May 3, 2022
Northern Education Trust is immensely proud to announce that Dyke House Academy has been judged by Ofsted to be an Outstanding school in all categories, following its inspection on 15 and 16 March 2022. Previously rated Good, the academy has achieved the Outstanding rating thanks to the relentless determination of senior leaders in the school and the Trust, and the support of Trustees and governors.
Student conduct is superb
Inspectors were hugely impressed with the quality of education delivered, the behaviour and attitudes of students and their development, the leadership and management of the academy, and the sixth form provision. They noted the genuine warmth between staff and students, saying: “The impact of this strong relationship is tangible. Student conduct is superb. The school is calm and orderly and students feel safe.”
Success is celebrated every day in this school
Inspectors also noted the many daily ways in which the academy celebrates student success, saying: “The corridors echo with the sound of students applauding each other’s achievements in lessons. Weekly PROUD events give students the chance to show off their work. Students are keen to tell visitors about what they have accomplished in school that day – they take immense pride in their studies.” These successes are as a result of students rising to the challenge of ‘make your best even better’, with leaders placing no limits on what students can achieve.
Students behave exceptionally well and are a credit to themselves
The strong community spirit of the school was very apparent to Inspectors, with students being encouraged to become active citizens, and many students supporting local charities. Inspectors noted the success of the peer mentoring in place, where year 7 students are helped to settle into school, and sixth form students are proud to help younger students with their reading. As one parent commented: “Dyke House is much more than just a school – it is at the heart of the community.”
Exceptionally well-designed curriculum
Inspectors were pleased to find that leaders have established a curriculum that inspires students, with high ambition for all. They noted many examples of how students built their knowledge over time, and how they were supported to deepen their understanding of subjects, for example, by reading extracts from Harry Potter novels in Spanish. They also noted the central importance of reading, saying: “There is a breadth of reading programmes for students. Students who need help are swiftly identified and given the right support to catch up quickly; students who are more confident readers are nurtured to develop a love of reading. Students are more engaged in their lessons because their reading ability has been strengthened by this work.”
Students with SEND are carefully considered
Inspectors found that students with SEND achieved remarkably well in all key stages. This is due to the accurate identification of individual students’ needs, and the right support then being put in place, with skilful adaptations to lessons being made by teachers, depending on the needs of the individual student.
Sixth form students are exceptionally passionate about their experience
Sixth form students told inspectors that they feel the school goes above and beyond to provide bespoke support to them. A high proportion progress to Russell Group universities, benefitting greatly from the work placements and visits to university masterclasses.
Leadership is strong at all levels
Inspectors found that Trustees hold leaders to account, and pay close attention to the most vulnerable students, ensuring leaders remain sharply focused on ensuring that all students achieve their best. They commented that: “Leadership is strong at all levels, with staff universally buying into leaders’ vision and everyone pulling in the same direction. Staff value the high-quality training they receive, and this professional development has a material impact on the quality of education in the school.”
Adam Palmer, Principal of Dyke House Academy, and ex-student of the school, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Ofsted have recognised the incredible efforts that have been made to improve our school. We have high aspirations for every single one of our students, regardless of their background or ability, believing they can all reach their potential with our support. Our wonderful, dedicated staff are fully committed to improving the life chances of our magnificent students, and I am so pleased that Ofsted could see that through the caring, inclusive culture of the academy, and the quality of education provided.”
Rob Tarn, Chief Executive of Northern Education Trust, added: “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved for our students at Dyke House Academy. The Trust and senior leaders at the academy have been determined to provide the best education possible for our incredible students, which we have achieved with the support of our phenomenal staff, the parents and carers of our students and our trustees and governors. Ofsted’s recognition of this in its Outstanding rating is testimony to the school improvement model we now have in place for all academies within the Trust. My heartfelt thanks go to our students, their families, staff, Trustees and governors for their commitment and support which have all contributed to this magnificent achievement”.