Hill View Academy

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About Hill View Academy

Name Hill View Academy
Website http://www.hillviewacademy.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Ben Normington
Address Fernside Avenue, Almondbury, Huddersfield, HD5 8YE
Phone Number 01484976216
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 210
Local Authority Kirklees
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Hill View Academy is a school that has gone through a period of rapid transformation. Throughout school, the 'R' of respect is highly visible through the way pupils interact with each other. Pupils are surrounded by adults they know care deeply about them and want the best for them.

Leaders' ambitions for pupils academically and socially are beginning to be realised more consistently.

Pupils enjoy coming to school. They enjoy being in lessons and learning with, and alongside, each other.

They build strong relationships with adults in the school. Relationship building has been at the heart of what leaders have developed and improved in the school over the rece...nt past. These secure relationships mean that pupils feel confident to share concerns with adults, and to ask for help when they need it.

If bullying does happen, pupils rightly have full confidence in staff to deal with this and address it.

Leaders know that for pupils to be successful, pupils need to be in school. Attendance has been a challenge for several years.

Leaders have worked to improve attendance for all pupils. This has made a difference, particularly for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). However, some of the strategies for identifying families and pupils who need support around attendance need further development.

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

The new leadership team has raised the expectations and ambitions for what pupils can achieve in the curriculum. Pupils with SEND access the same ambitious curriculum as their peers. Leaders have made sure that pupils are taught a curriculum that is carefully taught in an order to help them remember more over time.

Pupils are very positive about their learning. For example, they talk enthusiastically about the different time periods they have learned about in history. Staff have received significant amounts of training to develop their understanding of the curriculum.

In some areas of the curriculum, the activity choices and way that teachers teach sometimes do not give pupils the best chance of being successful in their learning. The work leaders have undertaken is beginning to have an impact on outcomes at the end of key stage 1 and key stage 2.

Reading is cherished at this school.

A clear phonics curriculum is taught consistently by staff. Pupils have regular opportunities to read books matched to the sounds they have been taught. Any pupils who need help with their reading are quickly identified and supported.

Staff have regular training to understand how to teach early reading. Pupils in key stage 2 who still need phonics are well supported. Leaders have worked to begin to develop a culture of reading across the school, for example through a consistent approach to how books are attractively displayed in classrooms.

Pupils enjoy reading in this school and see its importance.

Pupils' personal development is at the heart of the changes leaders have made in the school. Leaders provide pupils with a wide range of opportunities beyond the classroom.

Leaders consider pupils' wider development to be as important as their academic achievement. Leaders make sure that all pupils benefit from this extensive range of clubs and activities. Staff use the personal, health, social and economic (PSHE) curriculum to help pupils develop a strong understanding of mental and physical health.

Staff spot when pupils have particular interests and talents. They signpost them to a range of internal and external opportunities. Leaders are determined that pupils will value difference and respect individuality.

Children build strong relationships with adults in the early years. They are introduced to routines and expectations to develop their independence and resilience. Staff have high expectations about how children should behave.

They clearly teach children how to develop positive learning behaviours. In the Reception Year, children get a strong start in their early understanding of number and in early reading. Children with SEND are quickly identified and supported.

In some areas of learning, the knowledge and vocabulary that leaders want children to learn is clearly defined. In some areas of learning, this has not been as clearly defined. Where this is the case, adults sometimes miss opportunities to take children's learning further.

There is a consistent and shared vision from leaders at all levels about where they want to take the school next. Experienced and skilled governors offer high-quality challenge and support to school leaders. Trustees, governors and senior leaders in school work cohesively together to continue to move the school forwards.

Leaders have a clear understanding of the strengths of the school and where it needs to continue to improve. Staff feel well supported by leaders. Parents, in particular, speak positively about the positive impact of the changes made by leaders.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong commitment from all staff to help keep pupils safe. Staff receive regular training to help them to understand the risks that pupils and families may face.

There are clear systems for reporting concerns. Leaders follow up these concerns quickly. Leaders work closely with other agencies to provide support for families and pupils.

Leaders carefully analyse safeguarding incidents and patterns. Through the PSHE curriculum, pupils are taught important knowledge about how to keep themselves safe. For example, they are taught how to stay safe online and how to recognise healthy and unhealthy relationships.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Pedagogy in some foundation subjects is not securely embedded. As a result, some activity choices and do not give pupils the best chance of achieving the ambitious end points of the curriculum leaders have designed. Leaders should continue to support teachers to develop clear pedagogical approaches relevant to each subject they teach.

• Leaders' system for increasing attendance and reducing persistent absence, while making a positive difference, is not as rigorous as it could be. As a result, barriers that prevent some pupils from attending school as often as they need to are not quickly identified. Leaders should ensure that their systems for monitoring and improving attendance for all groups of pupils are highly responsive, pro-active and designed to quickly identify the barriers to attendance for pupils at risk of becoming persistently absent.

• The early years curriculum is not clearly enough defined across the seven areas of learning. As a result, there are missed opportunities in adult interactions and in provision to develop and enhance children's learning. Leaders should ensure that the early years curriculum is clearly defined with the knowledge, vocabulary and skills that leaders wish children to benefit from, beginning from their time in Nursery to when they leave the Reception Year.

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