North Town Academy

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About North Town Academy

Name North Town Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Mark Braund
Address Staplegrove Road, Taunton, TA1 1DF
Phone Number 01823284676
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 2-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 487
Local Authority Somerset
Highlights from Latest Inspection


North Town Academy continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at North Town Academy know that staff expect them to always try their best. They say that staff motivate and encourage them. One pupil commented: 'Teachers tell us “You can do this!”'

Pupils feel safe in school.

They enjoy their lessons. They are proud of their learning and of their sporting achievements. Pupils are taught to care for one another.

Pupil-led groups, like the 'Champions of Change', organise activities for other pupils. These activities support pupils' physical and mental health.

Staff lead by example.

They demonstrate, through their act...ions, the high expectations that they have of pupils. Pupils behave well. They work hard.

Pupils say that teachers treat them fairly. Bullying is rare. Pupils are confident that staff will deal with any issues.

The school has close links with the local sixth-form college, which enhances pupils' experiences. For example, the school choir uses the college's recording studio.

Parents speak positively of staff.

One parent said that staff deal with any issues with 'care, compassion and efficiency'. Every parent who responded to Ofsted Parent View agreed that their child does well at North Town.

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

From Nursery onwards, leaders have identified the important knowledge that they want pupils to know and remember.

In most subjects, teachers use this guidance to provide learning that builds on what pupils already know. They use regular checks to make sure that pupils have understood. Teachers help pupils to remember what they have learned.

However, in some subjects, teachers are not clear about the knowledge that leaders have identified. When this is the case, the learning that teachers provide, and the guidance that they give, does not help pupils to remember important knowledge over time.

Leaders have taken action to make sure that pupils learn to read well.

They have introduced a new approach to teaching pupils the letters and sounds they need to be able to read. This begins from the start of children's time at school. Children quickly learn new sounds.

They enjoy reading books that use these sounds. Staff check pupils' learning carefully. If pupils start to fall behind, well-trained staff provide the support they need to keep up.

Older pupils discuss their reading, particularly the vocabulary they come across. They are able to answer questions about what their reading means. Pupils across the whole school enjoy the books that their teachers read to them each day.

Pupils read with increasing accuracy, fluency and expression as they move through the school.

Pupils enjoy learning mathematics. Teachers design learning that builds on pupils' knowledge and skills.

They explain new ideas carefully. Teachers provide a range of resources, which pupils use effectively. In classes, staff teach pupils the correct vocabulary to talk about mathematics.

In Nursery, children learn words that describe position while they play with model trains. In Year 6, pupils correctly use the word 'integer' as they describe how to round numbers. Leaders regularly check that pupils learn mathematics well.

If there are gaps in pupils' knowledge, teachers address these with extra support.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) take part in every aspect of school life. Leaders work closely with teachers, parents and external experts to identify pupils' needs.

Leaders support staff so that they can meet these needs well. Pupils' plans are detailed. They are carefully reviewed and updated.

Consequently, pupils with SEND access the curriculum alongside their peers.

Staff make sure that pupils understand how to behave. Staff respond to any difficulties quickly and efficiently.

Pupils trust staff. As a result, pupils behave well in lessons and around the school.

Leaders provide high-quality opportunities to support the personal development of pupils.

Staff teach pupils to understand their emotions. Pupils learn how they can relate positively to others. They respect people from other backgrounds and know to treat everyone equally.

Staff appreciate the care that leaders show. Staff say that that leaders have taken effective actions to help them manage their workload. Governors have a clear plan to improve the school further.

They use their expertise to support and challenge leaders. The multi-academy trust provides strong support to staff and governors.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure that staff are well trained in safeguarding. As a result, staff know how to raise any concerns they have about pupils. Leaders take concerns seriously.

They work closely with external agencies. Leaders form good relationships with families to keep pupils safe.

Leaders are clear about the particular risks for their pupils and community.

In response, they have adapted their curriculum and staff training. Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe, including when online.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, teachers are not clear about the knowledge that leaders have identified for pupils to know and remember.

Where this is the case, pupils do not build knowledge well. Leaders must ensure that teachers have a common understanding of the school's curriculum and what it means for their practice.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in May 2013.

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