The Excelsior Academy

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About The Excelsior Academy

Name The Excelsior Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mr Omar Deria
Address Shacklewell Lane, Hackney, London, E8 2EY
Phone Number 02072751500
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1036
Local Authority Hackney
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at this school are set up to achieve to the best of their ability.

Leaders have very high expectations for pupils' behaviour and academic work. Teachers come together to set a consistent culture across the school of taking education seriously, and pupils mainly respond well. Pupils are praised and receive a 'golden ticket' at the end of each lesson to recognise effort.

Leaders are ambitious for pupils' futures after they finish school. Pupils receive personalised guidance to help them choose their next steps. For example, the school organises high-quality work experience opportunities in law, medicine, coding and architecture.

Pupils know that they are... expected to be on time and ready to learn. The school has set out very clear lines of how it expects pupils to behave. This includes the way they should sit in the classroom, move around the corridors and greet members of the school community.

This means that classrooms become calm learning environments. When learning is disrupted, teachers take quick and consistent action to minimise any impact on other pupils' learning. At times, however, a few find the behaviour expectations difficult to follow and receive support from the school's pastoral system.

Any incidents of bullying are recorded, and leaders are quick to respond.

Pupils feel safe at this school, and most say they are happy here. They know that if they raise a concern, it will be dealt with.

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

The school is ambitious for all its pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The curriculum has been constructed with careful thought as to what should be taught in each year. For example, in history, pupils learn about events around the world in the order they happened through a 'big question'.

Leaders have chosen the times, places and people to explore through each topic to ensure that pupils can connect with what is being taught. For example, in art, pupils study local artists and invite these figures into the school to bring meaning to the material being studied. The ambitious curriculum in place, including in the sixth form, clearly sets out the knowledge and vocabulary that should be taught.

The school is committed to widening access to the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects. It places these subjects at the heart of its curriculum and encourages pupils to select them.

Teachers are experts in their subject areas.

They use an ambitious choice of activities to help pupils learn and progress. Within lessons, they check what pupils are learning and use this information to help identify any gaps in pupils' knowledge. For example, in Mandarin lessons, pupils are listened to carefully to ensure they can pronounce accurately.

Pupils with SEND participate in the full range of learning activities, including deaf pupils from the school's specially resourced provision.Teachers know how to adapt learning to meet these pupils' needs, and this means pupils can maximise their time in the classroom.

There are clear classroom routines in place, and pupils know that what is expected is the same in all lessons.

When pupils move around the school, behaviour can vary, as some pupils need reminding of how to treat each other respectfully. Pupils respond well to staff and usually follow the rules when asked. Staff do not deviate from their high expectations of behaviour, and, at times, the school suspends pupils for breaches of the behaviour policy.

This has led to pupils with SEND being more likely to be suspended from school than their peers.

The school has identified pupils requiring further support with their reading. It has recently invested in this aspect of its work.

The school has funded resources and training in phonics, and it is now ready to take action to close the gaps for pupils who are behind in their reading. In the sixth form, pupils who are yet to secure good GCSE qualifications in mathematics and English receive the extra lessons needed to be successful.

Leaders prioritise pupils being in school and carefully monitor those at risk of high absence, taking early action to minimise missed learning.

Pupils are rewarded for their good attendance and are taught why this is important. The school teaches pupils how to keep safe, including when they are online. It uses assemblies, lessons and speaker visits to help pupils feel confident about healthy eating and positive relationships with others.

The school has recently expanded its offer of lunchtime and after-school activities. The choices available include robotics, football and beekeeping in the summer. However, this offer is not yet valued and enjoyed by many pupils, who attend only occasionally.

The school is also improving its approach to the development of pupils' cultural awareness, such as through trips. More pupils would benefit from these opportunities if they occurred more frequently.

There is a thorough programme in place for guiding pupils' career choices, including in the sixth form.

All pupils are individually tracked and given mentoring sessions with professionals. Pupils can share their interests and are given matched guidance to follow these career options further. The school ensures that meaningful work experience opportunities are provided, and this helps pupils make aspiring decisions about their future, including those who wish to consider an apprenticeship route.

Staff are positive about the way that leaders look after their workload and manage their time. Leaders, governors and trustees lead and support the school well. They ensure that their statutory responsibilities, including oversight of safeguarding, are well met.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school's behaviour policy is sometimes not effective for pupils with SEND. This means that these pupils are at higher risk than others of missing school through suspensions.

The school should ensure that its policies include reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of pupils with SEND. ? The school's offer of wider experiences leads to some pupils not having a broad range of meaningful opportunities. The school should expand its offer of wider enrichment experiences and ensure that it extends the reach of these opportunities to nurture pupils' cultural capital and encourage increased participation.

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