Case Study – North Shore Secondary Academy
North Shore Academy in Stockton on Tees is located in one of the most deprived areas in the country, with around 65% of students attracting pupil premium. Previously rated by Ofsted as Requires Improvement, and having never been judged to be a Good school, it rose to Outstanding in all categories following inspection in July 2021.
Inspectors were hugely impressed with the quality of education delivered, the behaviour and attitudes of students and their development, and the leadership and management of the academy. They noted that students are exceptionally proud to attend the school. Relationships between them and their teachers are highly respectful and very caring, with students believing that teachers help them to do their best. Students told inspectors that the teachers “make them feel good about themselves” and that they feel cared for by staff.
The academy’s journey to success has involved implementing all the Trust’s improvement strategies including establishing and consolidating a strong and dedicated leadership team, a robust level of governance and improved teaching and learning, to provide every student, regardless of background, ability or need, with the best education possible.
Inspectors recognised this, commenting that: “Students are confident in lessons, they believe they can succeed, and they do succeed”. Inspectors noted the buzz in the academy about reading, due to both the teachers’ enthusiasm about how much students enjoyed reading, and the students’ own inspiration gained from the many initiatives the academy employs, such as visiting speakers (athletes, poets, journalists), ‘The Masked Reader’ and Reading Routes. Parents’ comments echoed the pride and passion staff feel about the academy, telling inspectors about their delight at the ‘amazing work of the school’.
“Students are confident in lessons, they believe they can succeed, and they do succeed.”
Inspectors also stated: “Students’ behaviour in lessons and at social times is exemplary. In the social space (known as the ‘heart space’) there is a calm, friendly atmosphere, where students enjoy talking about what they are learning with teachers”. Students told inspectors that they enjoy these conversations, with inspectors noting that teachers regularly talk about important issues during social time, as well as in tutor groups and assemblies, in order to foster a well-developed understanding of modern Britain, and encourage the high levels of respect students have for each other and their community.