A brief look at schools in the CAT family
Kingsthorpe College, Northampton Town
K ingsthorpe College is a large secondary school (1300 students) with 180 in the Sixth Form. The college was fortunate to benefit from a PFI new build in 2007. With above average numbers of children with special educational needs and those learning English as an additional language or from a minority ethnic heritage, the ability of students on entry is below the national average. The college has been below its pupil admissions number for several years.
Senior and middle leaders are driving improvement with renewed energy, passion and expertise and systems are now in place to make sure improvement is sustained.
The curriculum for students has been carefully considered. Students study subjects that are personal to them and this has meant that they are keener to learn and achieve.
Students take a pride in their appearance and are proud of the college. Because of this, the students act as positive ambassadors within the college and the local community. Students told inspectors that they felt ‘lucky to be at this school’.
– Ofsted 2015
Debbie Morrison took up the role of Principal in April 2014 on the retirement of the previous post holder. At that time, the college was judged to ‘require improvement’ after previously always being a grade 3 school.
In May 2015 Kingsthorpe College was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted and has continued to show an improvement. The school was oversubscribed for the first time in September 2015 with a significant increase in first preferences. Attainment outcomes have moved significantly closer towards the national average.
The school won School of the Year in Northamptonshire in 2015.
Debbie is now working with staff, students, parents, governors and the local community at Kingsthorpe College to lead it through the next stage of its journey to becoming ‘outstanding’
Lumbertubs Primary School, Northampton Town
L umbertubs Primary School has a roll of 210 pupils serving an area of deprivation where those eligible for free school meals is high (49%). Almost half of the pupils are of White British heritage and the remainder are from minority ethnic backgrounds. The school has provision for 10 pupils with speech and language difficulties. The Early Years Foundation Stage consists of part time Nursery provision and a reception class.
‘The headteacher and deputy headteacher are determined and uncompromising. They have brought about necessary changes rapidly and, as a result, they have eradicated inadequate teaching and pupils’ poor performance across the school.’
‘The incisive support of the Collaborative Academies Trust (CAT) academy learning adviser has been instrumental in supporting school leaders to bring about these changes in teachers’ performance and pupils’ outcomes’.
– Ofsted March 2016
Following an Ofsted Inspection in March 2016 the school is no longer subject to ‘special measures’ and the school was praised for the improvements which have been made in under two years. The ‘effectiveness of leadership and management’, ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’ and ‘early years provision’ were judged to be ‘good’.
The school was part of the Area Improvement Partnership for Northampton Town and began working with EdisonLearning in 2008. It became an academy sponsored by The Collaborative Academies Trust in November 2012. Standards have varied since the first year of sponsorship. However, attainment and progress data is now improving and the school met floor standards in 2015.
Spring Lane Primary School, Northampton Town
S pring Lane Primary School is in the heart of Northampton town serving the Spring Boroughs area. The school celebrates its diverse community with children from over 40 countries making up 82% of the schools population. The school caters for children from 2–11 years with a two form entry from reception.
You continue to exhibit a strong determination to raise standards and improve the quality of teaching at Spring Lane. Your actions are carefully planned and targeted appropriately to maximise your effectiveness in ensuring pupils are closing gaps in their learning. You expect a great deal from your staff and they are rising to the challenge.
– Ofsted 2015 – HMI visit
In May 2015 the school moved into a new Key Stage 2 building along with the extensive development of the outside areas and refurbishment and modernisation of the original building. The Headteacher, Alexandra Owens, supported by a dedicated team is driving improvements forwards rapidly which was recognised during the last HMI monitoring visit. 2015 SATs results saw major improvements with the school being above floor standards for the first time and improvements in all other reported areas.
Priorswood Primary School, Taunton, Somerset
Priorswood Primary School is situated in the Wedlands area of North Taunton, in the South West of England and was formally opened in 1949. We became a member of the Collaborative Academies Trust (CAT) family of schools in April 2013.
Teachers successfully encourage pupils to extend their learning in school by organising interesting homework based on projects in school.
The school curriculum is stimulating and engaging.
– Ofsted 2015
Through our pre-school and primary school we cater for children aged 2-11 years old.
We aim to be open, friendly, caring and supportive. Our school values were created through our collaborative approach, involving children, staff and parents. They form the basis of our daily life here at Priorswood and are based on ‘PRIDE’ (Positivity, Respect, Independence, Determination and Excellence).
Our school prides itself on being caring and collaborative. This comes first and foremost from the staff – you will notice a team spirit and a sense of support and partnership. This means that we speak openly and honestly to parents and carers, and work with them to achieve the best for all children in the school. It is our vision that each and every child has the best opportunity possible to prepare them for future life. Children are at the heart of all that we do at Priorswood.
We hope that each child and their family enjoy being part of our school and that the memorable years of primary school are full of learning, challenge, excitement, interest and value.
Manor Court Community Primary School, Chard, Somerset
M anor Court is a larger than the average-sized primary school with 385 on roll. The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups has increased in recent years but is broadly on average with other primary schools in the UK. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is also similar to that found nationally in other primary schools.
“The school’s aims for ‘Ambition, Sincerity, Positivity, Integrity, Respect and Empathy’ (ASPIRE) are reflected well in the quality of relationships and ambition to succeed at all levels within the school.
The school has improved over the last two years. Pupils and parents report that behaviour and teaching have improved during this time.
– Ofsted 2015
The school has achieved National Healthy Schools status and Sainsbury’s Silver Active Mark.
The school had a number of interim headteachers prior to conversion to academy status but under the guidance of the current Headteacher, Adrian Mitchell, the school has improved and moved out of special measures after just five terms. With support, Manor Court is continuing to develop as a place where all pupils continue to be the very best they can be on a daily basis. The determination and hard work of all staff to improve the image and ‘community’ feel of the school was reflected in the both the most recent inspection and the fact that the school is at its PAN.
The governing body took on the management of the early years centre in April 2011. The Manor Court Early Years Centre is registered to provide childcare for 20 children in the Early Years Foundation Stage, aged 18 months to four years old, at any one time.
Wellesley Park Primary School, Wellington, Somerset
W ellesley Park Primary is an above average sized primary school of 340 children set in beautiful landscaped grounds serving the town of Wellington, close to Taunton in Somerset. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is below the national average. There are very few pupils who speak English as an additional language and most of its pupils are White British.
Opportunities for a full range of extra-curricular clubs and sports including fencing, karate and drama contribute well to pupils’ growth in self-confidence and development of life skills…pupils gain a broad range of experiences and flourish.
– Ofsted 2015
The school provides registered childcare for children aged 2-4 years on site.
Wellesley Park received a long awaited visit from Ofsted in October 2015 and secured a very positive report – an incredible result considering it was less than three years since the school was placed in Special Measures. During that time the school has gone through a huge transformation – led strongly by LLE Lindsay Gabriel as Headteacher and her restructured leadership team.
HMI judged the school to be good across the board with Early Years coming very close to outstanding. The inspectors were keen to highlight that the “rich and interesting activities are making a strong contribution to pupils’ good learning” adding that “exciting learning experiences interest children and ensure their progress is rapid”.
The school meets the government’s current floor standard which sets the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress.
Willowdown Primary Academy, Bridgwater, Somerset
W illowdown Primary Academy opened in September 2014 and took in pupils from Nursery to Year 4 and is a smaller than average academy with 100 children on roll.
The academy works from a large, spacious, well-equipped, purpose-built building surrounded on three sides by sports and playing fields. There has been a heavy investment in ICT and furniture so that these enable the types of learning we want to see happening, not to restrict it.
The curriculum offer is based on the framework of EdisonLearning’s Connected Curriculum which has been adapted to meet the needs of our own specific community and children. All changes reflect our five core values of Love, Enthusiasm, Achievement, Respect and Nurture
As anticipated, the academy is filling up from the younger age groups; Nursery, Reception and Year 1 are full. Older year groups are populated with children who have transferred from other local schools and those moving in to the catchment from out of area, including Europe.
The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium is around twice the national average.
The proportion of pupils who have EAL and have a SEN are both well above average.
Woolavington Village Primary School, Bridgwater, Somerset
W oolavington joined CAT in January 2014 shortly after its predecessor school was placed into Special Measures. Strong end of Key Stage 2 results in 2013–2015 left the school feeling confident about its future. The school meets the government’s current floor standard which sets the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress.
Pupils are proud of their achievements and their very good attitudes to learning have a significant impact on the progress and achievement.
The school has made very rapid progress since March 2015 and as a consequence is on track to be judged to be Good at its next inspection.
– Ofsted 2015
The current leadership structure of Executive Principal and Head of School began in March 2015 and is leading to continued rapid progress as the Head of School has greater time to work with and coach teachers to further improve their performance.
Woolavington Village is smaller than the average-sized primary school with 160 children on roll. There is, therefore, a very caring, supporting, family ethos to the school that is now underpinned by higher expectations of what each child can achieve. The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium is broadly in line with national.
Parents and children are both assets to the school, are very astute and articulate about the changes that have been made and why these have been necessary.
Following a recent external review conducted against the Ofsted handbook, the school was judged to be Good in all areas with the exception of pupil development, behaviour and welfare, which was judged to be outstanding.
Willow Brook Primary School & Nursery, Colchester, Essex
Willow Brook is proud to be the flagship school of The Collaborative Academies Trust in Essex. The school has 231 pupils on roll currently, most of whom are White British with an increasing proportion of pupils from other ethnic heritages.
A well-above-average proportion of our pupils are eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for pupils in local authority care, those known to be eligible for free school meals or those from service families.
The school’s curriculum offer is based on the framework of EdisonLearning’s Connected Curriculum which has been adapted accordingly to meet the needs of its children and local community, ensuring that it is interesting, relevant and prepares children for their future lives.
The school’s vision of “Live, Learn, Aspire” together with its core values of ‘Respect, Resilience, Belief, Confidence, Trust’ are at the heart of every aspect of school life from Nursery to Year 6 at Willow Brook. The school has a strong and enthusiastic team of staff and governors, all of whom are committed to making Willow Brook the best it can possibly be.