Links Hatfield Academy

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About Links Hatfield Academy

Name Links Hatfield Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mr David Allen
Address Travellers Lane, Hatfield, AL10 8TJ
Phone Number 01707346170
Phase Academy
Type Academy alternative provision sponsor led
Age Range 5-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 13
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils who attend regularly do well and make good progress with their learning. The school is aspirational for what pupils can achieve. It offers a full academic curriculum.

This is enhanced by specialist facilities, for example for design technology and sports.

Many pupils want to come to school for the first time in some years. Pupils are highly complimentary about the school, saying that it 'goes above and beyond', helping them in their home lives as well as at school.

Parents say the same, noting how the school is flexible and meets the needs of their children. These opinions demonstrate how positive relationships are between pupils and the staff.
.../>Pupils know and appreciate that school keeps them safe.

Pupils are taught about issues such as consent and avoiding gang and knife crime. Pupils are reflective about these matters and produce work, such as art and raps, expressing their feelings. The school works closely with external agencies to get pupils the help they need when they have difficulties in their lives.

If pupils are rude or aggressive, the school deals with this appropriately, making sure the rest of the school is not disrupted. As a result, the school is a calm and happy place, supporting pupils to be ready to learn.

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

The school has a well-designed and flexible curriculum.

This means that it can adapt learning as needed for individual pupils and classes. However, the school is still clear as to the best order in which pupils need to be taught key knowledge. Pupils work towards appropriate and valuable qualifications, including GCSEs.

When pupils attend regularly, they achieve well and fill gaps in their learning quickly. Some subjects are taught particularly well. This is reflected in the enthusiasm of pupils and the quality of their work.

The school is aware that there are a very few subjects that are not taught as well. It has taken action to improve these by training staff and building links with subject experts. However, these changes are too recent to have yet had an impact.

Pupils who join the school with weaker reading skills receive support to help them catch up. All lessons encourage pupils to rehearse reading so they develop fluency. However, there is not yet enough emphasis on pupils reading for pleasure or interest.

This limits how well pupils develop a love of books and an understanding of the world around them.

All pupils have social, emotional and/or mental health needs. Some pupils also have additional special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Comprehensive assessments ensure staff are well supported in how to help these pupils engage in, and progress with, learning.

Pupils mix well at breaktimes, chatting and playing football. The school ensures that plenty of healthy food is available to pupils.

The size of the outside space limits playing large-scale games. The school has put in place provision of fitness equipment to counter this. Pupils have friendly rivalry with a regularly contested gym leaderboard.

The school teaches pupils about being good citizens in modern Britain. It emphasises topics relating to keeping safe and healthy. It is a welcoming and inclusive community.

The school ensures that pupils understand what options are open to them when they leave.

Many pupils have challenges in their lives outside school. This means that for some, coming to school regularly is hard.

The school works closely with families to build relationships and encourage pupils to attend. For many, this results in strong attendance. However, attendance for others remains stubbornly low.

The school's strategies to engage some families have not yet worked.

Some pupils have lower attendance because of suspensions. These are used as a last resort for extreme behaviours.

Suspensions have fallen since last year, but some pupils are still missing out on too much education.

Behaviour is generally calm. Where pupils do present more challenging behaviour, staff manage it well to avoid disturbing the rest of the pupils.

Pupils understand expectations, and most meet these.

The school is well led and managed. Staff feel supported and work closely together.

The school is supported and challenged to continue to raise aspirations and attendance by a strong trustee board.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school does not yet have a strong culture of reading.

Pupils read in lessons, but not for interest or pleasure. This hinders their appreciation of books and further knowledge of the world around them. The school needs to find ways to engage pupils in reading more widely and often to broaden their horizons.

• Attendance for some pupils is too low. Pupils miss out on learning when they are not attending school. The school needs to consider further strategies to support the attendance of pupils who are frequently absent so that they benefit from the good quality of education that the school provides.

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