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The Gordon Children’s Academy Jubilant at Ofsted Seal of Approval

The Gordon Children’s Academy Jubilant at Ofsted Seal of Approval

Students and staff at The Gordon Children’s Academy are celebrating after their very first Ofsted inspections from Ofsted saw both the Infant and the Junior School rated “Good” in every category.

The two reports highly commend the Academy, in Strood, across all areas of inspection by Ofsted, including leadership, quality of teaching, student outcomes, and early years provision. The junior and infant schools joined The Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT), a family of schools in Medway and Portsmouth, in March 2014. The predecessor junior school was rated ‘Inadequate’ in its last inspection before joining TSAT, with the predecessor infant school rated ‘Good’.

The reports also emphasise the positive learning environment at the school, underpinned by “core values of achievement, aspirations, community and responsibility.”

Inspectors were impressed by the “clear vision and ambition” pursued by the Academy’s leadership, which is shared across the Infant and Junior School to ensure continuity for students. According to Ofsted, the leadership demonstrates a “very clear understanding of what is working well”, setting “high expectations” for all staff and students.

The school’s ethos of continual improvement resonates with its students, who “enjoy their learning” and are “overwhelmingly positive about their school.” The reports found that great pride is taken in the production of high-quality work, and pupils feel that teachers are always ready to help them achieve this.

The reports pointed to a variety of other strengths at the Academy, including:

  • The “good progress” made by children in the early years, who have access to a wide range of interesting learning opportunities
  • The above average intake of disadvantaged pupils, who perform well
  • The well-behaved nature of students, both in the classroom and on the playground
  • The “voice” older pupils have in contributing to decision-making
  • The safe culture in which “everyone works together”
  • The effectiveness of governance, exemplified by the Regional Governing Body’s knowledge of the school

Jennifer McGuigan, Headteacher at The Gordon Children’s Academy, said:

“We are delighted to receive such positive feedback in our first Ofsted reports. Our ‘Good’ rating proves what we knew already – that our children and staff are relentless in always wanting to achieve their best as individuals and as a team. I would like to thank everyone for the part they have played in the Academy’s success to date.

“The desire for continual improvement drives us at all time, and so our sights now turn to the journey towards Outstanding. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful parents for their continued support, and their contribution to this success.”

Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive of The Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said:

“We would like to pay tribute to the excellent work of everyone at The Gordon Children’s Academy in achieving a “Good” rating from Ofsted. Our staff and pupils work incredibly hard every day to foster an atmosphere in which every child can fulfil its potential.

“This has been a real team effort, by the children, staff and parent, and we are very proud of this double success.”

The reports can be found here: