Byron Wood Primary Academy celebrates Ofsted “Good” in all categories

++ Astrea CEO hails “extraordinary achievement” ++

++ Inspectors praise “strong leadership” ++

A Sheffield academy that had been recognised as being “Requires Improvement” before joining the Astrea Academy Trust is today celebrating a “Good” judgement from Ofsted.

Byron Wood Primary Academy joined the Astrea Academy Trust in August 2016. At the time inspectors had concerns over the quality of teaching at the school, while pupils are now described as making good progress and engaging positively in learning across a range of subjects and activities.

Today, Ofsted publishes it’s first report since Byron Wood joined the Astrea family and concludes the academy is “Good”. In particular, Ofsted notes that the strong leadership, in both the school and the academy trust, motivates staff and provides well-understood systems and strategies that help school improvement. Most notably:

  • The curriculum planned by leaders takes into account the social backgrounds and community context of pupils and families. For example, each year pupils learn about life in Sheffield, building their knowledge year on year and gaining an understanding of the benefits and challenges of their local area.
  • The academy trust and school leaders have established clear procedures that everyone understands, from keeping pupils safe to improving pupils’ academic outcomes and behaviour, therefore pupils are safe and know what is expected of them.
  • An emphasis on developing pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding is helping to prepare pupils for their lives ahead and to be good citizens. Adults set high expectations of, and model consistently, good manners, respect and a positive approach to school life. Pupils follow their lead.
  • Leaders have made improvement in reading a priority, especially as the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is much higher than the national average.
  • Leaders have reviewed their approach to managing unacceptable behaviour and have put in place clear systems to encourage pupils to behave well.
  • The new early years leader has put in place a number of systems and new policies, as well as helpful documents for parents to support whole families in their transition to school life.

The report highlights that the breakfast club – which is free to all – is well attended. The inspector notes that the atmosphere is calm and positive as staff and pupils work and play together. The breakfast club has had a positive impact on pupils’ attendance and punctuality.

Ofsted notes that pupils make strong progress over their time in school and leave well prepared for the next stage of their education. The majority of pupils, and a higher proportion than national, reach the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics by the end of Year 6. Provisional results for 2019 suggest that this success continues.

Bee Wood, Principal of Byron wood Primary Academy, part of the Astrea Academy Trust, said:

“This “Good” judgement is a true testament to all the hard work and commitment of all our staff and pupils. It is wonderful that Ofsted has recognised our significant improvements. The whole school has come together, with the support of Astrea, to focus on every single one of our pupils and their specific needs. I am truly proud of everyone at Byron Wood who has made this a reality for our children.”

Libby Nicholas, Chief Executive of Astrea Academy Trust said:

“Turning around a school around is no easy task – it is an extraordinary achievement to go from being recognised as “Requires Improvement” before joining Astrea to “Good” today. Most importantly though, these significant improvements mean that our promise to provide an education that inspires beyond measure is coming true for Byron Wood Primary Academy pupils. Today’s Ofsted judgement marks an important further step towards that – huge congratulations to Bee Wood and her inspirational team for all of their hard work and determination.”