The Hereford Academy

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About The Hereford Academy

Name The Hereford Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Head Teacher Mr Michael Stoppard
Address Marlbrook Road, Redhill, Hereford, HR2 7NG
Phone Number 01432373570
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Christian
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 607
Local Authority Herefordshire, County of
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The Hereford Academy is a calm and welcoming place. Pupils enjoy a warm and friendly culture where the values of 'aspiration, care, trust, resilience and respect' are lived.

They are polite to visitors and keen to talk about their school.

The school is developing a strong, ambitious curriculum for the academic achievement of all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). It recognises that, for too long, pupils have not achieved well enough.

The school has made positive changes to the curriculum as a result. However, it is too soon to see the full impact that these changes have had on the quality of education for pupils....

Pupils value leaders' commitment to creating an environment free from discrimination where other cultures are celebrated.

The school teaches pupils not to accept any bullying behaviour. Bullying is dealt with swiftly on the rare occasions it happens and action is taken quickly to address it.

The school offers plenty of clubs for pupils to develop their interests.

For example, pupils partake eagerly in clubs such as football, LGBTQ+ society, the whole-school show, debating club and a school choir (who recently proudly sang in Hereford Cathedral). Over 10% of pupils are completing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.

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

Leaders, including governors, have an ambitious vision for the quality of education that they want pupils to receive.

Following a period of turbulence, the school has stabilised the leadership well. The school has recruited a strong team of middle leaders to further develop the curriculum offer. The curriculum has been strengthened to ensure that it increasingly meets the needs of pupils.

For example, the proportion of pupils choosing to study the English Baccalaureate has increased rapidly. The published GCSE outcomes do not reflect the much-improved quality of education pupils receive now.

Since the last inspection, the school has completed a considerable amount of work on developing the curriculum and how it is implemented in lessons.

However, much of this work is in the early stages and still needs time to embed. For example, in some subjects, there is clear curriculum planning for what should be taught and when. However, in other subjects, this is still in development.

In some lessons, curriculum planning is adapted well to take into account what pupils already know and understand. However, in other lessons, teachers do not adapt the curriculum to take into account different starting points. This slows the progress that pupils make across the curriculum.

On some occasions, teachers regularly check pupils' understanding in line with the school's '8 strategies'. In these cases, they identify and remedy misconceptions.However, some teachers do not always use assessment effectively enough to identify gaps in pupils' learning.

As a result, some pupils struggle to develop a secure understanding across the curriculum.

There is a high level of ambition for pupils with SEND. The school identifies pupils with these needs very well.

Teachers receive clear training and information on how they can help these pupils. They use this training well to support pupils' understanding and access to the curriculum. Consequently, pupils with SEND successfully access the same curriculum as their peers and achieve well.

The school has worked hard to raise the profile of reading across the school. When pupils start, teachers quickly identify the gaps in pupils' reading ability, and effective support is put in place to help them improve their reading skills. However, the school understands that more should be done to ensure that there are a range of opportunities to build pupils' confidence in reading across the curriculum.

Personal development is a strength of the school. The well-designed programme ensures pupils know how to keep themselves healthy and safe, and how to navigate different relationships, including online. Pupils recall discussing topics with interest and empathy.

Curriculum choices support pupils' wider understanding of the world. For example, in history, the teaching of the First World War was very effective in exploring, in a meaningful way, the required subject content of issues of sexism and misogyny. There is a comprehensive careers programme and a strong enrichment programme.

The school has high expectations of pupils' conduct. Leaders have strategically used rewards and sanctions to improve behaviour. In the main, pupils behave well and show compassion for each other.

Relationships with staff are generally very good.

Raising attendance is a school priority. The school takes a measured and strategic approach to improving attendance, and pupil attendance rates have improved rapidly.

However, attendance rates still fall below the national average.

Staff, including early career teachers, feel that leaders support them well and consider their workload carefully. Those responsible for governance are committed to the school.

They work regularly with leaders and provide effective support and challenge.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some curriculum planning is still in development and is yet to be embedded.

Where this is the case, pupils' experience of the curriculum is variable and learning does not always build effectively on their starting points. Newly appointed subject leaders have identified the right things to change but have not yet had time to implement these changes. Leaders should continue to support and monitor the implementation of the curriculum revisions to ensure that the quality of education continues to improve for all pupils in all subjects.

• The school has not ensured that all teachers use assessment strategies in lessons well enough to check what pupils know and remember. As a result, teachers do not consistently identify and address gaps in pupils' knowledge and understanding. The school should ensure that all teachers use assessment methods effectively to adapt their delivery of lessons to identify and address pupils' misconceptions.

• Opportunities for pupils to read effectively in class and across the wider curriculum are not always taken. As a result, teaching does not always support the development of pupils' reading as well as it could. The school should continue to prioritise reading across all subject areas so that all pupils learn to read confidently and fluently.

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