Firth Park Academy

Name Firth Park Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 16 June 2015
Address Fircroft Avenue, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S5 0SD
Phone Number 01142576238
Type Academy
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1136 (47% boys 53% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.7
Academy Sponsor Academies Enterprise Trust (Aet)
Local Authority Sheffield
Percentage Free School Meals 41.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 34.1%
Persisitent Absence 12.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 12.7%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this academy

Firth Park Academy converted to become a sponsor-led academy in August 2013. It is now part of the Academies Enterprise Trust. This is an average sized secondary academy. The proportion of disadvantaged students supported through the pupil premium is over twice the national average. The pupil premium provides additional funding for those students known to be eligible for free school meals and those who are in local authority care. The proportion of students from minority ethnic groups is almost twice the national average. The proportion of students whose first language is not English is high and over twice the national average. In this academy, Key Stage 3 includes Years 7 and 8 and Key Stage 4, Years 9, 10 and 11. The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs is average. There is a sizeable number of students who join or leave the academy at times other than that normally expected and this figure is much higher than the national average. A large number of students whose first language is other than English have joined the school in the last year. This figure is now three times the national average. The academy makes some use of alternative provision for educational support on a full- or part-time basis for some students. These are: Endeavour Training Limited; Heeley City Farm; In2Change; Pathways; Sheffield Engineering Centre; Sheffield Wednesday Study Support and YASY (Youth Association South Yorkshire). The academy has its own unit, called the Bridge, to reintegrate students returning from full-time alternative provision. The academy meets the government’s current floor standards, which are the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics by the end of Year 11.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Teaching has rapidly improved in the last year so that the vast majority of students make good progress. This is as a result of a relentless drive by new leaders to raise the quality of teaching across the academy. Teaching is good. Progress across most subjects, including in English, mathematics and science, has risen sharply in the past year so that students do well compared to their peers nationally. The gap in the achievement of disadvantaged students compared to their peers nationally is narrowing quickly. The support offered to students with special educational needs and other students who find managing their behaviour difficult is good. The pastoral care of students is strong. There is a sense of purpose portrayed by the staff of the academy and replicated by students. The young people here are happy, smartly dressed and keen to attend lessons. Bullying is extremely rare. Students say that behaviour over the last year has improved dramatically and low-level disruption in lessons is reducing. Staff and parents are overwhelmingly positive about all aspects of the academy. Staff demonstrate a strong passion for further improvement. This drive is mirrored by the Trust, governors and senior and middle leaders. The principal has galvanised a robust team of senior leaders who are sharp and focused in their tasks. This is particularly the case for leaders who manage academy data, monitor teaching and support behaviour. The academy’s evaluation of its own performance is extremely accurate. It sharply identifies areas of continued need. Leaders are tackling these swiftly. The promotion of British values and development of students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding is strong. This can be seen in the way students mix well together and show respect for each other. It is not yet an outstanding school because : The quality of teaching is not good enough across some subjects, particularly in Years 7 and 8. Some students’ attitudes to learning, particularly in Years 7 and 8, are not consistently positive. A few teachers do not apply the academy’s policies for marking and assessment and tackling low-level disruptive behaviour consistently.