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Darlaston's Grace Academy praised in Ofsted report

By Tom Oakley | Darlaston | Ofsted reports | Published:

A Black Country school is celebrating after receiving a ‘Good’ rating from education watchdog Ofsted.

Carl Salt has been principal of Grace Academy since 2015

Grace Academy in Darlaston received the positive rating following the inspection in April, while there has been a large increase in the number of students applying to the academy across all year groups.

Ofsted rated the academy as ‘good’ in all aspects of school life including leadership and management, quality of teaching and learning, the personal development and behaviour of students, and student outcomes.

Carl Salt, principal of the school, said: “We have set high expectations for staff and students in terms of progress and behaviour, and this has made a real difference to student attainment. We are looking forward to welcoming record numbers of Year 6 students this September.

“We are expecting further progress as students show an increasing desire to learn and develop their skills. English and maths are our strongest subject areas, with maths in particular showing a continuous improvement.”

Ofsted highlighted that teachers are using detailed assessments to set work that is accurately based on what students can already do, while consistently promoting literacy and encouraging students to learn to think mathematically and apply their knowledge to practical situations.

In 2016, students matched national progress in both English and Maths GCSE, with over 61 per cent of students achieving A* to A grades in at least one subject.

This was an increase of 26 per cent on the year before.

Meanwhile, in the sixth form, more than 90 per cent of students and 100 per cent of vocational students passed their examinations.

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The Ofsted report stated: “In the last two years, an improving quality of teaching, a more ambitious culture and aspirational targets for pupils and teachers have led to better academic progress across the school.

“Pupils say that bullying is rare, and that there is no discriminatory behaviour. They have every confidence that adults can resolve any conflict quickly and effectively. The quality of teaching, learning and assessment has improved strongly across the school, and continues to do so.”

Mr Salt added: “We bring in motivational speakers to show students what they can achieve and enhance their understanding of the learning pathways available to them, including high level apprenticeships and other further education courses.

"A good teaching and learning environment is what our students deserve and what the community should expect from the academy, with us all working together in Darlaston to achieve the best we can for our young people.”

Tom Oakley

By Tom Oakley
Trainee Multi-Media Journalist

Reporter covering the areas of Staffordshire/Walsall and responsible for the Stafford & Stone weekly edition. Came through the Express & Star apprenticeship scheme.

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