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Holy Trinity Catholic Voluntary Academy, Newark, rated Good by Ofsted, despite reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete disruption

A school managed to achieve a ‘good’ inspection rating despite disruption caused by the removal of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

Holy Trinity Catholic Voluntary Academy, Boundary Road, Newark, was one of many schools and public buildings across the country found to be affected by RAAC — and between September 2023 to February 2024 the vast majority of the school was run out of temporary buildings and a marquee.

Despite this, when Ofsted inspectors visited the primary school in March they found it good in all areas — quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and early years provision.

Holy Trinity Catholic Voluntary Academy celebrate their Good Ofsted report.
Holy Trinity Catholic Voluntary Academy celebrate their Good Ofsted report.

Inspectors noted “virtues of respect, resilience, reconciliation, care, compassion and courage” carry through everything at the school, and pupils say they “help them to work hard, be good friends and get the most out of being at school”.

One pupil said: “This is a fun place where memories are made”, the report explained.

Pupils also have a variety of roles and responsibilities, and were seen to take them seriously and wear their badges with pride.

They include being Respect Rangers, Agents for Change, International Ambassadors, Take 5 Ambassadors and Peer Mentors, among others.

Behaviour at the school was said to be “highly positive”, with children having the opportunity to earn awards and house points in reward. The report added: “Pupils know that the ‘Holy Trinity Way’ expects them to show smart sitting, use magnet eyes, have hands still and be ready to listen and learn.”

The relationship between staff and students was also reported to be positive, with pupils’ views “listened to and acted upon”.

In terms of education, the school’s phonics programme, reading curriculum and Book Club were praised as being comprehensive and well organised, and helping children “develop a love of reading”, and it was found to have good support and allowance for independence for pupils with SEND and a “meticulously planned and sequenced curriculum” for early years children.

A “broad range of experiences that contribute to developing pupils’ cultural awareness” are also provided, and staff were found to be well trained to deliver personal social and health education.

The report noted that while the school’s curriculum is well planned and sequenced, there are some improvements to be made.

It stated: “In the vast majority of cases, pupils have an impressive recall of what they have learned. However, there are some minor inconsistencies in how well the curriculum is taught.

“In a small number of cases, teachers do not teach the curriculum in its entirety. In other cases, the lessons that teachers plan do not align sharply enough to what is set out in the curriculum. As a result, in a small number of places, pupils do not know and remember what they should.”

Another opportunity for improvement was found in the monitoring of learning of pupils who speak English as an additional language — although they are “well catered for in lessons”.

Leadership was praised in the report, which stated: “Leaders have created a united staff team. During recent, critical building works, the leadership of the school has showed true grit and determination. They united the school’s community to minimise the impact of the disruption this has caused.”

The school was also found to be in a much better position for national assessments, after low outcomes in 2023 due to the turbulence of covid-19 and high level of pupils leaving and joining the school during the year.

The school is part of Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Multi Academy Trust.

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