Holyrood Academy

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About Holyrood Academy

Name Holyrood Academy
Website http://www.holyroodacademy.com
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Dave Maccormick
Address Zembard Lane, Chard, TA20 1JL
Phone Number 01460260100
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1319
Local Authority Somerset
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Most pupils enjoy learning and aspire to do well. Pupils have a breadth of options to develop their wider interests. For example, they join sport clubs and get involved in school events, such as the recent school production, 'The Addams Family'.

Pupils enrich their learning through educational visits, such as those to Paris to practise their French, and Glasgow to view the art galleries.

Pupils, including students in the sixth form, receive appropriate careers guidance. They are well informed about their choices and how to enter the world of work, apprenticeships and further education.

Pupils and staff have positive relationships. Leaders have strengthened th...e support available for pupils. For example, pupils who experience mental health difficulties can access help readily and effectively.

Pupils behave well in lessons and around the school. They value the recognition they receive when they attend school regularly. Pupils state that bullying is not an issue at the school and that staff resolve problems when they occur.

Leaders deal with any instances of poor behaviour well. For example, leaders encourage pupils to reflect on the impact of the language they use.

Pupils gain leadership skills through their roles as prefects.

Students in the sixth form have many opportunities to lead. For example, they organise social events, such as discos.

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

Leaders and staff have revised the curriculum to ensure that pupils build a strong understanding of a range of subjects.

It is an ambitious curriculum. For example, leaders have designed a very well-structured modern foreign languages curriculum to encourage more pupils to continue their study at GCSE and A level. Consequently, the proportion of pupils studying the suite of subjects required for the English Baccalaureate has increased.

Leaders acknowledge that in 2022, many pupils at the end of key stage 4 did not achieve as well as they should have. Leaders have now improved the curriculum and how well this is taught, so that current pupils in Years 7 to 11 learn more effectively.

Staff use assessment well to review what pupils have learned and adapt teaching accordingly.

As a result, pupils are secure in their understanding in a breadth of subjects. For example, Year 7 pupils write at length about their lives in German and speak with accurate pronunciation.

Reading is at the heart of the Holyrood curriculum.

Pupils read regularly for enjoyment during the day. The library has a breadth of books to interest pupils. Leaders have selected texts to stimulate pupils' reflections on the world around them.

For example, they read texts about migration, equality and the importance of empathy. Teachers use assessment well to gauge pupils' reading knowledge. Where necessary, pupils receive support to develop their reading skills further.

Those with significant reading difficulties study an age-appropriate phonics programme with success.

Teachers, in all subjects, receive information about the needs of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Pupils who require intensive language and literacy support receive the help they need.

However, teaching is not consistently adapted well enough to support some pupils with SEND to learn the curriculum successfully. Leaders use alternative provision appropriately for some pupils. For example, pupils learn about animal management and agriculture at a local farm.

Leaders have designed a well-planned careers programme to support all pupils, including students in the sixth form, with their future plans. Pupils in Year 10 and students in the sixth form complete work experience to prepare them for their next steps. Students in the sixth form receive strong support for applying to university.

Pupils and students in the sixth form learn about the importance of citizenship. They understand clearly the significance of individual liberty and value the well-being of others.

Sixth-form students are very proud of their school and value the quality of education they receive.

They have many opportunities to extend their learning through trips to universities and welcoming visitors from the world of work.

Governance is effective. The local governance committee works closely with the trust board to ensure and be assured that pupils learn well and are safe.

However, some parents and carers who responded to the online questionnaire, Ofsted Parent View, report that leaders have not communicated clearly enough with them about some aspects of the school's work, such as the changes made to the curriculum and the revised behaviour systems.

Staff are overwhelmingly proud to work at the school. Early career teachers feel well supported.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure the physical and emotional safety of pupils, including students in the sixth form. Leaders have increased the capacity of the safeguarding team to ensure that pupils receive timely and appropriate support.

Staff receive safeguarding training alongside regular updates. They know how to identify if a pupil is at risk. Staff diligently record their concerns.

Leaders carry out appropriate background checks on all adults employed at the school.Pupils know that they can talk to an adult if they have a concern. Pupils learn to keep safe when using the internet.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The needs of some pupils with SEND are not met consistently well. Therefore, such pupils do not learn the curriculum successfully. Leaders must ensure that teachers use the information they have about pupils' needs to adapt the curriculum in response.

• Leaders have not communicated with parents clearly enough about aspects of the school's work. Consequently, some parents and carers express dissatisfaction that they have not been well informed about some of the changes that have been made. Leaders should consider how they can develop stronger links with parents and carers to engage with them in a positive and constructive way.

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