The Five Islands Academy

What is this page?

We are, a schools information website. This page is one of our school directory pages. This is not the website of The Five Islands Academy.

What is Locrating?

Locrating is the UK's most popular and trusted school guide; it allows you to view inspection reports, admissions data, exam results, catchment areas, league tables, school reviews, neighbourhood information, carry out school comparisons and much more. Below is some useful summary information regarding The Five Islands Academy.

To see all our data you need to click the blue button at the bottom of this page to view The Five Islands Academy on our interactive map.

About The Five Islands Academy

Name The Five Islands Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Rachel Gibb
Address Church Road, Old Town, St Mary’s, TR21 0NA
Phone Number 01720424850
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-16
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 263
Local Authority Isles Of Scilly
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Five Islands Academy is an inclusive, all-through school for pupils living on the Isles of Scilly. Most pupils attend school on the largest island, St Mary's.

Primary-age pupils living on the islands of Tresco, Bryher, St Martins and St Agnes attend one of three 'off island' bases. From the age of 11, these pupils enjoy boarding at Mundesley House on St Mary's. This gives them access to subject-specialist teaching and resources ready for the secondary phase.

The school provides a remarkable range of cultural experiences for pupils, especially within the arts. An impressive range of expert practitioners are brought to the islands to work creatively with pupils. Pupils ...are inspired to take the initiative with local projects of their own.

For example, after securing National Lottery funding, Year 11 pupils are leading the redevelopment of the Isles of Scilly Museum.

Pupils develop a powerful sense of community. Every effort is made to bring pupils from the different islands together.

On Fridays, pupils come together as one school for a day of learning on St Mary's. The culture of the school is such that everyone works together to find solutions and resolve issues. Pupils regularly engage in constructive discussions.

They feel safe to air any worries or fears during 'circle time', or to raise these privately with trusted staff.

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

The school's curriculum is designed to build logically from Reception through to the end of Year 11. The school emphasises concepts that continue to be important in subject learning as pupils move through the school.

For example, in English, pupils are taught to consciously craft their writing and speaking in more complex ways as they grow older. Year on year, the curriculum helps pupils to gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful.

Children joining the Reception Year start learning to read immediately.

They enjoy learning phonics and join in energetically. Teachers pause throughout the school day to share books with their classes. This continues throughout the primary phase.

Classrooms are deliberately stocked with motivating reading materials, which pupils are keen to borrow. By the time that pupils reach key stage 2, they are in the habit of reading regularly.

Pupils follow a broad curriculum.

The curriculum expands their horizons and helps them to keep their options open. At 16, most pupils continue their education on the mainland. The school sets pupils on ambitious career pathways, building on interests shaped by the local environment and industries, such as engineering.

Many study GCSEs in separate sciences, design and technology, and/or engineering with this aim. Prestigious employers, such as the Royal Navy, support pupils to develop their interview skills.

The school aims for pupils to have enough knowledge of each subject to really know what it means to be, for example, a historian.

However, some pupils do not reach this degree of confidence because teaching does not take enough account of their needs. For example, some pupils are held back by insecure literacy or numeracy skills. This makes it hard for them to learn new material unless the teaching is adapted with them in mind.

Gaps in pupils' knowledge have limited their progress during key stage 2. The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with frequent movement of families on and off the Isles of Scilly, means that some pupils have missed essential learning. The school is addressing this by using assessment to identify the right type of support for pupils.

Phonics teaching continues for as long as pupils need it. Pupils' special educational needs and/or disabilities are often well-understood by staff, who provide individualised support.

Children in the early years foundation stage are explicitly taught the behaviours they need to learn well, such as listening attentively.

Staff continue to reinforce high expectations for pupils' behaviour throughout the school. Lessons are rarely disrupted. Pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, attend school well overall.

When pupils struggle to attend, the school listens and adapts. This helps those pupils to build back up to regular attendance over time.

Pupils are accepting of others and those from different backgrounds.

For example, pupils fundraise and have set up a charity to support refugees. The school insists upon a positive culture in which any intolerance is challenged. As a result, pupils have strong knowledge of how the law protects people with different characteristics.

The curriculum for relationships and sex education and health education regularly circles back to important principles, such as consent. All of this makes for mature, well-prepared young people.

The trust supports the school to overcome the challenges arising from the unique island setting.

For example, the trust helps staff to secure accommodation on the islands. Boating between the isles is regularly affected by inclement weather and the tides. At times, this disrupts the life of the school, causing frustration for pupils, parents, and staff.

The school has well-established contingency plans. For example, the school issues pupils with tablet devices through which they can access the full curriculum remotely.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teaching is not adapted consistently in the light of potential barriers to pupils' learning. Pupils with insecure basic skills, such as those who lack fluency in reading and arithmetic, struggle to keep up with their peers when learning new content. The trust should ensure that the school helps teachers to identify pupils who are likely to require new content further broken down.

Also at this postcode
Cherry Blossom Childcare

  Compare to
nearby schools