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Trinity Academy Halifax is an extremely vibrant and innovative school. The highly ambitious curriculum is carefully designed to ensure that all pupils develop important knowledge, regardless of their starting points.
This is particularly the case for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), who receive exceptional support from expert staff.
Leaders have very high expectations of pupils. Pupils are extremely well behaved.
Classrooms are calm places, where pupils focus fully on their learning. Bullying is rare, and if it does happen, pupils are confident that staff will address it quickly. Pupils show high levels of respect for each oth...er's differences.
They show a deep understanding of why tolerance is important in modern Britain.
Pupils' personal development is central to the school's ethos. Leaders ensure that pupils leave Trinity Academy Halifax with the knowledge, skills and attributes that they need to be successful in later life.
The curriculum extends beyond the academic to one which encourages wider personal achievement. The extensive programme of planned activities, such as 'graduation', 'competitive edge' and the 'Trinity challenge', develops pupils' character and resilience.
One pupil summed the school's offer up well, commenting, 'This school provides young people with the tools they need to succeed in school and in life.'
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The school promotes the aspirations of pupils through a rich and demanding curriculum that is highly ambitious for all pupils, including those with SEND. The school's recent actions to increase the number of pupils studying the English Baccalaureate have had a positive impact. Leaders relentlessly pursue excellence in the curriculum.
For example, they are refining the mathematics curriculum with ambitious, new approaches that are further enhancing pupils' learning and achievement.
The deep knowledge and skills that pupils are acquiring are not fully reflected in historical outcomes. This is because previous practices, such as sitting examinations in Year 10, affected published outcomes.
Leaders have mapped out the most important knowledge that pupils need to learn in each subject with precision and clarity. Teachers prioritise this knowledge. They have strong subject knowledge and teaching expertise that enable them to teach the curriculum extremely well.
They routinely present information clearly and check pupils' understanding regularly. They expertly identify and address any misconceptions. Teachers provide pupils with frequent opportunities to revisit previously taught content.
This helps pupils to remember more and to build detailed knowledge over time.
The school has established highly effective processes for identifying and supporting pupils with additional needs. Teachers and support staff receive precise information on how to support these pupils to access the same curriculum as their peers, which they do with success.
Leaders provide finely tuned training so that staff are very well equipped to meet the needs of pupils with SEND.
A high number of pupils enter the school without being able to read fluently. Leaders place a strong focus on ensuring that all pupils can read fluently and confidently.
Where pupils are at an early stage of learning to read, they benefit from specialist support from highly skilled staff through the school's 'nurture' curriculum. This provision also ensures that pupils quickly gain the knowledge and skills that they need to catch up and access the wider curriculum.
Pupils attend school regularly.
Where necessary, leaders work tenaciously with families to improve pupils' attendance. The school has clear behaviour and rewards systems that are understood by all members of the school community. The standards that leaders expect of pupils are exceptionally high.
In the wake of disruption to routines caused by the pandemic, the school faced a spike in incidents of poor behaviour. Leaders managed this in an assured and effective manner, maintaining the calm and safe school environment that enables pupils to benefit from the exceptional learning they receive.
Where pupils do not meet leaders' expectations there is a consistent approach to ensure learning is not disrupted.
Leaders recognise that some pupils need additional support to meet the high expectations that they set. As a result, there is a multilayered approach to supporting pupils. The quality of this approach is exceptional.
The array of programmes, such as the internal 'ARC' provision and 'engage' pathways, ensure that pupils who demonstrate the most challenging behaviour thrive and succeed in school. A small number of pupils access alternative provision. The school's oversight of these pupils is meticulous.
The school's commitment to the wider development of pupils is noteworthy. Pupils are ready for life in modern Britain because they learn about important issues such as consent, finance and the impact of alcohol misuse. They know how to look after their mental and physical health because leaders carefully plan opportunities for learning about this through 'curriculum for life' lessons.
Pupils can use the 'call it out' system to access the services of mental health professionals and high-quality pastoral support to help them when they are worried. A great number of pupils learn to be active citizens by participating in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. The school's career support and advice shows similar excellence.
School and trust leaders are tenacious in their desire to provide the absolute best quality of education for all pupils and to serve the local community. The school ensures that the most vulnerable pupils and families receive the support that they need. Wherever possible, the trust has centralised systems to allow school leaders to be able to focus on the pupils in their care.
Leaders provide a sharply honed professional development programme for staff that enables them to excel in their work and which promotes their wider development. Leaders review the impact of training regularly to ensure that it leads to sustained and continuous improvement in the quality of education. Staff feel that leaders are considerate of their workload and well-being.
They are proud to work at the school. One member of staff, reflecting the views of many others, told inspectors, 'We know we matter; we are supported and we are cared for.'
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
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