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Ofsted Good for Cockburn Haigh Road Academy

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Celebrating Success
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Feb 1st 2024

Cockburn Haigh Road Academy in Rothwell, Leeds was inspected by Ofsted in December 2023. During the inspection, inspectors judged the academy to be good in all areas. This includes the quality of education along with behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management and early years provision.

The former Haigh Road Infant School had been rated as inadequate by Ofsted in December 2018. The school joined Cockburn Multi-academy Trust in 2019 and was relaunched as Cockburn Haigh Road Academy and their journey to excellence began.

At the very heart of the community in Rothwell, the school has a proud tradition of many children attending whose parents and grandparents have been before. There has been a school on the site since the opening of Wood Lane Provided School in 1904 and the building combines the original Victorian building that can be seen from Haigh Road, with more modern classrooms to the rear. They have tailored outdoor areas for Nursery, Reception and Key Stage One, as well as a beautiful field to the rear of the school, which they use for a variety of purposes, including PE, Forest School activities and other work linked to the curriculum.

Cockburn Haigh Road Academy was rated good in each of the five inspected categories which are Quality of Education, Leadership and Management, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development and Early Years Provision.

During their visit, inspectors met with leaders, staff, trustees and governors. They talked to pupils about their work and visited lessons in each areas of school; nursery, reception and key stage one. Inspectors spoke to curriculum leaders and teachers and looked in depth at the curriculum, including a particular focus on early reading, mathematics, music, history, geography and art.

The report begins by recognising the caring nature of the school, ‘Cockburn Haigh Road Academy is a welcoming and friendly school. The relationships between adults and pupils are warm and nurturing. Pupils are well cared for, happy and safe. They enjoy coming to school.’ Its also states that Staff are dedicated and are proud to be members of the Cockburn Haigh Road community.’

Throughout the inspection, inspectors noted that the quality of education provided by the academy has much to be proud of since joining the Cockburn Multi-academy Trust. With the support of the trust, the school has recently reviewed the curriculum to ensure that it is ambitious and builds pupils’ knowledge over time. Leaders have identified the key knowledge and vocabulary that pupils need to know and remember.’

The inspection team were impressed with the school’s curriculum. ‘The school has recently reviewed its curriculum to ensure that all subjects are well sequenced and progressive. The curriculum is enhanced through a range of exciting visits. Pupils have enjoyed visits to indoor and outdoor adventure centres, a castle and a steam railway. Pupils say they loved eating their lunch on a steam train.’

The inspectors noted the ‘high priority’ that pupils are given to develop their reading as quickly as possible, ‘Staff are well trained to deliver the phonics programme. Pupils who need extra help receive the support they need to catch up. Pupils’ books match the sounds they can read. This helps them to practise the sounds they know to become confident readers. The school promotes a love of reading through a variety of activities such as holiday reading challenges and daily story time.’

The report also highlights how the academy provides opportunities for personal development ‘In personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons, pupils are taught about different types of friendships and families. Pupils know that it is important to treat others with respect. They learn about equality and know that girls and boys can like the same things. Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe online. They know that people may not be who they say they are when playing games online.’

The inspectors highlighted the huge impact that leaders at all levels across the school have made Staff appreciate and value the support they receive from the school’s leaders and

the trust. Leaders at all levels are mindful of staff well-being and workload. Leaders at all levels have high expectations for all pupils, including disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They are determined to improve outcomes for all.’

Early Years provision was also praised, ‘The carefully planned early years curriculum ensures children get off to a flying start. Clear expectations help children to play together and develop their social skills. Staff establish routines and encourage positive behaviour right from when children first start at the school. Adults interact skilfully with the children, developing their knowledge and vocabulary. Resources in the provision are carefully chosen. This means that children have access to activities that develop their knowledge of all areas of learning, including in early reading and number.’

During the inspection, inspectors saw the excellent behaviour and attitude of pupils that reflected the normal day to day life of the school. ‘Pupils are polite and helpful. They demonstrate good manners, for example by sensibly holding doors open for adults and their peers. Most pupils behave well and are kind to each other. They enjoy earning badges and certificates. Pupils are proud to be chosen as the star of the week.

Head of School, Jacqueline Padgett, added “‘The Cockburn Haigh Road Academy community is incredibly proud of the feedback provided by Ofsted and we are determined to continue to strive for excellence. This result reflects a significant, whole team effort to improve the education of each and every one of our pupils. All of our staff, families and young people have played a central role in ensuring that the academy continues to provide an excellent education where each academic year, we focus on teaching children from their starting points, striving to help them to achieve the best outcomes.”

Executive Headteacher, David Gurney, said “Our vision of ‘Transformation to Excellence’ focuses on a relentless drive to continue to improve and excel in all areas. This report recognises this drive that leads to excellent outcomes, while developing the pupil’s character as part of a supportive and caring community. I would like to thank all pupils, staff, parents/carers, trustees and governors for their ongoing hard work, support and dedication. Five years ago, we made a commitment to the community in Rothwell and despite the new rigorous inspection framework where judgements are harder to achieve, combined with the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic, this report recognises an excellent achievement. Our inspiring team of staff and pupils at the academy work tirelessly together to provide an excellent education.”

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Peter Nuttall, said “This inspection demonstrates that with the right mindset, and a willingness to take on a school rated ‘Inadequate’ by Ofsted in 2018 with the intention of turning it around, remarkable results can be achieved. The staff at Cockburn Haigh Road Academy are to be congratulated on their excellent work.”