Sedgehill Academy was judged ‘Good’ across the board in its first Ofsted inspection since becoming an academy in 2020.
In their report, Inspectors praised the “journey of improvement” the school had been on since joining national group of schools United Learning in 2020 but were clear that leaders “remain ambitious” going forward.
The academy was described as a place where “pupils are happy” with a “strong sense of community”. Learning is supported by the “high expectations” of staff, who motivate students to work hard and provide valued support to them. This includes those with special educational needs (SEND) who are “well supported” in their individual needs.
Other areas of strength include the “well-considered curriculum”, teachers’ “strong subject knowledge” and the “disruption-free” environment for learning. This is supported by the academy’s achievements at GCSE this summer, where a fifth of students (21%) achieved the higher level of a grade 7 or above in both English and maths. Recent Progress 8 figures also show that average progress for students was strongly above average at +0.52, compared with other similar schools.
As Inspectors made clear, however, the focus on academic achievement at Sedgehill is supported by a varied programme of extracurricular activities as part of an ‘education with character’. This includes the chance for every student from Year 7 to 9 to learn a musical instrument, as well as many wider opportunities to get involved such as school plays, sporting fixtures and chess club.
Additionally, the report praised the work of the Sixth Form in preparing students for life after school, highlighting the “comprehensive careers programme” and “personalised support” for students’ future aspirations. This has been borne out in the quality of destinations achieved by Sixth Formers this summer, with many of them securing offers from top Russell Group institutions, including Queen Mary University of London, University of Birmingham and University of Nottingham.