Gateway Academy highly praised by Ofsted

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STAFF at the Gateway Academy in Tilbury are celebrating a positive response to their latest Ofsted inspection.

Inspectors visited the Academy in late March and judged it to be ‘good’ in every category.

They have praised the strong leadership, saying that the school’s management team have worked together effectively to provide a clear direction for the academy which has led to strong improvements.

The report states that ‘parents are highly supportive of the work the academy’ and that the vast majority would recommend Gateway to other parents.

At the heart of an effective school is the teaching, and despite the current recruitment difficulties experienced by most schools, Gateway’s teaching was described by inspectors as ‘typically good’.

The inspection report states that ‘teachers know their pupils well and have a secure understanding of their needs. This combined with evident mutual respect, is ensuring that pupils make good progress from their starting points’.

Inspectors praised Gateway’s ‘calm and purposeful environment’ as it ‘enables pupils to work hard and enjoy their learning’. They also noted that pupils and their teachers share high expectations. Pupils [inspectors said] ‘want to do well and are keen to participate in activities and complete the work set’.

The teaching of English and Mathematics was particularly praised. In maths, ‘pupils are making good progress as a result of the teachers’ high expectations and a clear focus on the development of key skills. Pupils are challenged to think for themselves and advance their learning through a range of stimulating activities’.

Over the two days of the visit, inspectors were constantly impressed by Gateway’s pupils, agreeing that they ‘take pride in their appearance’ and ‘get on well together’. Pupils told inspectors that ‘incidents of bullying are rare’ and that they ‘are confident that when it does occur, swift action is taken to resolve the situation’.

There was particular praise for the curriculum which is tailored to meet the needs of all pupils and praise for how teachers work to make it enjoyable for all pupils. The report states that ‘the curriculum contributes well to pupils’ personal development. The good choice of extra-curricular and enrichment activities is broadening pupils’ experiences and effectively promoting their well-being’.

In response to the report Grainne McLaughlin, the Head of School said ‘the good judgement is testament to the relentless hard work and commitment of the staff, excellent attitudes to learning from pupils and support received from parents, governors and the community, I am pleased our achievements have been recognised by Ofsted.

“We look forward to building upon our strong foundations, making further improvements where needed, as we embark on our journey to outstanding. To work with the young people of Tilbury and Chadwell every day is a true privilege and it is both humbling and inspiring to work with a staff who are wholeheartedly determined to put the students first and create a family learning environment that is truly special’.

Kevin Sadler, the CEO of the Gateway Learning Community Trust said ‘this report does not come as a surprise, as I see on a daily basis the commitment, passion and dedication of Ms McLaughlin and her staff as well as the pupils and their parents: all working together to create something which I believe is very special. All too often, people are quick to run-down Tilbury, the Gateway Academy and the wider GLC have shown the world that the young people of Tilbury are truly fantastic.

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