|Name||Ark Blacklands Primary Academy|
|Ofsted Inspection Rating||Outstanding|
|Address||Osborne Close, Hastings, TN34 2HU|
|Number of Pupils||595 (50.4% boys 49.6% girls)|
|Number of Pupils per Teacher||17.7|
|Academy Sponsor||Ark Schools|
|Local Authority||East Sussex|
|Percentage Free School Meals||15.5%|
|Percentage English is Not First Language||6.3%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||5.7%|
|Catchment Area Indicator Available||Yes|
|Last Distance Offered Available||No|
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (01 November 2016)
There may have been more recent inspections such as monitoring visits or short inspections. For details of all inspections, please view this provider on our map here.
Information about this school
Ark Blacklands Primary Academy is much larger than an average-sized primary school, located in a residential area of Hastings. The numbers on roll are below the school’s capacity. The school is federated with Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy which is also in Hastings. Both are part of the Ark multi-academy trust. An executive principal leads both schools and there is a single local governing body. The executive principal joined the school in September 2013 and the head of school joined the school the following year. There have been significant changes to the leadership structure of the school over the last three years. A large majority of pupils at the school are White British. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is well below the national average. Fewer pupils are disadvantaged and eligible for the pupil premium funding than the national average. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is just below the national average. Few pupils join and leave the school throughout the year. The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress in reading, writing and mathematics.
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is an outstanding school The executive principal provides outstanding leadership, supported by highly able leaders. Leaders have very high expectations of staff and inspire all to give their best for the pupils. Consequently, there is a culture of ambition and aspiration for pupils’ futures that has cascaded throughout the school community. A very high proportion of pupils reach the standard expected for their age by the time they leave the school and many pupils reach the highest levels of attainment. Pupils are very well prepared for the next stage of their education. Staff know what pupils can do and understand in great depth and use this information to target precisely pupils’ next steps. As a result, pupils make rapid progress from their variable starting points. Disadvantaged pupils make tremendous progress because the pupil premium is spent wisely and staff are adept at checking that additional support is making a positive difference. Children make an outstanding start to their education because of the exceptional care they receive and the opportunities they have to build skills across all areas of learning in the early years. Teaching is outstanding because teachers are reflective about what they do well, and what they could do to make learning even better for pupils. Teachers’ very secure subject knowledge is used excellently to engage, challenge and support pupils in a wide range of subjects. Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding. They are polite, considerate and mature, both in their attitudes to each other and in their approach to learning. Pupils flourish because they are extremely well looked after in a nurturing environment that is entirely focused on their academic and emotional needs. Hence, pupils are compassionate to each other and they, along with staff, model British values extremely well. Strong spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, which threads through the school’s curriculum and ethos, allows pupils to be very well prepared for the next stage of their education. Leaders, including governors, are relentless in their pursuit of school improvement and have seized every opportunity available to them to work with other schools in the Hastings area. This outward-looking attitude has contributed significantly to the school’s dramatic improvement over the last three years.