The 'caring' North Staffordshire school where parents praise 'loving way' kids are treated

Parents have praised the "loving way" in which a North Staffordshire high school deals with their children as Ofsted inspectors ruled that it should continue to be rated as 'good'. The King’s Academy in Kidsgrove underwent a two-day 'ungraded' inspection last month by the education watchdog.

It was the first inspection since the First Avenue school, which caters for more than 750 students, converted to academy status three years ago and comes after it was previously rated 'good' back in 2017. An ungraded inspection is carried out when Ofsted has previously judged a school to be good and normally take place once every four years to confirm that the rating remains the same.

The recently-published report states: "This is a caring school with a strong sense of community. Positive relationships underpin all aspects of the school’s work. Staff know their pupils well. Pupils trust staff to help them if they have a problem. Bullying is rare. If it does occur, staff deal with it well. As a result, pupils feel happy and safe here.

"Staff have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Pupils consistently live up to these expectations. In lessons, pupils behave well and work hard. Around the school, the atmosphere is calm and orderly. The school offers pupils a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities.

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"Examples include music, sports, coding and engineering clubs. Attendance at these enrichment activities is flourishing. For example, over 50 pupils enjoy regular lunchtime dance sessions, while a further 60 pupils attended the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award sessions after school.

"Parents praise the range of subjects on offer and high expectations set. The majority say they would recommend the school. Many say that their children do well here. Inspectors agree. One parent summed up the views of several stating 'the school has always dealt with my child in a patient and loving way. Staff know and care for my child very well'."

The school continues: "The school has been challenged by the persistent absence rates of some pupils over the last two years. Staff are working hard to improve the situation. Attendance is monitored and all absence is quickly followed up. Extensive work has been done with pupils and their families to support improved attendance. This work is paying off.

"The current academic year has seen significant reduction in persistent absence. However, attendance still prevents all pupils from achieving their full potential. The published outcomes last year are not a reflection of the good quality of education that current pupils receive.

"The curriculum is well planned to meet the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Staff are proud to work in the school. They say that it is well led and managed and that leaders trust them. They feel that leaders consider their workload when planning improvements."

Headteacher Will Wilson said: "Teachers and parents/carers are our most valuable resource. I am delighted that through working together we continue to be recognised as a caring school with a strong sense of community."

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