‘Significantly improved’ primary academy in Doncaster celebrates good Ofsted

Hexthorpe Primary Academy, part of Astrea Academy Trust, is continuing its upwards rise after being rated as “Good” overall in its latest Ofsted inspection and heralded as a “happy and welcoming school”.
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The report, which has just been published, said that “pupils thrive in the family atmosphere of this nurturing school”, that they “behave well” and are “safe” and that bullying is “rare” and dealt with “swiftly and fairly” if it does happen.

The culture of the school and how well it serves its local community was also praised by Ofsted with staff commended for “knowing all pupils and families individually” and “taking pride in working together to meet the needs of their diverse community”.

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Inspectors also recognised the work which has gone into improving academic standards at Hexthorpe with “significant changes to the curriculum” at the school including “prioritising” maths and reading “from the early years to Year 6”.

Hexthorpe primary academy celebrates good Ofsted.Hexthorpe primary academy celebrates good Ofsted.
Hexthorpe primary academy celebrates good Ofsted.

They also praised the school for setting “high expectations for pupils’ learning”, for having staff who “want all pupils to do well” and pupils who not only “enjoy learning” but also “know how the knowledge they learn in different subjects will help them in everyday life”.

Inspectors also recognised that since Hexthorpe was rated as “requires improvement” in January 2020, significant work has gone into improving the school “with the support and

expertise of the trust it is part of”.

Jeni Harrison, Principal of Hexthorpe Primary Academy, said: “A lot of dedicated work has gone into improving Hexthorpe from everyone in our school community from Astrea, our family of schools, to our leadership team and staff and, of course, not least from our parents and carers.

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“We serve a diverse community here in Hexthorpe and I am very proud that the Ofsted inspectors noted that there are “positive relationships between staff, pupils and parents and

carers” which “ensure everyone is valued and included” with our pupils “showing respect” and being “accepting of others’ differences.”

“We are also determined to work on the improvements we need to bring the school’s early years offering into line with the rest of the school. While recognising strengths of our early years such as “children play well together and talk confidently to adults about their learning”, the report said there was more for us to do to develop our work, which we are already working on.”

Inspectors also reported that “leaders, including trust leaders, have an accurate understanding of the school’s strengths and what needs to be better. They have a clear strategy to ensure that the school continues to move forward”.

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Rowena Hackwood, Chief Executive of Astrea Academy Trust, said: “Jeni Harrison and her team at Hexthorpe have worked so hard to turn this school around. None of this would have been possible without the support of parents and carers whose ambition for their children’s school has been key to the improvements we have seen.

“Primary years are the cornerstone of any child’s education and, at Astrea, we are committed to making the most of this opportunity so that all our pupils can learn, thrive and go on to lead successful lives.”