do well but also gives us pointers for further improvement. It suggests we need to support middle leaders in their role more, make sure pupils understand what they need to do to improve, and review tutor time so that it supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural education more effectively as well as further embedding fundamental British values. But it strongly endorses, yet again, the quality of the education we offer the young people of Bridport”.
Martin Stones, Chair of the Local Governing Body said, “Anyone who knows the Sir John Colfox Academy will recognise it very clearly in this report. There has always been an emphasis on making sure students have a really good grounding which will prepare them for life after school. This means not just good academic results but also experiences and opportunities which help students grow. I have always been proud of how well the school supports and cares for their students and I am delighted this has been recognised here”.