Acle Academy

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About Acle Academy

Name Acle Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Head of School Mrs Helen Watts
Address South Walsham Road, Acle, Norwich, NR13 3ER
Phone Number 01493750431
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 523 (53.9% boys 46.1% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.5
Academy Sponsor The Wensum Trust
Local Authority Norfolk
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils say Acle Academy has changed for the better. They value the school's supportive environment.

This includes disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), who experience particularly effective care. Pupils appreciate how leaders support their well-being as they return to school from the pandemic. This helps them feel safe and happy.

Pupils benefit from the high ambition leaders have for their education. Pupils develop rich knowledge because they receive effective teaching. They build their vocabulary and remember what they learn.

Pupils develop well-articulated and considered views of their own.

Pupils... learn to see beyond the rural context of the Acle community. They enjoy opportunities to build their character, for instance through volunteering for the 'Pupil Parliament'.

They develop their leadership through running the various 'service areas'. Many pupils enjoy sport, such as competitive sporting fixtures against other schools.

Almost all behaviour is calm and purposeful.

However, in a few lessons, some pupils behave less well. The vast majority of pupils are respectful, but pupils say there can occasionally be name-calling and harsh language. When this occurs, leaders and staff challenge it effectively.

Pupils understand how leaders are strengthening the culture of behaviour in the school.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have planned the curriculum well. They check what pupils know when they come from primary school.

Leaders identify what pupils need to learn to be ready for their next stage. Leaders meticulously break down and plan each step of the journey of learning. In physical education (PE), for example, teachers break down skills, such as serving at table tennis, into smaller parts.

Pupils learn these skills and then use them with confidence.

Leaders have trained teachers effectively. Teachers know their subjects well.

They are adept at checking whether pupils understand and remember what they learn. If pupils have gaps in what they know, teachers rectify this. In history, for instance, teachers saw gaps in pupils' knowledge about the Reformation.

Teachers retaught this, so pupils could understand the Gunpowder Plot.

Leaders want all pupils to have the literacy skills they need to succeed in life. Leaders plan carefully how pupils can improve their vocabulary.

The weakest readers get the help they need to understand the curriculum.

Pupils with SEND get strong support. Leaders identify and review the needs of these pupils skilfully.

Staff get a wide range of training in how to support specific needs. They support the learning of these pupils effectively. Consequently, pupils with SEND achieve well.

They learn life skills and develop independence, so they are well prepared for their next stage beyond school.

Leaders know that some pupils have been anxious and unsettled since returning from the pandemic. This has led to a small number of instances of unfocused behaviour in lessons and some unkind language among peers.

Leaders seek to help pupils change the underlying reasons for their behaviour. Leaders' new approach to behaviour is having a positive impact as staff are becoming more familiar with it and continue to apply it consistently.

Leaders prepare pupils well to engage with the changing, modern world.

Pupils learn about healthy relationships and discuss issues such as consent thoughtfully. Pupils get wide-ranging and balanced careers guidance for their next steps.

Governors are experienced and knowledgeable.

The trust and governors monitor leaders' work on the curriculum closely, and this has been effective in improving the quality of education. Governors work with the trust to check on and challenge leaders' work to improve behaviour.

Staff are united with leaders in their drive to improve the school.

Staff appreciate the collaborative approach to planning learning.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a vigilant and committed approach by leaders to keeping children safe.

Leaders are tenacious with agencies when they need to seek support for children. Leaders ensure they have all the information they need when making decisions about safeguarding cases. Records are thorough and detailed and show prompt actions.

Staff remember their safeguarding training and show confident knowledge about how to keep children safe.

The curriculum content ensures pupils are taught a range of ways about how they can stay safe online. Leaders create avenues for pupils' voice regarding concerns, and as a result pupils feel safe.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• A small number of pupils experience harsh language, such as name-calling, from their peers. Leaders challenge this, but it occasionally persists. Leaders must identify the cause of this and continue their efforts to change the culture in the school so that pupils consistently treat their peers with respect.