Spires Academy

Name Spires Academy
Website http://www.spiresacademy.com/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Bredlands Lane, Sturry, Canterbury, CT2 0HD
Phone Number 01227710392
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 682 (47.5% boys 52.5% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 14.4
Academy Sponsor Education For The 21St Century
Local Authority Kent
Percentage Free School Meals 36.4%
Percentage English is Not First Language 5.8%
Persistent Absence 20.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 21%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (17 May 2017)
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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. The school is a smaller-than-average-sized secondary school. The majority of pupils at the school are of White British heritage. Pupils’ attainment on entry to the school is well below the national average. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is similar to that found nationally. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils supported by the pupil premium is higher than the national average. The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress. A small number of pupils in Years 9 to 11 attend alternative provision at two nearby centres, Nu-steps and The Canterbury Inclusion Service, for all or part of their education.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The principal and her senior team have acted decisively to reverse a declining trend in results in recent years. Consequently, outcomes for pupils across the school are now good. Leaders are ambitious for the school and its pupils. They make careful checks on the progress that pupils make. They ensure that effective interventions are in place for pupils who need extra help to catch up. Leaders have created a warm and nurturing climate for learning, which is summed up aptly in the motto, ‘a small school with a big heart’. Teachers use their strong subject knowledge to devise interesting activities that arouse pupils’ curiosity and make them want to learn more. Teachers’ skilful use of questioning requires pupils to explain their thinking and so explore topics in greater detail. As a result, pupils gain secure knowledge, skills and understanding over time. Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities are supported very well and so make good progress from their starting points. Disadvantaged pupils do well because teachers pay close attention to their needs. Leaders make good use of the pupil premium grant to remove any barriers to learning. Pupils behave well in lessons and around the school. They wear their uniforms well and treat the fabric of the building with respect. Fixed-term exclusions have fallen sharply. Attendance is close to the national average and continuing to improve. Leaders take effective action to ensure that the attendance of those pupils who are frequently absent improves. The curriculum is broad and balanced and pupils benefit from a range of interesting extra-curricular activities, including golf and show jumping. Pupils have frequent opportunities to learn about democracy and the rule of law and about different people, religions and cultures. As a result, they are well prepared for life in modern Britain. Governors have a good understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. They are taking effective action to secure the long-term future of the school. Leaders are aware that some pupils, mainly boys with low prior attainment, do not make rapid enough progress. This is because : teaching does not always meet their needs, particularly in the development of their writing skills.