Newcastle Academy

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About Newcastle Academy

Name Newcastle Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Nicola Bromley-Smith
Address Gallowstree Lane, The Westlands, Newcastle Under Lyme, ST5 2QS
Phone Number 01782667650
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 384
Local Authority Staffordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Newcastle Academy staff and pupils have a very strong sense of community. Pupils understand and demonstrate the school's values of honour, positivity and excellence. Staff have high expectations for all pupils.

The majority of pupils behave well in lessons and around the school site. Pupils understand and welcome the positive rewards they receive.

Pupils who spoke to inspectors talked openly about their positive relationships with staff.

Pupils know they can report any behaviour issues, which staff deal with rapidly. Bullying is rare. When it occurs, staff take appropriate action to deal with it.

Pupils know that inappropriate language is not accepta...ble and report it swiftly.

The curriculum is broad and balanced. All pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), study the full curriculum.

Leaders have made effective changes to ensure that pupils in Years 7 to 9 access a full range of subjects. This prepares pupils well for further qualifications, including GCSE and vocational subjects.

A wide range of extra-curricular opportunities are available to all pupils including robotics, dance and weight-lifting.

Some pupils participate in these activities. Pupils are proud to serve the school and wider community through leadership positions within all year groups.

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

Since the last inspection, the trust has appointed new leaders.

Leaders demonstrate high expectations for all pupils. In previous years, some pupils have not always studied the most appropriate courses for their future aspirations. As a result, pupils did not achieve as well as they should.

The school has now taken effective action to address this.

All staff receive a clearly planned programme of training to develop their classroom practice. For example, staff challenge pupils to think more independently through a range of different learning activities.

The curriculum is well planned and sequenced. Leaders have considered what they want pupils to learn at each stage. In most lessons, teachers deliver the curriculum well and use activities effectively to check whether pupils have remembered previous learning.

For example, in science, pupils recalled the names of muscles and tendons before using the words during a practical dissection.

The school identifies effectively pupils who need additional support. 'Personalised plans' are in place to help all pupils with SEND make progress in their learning in line with their peers.

Staff know these pupils well and plan lessons to remove any barriers to learning.

Staff review pupils' reading ages on entry to the school to inform the reading curriculum. Pupils' confidence in reading develops with the support of a SEND reading dog.

The school has recently introduced a framework to promote a stronger culture of reading. However, the impact of this framework has not yet been fully realised. As a result, not all pupils make rapid progress with their reading.

The school has high expectations for pupils' behaviour. Lessons begin and end in a calm and orderly manner. Staff take effective action to address poor behaviour.

They encourage pupils to reflect on their actions. Leaders understand the importance of attendance. However, the number of pupils absent from school is higher than it should be.

Leaders know this and continue to work with families. Attendance remains a key priority for the school and community.

Pupils explore issues around healthy relationships and online safety.

They experience a well-planned programme of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. The school has designed an effective PSHE programme within a strong culture of safeguarding. This programme prepares pupils well for life in modern Britain.

The school regularly invites guest speakers to give valuable assemblies on topics such as knife crime and consent. The careers education programme is being developed to include a wider work experience offer for all pupils.

Leaders responsible for governance understand their statutory duties, the school's strengths and areas for development.

Leaders are mindful of staff workload. Almost all staff appreciate leaders' regard for their well-being and enjoy working at this school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Too many pupils are absent each day. This means pupils miss too much learning, which limits their progress. The school should further its work with parents and external agencies to secure more regular attendance for all pupils.

• The school has not fully developed effective systems to support all pupils who struggle with reading. Pupils who need support, including those with SEND and who are disadvantaged, are not making sufficient progress with their phonics, grammar and comprehension. The school should further embed the current reading strategy, rapidly, to support effectively all pupils who are not confident readers.

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