Pupils and teachers at Portland Spencer Academy are celebrating after receiving a glowing review at its first Ofsted inspection post COVID -19.
The Academy, located in Bilborough is part of the Spencer Academies Trust family, received a section 8 inspection which is designed to ensure the Academy remains good, following a full section 5 inspection in 2017.
The inspector commented that the Academy not only continues to be Good but stated that ‘there is enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school could be judged outstanding if we were to carry out a full section 5 inspection today.’
Leading from this high praise, Ofsted inspectors will return to Portland Spencer Academy within the next two years to complete a full section 5 inspection, giving the Academy the opportunity to enhance its overall grade to Outstanding.
During the inspection, the Academy was recognised as having a key focus on relationships and a strong sense of community and diversity throughout, ‘Pupils support and encourage each other without being asked. Respectful relationships are evident across the school’. One pupil told the inspector: ‘It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you look like, it is personality that matters.’
Reading and Phonics was also observed as being ‘particularly strong’ with the inspector praising the encouragement from staff to read at home, and the enthusiasm pupils had when talking about reading, ‘from the reading vending machine in the school entrance, to the recommended reads in classrooms, leaders show their commitment to developing pupils’ love of reading.’
The inspector praised the strong vision of the Academy, following the Aspire values that are embedded throughout the connected curriculum, and the environment, ‘Leaders have embedded the school’s vision and rules throughout the school. These fit in with the school’s strong Aspire values.’ They also said that, ‘at Portland, pupils do their best to live up to the ‘Aspire’ values of the school.’
Kate Green, Executive Principal of Portland Spencer Academy said, ‘We are so pleased that the work of the staff and children has been recognised, especially considering the impact of the global pandemic. We have continued to ensure that we place a focus on the importance of relationships; on building a love of reading and a thirst for knowledge across the curriculum; and on ensuring our children are happy – so that they can ASPIRE in all that they do!’
Angela O’Brien OBE, Director of Primary Spencer Academies Trust was delighted with Portland’s rating;
‘We are extremely proud of everyone at Portland Spencer Academy. Kate and the team have done a remarkable job to not only retain their good status, but also showcase they could obtain Outstanding status on their next inspection. As a Trust, we put high quality teaching and learning in all that we do and Portland is a great example of this. We are so pleased that this has been acknowledged and how well the staff and pupils have done to achieve this whilst facing challenging circumstances. Congratulations to all involved.’