Orchard Academy

Name Orchard Academy
Website www.orchardacademymk.co.uk/
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 25 June 2014
Address Springfield Boulevard, Springfield, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK6 3HW
Phone Number 01908670681
Type Academy
Age Range 7-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 342 (53% boys 47% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.4
Academy Sponsor East Midlands Academy Trust
Local Authority Milton Keynes
Percentage Free School Meals 22.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 48.5%
Persisitent Absence 8.5%
Pupils with SEN Support 9.4%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

This is a smaller-than-average-sized school. About a third of the pupils are White British. Other pupils come from a wide range of ethnic heritages, with about a quarter of the pupils from an African background. An above average proportion of pupils speak English as an additional language. Languages spoken in the school, other than English, include Tamil and Somali. The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs supported through school action is well above average. The proportion supported through school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is also well above average. There is a communication department for 10 pupils with language and communication difficulties. All of these pupils have a statement of special educational needs. These pupils are taught in the department and some join lessons in the main school. A well above average proportion of pupils are supported by the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for looked after children and those known to be eligible for free school meals. The school meets the government floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress in reading, writing and mathematics. The school was formally known as Orchard School. It was inspected in 2010 and judged to be satisfactory. Orchard converted to an academy in September 2012. There have been several changes to the teaching force since the academy opened. The school is led by an executive headteacher who leads two other schools, including a teaching school, and two assistant principals.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Strong leadership and management have brought about considerable improvements to pupils’ achievement and to teaching since the school opened. All groups of pupils make good progress from their starting points. In 2013, standards by the end of Year 6 were average in reading and mathematics. Teaching has improved and is securely good, with some that is outstanding. Teachers set work that engages the pupils. As a result, pupils show a keen interest in their learning. Behaviour is good and sometimes outstanding in lessons and around the school. Attendance has improved and is now above average. There are good systems to keep pupils safe. Pupils feel safe and very well looked after by staff. Pupils enjoy the wide range of additional activities on offer, such as clubs and educational visits. The executive headteacher and assistant principals provide very strong leadership and convey high expectations in raising achievement and developing teaching. Teamwork among the staff is a clear strength and all strive to do the very best for the pupils. Leaders in charge of subjects are beginning to play a full part in school improvement. Governors work well, providing both challenge and support to school leaders. Productive partnerships have been established with parents. They are very pleased with the education and care provided. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Occasionally in lessons, work is not at the right level of difficulty for different groups of pupils. Pupils’ standards in writing are lower than in reading and mathematics. There are not yet enough opportunities for pupils to apply and develop their writing skills in different subjects.