Ofsted success for Abbey College and Hinchingbrooke School

TWO Huntingdonshire secondary schools are celebrating after seeing their Ofsted grades rise from satisfactory to good.

Abbey College in Ramsey is a good school where staff are committed to raising the aspirations and achievements of all its pupils, according to a new report by Government inspectors.

The inspectors said leaders and managers have a clear vision and understanding of where the school is and what else needs to be done.

Teaching and student behaviour was also praised, together with the college’s partnership work with outside organisations. The school was graded as satisfactory following an inspection in 2007.

The latest report said: “Most lessons seen by inspectors were of a good quality. Teachers enable students to work collaboratively and actively in their learning, and plan lessons imaginatively to interest and engage students.

“The good rapport between staff and students, and between boys and girls, promotes a positive learning environment in lessons and around the school.”

Headteacher Wayne Birks, his senior leadership team and the governing body were all praised for their leadership and management of the college. Students in turn were highlighted for their good behaviour and attitudes to work.

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Inspectors also said the effect of the school’s partnership work with over 300 organisations was outstanding in developing and broadening the opportunities it could offer students.

Mr Birks said: “The Ofsted judgement on Abbey College marks a landmark moment in the short history of the school.

“It is the staff, governors and students who are responsible for its success and I would like to pay tribute to them for their hard work, dedication and commitment over the years since amalgamation.

“I would also like to thank our parents, partners and friends for the support they have given us. We do not intend to stand still and will be working to build upon our achievements in the months and years ahead.”

Inspectors have also described Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon as “a good school with outstanding features”.

The previous visit, in 2008, rated the school as satisfactory and headteacher Keith Nancekievill welcomed the improvements.

Inspectors said that both the “large and popular” sixth form of 450 students and the main school had a good curriculum and achievement levels, with students’ results found to be “above average”.

Among outstanding features at the school, Mr Nancekievill said he was particularly pleased with the inspectors’ assessment of the “extent to which pupils feel safe.”

He added: “In such a large school with a huge site, I am always particularly mindful of students’ safety; I am delighted that the pupils told inspectors they felt safe and happy in school.”

The inspectors also found that extra-curricular activities and enrichment opportunities were outstanding with student behaviour being “very good”.

Both schools will be re-opening as academies in September, along with the other four secondary schools in the district.

n THERE were also celebrations at Sawtry Day Nursery, where inspectors awarded a second consecutive “outstanding” report.

Inspectors had particular praise for staff at the Fen Lane nursery, adding: “Children blossom at this nursery as all staff are highly enthusiastic and passionate about their role in raising standards for children.”

They also noted that “children make exceptional progress” and “relish the exciting and stimulating learning opportunities on offer”.

Owner Dawn Quince said: “The staff team and management are thrilled. We are particularly pleased with the inspectors’ comments about the children ‘blossoming’.”