Ofsted recognises improvements & good provision at Hall Park Academy

Hall Park Academy is an improving school with several areas of good provision and practice, Ofsted inspectors have reported following a visit just before the Easter holidays.

The inspection team observed a wide range of improvements in areas such as SEND provision, curriculum planning, safeguarding and the range of enrichment opportunities available to pupils. This led Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector to raise the school’s judgement by one level – from category 4 to category 3, saying she was ‘of the opinion that the school no longer requires significant improvement.’

Ofsted spent two days at the Eastwood school in March this year, where they visited lessons, looked at pupils’ work and spoke to a wide range of stakeholders including pupils, parents, teachers, leaders and governors.

The inspection team said that Hall Park Academy had good leadership and management, acknowledging the work that senior leaders continue to do in partnership with the school’s sponsor, Redhill Academy Trust. The report reads: “Together, senior leaders are focused on the right priorities to improve the school”.

Inspectors said that ‘pupils know that staff have high expectations of what they can achieve.’ They also acknowledged that the curriculum was ‘well planned’, noting that ‘most pupils engage well with their learning because they want to be successful’.

The latest report also recognises that ‘most pupils enjoy coming to school and get on well with staff’, ‘most pupils are polite, well behaved and feel safe in school’, and that ‘pupils readily contribute to the wider life of the school and its local community’.

Hall Park’s successful Sixth Form, where almost all students go on to study at university, college or do an apprenticeship, was also praised for its ‘broad range of subjects’ and the support students receive from ‘knowledgeable staff.’ ‘These students have positive attitudes towards their studies and attend well,’ the report reads. ‘Students enjoy their increasing independence and responsibilities,’ said inspectors, adding that they clearly enjoyed being role models for younger pupils.

Headteacher David Crossley welcomed the report, saying: “We are pleased that the report recognises the progress that the school has made since inspectors lasted visited, just two terms ago. This is the culmination of much hard work by staff and students. We remain focussed on our improvement priorities to deliver the high standard of education that our students and local community deserve.”

Executive Headteacher Stephanie Dyce added: “It is good to see that inspectors have acknowledged the strength of leadership at Hall Park, recognising that the team are in a good position to continue to move the school forward. We will continue to build on the strengths highlighted in the report such as the successful sixth form, provision for SEND students and the high quality of the personal development curriculum.”

The latest Ofsted inspection took place on 30th and 31st March 2022.

The inspection was intended as a Section 8 monitoring visit, but was upgraded to a full Section 5 inspection, as inspectors found standards to have improved.

Ofsted has carried out several monitoring visits at Hall Park Academy since its last full inspection in December when the school received a Level 4 rating.

Listed below are further comments made by inspectors following the recent Ofsted inspection:

  • Trust leaders and governors work in partnership to challenge and support school leaders.
  • Staff benefit from training available through the trust and opportunities to work with other colleagues. They say that leaders are mindful of their well-being and workload when making changes.
  • The curriculum is well planned. Teachers have thought carefully about what pupils should learn and by when in each subject.
  • Pupils appreciate the wide range of enrichment activities on offer.
  • Pupils enjoy reading. They are proud to wear their ‘reading millionaire badges’, for participating in the reading programme.
  • They value the support they get planning their next steps when they leave school.
  • The number of incidents of poor behaviour has reduced since the pandemic began.
  • Pupils learn about personal, social and health issues. They consider what it means to be a good citizen [and] understand why it is important to be tolerant of others.
  • Bullying is resolved when staff know it is happening. New strategies are beginning to make a difference.
  • The provision for pupils with SEND is improving.
  • The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

About Hall Park Academy

  • Hall Park Academy is an ambitious, thriving comprehensive school at the heart of Eastwood, Nottingham, with a growing intake of students.
  • The school’s ethos is built around high expectations and a commitment to raising the achievement of all students.
  • The school has approximately 910 students on roll aged 11 - 18, including the Sixth Form.
  • In 2014 the school joined Redhill Academy Trust.