Castle Manor Academy

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About Castle Manor Academy

Name Castle Manor Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Vanessa Whitcombe
Address Eastern Avenue, Haverhill, CB9 9JE
Phone Number 01440705501
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 732
Local Authority Suffolk
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Senior leaders have a clear and ambitious vision that is shared by everyone within the school. They lead the school energetically and with a strong moral purpose.

Leaders know the school well. They address weaknesses effectively. Consequently, since the previous inspection teaching, achievement, behaviour and attendance have improved.

Senior leaders provide strong direction and support for staff. This ensures that middle leaders and teaching staff understand their roles in bringing about further school improvement. Teachers' accurate assessment enables them to monitor pupils' progress and plan appropriate next steps in their learning.
Published outcomes show that the achievement of most pupils has improved significantly since the previous inspection. Behaviour, both in lessons and around the school, is good. The school is a calm and orderly environment.

Parents overwhelmingly support the school and acknowledge the improvements since the previous inspection. Relationships between staff and pupils are very positive. As a result, pupils are happy and engage successfully in their learning.

Sound careers advice means that pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education. Leaders review the curriculum regularly to ensure that it is well planned. As a result, pupils follow a broad range of subjects that meets their interests and needs well.

Governors have a clear understanding of the schools' strengths and weaknesses. They provide strong support; however, their challenge is not routinely sharp enough. Leaders use the pupil premium funding increasingly well.

However, the progress of disadvantaged pupils, although improving in key stage 3, is still below that of other pupils nationally at key stage 4. Most teachers use questioning skilfully to check pupils' prior learning and understanding. However, questioning that challenges pupils to think more deeply about their learning is variable.

Teachers use their strong subject knowledge and the positive relationships they have with pupils to encourage pupil participation in all aspects of the lessons. However, some pupils are not confident enough to embrace these opportunities to support their progress. Overall attendance has improved since the previous inspection and is in line with the national average.

The attendance of some disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) is still a concern.

Information about this school

The school is smaller than the average-sized secondary school. The school joined the multi-academy trust now called the Unity Schools Partnership Trust in December 2016.

The Trust delegates three roles to the governing body: ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction, holding the headteacher to account and overseeing the financial performance of the school. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils for whom the school receives pupil premium funding is above the national average. The proportion of pupils with SEND is in line with the national average.

The headteacher was appointed to her post in April 2016. The school uses The Albany (Bury St Edmunds), Olive Academy (Stowmarket) and Hampden House (Sudbury) for alternative provision for a small number of its pupils. Pupils are predominantly of White British heritage.

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