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Acomb Primary School celebrates Ofsted outcome

Acomb Primary School Headteacher, Lee Haynes

Students and staff at Acomb Primary School have been celebrating the outcome of the school’s latest inspection.

Ofsted rated the school as good following a two-day inspection in May and also found enough evidence of improved performance to suggest the school could be judged outstanding at its next inspection.

Headteacher, Lee Haynes, said: “I am delighted that the Ofsted report highlights the successes of the school. Our hard work over a number of years to build a strong curriculum offer has been recognised by this inspection. Being close to an outstanding judgement is something of which we are all very proud. I would especially like to commend the children for not only their exemplary behaviour but also their enthusiasm for learning and how passionate they are about our school.”

This is the first inspection the school has had since becoming an academy and was last inspected in July 2014 when it was also rated good.

Describing what it is like to attend the school, the report opens with: “The school motto, ‘Putting Children First – Always Aiming High’ permeates Acomb Primary School. Pupils work hard and meet the high expectations that staff have for them. This helps pupils to achieve well in a variety of subjects.”

The inspector met with staff, students and governors, observed lessons, looked at samples of pupils’ work and examined a range of documents and policies.

Assessing what the school does well, the inspection found: “Leaders have planned an ambitious curriculum for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Subject champions lead their areas of responsibility with passion and expertise.”

“Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. Staff model high expectations. Pupils’ expectations of each other are equally high. In lessons, pupils display strong attitudes to learning.”

“Provision for pupils’ wider development is a real strength of the school. Leaders are passionate about providing pupils with a rich programme of developmental experiences.”

Highlighting the leadership of the school, the report also noted: “The school is well led. Leaders have pupils’ best interests at the heart of every decision they make. Leaders and governors keep a careful eye on the workload of staff. Staff are proud to work at the school and hold leaders in very high regard.”

The school’s acting Chair of Governors, Juliet Burton, said: “It is wonderful to see the hard work of the staff, pupils, parents and the local community endorsed in this Ofsted report. Congratulations to all of them. We are all looking forward to building on this very positive outcome going forward, to have a school which is recognised as outstanding in every way.”

Acomb Primary is a popular and oversubscribed school with 320 students from Early Years to Year 6. The school has been educating children from Acomb and surrounding areas for almost 130 years, opening in August 1894 as Acomb Board School in Front Street. In 1995 the school moved to its present site in West Bank and has been part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust since January 2018.

Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust’s CEO, Andrew Daly, said: “Congratulations and well done to the children, staff, governors and families at Acomb. This is an excellent achievement given the disruption to education over the past two years and the more rigorous Ofsted framework schools are assessed on. We look forward to securing the outstanding judgement for Acomb when inspectors return.”

Pathfinder has been celebrating recent Ofsted successes at four of its other schools. Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School and Hempland Primary School have both been rated good; New Earswick Primary School was also judged good with outstanding features and Archbishop Holgate’s School achieved Ofsted’s highest rating being judged outstanding in all areas.

2022-07-15T11:38:47+01:004 July 2022|

Archbishop of York joins Year 13 Leavers Celebration

Archbishop Holgate’s School were delighted to welcome the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, to take part in the school’s Year 13 leavers celebration.

Attended by students, parents and teachers, the evening was an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the students’ achievements and time at school before they sit their A Level exams.

Head of the Sixth Form, Francesca De Lashley, said: “We were delighted the Archbishop was able to attend the evening and share in celebrating our Year 13’s time at school. For many of our Sixth Form students this marks the end of seven years at Archbishop Holgate’s and was the last time they will all spend together in school. It was a lovely evening, sharing memories with friends and teachers and was also an opportunity to thank the Year 13 students for the many contributions they’ve made during their time at school.”

The Archbishop shared many words of encouragement telling students to use the gifts they’ve been given to the full and to pursue their dreams to benefit themselves and the world.

He also said the school values of Justice, Compassion, Forgiveness and Trust are beautiful things that not just the school needs but that the world needs and encouraged students to let them shine out of their lives.

The evening also included prayers and readings from students and staff and musical pieces performed by the school’s Unity Choir.

Headteacher, Andrew Daly, said: “I would like to thank the Archbishop for taking the time to join our leavers celebration and for his inspiring words of encouragement. The students have shown an incredible amount of resilience and determination over the past two years and it was a real pleasure to celebrate their time at Archbishop Holgate’s as a school community.”

2022-05-26T12:41:46+01:0023 May 2022|

New Headteacher for Heworth Primary School

Following a successful national recruitment campaign, Simon White has been appointed as the new Headteacher for Heworth CE Primary School.

Mr White, who is currently the Head of School at Acomb Primary School, will take over from the current Headteacher, Michael Carr, in September.

Founded in 1873, Heworth CE Primary School has been educating children from Heworth and the surrounding area for almost 150 years. In 2016, the school became a founding member of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust along with Hempland Primary School, Badger Hill Primary School and Archbishop Holgate’s School. Heworth is currently rated Good by Ofsted and Outstanding by SIAMS (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools).

Chair of Governors, Stuart McKellar, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming Mr White as our new Headteacher at Heworth from September. It is a particularly exciting time for our school going into our 150th year. We are looking forward to going from strength to strength together with Mr White bringing his considerable skills, strong values and great experience to lead at Heworth.”

Alongside his Head of School role at Acomb, Mr White is also Associate Headteacher at St Lawrence’s CE Primary School, both schools are also part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust. He began working at Acomb in September 2015, joining the school as Deputy Headteacher. Prior to that he has worked at Clifton Green Primary School, starting as a class teacher and progressing on to become Assistant Headteacher during his time there.

Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust’s CEO, Andrew Daly, said: “We are delighted with Mr White’s appointment as Headteacher for Heworth. His experience and commitment to the school’s Christian values will help to build on the hard work and achievements of Mr Carr and the staff, students, parents and governors at the school. I look forward to continuing to work with Mr White in his new role at Heworth.”

Simon White has been appointed as Heworth’s new Headteacher from September 2022.

2022-04-26T10:41:34+01:0026 April 2022|

New Headteacher for Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School

Following a four-week national recruitment campaign, Claire Fielding has been appointed to lead Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School from January 2023.

Mrs Fielding, who is currently the Headteacher of Stamford Bridge Primary School, will take over from the school’s current Headteacher, Andy Herbert, following his retirement at the end of the year.

Clifton with Rawcliffe is one of the largest primary schools in York with 640 pupils and 80 members of staff. The school has been part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust since 2017 and was judged Good in all areas by Ofsted in July 2021.

Chair of Governors, Donna Wass, said: “Clifton with Rawcliffe governors are delighted with the appointment of Mrs Fielding as the new Headteacher of the school from January 2023. She has shown a strong skill set, has a wealth of experience across a number of schools and shares the vision and values of the school. Governors look forward to working with Mrs Fielding in the new year.”

Prior to her role at Stamford Bridge Primary School, Mrs Fielding was Headteacher at Melbourne Primary School in the East Riding and has served as Acting Executive Headteacher for both schools. In York, she has worked at Haxby Road Primary School, Westfield Primary School and also at Clifton with Rawcliffe where she was the Lower Key Stage 2 Phase Leader and helped formulate the vision for the new school when it opened in 2011.

During her time as Headteacher at Stamford Bridge and Melbourne primary schools, she led both schools to achieve Good Ofsted judgements with the reports highlighting the strength of leadership and vision of excellence at each school.

Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust’s CEO, Andrew Daly, said: “We are delighted with Mrs Fielding’s appointment as Headteacher for Clifton with Rawcliffe. She will bring a wealth of experience having worked in leadership roles across schools in York and the East Riding and shares the Trust’s vision of providing an excellent education for all children. I look forward to welcoming Mrs Fielding to the Trust when she takes up her post in the new year.”

Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust is a partnership of ten church and community schools serving more than 4,000 students and their families across York.

Claire Fielding has been appointed as Clifton with Rawcliffe’s new Headteacher from January 2023.

2022-04-05T11:39:46+01:005 April 2022|

New Earswick Primary rated Good with Outstanding features by Ofsted

New Earswick Primary School has moved out of special measures following a two-day Ofsted inspection which rated the school as good with outstanding features.

Out of the five key areas the school was assessed on, Ofsted judged the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes of pupils and their personal development to be good. The early years provision and leadership and management of the school both achieved the highest rating of outstanding with the report opening with: “Leaders are ambitious and passionate about learning for all pupils at New Earswick. They have been relentless in their drive to ensure that learning builds over time and is progressive across the school.”

Headteacher, Angela Oswald, said: “I cannot praise the staff team, our pupils and our families enough. The journey since 2017 has been a team effort and continues to be a team effort. We are excitedly looking forward and wish to build on the successes shared in this report.”

The school was previously inspected in November 2016 when it was rated inadequate and placed into special measures. Schools in special measures and required by law to convert to an academy and, since October 2017, New Earswick has been part of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust, a partnership of ten church and community schools serving more than 4,000 children and their families across York.

Inspectors praised the leadership team and their work to improve the school saying: “Leaders of the school have worked swiftly to introduce new approaches to improve the school. They have encouraged staff to work together to plan learning and improve the provision for all pupils.”

During their visit, inspectors met with the headteacher, senior leaders, governors, trustees and the chief executive officer of the trust; talked to pupils about the school and observed lessons; scrutinised a range of documents and plans for improvement and looked in depth at various subjects, including reading, mathematics, geography and PE.

Highlighting the strengths of the curriculum, the report said: “Leaders review the curriculum regularly to ensure that teachers are well supported to adapt learning to meet the needs of all pupils. This shared approach has ensured that subjects, such as mathematics, are taught consistently and effectively.” Phonics and reading were both identified as areas the school does well in, with reading being a core focus for the school. Inspectors noted that pupils enjoy reading and talk enthusiastically about a range of authors and their enjoyment of books.

Pathfinder’s CEO, Andrew Daly, said: “We are delighted with New Earswick’s Ofsted outcome. Mrs Oswald and her team have worked tirelessly to make rapid and sustained improvements across the entire school, ensuring children from early years through to year 6 receive the best possible learning experiences and opportunities. Taking a school from inadequate to good with outstanding areas is a phenomenal achievement and all the more impressive given the ongoing impact of the pandemic and more rigorous Ofsted framework making judgements harder to achieve. Well done to the entire school community on this remarkable and well-deserved achievement.”

The early years provision was identified as a particular strength of the school with the report saying: “Pupils in the early years have an exceptional start to their school life. They are given well-planned opportunities to develop curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. The environment is carefully constructed to build independence from the earliest days and pupils thrive here.”

The report also recognised that pupils are proud to attend school, relationships between staff and pupils are very positive and that everyone enjoys being part of the school team and relishes coming to school each day.

Inspectors found safeguarding arrangements to be effective, noting: “Safeguarding is a priority for the school. Leaders have created well-organised and rigorous systems to record concerns. Staff are well-trained and knowledgeable.”

Parents were asked to share their views of the school saying that everyone ‘goes the extra mile’ to support families and to help pupils to be successful.

New Earswick Primary School Acting Chair of Governors, Isobel Copeland, said: “The governing board are extremely proud of the whole school team for the progress they have made since the last Ofsted. Aside from the incredible strides made, New Earswick now stands out as an extremely good school brimming with energy and exemplary teaching. The vision and ethos unites all members of the school community and produces pupils ready for the challenges of secondary education. The senior leadership team have been relentless in their quest to support every child to do their best and be the best they can be in a setting that inspires engagement and learning.”

The school has a small number of reception places available for September 2022. Please contact 01904 806446 for more information.

Pathfinder has been celebrating recent Ofsted successes at three of its other schools including Clifton with Rawcliffe Primary School and Hempland Primary School which were both rated good in all areas and Archbishop Holgate’s School which was awarded Ofsted’s highest rating being judged outstanding in all areas.

2022-03-08T14:14:20+00:007 March 2022|

Archbishop Holgate’s judged outstanding in all areas by Ofsted

Archbishop Holgate’s has been awarded the highest possible rating by Ofsted following a two-day inspection which judged the school to be outstanding in all areas.

Inspectors assessed the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes of pupils, their personal development, the sixth form provision, the leadership and management of the school and its overall effectiveness, judging all to be outstanding and concluding: “Archbishop Holgate’s School is an exceptional place for pupils to learn.”

Headteacher, Andrew Daly, said: “I am extremely proud of this report and the education we provide for all students at Archbishop Holgate’s. The outcome of this inspection is testament to the efforts of our entire school community, especially the hard work and positive attitude of our students and the commitment and service of our staff team.”

“Given that the new inspection framework is much more rigorous and judgements harder to achieve, combined with the ongoing demands of the pandemic, makes it even more pleasing that inspectors did not identify any areas for development.”

Highlighting the many areas in which the school excels, the report praised the quality of the curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities available to pupils, stating: “The curriculum at this school is exemplary. All pupils benefit greatly from lessons in a wide range of subjects, alongside a set of extensive enrichment opportunities.” The Sixth Form curriculum was also noted to be “exceptionally strong.”

Inspectors described behaviour at the school as exceptional and said: “Pupils are calm, orderly and respectful. Pupils are confident, articulate and produce consistently high-quality work. Their ability to recall key content from the curriculum is noteworthy.”

During their visit, inspectors met with the Headteacher, senior leaders and governors; talked to pupils about their work and visited lessons; observed extra-curricular activities and form time sessions; spoke to curriculum leaders and teachers and looked in depth at areas of the curriculum, including English, Mathematics, History, Geography and Art.

Inspectors also reviewed the systems in place to keep pupils safe, saying: “Leaders are tenacious in their efforts to keep pupils safe. The safeguarding training all staff receive is of the highest quality.”

The additional pastoral capacity put in place to provide mental health and wellbeing support for pupils was also recognised in the report.

Teaching and learning across all subjects was praised with inspectors saying: “Teachers have strong knowledge of the subjects that they teach. They deliver lessons with passion. As a result of high-quality training, teachers use a range of strategies to ensure pupils remember what they have been taught.”

Inspectors sought the views of members of the school community, including parents, pupils and staff. One parent told inspectors: “The staff live and breathe the school values, and that is passed onto pupils. There is a unique and indefinable sense of welcoming at the school, no matter which member of staff you speak to.” All staff said they feel valued and referred to being part of a special community and are incredibly proud to work at the school.

The wider personal development of pupils and preparation for life after Archbishop Holgate’s was identified as another strength of the school with the report saying: “Important topics, such as maintaining healthy relationships, preparing for the world of work, and developing leadership skills, are planned and taught exceptionally well. There is also considerable strength in the school’s wider provision of careers information and guidance for pupils of all ages.”

The support for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities was deemed exceptionally strong with inspectors saying: “Teachers receive high-quality guidance on how to support these pupils. Well trained and knowledgeable teaching assistants play an active role in supporting pupils with SEND. Leaders are fully committed to eradicating any barriers to learning for these pupils. As a result, all pupils achieve highly.”

The report recognised the strength of governance at the school noting: “Governors hold leaders strongly to account. Governors and leaders are constantly seeking to adapt and improve the school.”

Chair of Governors, John Hattam, said: “Archbishop Holgate’s is a special place because of the way it blends its four core values of Justice, Compassion, Forgiveness and Trust with a focus and determination by all staff to ensure that every pupil achieves their maximum potential.  We were delighted to see these foundations of the school’s performance so explicitly recognised in the Ofsted report.”

Andrew Daly, added: “I have had the privilege of leading Archbishop Holgate’s for the last twelve years, during which time the school has been afforded a number of accolades including outstanding SIAMS inspections and more recently accreditation as a national Teaching School Hub. We are well known for our excellent examination outcomes for all groups of students at both GCSE and Post 16, regularly some of the best in the country. However, this inspection framework is about much more than academic results, for a school to be judged as outstanding it must consistently be providing an all-round education of the highest standard to all students. This is what our report recognises and what we are most delighted about.”

“We are so pleased with our inspection and the recognition it affords to the collective efforts of staff, students, families and our wider community. Please rest assured that, as always, we will continue to strive to ensure that our school remains the best possible place for students to learn and grow as individuals.”

In February 2021, Archbishop Holgate’s was selected as one of the government’s new teaching school hubs, a national network of 87 school-led centres of excellence for teacher and leadership training and development. Working in partnership across the Ryedale, Scarborough and York region, the Pathfinder Teaching School Hub, based at Archbishop Holgate’s, provides high-quality training and continuous professional development for teachers at every stage of their career.

The school is also a founding member of Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust, a partnership of ten church and community schools serving more than 4,000 students and their families across York.

2021-11-23T09:20:14+00:0023 November 2021|

Pathfinder Trust Board Vacancy

We are currently recruiting for a Trustee to sit on the Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust Board. The Trust is at an exciting stage of its development as it expands and is now working with over 4,000 pupils in ten, soon to be eleven, schools across York.

As multi academy trusts have evolved and developed over the last few years, one thing has become abundantly clear: the quality of a Trust’s Board is fundamental to its success.

The role of the Trustee is to work with the Chief Executive Officer, leadership team and other Trustees to develop the Trust’s strategic vision, values and ethos. Trustees monitor, challenge and support the CEO and leadership team, understanding the challenges and pressures on schools and helping leaders navigate these issues with sensitivity, optimism and ambition. They act with integrity and honesty in all their dealings with the schools.

We are particularly looking for individuals with a commitment to the Trust’s vision and values, who have a broad experience of managing within large organisations, and who are excited about improving outcomes for young people. Legal, safeguarding and finance expertise is particularly welcome.

But more than that, we want Trustees who are prepared to dream. People who care about the Trust’s aspirations for children’s futures. People who are aligned with our values and who are motivated to make a difference.

Does this sound like you? The MAT Board meets six times a year in York with additional committee meetings from time to time.

If you’d like to know more, you can read our Welcome Guide for more information about the Trust; and you might like to assess the possible “fit” by looking at the skills audit for MAT Trustees provided by the National Governors’ Association

If you’re still interested, we’d love to hear from you: please email with your CV and a covering letter explaining the skills and experience you could bring to the Trust Board. The closing date for applications is Monday 4 October 2021 at midday.

Thank you in advance for your interest in considering this opportunity.

2021-09-14T12:35:05+01:0013 September 2021|
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