Alderwood school praised as students 're-engage with learning' 

Staff and students give a thumbs up outside Alderwood Academy after a good Ofsted rating

Staff (Tess Kirby, Cate Fairweather, Kes Hawkins, Tom Baker, Karri Crisp, Georgia Hampton, Louise Calvert, Becky Mellish) and students (Tony, Lacey, Oliver, Charlie, Leo, Riley) celebrate Alderwood's good Ofsted inspection - Credit: Tom Baker

Pupils at Alderwood Academy are re-engaging with learning thanks to targeted intervention, innovative curriculum and a calm and friendly environment, an Ofsted inspection has found. 

Alderwood is a Pupil Referral Unit in Ipswich that supports students who have been or are at risk of permanent exclusion. 

A report from Ofsted, following a visit in February, has noted that the school continues to be good, singling out a number of programmes and characteristics that work well for those who need alternative provision. 

The inspection team concluded that Alderwood is a "calm and friendly environment", adding: "Pupils often arrive at school with previously negative experiences of education.  

"They settle quickly. Pupils appreciate the way that adults care for them and understand their individual needs well.  

"Pupils re-engage with learning and build their self-esteem as a result." 

The reading programme was particularly praised as an "effective contribution to promoting positive learning attitudes" although more evaluation on the 'pathways' teaching approach has been recommended so that staff understand what works well and what needs improving. 

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Speaking about the positive Ofsted report Tom Baker, head of school, said: "This report truly reflects the incredible commitment and hard work invested by all staff here at Alderwood, who always have the best interests of each individual student at the heart of everything they do." 

Angela Ransby, CEO of the Raedwald Trust, which runs a number of alternative provision schools, said: "We are extremely pleased with the report which confirms our firm belief that with expert, extra support all children can reach their potential. 

"As inspectors have rightly pointed out, ours is a calm, caring but also academically rigorous environment where children who may have struggled in other settings can thrive. 

"This report is a testament to the hardworking and dedicated staff whose passion for teaching shines through in everything they do in supporting our children. 

"Ours is a school and a trust which has always thought differently about alternative provision. 

"We do not see it as a step backwards or as a side step. We are all on a journey and sometimes we don't always take the same route."