Trinity Academy, Halifax

Name Trinity Academy, Halifax
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 09 July 2013
Address Shay Lane, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX2 9TZ
Phone Number 01422244890
Type Secondary
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1773 (49% boys 51% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 12.3
Academy Sponsor Trinity Multi Academy Trust
Local Authority Calderdale
Percentage Free School Meals 25.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 4.2%
Persisitent Absence 11.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 10.4%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Trinity Academy opened on the outskirts of North Halifax in September 2010 in the former buildings of the predecessor school, Holy Trinity Senior School and moved to new, purpose-built school buildings nearby in September 2012. The Principal of Trinity Academy has been in post since it opened but has acted as Executive Principal since February 2012. Trinity Academy is much bigger than the average secondary school. Children who live in the local community of North Halifax are given preference in admissions to the academy and virtually all of the current students come from this local area. The academy has a Church of England foundation but admission is not restricted to children or parents of Christian faith. The academy has four sponsors as partners: the Diocese of Wakefield as lead partner; the University of Huddersfield; Calderdale College and Calderdale Council. The academy educates students between the ages of 11 and 18. The sixth form is known as Phase 3. There are 1202 students on roll; of these 195 are in Phase 3. A quarter of students are known to be eligible for free school meals; this is broadly in line with the average for secondary schools. The proportion of students who are disabled or who have special educational needs is higher than average. The proportion of students who are classed by the academy as requiring support from school action is around one in six. The proportion at school action plus or who have a statement of special educational needs, for whom specific programmes have been drawn up, is just over one in ten. These figures are also more than typically found nationally. All disabled students and those who have special educational needs are in contact at some stage with a specially resourced unit in the academy. Around 40 students are taught for part of their timetable in a ‘nurture group’ provision. The academy has received pupil premium funds for one quarter of the students in Years 7 to 11. This proportion is higher than typically found. The pupil premium is additional supporting those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and those children who are looked after by the local authority. Forty new teaching staff will join the academy in September 2013. Of these, 15 had started in the week or day before this inspection, as part of their induction. All students had moved up a year group the week prior to the inspection. Consequently, many teachers were teaching new classes of students for the first or second time. The academy meets the government’s current floor standards which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. In three years, the academy has grown into a vibrant, highly successful school that is an asset to the North Halifax community. The academy makes the most of its splendid new buildings. Leaders have ensured rapid improvement in the quality of teaching and in students’ achievement. Teaching is now outstanding. Teachers are highly enthusiastic and continually strive to improve their skills. Students’ achievement is high. Students in all years make rapid gains in their learning. Current work shows that students reach above average standards, following a strong push on developing their literacy skills. The academy adds high value to the achievements of those students who are disabled or have special educational needs. The curriculum supports learning well, drawing highly effectively on interactive technologies. It is well-balanced, promoting students’ personal development alongside their basic skills. Students’ behaviour and safety, including the arrangements the academy makes for safeguarding, are excellent. The atmosphere for learning is very purposeful, but enjoyable. The sixth form is still developing but is good, with improving scores in examinations and courses that better meet students’ needs. The Principal’s leadership has been a significant factor in the academy’s success. He empowers a highly-skilled senior leadership team and has the whole staff on board. Robust performance management systems reward and encourage staff at all levels to ensure that students succeed. Self-evaluation is strong and accurate. Leaders recognise that they need to refine their systems for checking up on the progress of disabled students or those who have special educational needs. Pupil premium funding is used very effectively to narrow the gap between the rates of progress of different groups of students. The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the students is outstanding.