The Royal Harbour Academy


Name The Royal Harbour Academy
Website http://www.rha.kent.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 08 January 2020
Address Newlands Lane, Ramsgate, CT12 6RH
Phone Number 01843572500
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 869 (48% boys 52% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 15.9
Local Authority Kent
Percentage Free School Meals 38%
Percentage English is Not First Language 10.6%
Persisitent Absence 14.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 8.5%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No
Highlights from Latest Inspection:

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy at The Royal Harbour Academy (RHA). They recognise the improvements that have been made and appreciate the care and concern that staff demonstrate for them day in, day out. Pupils speak extremely positively about the way there is always someone looking out for them. This helps them to feel safe.

There is a real sense of purpose and ambition embedding at the school. Pupils have responded well to this. They behave well and work hard. Sixth-form students are impressive role models for the whole community.

Pupils also enjoy the wide range of extra-curricular activities and work-related learning provided. For example, they enjoy enterprise tasks and learning to challenge each other in a constructive manner. Pupils show high levels of respect and consideration and say that bullying is not an issue at the school.

Leaders have improved the quality of education overall. However, these improvements are not yet secure in all subjects and for all pupils. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do not receive the support leaders intend they should in all lessons. While pupils’ published outcomes at GCSE remain too low, sixth-form students do well.

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

Leaders have continued to improve RHA. They have created a positive environment where pupils are confident and proud of their learning. There is an exciting focus on pupils’ futures. Staff work hard to provide a wide range of meaningful opportunities. For example, ethics and philosophy lessons challenge pupils to explore moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views about them.

Pupils display positive attitudes to their studies. They recognise the dedication of staff and feel valued. Those pupils who have struggled to manage their own behaviour in the past have been supported very effectively. They are proud of the improvements they have achieved and are adamant that their success is due to the relentless care and concern of the whole staff. Overall, a very positive and respectful culture runs through the school.

Leaders have structured the curriculum according to the needs of pupils. They have developed an innovative approach for lower-school pupils. A single teacher delivers grouped national curriculum subjects, for example English and history. This allows more emphasis to be put on improving literacy and numeracy. Leaders have made good use of the expertise of primary colleagues in the Coastal Academies Trust (CAT). This has helped staff to identify and fill any gaps in pupils’ knowledge. Teachers routinely help pupils to recall their knowledge and apply it to their new learning.

Pupils in Year 9 follow a more traditional approach. Each subject is taught discretely before they pick their GCSEs for key stage 4. Historically, leaders have not ensured that pupils continue with the range of subjects that cover the breadth of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). Instead, they offered vocational and other qualifications they felt were more suited to pupils’ needs. Leaders are changing their approach as the school changes. They intend for all pupils to have the broad and ambitious curriculum that will allow them to select EBacc subjects.

In many subjects, for example English and design and technology, the curriculum is well planned. Learning activities are designed so that pupils build their knowledge and skills systematically. However, this is not the case in all subjects, for example key stage 4 science. Senior leaders make good use of the support from CAT to help develop subject and other middle leaders. There is still work to do to roll this support out to secure further improvements.

Even where leaders have planned the curriculum well, it is not yet delivered as they intend for all pupils. This is particularly the case for pupils with SEND. Leaders provide a variety of support and training to develop teachers’ subject knowledge and teaching skills. This development is not yet embedded consistently and so has not had the intended impact. Some teachers do not consistently use the strategies suggested by the special educational needs coordinator (SENCo). Consequently, while the quality of education has improved, it is still too variable, especially in key stage 4 and for pupils with SEND.

The sixth form continues to be good. Sixth form students are ambitious and determined. They continue to do well in their studies and benefit from the well-designed programmes of study. These help them to develop detailed knowledge and gain the qualifications they need for their next steps, be they in education, employment or training. In contrast to other key stages, students with SEND do particularly well due to the well-considered support they receive.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The care and concern that staff show for pupils and their families are informed by ongoing training and strong communication. Staff are well informed and know about safeguarding issues relevant to the local area. They follow the agreed processes for reporting any concerns about pupils.

Pupils are confident that staff will listen to them and take them seriously if they have any worries. They learn about how to identify risk and keep themselves safe, including online and in the local community.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Leaders have a clear and ambitious vision for the quality of education for pupils at RHA. Most subjects have well-planned approaches to ensuring that pupils learn what they need to in order to achieve well. However, these good intentions are not consistently realised across each subject area, especially in key stage 4. In order to improve pupils’ achievement across the curriculum, leaders need to continue to support staff to develop their subject and pedagogical knowledge. Teachers need to deliver the curriculum as leaders intend. . Some subject and other middle leaders have benefited from training provided by CAT. Senior leaders need to support and train leaders at all levels so they deliver further changes to the curriculum and teaching quickly and securely. . Support for pupils with SEND is too variable. The SENCo provides some information for teachers but this is not used consistently. Some staff say they need more training. Teachers need to have and use strategies to support pupils with SEND so that their needs are met across the curriculum.