It’s been a year of progress and improvement for us here at Cedar Mount Academy. As previously reported, following a monitoring visit in May the Her Majesty’s Inspector of schools (HMI) heaped praise upon our rapidly improving school saying
“Since the principal’s arrival, the school has made strong progress towards the removal of special measures”.
Many positive comments including
“Mutually respectful relationships between staff and pupils contribute significantly to the vast improvement in pupils’ behaviour in lessons” and “Staff morale is high. Leaders, teachers and other adults in the school demonstrate a genuine and tangible commitment to their pupils” showed that we are progressing well.
On the back of this monitoring visit a full Ofsted inspection of the academy took place in early July. We are very pleased to report that we have moved out of special measures and inadequate status and we are now categorised as “requiring improvement”.
Whilst we recognise that further improvements need to be made and agree with Ofsted’s points, the improvement at the academy is clear to see and well documented in the report.
- The Principal has been in post for just over a year, his impact has reverberated around the school community. His expectations are high.
- The leadership and management of behaviour is strong
- Behaviour and attendance has improved significantly since the previous inspection.
- The vast majority of pupils behave extremely well and get along with their peers from very different backgrounds to themselves.
- Governance is transformed.
- The recently appointed Chief Executive Officer has brought a high level of challenge and a wealth of experience to support the school on a journey of rapid improvement.
- Senior leaders set high expectations for pupils’ achievement.
- Sport has radically improved since the previous inspection. Many pupils are enthused by the wealth of extra-curricular sport and the leadership opportunities it brings.
- The vast majority of parents feel that their child is safe in school and that bullying is dealt with effectively.
- Due to raised expectations, many pupils spoken to by inspectors say that they are looking forward to visiting university as they aspire to be doctors or lawyers.
One member of staff commented to the inspector:
‘This school has gone from strength to strength during the last two years after a very difficult time for everybody. There is a really good, strong ethos here, where staff and students care about each other and I feel very proud and privileged to work here at Cedar Mount and for this Trust’.
All the improvements and progress made by all of our staff and students, which has led the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) Vicky Beer to revoke the decision to take the academy away from our sponsor Bright Futures Educational Trust. In a recent letter to our Trust CEO Dr John Stephens she stated:-
“It was a pleasure to read such a positive report following Ofsted’s monitoring visit. Clearly you and your team at both the trust and school level are making improvements at the academy.”
We have also received a letter from Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, in which she writes: –
“I know that the progress your school has made is the result of hard work and commitment on the part of many people. It is clear that your high expectations for pupils and determination to improve their life chances, have created a really positive culture at Cedar Mount.”
We are delighted that this inspection recognised the excellent progress the academy has made in the last year. Students at Cedar Mount deserve the best teaching and learning and wider educational experiences and we are now offering these in most areas. We are determined to build on this outcome and continue to improve towards a good Ofsted performance rating in everything as soon as possible.