Sandy Hill Academy

Name Sandy Hill Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 23 February 2017
Address Sandy Hill, St Austell, Cornwall, PL25 3AT
Phone Number 0172675858
Type Primary
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 329 (53% boys 47% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 27.6
Academy Sponsor Aspire Academy Trust
Local Authority Cornwall
Percentage Free School Meals 17.6%
Percentage English is Not First Language 2.1%
Persisitent Absence 4.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 10.3%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish. Sandy Hill Academy is larger than average. Work is under way to increase the number of pupils the school can accommodate over the next few years. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectation for pupils’ attainment and progress in English and mathematics. The school is part of Aspire Academy Trust, a multi-academy trust of 20 Cornish primary schools. Sandy Hill Academy is the core school for the St Austell hub and the school shares resources and some staff across the hub. The headteacher is executive principal of another school in the hub. She leads staff development across the trust. The trust operates through hub councillors who act as local governors and are accountable to the board of directors. Very few pupils are from minority ethnic groups and the first language of a small number of pupils is not English. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is around half the national average. The Nursery provides for children aged three and four on a part-time basis. Children in Reception attend on a full-time basis. The school does not use any alternative providers.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school Senior and middle leaders have the highest expectations for the pupils and staff. Pupils respond wholeheartedly to these in their positive attitudes and eagerness to learn. Pupils’ progress is very strong. Year-on-year pupils’ progress has improved in all areas of the curriculum. Current pupils are making very marked progress. Teachers plan learning that closely matches the needs of individual learners, challenging all pupils, including the most able, to reach the very highest standards. They ensure that every pupil has the knowledge, understanding and skills to tackle problems confidently. Teaching assistants encourage pupils to improve their work and accept nothing less than the best. Pupils are self-confident and resilient learners. They value feedback that helps them improve their work. They debate challenging topics with confidence and self-assurance. Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. They are polite and courteous towards one another, staff and visitors. Older pupils lead activities for younger pupils and serve as strong role models. Safeguarding arrangements are highly effective. Pupils feel safe and know how to keep themselves safe, including when online. Children get off to a flying start in the early years. They make rapid progress in reading, writing and number work in both the Nursery and Reception classes. Children move seamlessly into Year 1. Every opportunity is taken in the early years to develop children’s skills and independence. They show real curiosity and teachers embrace this to deepen children’s understanding. Their writing is at a particularly advanced level for their age. Parents are overwhelmingly happy with their children’s progress and personal development. They would, however, like further support so they can best help their children complete homework. Directors of the multi-academy trust hold senior leaders closely to account. They ensure that additional funding is spent where it will have the greatest impact. Consequently, disadvantaged pupils and those who have special educational needs and/or disabilities achieve well.