Liverpool school celebrates as it receives its first ‘Good’ Ofsted rating

The Academy of St Nicholas in Garston is celebrating after being awarded a rating of ‘Good’ by Ofsted (The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills).

The secondary school, a joint Catholic and Church of England academy, was visited for a two-day inspection in December 2022, under the new Ofsted framework.

All four key judgement areas were examined and rated as ‘Good’ which include: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.

This fantastic achievement will be welcomed by the communities of Garston and Speke, and other surrounding areas, with local families and children now having access to a recognised ‘Good’ secondary school and sixth form provision on their doorstep.

The academy, part of the All Saints Multi Academy Trust, which is located on Horrocks Avenue, is led by headteacher Mrs Jeniffer Sing who joined during the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The Academy of St Nicholas took over the former Enterprise South Liverpool Academy site in 2017.

In the 13-year history of a school occupying the site, it is the first time it has achieved a ‘Good’ Ofsted in all areas, which is a testament to the exceptional efforts of the academy’s senior leadership team and All Saints Multi Academy Trust.

Ofsted recognised that Mrs Sing, together with her dedicated senior leadership team, has changed the school for the better, saying: “Since the arrival of the new headteacher, leaders have transformed the curriculum.”

Inspectors acknowledged how leaders have taken the school on a ‘journey of improvement’ whilst also recognising that ‘they remain ambitious for it’.

The report found that ‘pupils at this school, including those in the sixth form, benefit from a broad and ambitious curriculum’.

Ofsted also praised the teaching staff, stating: “Teachers have secure subject knowledge and have high expectations of what pupils and students should achieve.”

The academy’s ‘Curriculum for Life’ programme was highly commended. The report identified: “They are taught about how to keep themselves safe, about healthy relationships and about the value of diversity.

“They learn about equality and respect for different groups of people.”

It referenced leaders’ high expectations for behaviour are shared and understood by staff and pupils.

The report also noted how the school has a calm atmosphere, with pupils behaving well in lessons.

Commenting on All Saints Sixth Form College, which is based within the school, Ofsted reported positively: “In the sixth form, there is a well-chosen and broad range of subjects for students to choose from.”

Ofsted added: “Teachers of sixth form students are particularly skilled. As a result, students achieve well.”

Speaking about the judgement, Mrs Sing said: “We are completely over the moon by the outcome and a big thank you to staff, students, families, governors, trustees, and the local community who have been very supportive over the years.

“I am extremely proud of everything that we have been able to achieve, and together with All Saints Multi Academy Trust, we look forward to continuing the academy’s strong upward trajectory.

“Our students deserve the best quality of education and there are no limits to what they can achieve here.

Mrs Sing added: “It is fantastic to be praised by Ofsted and rated as ‘Good’ in all areas which supports our pledge to help all our students flourish and thrive and to inspire the wider community.

“The Academy of St Nicholas is now firmly on the map in South Liverpool as a secondary school of choice.”

The Academy of St Nicholas is proud to be part of All Saints Multi Academy Trust which is jointly sponsored by both the Diocese and Archdiocese of Liverpool.

The inspection team also praised the input of the Trust confirming its strong and effective governance.

Heather Duggan, CEO of the All Saints Multi Academy Trust, said: “A huge well done to Mrs Sing and her dedicated team at The Academy of St Nicholas. This is a fantastic and richly deserved achievement by all.

“It will further encourage high aspiration within the Garston and Speke communities, as well as in the Knowsley borough, providing an opportunity for students to access a broad range of A-levels at All Saints Sixth Form College.”

Labour MP for Garston and Halewood, Maria Eagle, commented: “Huge congratulations to The Academy of St Nicholas which has received a rating of ‘Good’ from its December 2022 Ofsted inspection – the first time the school has achieved the rating in 13 years on this site.

“Staff and pupils should be so proud of this achievement.

“Headteacher Jeniffer Sing and her team deserve credit for raising standards across the academy, so local families have a ‘Good’ rated secondary and sixth form offering in the area.

“I have seen first-hand when visiting the school, the positive atmosphere and aspirational learning culture that the inspectors have recognised as ‘a journey of improvement’, as well as the care and support provided to all pupils.”

Maria Eagle added: “I want to say well done to everyone who has worked so hard to gain this recognition.

“It is fantastic to see Mrs Sing and her team have already made great strides in improving the school and remain ambitious to keep moving forward.”

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