Significant improvement in maths and English has been noted at Winton Community Academy by an Ofsted monitoring inspection.

This is the second monitoring inspection since December 2013 and Ofsted says the academy is making reasonable progress.

The inspection stated there was a significant improvement in the proportion of Year 11 students who made reasonable progress in English. The proportion of students who made reasonable progress in maths was similar to the previous year and is also near the national average.

The new principal, Nathan Thomas, who only started at the school in September said, “I am delighted that the hard work of students and staff has been recognised and Ofsted can see that Winton is making the first footsteps to the outstanding school the community deserves. There’s a real momentum in the Academy with absolute commitment from all stakeholders to rapidly get the school back to being a centre of academic excellence in the community. The community in Andover have very fond memories of the school they went to. And I know that the community want Winton to return to the good school it once was and for that journey to begin.”

Nathan Thomas’ input since he started at the school was hailed by inspectors in the report. They said ‘he has set a very clear direction and is entirely focused upon improving achievement and ensuring that teaching is of a much higher quality.’ They also stated that ‘he has a very accurate understanding of the academy’s strengths and weaknesses and how these need to be addressed’.

The report says that the quality of teaching has been a major priority for the academy and there is a genuine desire among staff to improve their practice.

Ofsted say: ‘In the more effective lessons teachers provide activities and tasks which excite students’ curiosity and which challenge them to think. Through careful planning and consideration of the students’ known starting points, teachers structure the lessons so that students make rapid progress.’

However, despite this progress the report states that: The academy is well aware that in too many lessons the rate at which students make progress is not fast enough.’

In the classrooms students report that behaviour in lessons has improved considerably. They say the Principal is always visible in the corridors, classrooms or playground and expects good behaviour and this has had a positive impact. The new behaviour system has reduced the number of incidents and there have been no exclusions this term.

During the inspection the vast majority of students were polite, courteous, opened doors and spoken openly to the inspectors. In lessons, most wanted to learn and were interested in their subjects.

“We know there are still things we need to do but progress is being made and the journey has begun,” said Nathan Thomas.

Amanda Tarbart Chair of Governors added,”There has been a real and measurable step change at Winton and this can be felt by all involved with the school including Ofsted. We are focused on rapid improvement to ensure the best outcomes for our students, who will always be the centre of everything we do. There is much to do but the governing body and the staff team are tackling the challenge with determination and rigor.”

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