Acorn Academy


Name Acorn Academy
Website http://www.acornacademy.net
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 14 January 2014
Address Spa Road, Witham, Essex, CM8 1NA
Phone Number 01376512605
Type Academy
Age Range 3-7
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 262 (57% boys 43% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 19.8
Academy Sponsor North Essex Multi-Academy Trust
Percentage Free School Meals 26.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 6.9%

Information about this school

The school is larger than the average-sized primary school. The proportion of pupils for whom the school receives the pupil premium is above average. This is additional funding for certain groups such as pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals, have a parent in the armed forces or are in local authority care. The proportions of pupils from ethnic minority groups and those who speak English as an additional language are below average. The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported through school action is above average. The proportion supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is also above average. The school provides specially resourced provision for pupils with special educational needs. Its speech, language and communication unit takes up to 10 pupils. The leaders responsible for disabled pupils, special educational needs and literacy took up post in September 2013, though they were already working in the school prior to that. Three new members of teaching staff started in January 2014.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Pupils achieve well in writing and mathematics and do particularly well in reading. Standards at the end of 2013 were above average and, this year, pupils in Key Stage 1 are continuing to make good progress. Well-planned activities in the Nursery and Reception classes give children a good start to school life and they make good progress. Teaching is good and some is outstanding. Tasks build on what pupils already know and move them forward in their learning. Teachers ask searching questions which help pupils think carefully about what they are learning and how they can improve. Behaviour is good, both in lessons and around school. Pupils are polite and aware of the importance of getting on well with others. Pupils know how to stay safe in different situations. They say they feel safe in school and there is always someone to go to if they have a problem. The school is led and managed well. Pupils’ progress is regularly checked and any in danger of falling behind are quickly helped to keep up. The governors know how well the school is doing because they ask challenging questions in meetings and visit the school to check on its progress. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Very occasionally in lessons, pupils do not have time to complete enough work. While some teachers give extremely good guidance to pupils as to how they can improve, others do not make clear to pupils the next steps they need to take to move their learning on. There is a good range of activities to learn outdoors, but they are not always planned carefully enough to develop pupils’ skills and knowledge as effectively as the indoor learning. Some leaders are new to their posts and so have not yet developed all the skills they need to lead in their areas.