Park Academy

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About Park Academy

Name Park Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Head Teacher Mrs Rachael Atkinson
Address 200 Dorset Road, London, SW19 3EF
Phone Number 02085423365
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 115
Local Authority Merton
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Park Academy provides an exceptional education for its pupils.

It is a happy and joyous school where pupils flourish. The school's 'key drivers' of mindfulness, challenge, creativity, communication and developing world citizens run through the curriculum. The school's work developing pupils' communication and language skills is exceptional.

Leaders and staff have the highest expectations of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Pupils with SEND are fully included in all aspects of school life and supported to achieve their very best.

Pupils really enjoy attending this school, where they are kept safe.

...They know they can speak to trusted adults if they are worried about anything. Pupils behave exceptionally well, both in class and around the school. They are kind to each other and polite and respectful to adults.

Children in the early years learn to take turns, listen to their teacher and stay focused on what they are learning.

Leaders make sure that pupils develop a deep understanding of individual rights. The 'pupil parliament' recently led a project to reduce food waste across all trust schools.

It is also organising a 'Human Rights Day' and leading on anti-racism initiatives.

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

Leaders have constructed an exceptional curriculum that is broad and ambitious. They have thought very carefully about the key knowledge and vocabulary that they want pupils to learn, how it should be learned and in what order.

Staff, including support staff and teachers new to the profession, appreciate the high-quality training and the support for their workload and well-being. Trustees know the school well and support it effectively.

Leaders think carefully about how pupils can deepen their knowledge and skills.

For example, in design and technology, pupils in Year 5 learned about the ethics of diamond mining. In history, pupils in Year 6 used their knowledge of World War II when discussing 'Zlata's Diary'. Staff in Reception encourage children to develop their early modern foreign language skills, for example answering the register in French.

All pupils learn very well. Leaders identify the needs of pupils with SEND quickly. They make sure that pupils receive excellent support to access the curriculum.

Pupils develop an extensive vocabulary as they move through the school. The teaching of vocabulary is ambitious and systematic. Teachers introduce key words carefully and embed them in pupils' long-term memory.

Pupils are given many opportunities to discuss their learning. For example, children in early years learned the word 'migrate' when learning about the natural world. In history, pupils in Year 3 examined social class aboard the Titanic ship using terms such as 'transatlantic' and 'opulence'.

Leaders prioritise reading as part of their wider focus on pupils' language development. Pupils develop their reading skills exceptionally well from the very start of Reception. Even those who struggle with reading develop strong phonics strategies that support them to improve over time.

Assessment is systematic and regular to support pupils to keep up and catch up. All staff, including support staff, are experts in teaching early reading. Pupils clearly enjoy their phonics lessons and love reading.

The school has very clear and very high expectations of pupils' behaviour. Pupils talk passionately about the importance of learning. All pupils, including those with SEND, demonstrate persistence and resilience in their learning.

Staff are kind and caring towards pupils. The school celebrates pupils' learning and behaviour regularly, such as through rewards in assembly.

Pupils' attendance was affected by the pandemic but is now improving rapidly.

Leaders are very vigilant and tenacious in dealing with pupils' absence. They provide support to families and use effective strategies to limit absence. Leaders work closely with parents, who are very positive about the school's work with them.

The school develops pupils' character exceptionally well. Pupils can attend many clubs, such as cookery, computing and drama. Many pupils join the choir.

They can also join the sports council or become class ambassadors. Trips are planned carefully to support pupils' wider interests and enrichment. Pupils regularly visit museums, galleries, theatres and places of worship.

They can take part in a debating championship. In early years, staff support children to practise mindfulness.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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