The journey to ‘Outstanding’: High expectations, love and the relentless pursuit of excellence
Sarah Rempel, Headteacher,Manorside Academy, Poole, achieved outstanding February 2018
Sarah joined Manorside Academy in 2015 when the school became a sponsored converter academy. Results had been consistently low for years; classes were without teachers, the budget was nearly in deficit and behaviour was poor. The school had a falling roll and the reputation in the local community was not favourable.
Three years later, the school achieved an Outstanding judgement from Ofsted. The inspectors noted that “Teaching is highly effective. Teachers set tasks which challenge pupils to give their best,” and “Behaviour is outstanding. Pupils love learning, and their very evident enthusiasm to take part and do well is a key factor in lessons.”
That enthusiasm permeates the very fabric of the school, with Sarah and her team relentlessly driving forward to raise attainment and progress whilst ensuring that every child feels loved and cared for and wants to do their very best.
In 2017, the school was the top in Poole for their progress score, however, they are still relentlessly pursuing the top spot in the league tables. Whilst results for EYFS and KS1 are consistently high, KS2 outcomes are not yet in line with national.
The school serves pupils from predominantly a White British Heritage and where the number of pupils eligible for free school meals was double the national average and there is a higher than usual number of pupils with SEN or disability.
Sarah won’t be sharing how the journey was easy, because it wasn’t; it’s been hard work and there is no magic formula. But, through relentless consistency of approach and their love for their pupils they have created a wonderful school, one that children and parents want to go to.
Sarah will be sharing how she and the team:
- Established high expectations where there were few
- Stripped everything back to focus on what matters most – good quality teaching and learning
- Showed visible leadership
- Established a shared vision
- Implemented a robust accountability structure
- Kept a relentless focus on consistency
- Developed a safe, happy school community filled with love
- Were judged outstanding with good, but not outstanding, data