Longfield Academy is a Good School With an Outstanding Sixth Form

Following an Ofsted inspection on Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th April 2018, Longfield Academy is delighted to report that Ofsted has judged the school to be ‘good’ with an ‘outstanding’ sixth form.

I am thrilled to be able to share the results of our recent Ofsted inspection and the fact that they have recognised what a special learning environment we provide for our students. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone in our school community- teachers, support staff, our site team and governors – for demonstrating to Ofsted the fantastic work that goes on within the Academy on a daily basis. I would especially like to congratulate our students. Each of them makes us extremely proud on any given day but they made our guests feel very welcome and their excellent behaviour was something Ofsted particularly commented on. It is particularly gratifying that in their conversations with inspectors the students stated that they are as proud of their school as we are of them”, said Mrs Alex O’Donnell, Principal of Longfield Academy. “We are justifiably delighted to have one of the top-performing sixth-form provisions in Kent and receiving the ‘outstanding’ recognition from Ofsted is the ultimate accolade. The report has recognised that our focus on ensuring that students are on the post-16 courses best suited to their specific needs results in their making excellent progress.

The inspection team were not the only people to recognise the exceptional quality of our sixth form. The post-16 students that they spoke to during their visit were ‘highly positive about their sixth form and would wholeheartedly recommend it to others’. This reflects the positive culture developed by leaders and sixth-form staff, who are consistently supportive of students and prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ whilst also having very high expectations. In return ‘students’ behaviour in the sixth form is exemplary. They are punctual, attend well and have excellent personal and social skills’.

The report recognises that leaders of the Academy are highly ambitious for all of the students but also that they do not limit that ambition to the outcomes of public examinations: preparing our students for life is equally important to everyone at the Academy.

Relationships between students and staff have been identified as a key reason that students at our school feel secure and pupil behaviour is so good. Our students ‘show care and respect for others as they move around the school’ and their ‘behaviour at break times and lunchtimes is good, even when they are not being directly supervised’. We are pleased that the inspectors noted that staff work hard to form strong links with the families of our students and our parents agree that our students feel safe and happy at the Academy. Students reported to inspectors that they ‘trust the adults in school’ and said that their concerns are taken seriously. They reported that bullying is rare in our school and if it does occur it is dealt with swiftly and effectively.

Inspectors recognised that Longfield’s curriculum enabled the students to pursue their interests and prepared them well for their next steps, while providing them with valuable extra-curricular opportunities that the students value, especially in sport and performing arts. Our teachers have been recognised in the report as hardworking and having great enthusiasm for and knowledge of their subject. They are therefore able to ‘engage pupils in learning well’ and create a learning environment where students feel confident enough to share their ideas.

As always, Longfield takes particular pride in its work with pupils who have special educational needs (SEN) and Ofsted has recognised that this enables SEN students continue to ‘overcome difficulties that act as barriers to their learning’.

Simon Beamish, CEO of Leigh Academies Trust, congratulated Mrs O’Donnell and the staff and students at Longfield on the outcome of the inspection, saying: “This is Longfield’s third strong Ofsted outcome in a row since it joined Leigh Academies Trust as the Trust’s second academy back in 2008. This time, we are especially pleased with the top marks Ofsted awarded Longfield for its sixth form. Post-16 results at Longfield have been among the best of any non-selective school in Kent for several years so this accolade is much deserved.

You can view the full report by clicking here.