Ofsted gives thumbs up to St Albans’ Samuel Ryder Academy

Students learning at Samuel Ryder Academy

Students learning at Samuel Ryder Academy - Credit: Archant

A NEW academy in St Albans has passed an Ofsted monitoring visit with flying colours.

The Samuel Ryder Academy in Drakes Drive – formerly Francis Bacon School – was launched last September. The inspectors concluded that the academy was “making reasonable progress in raising standards for all pupils”, one of two possible outcomes for such an inspection. The other is “not making enough progress”.

Two inspectors observed the academy’s work including plans for improvement, self-evaluation and information on pupils’ attainment and progress. They visited 21 lessons, including the Early Years Foundation Stage, and held meetings with staff, governors, students, parents and sponsors.

Among the findings was that there had been clear improvements in the quality of teaching across the academy, a successful focus on improving pupils’ behaviour, mutually supportive relationships between staff and pupils and positive attitudes to learning reflected in punctuality, improved attendance and participation in optional activities.

Head teacher Matt Gauthier was praised for his partnership with the governing board and the academy’s mentor, the Sir John Lawes Academies Trust, and his clear vision for the growth and development of the academy.

Mr Gauthier, said: “This is good news and it proves that the new strategies we have put in place are starting to come to fruition.

“We are very clear about what we need to do to raise the standards even further and we have an extremely dedicated and experienced staff team who are going to make sure that this happens.”

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n A co-educational prep school with a Montessori Nursery close by has been praised as outstanding by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) for its provision for the youngest children.

Beechwood Park School in Markyate which has a Montessori Nursery close by at Little Cheverells was awarded the highest accolade for the overall quality and standards of provision for children at the Early Years Foundation Stage.

The eight-strong inspection team scrutinised all aspects of the school and found excellence in the quality of the learning environment, the achievements of the children, the way they are cared for and develop, the quality of the curricular and extra-curricular provision and the arrangements for pastoral care.

Patrick Atkinson, Beechwood Park School’s headmaster, added: “My colleagues and I strive for excellence in everything that we provide and we are naturally very pleased that so much of what teachers and children achieve is described as ‘excellent’. It is gratifying that the inspectors concluded that our pupils have access to the highest standards of care and provision.”