Hermitage Academy

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About Hermitage Academy

Name Hermitage Academy
Website http://www.hermitageacademy.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Lindsay Maughan
Address Waldridge Lane, Chester le Street, DH2 3AD
Phone Number Unknown
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1041
Local Authority County Durham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

There have been significant improvements at this school.

The school has high expectations of how pupils should behave and what they can achieve. Pupils behave well in lessons and understand the school's behaviour policy clearly. Pupils earn rewards that are exchanged for items such as stationery.

They find this motivating. The school is calm and orderly.

The curriculum is well designed and is delivered effectively.

Published examination outcomes do not reflect the current quality of education that pupils receive. Pupils in key stages 3 and 4, and students in the sixth form, receive clear careers advice and guidance to enable them to move on to positi...ve destinations.

The school provides many opportunities for pupils' personal development.

Pupils participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. For example, they take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, sporting activities, debate club and drama club. The enthusiasm of pupils in choir rehearsal is palpable.

Enrichment activities help to develop pupils' character and social skills. Pupils have many opportunities to contribute to the life of the school. For example, both the main school and sixth form have head pupils.

Some pupils, such as the sports leaders, help to run extra-curricular activities. Other pupils support their peers well. These include the reading ambassadors, who use their training well to develop their younger peers' reading fluency.

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

The school is ambitious that all pupils access a broad curriculum. Recently, the number of pupils studying the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects has increased. The school offers a range of sixth-form courses.

The trust has supported the school in its curriculum design. All subjects have clearly sequenced and progressive curriculums in place, including in the sixth form. Many subjects have seven-year-long curriculums.

There has been thought about how knowledge and skills build throughout each key stage. Concepts and important vocabulary are frequently returned to in lessons. All lessons begin with recall work on previously learned content.

This helps pupils to remember their previous learning. The impact of the teacher's implementation of the curriculum is demonstrated through pupils' knowledge, skills and vocabulary. However, published outcomes are lower than the school's ambition.

Some pupils do not make the progress of which they are capable.

Assessment is used consistently by staff. Frequent questioning and knowledge checks take place in lessons in addition to more formal termly assessments.

Pupils receive clear feedback. In some curriculum areas, pupils revisit their work following feedback. Their misconceptions are addressed and progress is secured.

Reading is prioritised. Pupils read high-quality texts throughout the curriculum. The school ensures pupils' areas of weakness are identified precisely.

Staff deliver a range of interventions to address these areas well. The impact of the interventions is checked. Pupils are making demonstrable progress in their reading skills.

Leaders are ambitious that all pupils will be successful. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are fully included in the school. Their needs are identified and staff are made aware of and use strategies to support pupils in lessons.

Pupils with SEND access the same education as their peers. Staff make reasonable adaptations to enable pupils with SEND to access their work.

Students in the sixth form benefit from an ambitious curriculum.

Teachers in the sixth form have secure subject knowledge. They support students well in lessons. Students are well prepared for their next steps and the range of post-18 options are made clear to them.

There are high expectations of pupils' behaviour. Staff apply the behaviour policy consistently. The number of suspensions has reduced of late.

Suspensions are used appropriately. The vast majority of pupils respond well to the school's clear routines. Lessons are purposeful and pupils engage in their learning well.

The school has implemented an effective personal development programme. Pupils develop a clear understanding of important issues, such as supportive relationships and individual differences. Pupils discuss fundamental British values and protected characteristics confidently.

The social, moral, spiritual, and cultural education of pupils is enhanced through the assembly programme. Pupils develop an understanding of current issues and debates. The curriculum educates pupils from Year 7 to 13 well about their career options.

Governors and trustees have the knowledge and skills they need for their roles. They know the strengths and weaknesses of the school thoroughly. They challenge and support leaders as they should.

They visit the school to see first hand what pupils' educational experiences are like. The school is developing its work on stakeholder engagement, including improving communication with parents and carers. The trust has supported staff with high-quality training.

Most staff are positive about the support they receive from school leaders. The vast majority are proud to work at the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Historically, pupils have not performed as well as they could in external outcomes. This is because previously the curriculum has not been embedded or implemented sufficiently well. The school should continue to enhance and further embed its curriculum plans to ensure that all pupils achieve the results of which they are capable.

• Some parents within the school community are not as well informed about some of the changes that have taken place at the school. This means that relationships between the school and the community are not as strong as they should be. The school should continue its work to communicate effectively with all stakeholders.

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