Hastings school makes ‘significant and rapid’ improvements, says Ofsted

A school has made ‘significant and rapid’ improvements, Ofsted said in its latest inspection.

Ark Alexandra, in Park Avenue, was judged as ‘good’ in four areas, namely leadership and management, pupil behaviour, personal development, and the sixth form.

The quality of education was judged as ‘requires improvement’.

In their report, Ofsted inspectors said: “Pupils are happy with the range of subjects that they have. Leaders recognise, however, that there is still more to do to widen choice. For instance, only Year 7 pupils have music on their timetable currently. Leaders have worked hard to ensure that sixth-form students have a wide choice of courses.

Liam Collins, principal of Ark Alexandra SUS-211213-110623001

“Overall, pupils behave well in the school. There is a calm and ordered atmosphere in lessons. Pupils and staff have had a great deal of upheaval following the merger two years ago. The school is now growing in strength.

“Leaders have made significant and rapid improvements to the content of the curriculum. Subject leads have looked carefully at their plans. They have sequenced the content correctly. This helps pupils to build up their knowledge successfully.

Teachers are much clearer about what precisely they want their pupils to learn. They are also increasingly clear about what gaps pupils have in their learning. This thorough approach to assessment extends into the sixth form.

“Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes have improved. Parents, pupils, staff and governors all agree that there has been a significant shift. Pupils behave well in class and respect their teachers.

“There is very little disruption to learning. Pupils respect the rules. Their attendance at school is improving.”

Liam Collins, principal, said: “I feel very proud of our school. Ofsted has seen how far our school has come and recognises the great work we are doing, especially through a challenging period over the last 18 months.

“All staff are committed to improving the quality of education for all our students, and we remain passionate and motivated.”

Lorraine Clarke, regional director, said: “We are really pleased Ofsted identified that the ‘new leadership has clearly taken the school forward and is now growing in strength’.

“The quality of education for our students continues to be our focus and although it still requires improvement, I am delighted that the inspectors have recognised that the leadership team is making ‘significant and rapid improvements to the curriculum’ and that we have a ‘clear strategy’ moving forward.”

The inspection took place on November 3 and 4 and looked at how the school has progressed since its predecessor school, William Parker joined with Helenswood.