Darren Gelder, Principal of Grace Academy, is celebrating the Academy’s recent ‘Good’ Ofsted rating with staff, parents, and students, after an inspection in March.
Darren has already overseen a dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the Academy since he joined as the new Principal in 2014, after putting tough action plans in place to achieve a rapid improvement in the Academy’s performance.
GCSE results have improved over the past two years and, last year, the Academy achieved its best ever results after an outstanding 70% of students attained A* to C grades in GCSE English and Maths, a rise of 33% since 2014.
The number of students gaining both English and Maths GCSE has doubled over the past two years, thanks to the hard work and commitment of staff and students, making the Academy one of the most improved schools in the region for the second year running, and the highest attaining in the area.
On hearing the news about the latest ‘Good’ Ofsted rating, Darren said it was a justifiably deserved and amazing outcome for the Academy, and he added.
“We have, as an Academy, focused on getting it right in lessons and putting the students at the forefront of everything we do. This was recognised by the outstanding judgement Ofsted gave the Academy in the Personal Welfare and Development section of their inspection.
“Every single member of the teaching and non-teaching staff have contributed to the outcome we have achieved. I would also like to thank parents and carers for their continued support and belief that we could make the Academy what it is today; one of the highest performing and best Academies to attend in the region.”
The Grace Academy Trust has always considered it important to address the development of the whole student through a range of extra-curricular activities, and is in a position to give additional support in developing the whole person.
In the recent March inspection, Ofsted highlighted several areas for particular praise including strong Governance, an inclusive culture where pupils and staff feel valued and proud to be a part of the school community, the outstanding personal development and welfare of pupils, and consistent systems to effectively drive improvements in pupils’ progress.
Other areas highlighted by Ofsted were well-behaved pupils and well-planned teacher-training. The Academy continues to benefit from on-going support from parents and, commenting on the continued improvements at the Academy, parent Louise Jeyes said:
“I have always thought highly of the teaching and support staff at Grace Academy. My children are doing extremely well and I feel they have all their needs met in all aspects of school life… Staff are always approachable and helpful. The school is having a makeover which can only benefit students now and in the future. Go Grace Academy!
Student Layla Molloy Year 10, added:
“It is definitely deserved because since I have been here I have seen the school improve so much. Behaviour in lessons and around school is much better. Also there is real mutual respect between students and teachers. In my lessons the overall amount that we are learning each week has improved a lot.”