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The Hurlingham Academy continues to be a good school. There is enough evidence of improved performance to suggest that the school could be judged outstanding if we were to carry out a graded (section 5) inspection now. The school's next inspection will be a graded inspection.
What is it like to attend this school?
Leaders have high expectations and strong ambition for pupils. These are shared by all school staff. Leaders routinely check that their decisions have the desired impact on pupils' achievement.
Leaders have designed a curriculum that enables all pupils to excel in their academic studies. This includes pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). <...br/>Pupils are respectful to each other.
They are very polite, happy and safe. Pupils have strong professional relationships with their teachers. Pupils said that they feel able to speak to a member of staff if they are worried about anything.
Leaders swiftly and successfully resolve any bullying incidences.
Pupils have access to a variety of wider curriculum experiences. These include debating, music and charity work.
All pupils are part of the school's house system. This provides pupils from different year groups the opportunity to work together. Pupils can also stand in school elections and express their views as part of the school council.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have designed a highly ambitious curriculum for all pupils in the school. For example, leaders allow some pupils to study Mandarin in addition to French or Spanish. The proportion of pupils who study the English Baccalaureate combination of GCSE subjects is increasing year on year, in line with leaders' plans.
Subject leaders have thought carefully about the curriculum. They know what they want pupils to learn and when they want them to learn it. For example, in English, pupils develop their understanding of love when studying 'Jane Ayre' in Year 8.
This prepares them to learn the same theme in more depth when studying 'Romeo and Juliet' in Year 9. Leaders also make explicit connections between subjects. For example, pupils use their knowledge of trench warfare from history when analysing First World War poetry in English.
Teachers are subject experts. Teaching ensures that pupils learn the curriculum well. Teachers routinely check that pupils understand and remember what has been taught.
Support for pupils with SEND is strong. Teachers know pupils' needs and ensure that these are met. This is also the case for pupils who speak English as an additional language.
Pupils who require help to learn to read also get the support they need. Leaders check how well pupils are able to read when they join the school. Pupils receive additional support with reading if they need it.
This is so that they catch up with their peers. All pupils in Years 7 to 9 take part in extra reading sessions weekly. This is to help broaden their vocabulary and improve their comprehension.
Pupils are respectful and attentive during class. They appreciate the clear and consistent behaviour systems in place. This means lesson time is not lost due to low-level disruption.
Leaders organise a range of clubs, sports and extra-curricular activities for pupils. For example, all pupils in Year 7 attend clubs after school each week. These include gymnastics and film club.
Pupils have opportunities to develop an understanding of rights and responsibilities through supporting charities in the local community. They also discuss right and wrong in class. Leaders provide pupils with access to unbiased careers advice.
Many pupils said they value this guidance. Pupils with SEND receive extra careers support. For example, a familiar adult attends their careers meetings.
Teachers support pupils to find work experience placements in Year 10. As a result, all pupils take up this opportunity.
Leaders continually strive for improvement.
They are determined to maintain the high standards as the school expands. They listen to pupils, parents and carers, and the local community, when making improvements. Leaders are supported by those responsible for governance, who carefully monitor the school's progress.
Teachers are highly supportive of school leaders. Many teachers said that leaders are approachable and responsive to feedback. Staff said that leaders are mindful of their well-being.
For example, leaders support teachers to share out lesson planning in order to reduce workload.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
School staff receive training so they are able to identify any pupils who may be at risk of harm.
Leaders communicate frequently with staff to ensure that pupils get any help that they may need. Leaders seek advice and work effectively with external safeguarding partners. Leaders record details of meetings that they have and actions that they take.
Leaders and teachers use the school's personal development programme to ensure pupils are aware of risks in the local area. The programme includes single-sex assemblies for pupils so that they can discuss sensitive issues openly.
When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.
This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.
Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.
This is the first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in October 2017.
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