Armthorpe Academy

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About Armthorpe Academy

Name Armthorpe Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mr David Bisley
Address Mere Lane, Armthorpe, Doncaster, DN3 2DA
Phone Number 01302831582
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 646
Local Authority Doncaster
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils do not achieve as well as they should at this school. This is reflected in the published outcomes that they achieve. Pupils experience a variable quality of education.

Many pupils have gaps in their knowledge. The school recognises this and has begun to make changes. Pupils are beginning to benefit from the recent changes to the curriculum.

For example, the curriculum now aligns with the trust model. However, more work is required to ensure that pupils benefit from a consistently high-quality education.

Many pupils meet the high expectations the school has for their behaviour.

However, some do not. Pupils' learning is still too often disrupted... by others. On the occasions bullying does occur, the school deals with it effectively.

Pupils who attend well achieve better in their examinations. However, for too many pupils, especially the most vulnerable, low attendance is a barrier to their achievement.

Recently, leaders have worked to strengthen the opportunities available to pupils to explore their talents and interests.

Pupils enjoy the improved range of enrichment activities. These include darts club and languages club. Pupils are proud to represent the school in sporting fixtures.

Many pupils, particularly those who are older, recognise their improved experience in school.

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

Over time, the school's expectations for what pupils can achieve have not been high enough. In the past, the curriculum that pupils experience has not prepared them well for their next steps.

The school now recognises this and is making appropriate changes to improve the quality of education that pupils receive. The school now has high expectations of pupils. Current pupils access an ambitious curriculum.

However, they do not revisit previous learning frequently enough. As a result, gaps in knowledge remain.

The school has made improvements to the education that pupils receive.

Pupils are starting to make links in their knowledge and apply learning in different contexts. For example, pupils in science make links with mathematics when studying chemical reactions. The improved curriculum is benefiting pupils in younger year groups more swiftly.

The school recognises the need to support older pupils who have gaps in their knowledge. The school's improved approach to understanding where pupils are in their learning is also benefiting younger pupils.

Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) benefit from support in class.

For example, all visual presentations are adapted to support pupils who have a visual impairment. Pupils who need more bespoke support benefit from the nurture provision. The broad curriculum these pupils receive is tailored to meet their needs well.

Pupils in the early stages of reading are identified quickly. The effective support from well-trained staff helps them to become more fluent readers.

The school's recent focus on raising expectations for behaviour is improving the experience of pupils in the school.

Many pupils have responded positively to the increased expectations. There is further work to do to support pupils in reaching these expectations. Suspensions are still high.

The school places a high priority on removing barriers to good attendance. This is starting to have an impact. However, the attendance of some of the most vulnerable pupils remains too low.

The personal development of pupils is a focus of the school. Pupils' wider experiences have been effectively reviewed and improved. Pupils recognise this positive change.

Pupils' attendance at enrichment clubs is high. Pupils proudly participate in the Christmas concert and are looking forward to the summer school show. Pupils have respect for others.

They learn about different protected characteristics. Individual differences are warmly accepted by pupils.

Planned opportunities to develop pupils' oracy skills are woven through the curriculum.

Key stage 3 pupils take part in a national poetry competition. They enjoy the challenge of reciting a poem from memory. Some key stage 4 pupils enjoy taking part in a national competition to discuss human rights.

They maturely talk about sensitive topics and demonstrate a respect for difference.

New leaders to the school, trust and those responsible for governance have high ambition for pupils. They are making the school a better place for pupils to attend.

The many changes the school has made are starting to have a positive impact. Many staff, parents and pupils recognise this.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum does not support pupils' learning effectively over time. Too many pupils do not recall what they have been taught. The school should review its curriculum and ensure there are opportunities for pupils to know more, remember more and do more.

• The attendance of the most vulnerable pupils is not high enough. This means that they do not benefit from the improving quality of education provided by the school. Leaders should continue their work to improve the attendance of these pupils.

• The significant recent changes made at the school are not yet embedded. This means that pupils still have variance in their experience at school. The school and trust must continue their work to evaluate, modify and embed improvements.

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