Emneth Academy

Name Emneth Academy
Website https://www.emnethacademy.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 11 February 2020
Address Hollycroft Road, Emneth, Wisbech, PE14 8AY
Phone Number 01945583885
Type Academy
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 206 (45% boys 55% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 24.1
Academy Sponsor Eastern Multi-Academy Trust
Local Authority Norfolk
Percentage Free School Meals 19.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 1.9%
Persisitent Absence 11.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 11.1%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No
Highlights from Latest Inspection:

What is it like to attend this school?

Emneth Academy has had a turbulent time over recent years. There have been several changes of leadership and many changes of staff. Although things are now improving, the legacy of this upheaval continues to affect pupils. For example, development of the curriculum has not been given enough attention over the last few years. As a result, pupils are sometimes bored and lose interest in their learning. Until recently, leaders’ expectations of pupils have not been high enough.

Pupils behave really well. They are polite and good-humoured at breaks and lunchtimes. Pupils say they feel safe in school and that there is no bullying. Pupils told us that ‘teachers will sort it out if we argue.’ Pupils behave well and are attentive in lessons when the work interests them. Pupils told us that they are happy at school.

Pupils grow into happy, healthy and well-developed young people. The school encourages pupils’ growth with a long-standing personal development programme called the ‘Emneth 20’. It sets out 20 experiences that all pupils should have during their time in the school. These include curriculum-related trips and activities, cultural enrichment and community-based activities.

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

Leaders have not given the school’s curriculum enough priority over recent years. In some subjects, it is unclear what pupils are intended to learn or when. It is also not clear how teaching helps pupils’ knowledge and skills to build up year upon year. As a result, pupils do not achieve as well as they should.

Leaders and staff have started work on making the curriculum more lively and interesting, and ensuring that content in each subject is covered well and in a sensible order. This is particularly clear in physical education (PE). Pupils enjoy PE and make strong progress in the subject.

In other subjects, the curriculum is delivered less well. Sometimes, pupils are given work that is too easy or too hard. Teachers do not take enough note of what pupils already know. As a result, pupils lose interest and ‘drift off’, instead of paying close attention.

The delivery of the mathematics curriculum sometimes causes pupils to get stuck and waste time. Some pupils are held back, doing work that is too easy for them. The curriculum lower down the school does not give pupils the chance to learn important knowledge in a logical way. Mathematics is much better taught in key stage 2. Older pupils explained to us how the curriculum builds on their previous learning and helps them to understand mathematics better.

Since September, there has been a new approach to teaching phonics. The order in which pupils are taught new sounds is now clearer. The new curriculum provides a well-structured approach to ensure that pupils learn phonics quickly and well. Staff have had training in how to deliver the new curriculum.

However, phonics still needs to improve. Staff are not yet using the training well enough. For example, teaching does not move at the lively pace that the school’s scheme says that it should. This means that younger children become bored and lose interest.

Reading is now being given a higher priority. The school has introduced a new reading scheme and bought books that match pupils’ reading abilities. Pupils say they enjoy reading and most now read at home regularly.

The science curriculum is better developed in key stage 2 than in key stage 1. Pupils enjoy experiments, such as testing sound waves and dissecting plants. Pupils behave well because they find the work interesting. In key stage 1, the curriculum is weaker. Pupils sometimes become bored in science because the work is dull.

The provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is strong. The curriculum is adapted to meet every pupil’s specific needs. Leaders provide effective support to ensure that teachers know how to help pupils.

Children do not get off to a strong start when they join the Reception class. While provision is improving, children do not always settle to work quickly and there is more work to do with learning routines. The environment is safe and children enjoy coming to school. Staff ensure that there are interesting activities to encourage children to learn through play.

Attendance has been too low in the past. Most pupils come to school regularly but a few do not. Leaders have made improving attendance a high priority. Staff support families well. Attendance is improving as a result.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong safeguarding culture at Emneth. The system for recording concerns is clear. The designated safeguarding lead is quick to follow up any referrals. The school works with external agencies in the best interest of pupils to keep them safe. It works with the local authority to track pupils who leave the school so that they do not become lost from education.

Leaders keep detailed records of the safeguarding checks made on adults. The trust monitors these safeguarding checks on a regular basis. Leaders use external audits to check the robustness of safeguarding systems at the school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

The school’s curriculum is not sufficiently well implemented. Too often, parts of the curriculum are not well matched to pupils’ needs. This causes pupils to become fidgety or not pay careful attention in class. Leaders must be clearer about how work is to be planned and delivered in order to ensure that that the curriculum engages pupils fully in their learning and maintains their interest. . The new phonics curriculum is not delivered well enough. Phonics is not being taught in the lively and interesting way that the school’s chosen scheme says that it should. As a result, some pupils ‘switch off’ and lose interest. They do not develop their understanding and knowledge of phonics quickly enough. Leaders need to make sure that the school’s chosen phonics scheme is delivered as intended. . Teaching in mathematics is not fully effective. The school has a clear and appropriate curriculum for mathematics but it is not taught well enough. Pupils are given work to do that does not match their needs and abilities. Some pupils are held back because they are not given work that challenges them. Leaders should ensure that the delivery of the mathematics curriculum is fully effective and meets the needs of all pupils.