Ark Alexandra Academy in Hastings continues to improve, despite the challenges brought by covid-19, according to Ofsted.
In a letter to the school, inspectors concluded that “Leaders and those responsible for governance are taking effective action to provide education in the current circumstances.”
The remote inspection took place on 2nd March 2021 and looked at how the school had adapted during the pandemic.
Ark Alexandra was applauded for how they had “galvanised staff to produce and maintain an ambitious education for those pupils working at home. Leaders trained staff to use new technology so that they were ready to deliver the curriculum remotely in January 2021.”
They also commented on Ark Schools digital strategy that ensured that all students had access to digital technology and could learn using the school’s online resources during the last lockdown.
Inspectors noted that subject leaders had adapted the curriculum to cover topics later in the year that would be better-taught face-to-face with students, and Year 13 received “carefully targeted support to prepare them for their next steps.”
The school’s special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) was highlighted as being “steadfast in ensuring that therapeutic support from external agencies has continued throughout the national lockdown, and that “staff have also prioritised checking that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are receiving the right help, whether they are working at home or in school…”
Liam Collins, who joined as Principal in September 2020, said: “I am so pleased that Ofsted has recognised our hard work as this has been a difficult time for everyone, so I am immensely proud of how the whole Ark Alexandra community has coped. We have had a lot of engagement with staff, students and parents who have adapted to changing situations brilliantly. We have all remained focused on ensuring we provide children with high-quality education regardless of whether students were in our community classroom or learning remotely.
“As things slowly get back to ‘normal’, our continued priority will be ensuring that students have all the support they need to learn, develop and thrive.”
Lorraine Clarke, Regional Director for Ark’s schools in Hastings, said: “I am delighted that Ark Alexandra’s staff and the leadership team have been recognised for all their ongoing hard work and commitment to students. The school continues to make significant improvements with the full support and guidance from governors and Ark Schools.”
The latest monitoring inspection letter from Ofsted is available on their website here