Praise for inclusive academy in Doncaster town

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The caring, compassionate and inclusive ethos of a Thorne school is having a positive impact on students’ engagement, behaviour and attitudes to learning, inspectors have reported.

Trinity Academy’s distinctive Christian vision, established and promoted by leadership at all levels is rated as “excellent” in enabling both pupils and adults to flourish.

The Section 48 statutory inspection by the Department for Education investigated the academy specifically in relation to its Christian ethos within the Emmanuel Schools Foundation.

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New principal Victoria Gibson took over in September and was praised for showing “strongly focused and compassionate leadership” and for providing stability during a period of significant change.

Trinity AcademyTrinity Academy
Trinity Academy

Inspectors said the academy was “confidently moving forward”.

Its ethos, supported by an “excellent” programme for collective worship, is understood and lived out by staff and students with a vision and key virtues that are based on Christian teaching and are inclusive of those from all faiths and none.

The virtues, that include fairness, courage and humility, support the personal and character development of students and are connected effectively to their academic attainment.

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The virtues are relevant to all, irrespective of their religious or non-religious background. Students are aware that they “are not exclusively reserved for Christians” but that ‘they are a good way to live’ and that ‘they are about being a better human being’.

The programme of collective worship is sensitive to the fact that many within the academy do not identify as Christian and is “exemplary” in balancing the challenges of Christian teaching and practice with secular world views.

Changes to the Key Stage 3 curriculum have improved students’ engagement and most students make at least good progress from their starting points on entry to the academy. The academy has “exemplary” pastoral systems.

Students in the sixth form make excellent progress with the vast majority going into work or onto apprenticeships or university.

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Figures for those not in education, employment or training on leaving the academy are well below national and local averages and “are evidence of commendable practice and support for sixth form students”.

The academy’s very high aspirations for all its students is manifested in focused strategies for improving progress. In particular these are addressing the need for improvement among students with special educational needs or from deprived backgrounds who are set ambitious targets and provided with further academic support.

Recognising the different gifts, talents and interests of individuals, the academy offers a good range of extra-curricular opportunities.

Mrs Gibson said: “We are very encouraged by the inspectors’ report that reflects their understanding of Trinity Academy and all that our dedicated staff team are doing to develop the engagement, attainment and the character of our students.

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“Opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are embedded in our Christian ethos as we instil in our young people the importance of service and the positive role they can bring to their communities.

“There is still work to do, of course, and I and my team are committed to bringing about positive outcomes for all of our students.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Dominic Brown, editor.

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