Classrooms now ‘overwhelmingly calm’ at Stoke High School – Ormiston Academy in Ipswich, says Ofsted

Stoke High School - Ormiston Academy. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Stoke High School - Ormiston Academy. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Classrooms are now “overwhelmingly calm” after a clampdown on poor behaviour by the new headteacher of an under-performing secondary school in Ipswich.

Teaching and pupil aspiration levels have also significantly improved at Stoke High School – Ormiston Academy since principal Glenn Mellor joined last September, Ofsted said after a one-day check up last month.

The 703-pupil school in Maidenhall Approach was judged ‘requires improvement’ – the third worst of four rankings – after an inspection last June. It was previously rated ‘good’.

A “small” group of pupils “actively disrupt lessons when they are not interested in their learning”, Ofsted said at the time. Unchallenging work also caused some poor behaviour.

But in the new monitoring inspection report, inspector Paul Lawrence wrote: “Teachers and pupils are very conscious that behaviour at the school has improved notably since (last June). Classrooms are now overwhelmingly calm and orderly environments.

“The consistency with which teachers apply the school’s behaviour policy has improved. As a result, behaviour in lessons very rarely impedes learning.

“You have successfully strengthened the school’s policy towards rewarding positive behaviour in lessons and as a result pupils are keen to contribute constructively.”

The report praised Mr Mellor’s “determination and dedication”, saying: “With the support of leaders, you are making strong progress in improving the quality of teaching and in raising expectations of pupils’ learning and their engagement in school.”

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Mr Lawrence said the school must further strengthen provision for disadvantaged pupils and maintain high attendance rates, but concluded the school is on the right path to a future ‘good’ rating.

Mr Mellor said: “We are making good progress and are confident that we have the right team and support in place to deliver sustainable improvement and ensure all our students receive a high standard of education.”

The school joined Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) in 2013. The report said the OAT provides “effective external support” and a “good level of challenge”.

Gwayne Webb, regional director (east) at OAT, said: “The academy is moving in the right direction and has a bright future.”