Castle Hill Academy


Name Castle Hill Academy
Website http://www.castlehillacademy.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Dunley Drive, New Addington, Croydon, CR0 0RJ
Phone Number 01689843148
Type Academy
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 317 (56.2% boys 43.8% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 38.7
Academy Sponsor The Platanos Trust
Local Authority Croydon
Percentage Free School Meals 39.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 27.4%
Persisitent Absence 20.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 26.6%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (20 November 2019)
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.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy and well looked after at Castle Hill Academy. They know their teachers have high expectations of them. Most pupils are positive about their learning and want to do their best. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), who are helped to do so. All pupils are nurtured well in this caring school.

Pupils know that school leaders have made many changes to improve their school. They report that lessons are more challenging than before. They are proud that leaders listen to their views on pupil committees. Leaders encourage pupils to be ambitious for their futures. Leaders and pupils believe that ‘Attitude determines Altitude’. Pupils understand that a commitment to their work is important.

Pupils are lively and curious about the world around them. They enjoy visiting local places of interest, museums and galleries in central London. Pupils have access to riding opportunities for the disabled. Animal-assisted therapy is offered to support pupils’ confidence and well-being. All pupils share a love for Cooper, the school’s therapy dog.

Most pupils behave well in class, but a small number of pupils can interrupt the learning. Pupils report that teachers deal with this quickly. Some pupils receive extra support to improve their behaviour. Pupils feel safe in the playground. Incidents of name-calling and bullying are rare. Attendance is improving, and the number of exclusions is down on previous years.

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

Pupils make strong progress in reading, writing and mathematics. They know more and remember more because they can apply what they already know to new tasks. Pupils increase their knowledge and skills over time. This helps to deepen their understanding in lessons.

Reading is taught well and pupils enjoy books. Pupils are confident when using their phonic sounds to build words. Pupils in key stage 1 apply their phonic skills in their writing. Pupils in key stage 2 show a good understanding of what they have read. Pupils are now ready to extend their writing skills further.

Mathematics lessons are well planned. Pupils build on previous learning and are confident in their number skills. Pupils practise their number skills and are ready for greater opportunities to solve mathematical problems.

Pupils with SEND are taught well. Education, health and care plans for pupils in the enhanced learning provision are of a high quality. A wide range of therapeutic support is in place to meet the sensory needs of pupils with autistic spectrum disorder. These pupils make strong progress from their individual starting points. Pupils feel safe and well cared for. Staff know pupils well. They are quick to respond to pupils’ needs.

Children make strong progress in the Nursery and Reception Years. Staff introduce children to a love of stories, nursery rhymes and repeating sounds in books.

Children in the Nursery are reading ‘Zog and the Flying Doctors’. They have created their own doctor’s surgery so that they can act out the main characters in the book. Children use the words, sounds and actions from the book confidently in their role play.

The Reception Year builds on the skills taught in the Nursery. Children extend their reading skills through traditional tales and much-loved books. For example, books such as ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’ develop children’s reading confidence.

The teaching of personal, social, health and citizenship education (PSHCE) has a clear structure. Pupils know how to keep healthy through exercise and diet. They show respect for other faiths and cultures. Pupils understand democracy through opportunities to vote for school council members and pupil committees. Pupils hold regular fundraising events to support others that are less fortunate. Classroom ambassadors and eco-warriors ensure that pupils behave responsibly. Pupils are keen to protect the natural environment and to become good citizens.

Pupils enjoy their topic work. However, they are not always clear about what they have learned. Pupils’ knowledge and understanding of history and science do not build on their previous learning. They lack opportunities for scientific and historical enquiry. Lessons can become confusing. Too much information is being presented and overloads the pupils’ short-term memories.

Leaders help pupils succeed through a strong focus on classwork, homework, attendance, organisation and punctuality. The three schools within the trust offer leaders strong support for further improvement. Leaders provide opportunities to share best practice across schools. Teachers report that this has improved their confidence and subject knowledge.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

All staff have regular training on keeping children safe. Staff report all concerns to the school’s safeguarding team. Leaders work in close partnership with the local authority and social services to protect pupils. The pastoral team works closely with families to offer early help and support.

Pupils learn how to stay safe online. Leaders invite outside speakers to talk to pupils about the danger of drugs, gangs and knife crime in the wider community. Pupils are encouraged and supported to make sensible choices outside of school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Although writing is taught well, pupils need to rehearse their writing skills through producing work of greater length. . Pupils have good number skills but require greater opportunities to apply these skills to problem-solving tasks. . Pupils do not have a secure understanding of the topics they are taught. They are unable to recall previous learning. Teachers must ensure that topic lessons are well structured and build on pupils’ prior knowledge and understanding. This should help pupils to know more and remember more.