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This is an outstanding school. Inspired leadership from the Principal has transformed the quality of education provided for students.
Her determination to raise their aspirations and achievement has led to rapid and sustained improvements. A relentless drive to improve teaching quality has made it consistently good and regularly outstanding. Teachers know individual students well.
They make sure that students' personal needs are met and that they achieve the challenging targets set for them. Based on their low starting points, most students make outstanding progress. Standards have risen from well below to above the national average since opening.
Stu...dents who join the academy with low levels of literacy are promptly taught how to read and write, enabling them to enjoy learning and achieve well. Gaps in their basic skills are filled through intensive, personalised support. An innovative, stimulating range of subjects enables most students to enjoy learning and acquire qualifications during and by the end of Key Stage 4.
The vast majority are well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment. Students' behaviour is exemplary. They attend regularly, are well mannered, courteous and respectful.
Students wear their uniforms with pride and aspire to represent the academy as prefects, captains and councillors. Older students enthuse about the improvements that have taken place and say they feel much safer than in the past. The concerted drive for sustained improvement is based securely on rigorous, regular monitoring of individual students' progress and wellbeing, including of disabled students and those who have special educational needs.
Those at risk of underachieving are nurtured and supported so they can meet the high expectations of them. Senior and subject leaders work collaboratively to secure improvement. They regularly observe lessons to check the quality of teaching and its impact on learning, and encourage staff to share best practice.
Systematic auditing of each subject holds staff accountable for the achievement of students in their care. Governors' incisive knowledge of schools makes a major contribution to the academy's ethos and success. They set the highest expectations of staff and students.
Information about this school
Ormiston Venture Academy opened in September 2010 in the existing buildings of the predecessor school, Oriel High school. New buildings are currently being constructed and should be ready for use by September 2013. When the predecessor school was last inspected by Ofsted it was judged to be satisfactory.
The academy is sponsored by the Ormiston Academies Trust and specialises in digital media and mathematics. It has partnerships with Gresham's school, three local primary schools and Norfolk County Council. Most students are White British, with very few are from minority ethnic backgrounds.
The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs, mostly moderate learning or behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, is above that found nationally. The percentage of students supported through school action and school action plus is above average. The proportion eligible for the pupil premium (extra government funding to support particular groups of students) is much higher than found nationally.
The academy meets the government's floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students' attainment and progress. A very small minority of students are educated off-site at a local pupil referral unit or are taught at home due to their complex medical needs. The academy received its first monitoring inspection in April 2012 and was found to be making outstanding progress towards raising standards.
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