Ofsted: Pilgrim Academy Judged 'Good' After Joining Tollbar Multi Academy Trust

Senior staff and pupils celebrate the 'Good' Ofsted report at Pilgrim Academy. They are: Mrs Carolyn France (Assistant Principal); Miss Kayleigh Plumtree (Vice Principal); Mr David Hampson (Chief Executive, Tollbar Multi Academy Trust); Mr Andrew Clark (Executive Head); Miss Julia Somerscales (Assistant Principal). Children, Back Row l-r: Brooke Smith, Brooke Fleming, Robert Buzea, and JJ Chase. Front Row: Ben Searby, Chloe Steward, Zayne Khan and Grace Elliott.

Pilgrim Academy in Immingham has been judged 'Good' across the board by Ofsted, less than three years after it opened as a member of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust.

The previous school, Allerton Primary, had been judged to require improvement, following inspections in 2013 and 2016, prior to it joining the Trust and becoming Pilgrim Academy in April 2017.

This is the first full Ofsted inspection since the Academy opened and it was judged 'Good' in all areas including: the Quality of Education; Behaviour and Attitudes; Personal Development; Leadership and Management; and Early Years provision.

Andy Clark, Principal of Pilgrim Academy, said today: "I am absolutely delighted with the findings of the inspection team. The Academy has significantly improved since becoming part of Tollbar MAT in April 2017. A number of staff have been part of this journey from the beginning and there has been further new teaching strength added by the MAT. I would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication.

"I am so pleased for and proud of our children. They are fantastic and a credit to us and their families. I hope that the inspection findings will be a massive boost to the local area and Immingham as a whole, as we continue to contribute to the town's drive to provide excellence for the young people of Immingham."

The report describes Pilgrim Academy as "a friendly school where pupils feel safe and happy." It says pupils talk positively about recent improvements at the school, including the things they learn in lessons.

The inspector says the new Headteacher and new Senior Leaders have made lots of positive changes which have helped to improve the quality of education at the Academy. As a result of this, teaching has improved so that pupils are making good progress.

He points out that "there has been a determined effort to improve pupils' learning and progress in reading, writing and Mathematics, particularly across Key Stage 2."

He adds: "Pupils behaviour and attitudes to learning have improved and classrooms are typically calm and well-ordered places to learn.

“Leaders have led a drive to improve the teaching of reading: new resources, staff training and a clear programme for teaching phonics have all helped to improve pupils' reading across the school. The phonics programme is carefully followed and any pupils who fall behind are identified quickly so that they can be given extra help to catch up."

In Maths, the report says "a coherent and embedded plan helps teachers to build pupils' knowledge and skills over time. Teachers' good subject knowledge is used well to explain new ideas and effective questioning is used to check pupils' understanding.

The Academy's introduction of a new curriculum planned around termly themes in some subjects has, he says, "led to well thought out sequences of work in some subjects." He adds that there is still room for improvement here with further training for teachers required.

The report says pupils with special education needs and/or disabilities are included well in the life of the school.

Early Years has been a strong feature of the Academy, following excellent leadership over the last number of years. Pupils have consistently achieved above the national level for those who have reached a good level of development. As the report recognises: "The Early Years curriculum has been well developed to interest and engage children. A wide range of well-planned activities capture their imagination. Children in Nursery and Reception are well looked after and behave well. They benefit from daily Mathematics and phonics sessions. Consequently, they are well prepared for their move into Year 1."

The report says the Academy still has areas in which it can improve, and highlights attendance as one of those areas, whilst acknowledging the "raft of actions" taken. The inspector advises leaders to review and refine the attendance procedures to ensure greater impact.

Mr Clark said: "As you would expect, the inspection was extremely rigorous. During the two days, the three inspectors visited parts of lessons on over 40 occasions. In addition to speaking to children during lessons, more than 50 children were spoken to separately, in small meetings with inspectors, where they listened to the children read; looked at their books; and asked them a wide range of questions, covering aspects such as safeguarding; behaviour; teaching and enrichment opportunities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the parents and our wider families for their continued support and their contributions during the actual visit.

"The new government framework, which focuses heavily on the curriculum, has meant a real change in direction for primary schools across the country and, in some areas, we still have some work to do, particularly in terms of providing even more training and learning opportunities for some of our curriculum leaders. I am fully aware that there are always improvements to be made, and that process began the day after we received our excellent feedback. As the report indicates, improvements in the curriculum have been rapid and significant and will continue to go from strength to strength – we are all very excited about where we can take the Academy.

"This report recognises everything we have done and will now continue to do – our drive is to become outstanding."

David Hampson, Chief Executive of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust, said today: "I am extremely proud of the outcomes of the staff and pupils of Pilgrim Academy. This once again reflects my belief that given the appropriate support accompanied by the raising of aspirations, all children can succeed. We need to build on this success, to ensure the Academy outcomes progress even further."

Philip Bond, Chair of TMAT, said: "The Trust is delighted with the 'Good' rating from Ofsted. When Pilgrim first joined us it was regarded as a school that was failing its students. So much work has been done by the Trust and its staff to completely re-energise the school, and this acknowledgement by Ofsted is a tribute to the hard work that has been put in by everyone to turn the school around."

Year 6 Teacher Stephen Lond in the classroom at the Academy where Ofsted says the quality of education has improved wholeheartedly under the guidance of Tollbar Multi Academy Trust.

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Pilgrim Academy Principal

Andrew Clark BA.

Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson