Abbey Hill Academy


Name Abbey Hill Academy
Website http://www.horizonstrust.org.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 24 June 2015
Address Ketton Road, Hardwick Estate, Stockton-on-Tees, TS19 8BU
Phone Number 01642677113
Type Academy (special)
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 301 (63% boys 37% girls)
Academy Sponsor Horizons Specialist Academy Trust
Percentage Free School Meals 41.1%
Percentage English is Not First Language 3.3%

Information about this school

Abbey Hill Academy converted to become an academy school in August 2013. When its predecessor school, Abbey Hill School and Technology College, was last inspected by Ofsted, it was judged to be good overall. The academy is part of the Horizons Specialist Academy Trust (HSAT). All students have a statement of special educational need or education health care plan. It provides for students with moderate, severe, profound and complex learning difficulties or autistic spectrum condition. There are significantly more boys on roll than girls. The proportion of disadvantaged students, those supported by the pupil premium, is much higher than average. The pupil premium is additional government funding for students known to be eligible for free school meals or looked after by the local authority. The academy provides a nurture group for a small number of students with social and emotional needs. Most students are of White British heritage. Very few students are from minority ethnic backgrounds and speak English as an additional language. The academy works in partnership with Westlands and Green Gates Academies through the academy trust. The academy uses no alternative provision. A chief executive leads the academy. Two principals support her, one for the main academy and one in the sixth form.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. The ambitious leadership of the chief executive, together with the effective support of the academy’s principals, other leaders, and Board of Directors, are successfully improving many aspects of the academy’s work, including teaching and students’ achievements. From low starting points in Year 7, all groups of students, regardless of their backgrounds, make good progress through Key Stages 3 and 4, including in English and mathematics. In English, students do particularly well because they are given plenty of opportunities to use and apply their language and communication skills, including reading, across the various curriculum subjects. Students who attend the academy’s nurture groups often make outstanding progress in their social and emotional skills. Students’ good progress reflects the good quality of teaching they receive. Expectations of what students can achieve, including the most able, are high. Teachers effectively adjust learning in lessons based on their accurate assessments of what students know and can do. The academy’s work to keep students safe and secure is outstanding. Students have excellent relationships with staff and have an impressive understanding of how to keep safe. Students behave well, including in lessons and around the academy, and have good attitudes to their learning. Students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. Students particularly enjoy assemblies and many activities outside school where they socialise and experience new things. Provision in the sixth form is outstanding. As a result of outstanding teaching, students’ achievement is excellent. They gain a wide range of qualifications and benefit from life-skills courses that promote independence, self-confidence and well-being. They are exceptionally well prepared for the next stage in their education or training. The knowledgeable and skilled Board of Directors makes a commendable contribution to the vision, direction and leadership of the academy. It is not yet an outstanding school because : In Key Stages 3 and 4, teaching is not yet outstanding. Marking does not always enable students to know how to improve their work nor do students always act on the guidance they are given. Opportunities for students to use and apply their numeracy skills as part of work in other curriculum subjects are overlooked. This sometimes slows students’ progress in mathematics.