Orsett Heath Academy

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About Orsett Heath Academy

Name Orsett Heath Academy
Website https://www.orsettheathacademy.org.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Simon Bell
Address Long Lane, Grays, RM16 2QH
Phone Number 01375802800
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 348
Local Authority Thurrock
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils have a great 'can-do' attitude in this school.

They meet adversity with a smile and show remarkable resilience. They learn outdoors for physical education (PE), whatever the weather. They travel to and fro, accompanied by staff, for some lessons at a neighbouring school.

When they have had to move spaces to accommodate external events, they just get on with it. This is because they want to learn, do well and believe strongly in what they can do if they work as a team.

Pupils think highly of their teachers.

They know teachers have high expectations and they rise to these. Many appreciate the time that teachers give. This may be providing extra ...tuition after school or sleeping in a tent on a weekend so pupils can complete their hiking expeditions.

Pupils are proud of how they have helped to shape the new school, designing its badge and contributing their ideas on how it should run.

Partially due to its small size, pupils know each other well. They have strong bonds of friendship that stretch across year groups.

As a result, there is a convivial atmosphere at the school. Pupils demonstrate good-natured behaviour. They politely wait, taking turns to go up and down the narrow stairwells.

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

The trust has shown dogged determination to give pupils a decent start to their secondary education. They have overcome significant barriers due to the unforeseen delays with the building of the new school. The trust has creatively used temporary accommodation at the local rugby club and specialist facilities at a neighbouring school.

The sharing of staff between sites is enabling pupils to study for the full range of subjects that make up the English Baccalaureate. Leaders and staff's exceptional resilience and drive filters down through pupils and shows in their attitudes to learning.

The school employs a large senior team whose members lead key subjects and areas in the school.

Along with staff, they have created a strong ethos of shared responsibility with pupils. Consequently, pupils are proud of their school and their achievements. Leaders think carefully about the experiences of pupils, such as how to provide role models for Year 10 pupils, who are the oldest in the school.

This sharp attention to detail is helping build a firm foundation for the later growth of the school. Some big changes await. Leaders are aware of the need to remain reflective, diligent and flexible as the school expands in size, changes location and develops its curriculum further.

Pupils follow an ambitious curriculum. It focuses on helping pupils to understand the wider world and their place within it. For example, within English, the study of Russian and Chinese folklore helps pupils understand events they hear about on the news.

Staff give pupils opportunities to practise scholarship. This may be through advanced articles or extra tuition. Teachers help pupils acquire specialist vocabulary so they can access this.

Pupils remember what they learn. Teachers ensure that pupils revisit areas of learning they are not so sure about.

The reading culture in the school is well established.

Pupils enjoy reading and read often. The school provides several programmes to help pupils develop fluency and comprehension. Staff use assessment well to decide which programme will help pupils the most.

Specialist staff teach phonics effectively. Pupils develop confidence with their reading quickly.

Staff read the latest research to help them understand how the teenage brain works.

They regularly undertake training so that they can support the range of pupils' needs. Staff help pupils who may exhibit more complex behaviours to make the right choices. Lessons are calm as a result.

Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are catered for well. Staff use pupils' support plans effectively so they can access the same curriculum as their peers. Pupils with education, health and care plans who may find communication difficult feel safe in this environment to express themselves and ask questions in class.

Pupils with SEND, like their peers, enjoy school and attend well.

There is emphasis on mental health within the wider development programme. Pupils undertake roles such as buddies and anti-bullying ambassadors.

In their personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) lessons, pupils learn about the risks in the local community. The careers programme is developing as pupils move through the school.

Staff are happy working at the school.

They feel valued and appreciate the trust's comprehensive well-being charter.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Over time, the trust and school leaders have carefully considered the growth of the school and the impact of this.

While, to date, they have made sensible and pragmatic decisions during this early stage of development, the trust and leaders should ensure that they continue to focus on the priorities for successful rapid growth. The school will change with a substantial increase in pupils and staff as they move into a new purpose-built school. Leaders should continue to consider, implement and review their plans so they maintain and build on the effective foundations they have successfully achieved.

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