Lick that! Ice-cream after Ofsted success

De Warenne Academy queue for a well-deserved free ice cream.
De Warenne Academy queue for a well-deserved free ice cream.

HIGH scoring students enjoyed the sweet taste of success, following their recent thumbs-up from Ofsted.

Elated staff at Conisbrough’s De Warenne Academy wheeled in the local ice-cream van to celebrate the school’s ongoing improvement.

Each student was given a voucher that they could exchange for a free ice-cream at lunch time.

The school (previously Northcliffe) that just a few years ago was placed in Special Measures, was judged to be making good progress, with a high approval rating by inspectors.

The inspection team noted the school’s rising attainment and the marked increase in the percentage of students gaining five or more GCSE passes at grade C or above including English and Maths. They also recognised improvements in teaching, curriculum, attendance and behaviour since the school re-opened as an academy in 2009.

Ofsted further reported leaders and managers as having been “very successful in changing the culture of the academy and improving outcomes for students.” They noted the increased confidence and self-belief among students and the growing reputation of the academy.

Students themselves told inspectors how remarkable the changes at school have been, and how proud they are to be part of it.

Principal Gill Pollard said: “The report is a fantastic outcome for the academy and is a real tribute to all those involved. I am very proud of what staff have achieved in the time, but I am even more proud of the way our students have risen to the challenge. We are now all looking forward to this year’s results and further ahead to the opening of our new building in 2013.”

The former Northcliffe School officially opened its doors as the new De Warenne Academy in September 2009.

It opened in the existing buildings as an academy sponsored by the School Partnership Trust, a Yorkshire-based educational charity, with Doncaster Council and Dearne Valley College as co-sponsors.

The academy is funded directly by the Government, although it stays within the Doncaster family of schools, and has a focus on raising literacy skills.

It also offers a great number of vocational courses linked to Dearne Valley College.

Mrs Pollard said at the opening: “This is an exciting time. Our students deserve the best opportunities and my staff and I are committed to this, and to delivering a whole new experience for them”.