Queen Katharine Academy

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About Queen Katharine Academy

Name Queen Katharine Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mr Philip Masterson
Address Mountsteven Avenue, Walton, Peterborough, PE4 6HX
Phone Number 01733383888
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1559
Local Authority Peterborough
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Despite its large and imposing appearance, Queen Katharine Academy (QKA) is a calm, friendly and welcoming school. Above all, it is an inclusive community, where mutual respect and tolerance are the norm.

Pupils say that the school, including the sixth form, has been transformed since it became QKA. Pupils are expected to attend well, turn up on time and do their best. School rules, such as the no phone policy, are suitably strict.

When it is time to work, pupils settle quickly and follow instructions. Lessons are consequently orderly and purposeful. Although off-task behaviour is sometimes disruptive, pupils have positive attitudes to learning and conduct themselves ...well.

Pupils are accepting of others and see difference as positive because pupils come from diverse backgrounds and many have faced the challenge of settling into an unfamiliar school. At break and lunchtimes, pupils are orderly and sociable. They are considerate towards one another because others have been kind to them.

Nonetheless, instances of bullying and name-calling still occur. When this happens, pupils feel confident that there is always a trusted adult they can turn to for advice or support. They say they feel safe at school because they know that issues get sorted out.

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

Queen Katharine is more than just a new name for its predecessor school. Leaders, trustees and governors (the academy committee) have transformed the school since it opened three years ago. From a low base, results have improved impressively year on year.

From their starting points, most pupils make good progress. The school is gaining a well-deserved reputation locally, particularly in its large and expanding sixth form.

School improvement has been rooted in fundamental changes in the curriculum, and the consistent application of high expectations of pupil conduct.

Subject underperformance has been tackled by developing a more coherent key stage 3 curriculum and better teaching, ensuring that all pupils have the basics to do well in key stage 4. However, in some subjects the revisions are relatively new, and gaps in pupils' knowledge do not surface until it becomes obvious that they do not understand key concepts.

Teaching is lively and engaging, and teachers are encouraging and supportive.

Staff instil a can-do approach in pupils, raising their aspirations and giving them every opportunity to succeed. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are very well supported. Giving pupils self-confidence has strengthened their attitudes, behaviour and attendance.

Although many pupils arrive after Year 7, often during the school year, and frequently having had a disrupted or different educational experience, leaders are committed to ensuring that all can access a wide curriculum. New pupils, often speaking little or no English or with specific barriers to learning, follow an accelerated curriculum where they are rapidly equipped to fluently speak, read and write. The increasing proportion of pupils entering a full range of English Baccalaureate subjects at GCSE and the rapidly improving examination results are evidence of the success of this approach.

Although the accelerated curriculum is effective, the coverage of subjects such as history and geography is too superficial, and does not help pupils to pick these options up later on.

The promotion of pupils' personal development is a notable strength. The school makes every effort to widen pupils' horizons with a good range of after-school clubs, trips and activities.

Pupils excel in national language competitions and are encouraged to sit examinations in their heritage languages. They readily volunteer to plan and teach language sessions in local primary schools.

Leaders work hard to communicate with parents and gain the trust and support of hard-to-reach families.

The school sees diversity as a strength. It appoints governors from different communities and celebrates the richness of language and culture, with events such as International Roma Day. Leaders have developed links with schools across Peterborough, the UK and Europe, making the school a hub of language teaching and learning.

The school has quickly established a large and successful sixth form. Careers advice and guidance are particularly effective in raising aspirations and steering students' decisions. In offering a remarkably wide range of courses at different levels of accreditation, students can take level 2 courses and re-sit their GCSE mathematics and English if needed, before progressing onto higher level academic or vocational options.

Sixth-form students are expected to show high levels of commitment. This, combined with strong specialist teaching, ensures that students make at least good progress and often achieve exceptionally well. They develop as confident young adults who are positive role models for younger pupils.

Many voluntarily support younger pupils in their lessons.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders are rigorous in ensuring that the school follows statutory guidance in regard to safeguarding pupils, including undertaking all required pre-employment checks on adults.

The trust ensures that there is robust oversight and scrutiny of all safeguarding records, including staff training, to ensure that leaders and staff fulfil their duties effectively.

Adults know the pupils well and act quickly when concerns arise. Leaders are acutely aware of contextual dangers, such as knife crime and county lines drug dealing and are proactive in protecting pupils from potential harm.

The school works closely with local agencies, including their safer schools officer, to raise awareness of risks in their community and improve pupils' safety.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Many pupils have gaps in their prior learning, either because of disrupted education or some weak teaching in the past. .

Senior leaders need to make sure that the mainstream curriculum in every subject is planned coherently, lesson by lesson, so that pupils build their learning systematically. Teaching should match the strong practice found in subjects such as languages, where teachers ensure that pupils accurately recall their long-term and recent learning and can then consolidate and apply what they have learned. .

Senior leaders need to make sure that the accelerated curriculum has a sharper focus on specific aspects of pupils' wider learning. Although the accelerated curriculum enables pupils to catch up quickly, particularly in speaking English, and in reading and writing, the generic coverage of the wider curriculum does not give pupils a good enough foundation in other subjects. Teaching of national curriculum subjects should be more sharply focused on the acquisition of essential subject knowledge that will enable subsequent learning.

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