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This is an outstanding school. Inspirational leadership by the headteacher, supported by the committed team of teachers, non-teaching staff and governors, has created an excellent learning environment in which all pupils can fulfil their potential.
There have been exceptional developments in all aspects of the academy since it opened. Achievement is outstanding and attainment at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1 is well above comparable figures nationally. The academy has an unrelenting and successful focus on raising pupils' achievement, particularly in reading, writing and mathematics.
All pupils make excellent progress. The individualis...ed support for disabled pupils and those with special educational needs means that they make at least the same progress as all pupils and in some cases better. Pupils in the Reception classes get off to a first-rate start in an exciting and purposeful learning environment.
Teaching across the academy is consistently good and often outstanding. Activities offer highly effective challenge for pupils to develop their understanding and skills. Teaching assistants provide excellent support.
Occasionally, teachers do not use questioning and challenge effectively at the end of lessons to reinforce and extend pupils' learning. Pupils' behaviour is excellent and their highly positive attitudes contribute strongly to their progress. Pupils work together exceptionally well and are typically polite and respectful to adults and other pupils.
Attendance has improved, but the academy has not met its challenging target for this year. A particularly strong feature of the academy is the way the rich cultural heritage of the community is celebrated and used to enhance pupils' learning, behaviour and attitudes.
Information about this school
ARK Atwood Primary Academy is a free school which opened in September 2011 with two Reception classes.
The academy is planned to grow, with up to 60 pupils admitted each autumn until there is a full primary age range. This year there are two Reception and two Year 1 classes. Currently, the roll is below the average for primary schools.
The academy operates a longer day than is usual, from 8.30am until 4.00pm.
The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups is much greater than the national average. Pupils represent a very broad range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. About a third are of White British heritage.
Other large groups include pupils from other European countries, North Africa and those of Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean heritage. Altogether, the pupils have family links with 26 countries around the world and all but one of the seven continents. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is broadly in line with the national average.
There are 10 languages spoken by pupils at the academy, of which Arabic is the most common after English. The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for looked after children, pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and children of service families, is above the national average. The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported through school action is broadly average, as is the proportion of pupils with greater learning needs and supported through school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs.
The academy does not yet have pupils in Year 6, so there are no test results that can be compared with the government's current floor standards, which set the minimum levels expected for pupils' attainment and progress. The academy is currently in temporary accommodation whilst a new school is built at a nearby location. The academy is scheduled to move to its new site in September 2014.
The academy is a member of the ARK Schools chain. The academy operates a breakfast club, which is attended by a small number of pupils. An after-school club operates from the academy site, but this is not managed by the governors and did not feature in this inspection.