Magna Academy is Outstanding

Read the full Ofsted report here

Magna Academy Poole has undergone an amazing transformation in less than two years and is now providing its students with an outstanding education and preparing them for futures full of potential. Magna Academy Poole was graded outstanding across all areas in the recent Ofsted inspection, not long after achieving the highest GCSE results of all non-grammar schools in Poole in 2014. The Academy is also oversubscribed for September 2015.

Magna Academy Poole, sponsored by the Aspirations Academies Trust, replaced the local authority controlled Ashdown Technology College on 1 September 2013. This time two years ago Ashdown was still in special measures with dramatically falling rolls and a poor reputation. That has all changed now, with Ofsted heaping praise on the Academy, describing it as outstanding in every area.

The report begins by simply stating that ‘This is an outstanding school’. It goes on to say that ‘Teachers have high expectations of their students, who respond by producing excellent work’. The behaviour of students is described as exceptional, and it is noted how proud students are to be members of the Academy, and how keen they are to learn and what real enthusiasm they show for learning. The report also states that ‘The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Students believe rightly that staff care about them as individuals, and they appreciate the extra time that staff spend on ensuring they achieve the best possible results.’

All this is underpinned by the outstanding quality of teaching, with the teaching of reading and writing particularly highlighted by inspectors, along with excellent teaching in mathematics.

Both the achievement and progress of students was noted, with Ofsted commenting that ‘Students make exceptional progress’ and ‘The achievement of pupils is outstanding.’

The sixth form also received considerable praise and a judgement of outstanding; a remarkable achievement as it only began delivering A Level subjects in September 2014. Teaching in the sixth form was described as ‘superb’ and the students themselves as ‘a great credit to the academy.’ The report also commented on the excellent advice and guidance students receive, and praised the links with universities the Academy has made.

Principal Richard Tutt is understandably delighted, but already planning for the future –  ‘This report is testament to the tremendous hard work of staff, governors and students. We are all exceptionally proud of this fantastic outcome for both Magna and the community. I am delighted that a school that was failing its local community for such a long period of time, has been totally transformed to one that is now providing an outstanding education for its students.

We are particularly proud of the way Ofsted describes our students, stating that they are exceptionally keen to learn, make exceptional progress, are polite to adults and each other, are very tolerant of differences and that their behaviour is outstanding.

This report represents a milestone on our amazing journey, but we want to achieve so much more. We are relentlessly driven to continuously improve and aspire to be in the top 1% of schools nationally, so that we can offer the very best education for our students and do whatever we can to maximise their life chances.’

Steve Kenning, Chief Executive of Aspirations Academies Trust, said 'Magna demonstrates brilliantly the effectiveness of the philosophy of Aspirations Academies. The combination of having very high expectations for students, both in terms of how much they can achieve, and how they behave, and providing outstanding, top quality teaching has resulted in some fantastic achievements for Magna. The future for both Magna, and Aspirations Academies in the south coast district is very bright indeed.'

Aspirations Academies Trust is a charitable organisation which runs sponsored Academies in three areas of the country, and believes firmly in all-through education from 3 - 19. The south coast district already includes three Academies in Bournemouth and Poole, Magna Academy, Jewell Academy, and Ocean Academy for children aged 7 – 11 which opens in Poole in September 2015. Pupils attending Ocean and Jewell are offered priority at Magna, and the Academies in the district work closely together. The organisation is also planning to start an all through 'digital school' in the Bournemouth and Poole area, which would provide students with a well-rounded education, while being centred on the development of the computational knowledge and skills that are central to a successful life as a digital citizen in the 21st century. Bournemouth has recently been identified as the fastest growing digital economy in the country, and this, combined with the presence of Bournemouth University and the pressing need for top quality school places across Bournemouth and Poole, makes it an ideal location for this kind of exciting new Academy.

Magna Academy is a great example of how an Academy can change not only the life chances of its students, but also transform a community, and this is just the beginning of its journey as part of an incredibly exciting Aspirations district.

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