Year 5 (2014 – 15) – Venture students achieve the best results ever, breaking new records on the East coast
- 5 years since Venture welcomes its first year 7 students and the Class of 2015 achieves its highest set of results demonstrating the impact of sustained outstanding learning experiences.
- Rosemary Prince of the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Office visits Venture and writes to the Principal “The building is fabulous but you have to make a school sing and I could feel the vibrant heart that has been created to engage pupils”
- The annual OAT review found that “Behaviour and pupils’ attitudes to learning are exemplary” and that “the ethos of the academy is outstanding and there is an excellent climate for learning”.
- The review also recognised that “Guild work is innovative and is very beneficial in providing pupils with new learning experiences to further develop their cultural and social skills” and that “The enrichment curriculum is first rate.”
- Venture and Ignite host the first Teach First launch event to be held in a school or academy, leading the way in the issues facing coastal schools. Venture Academy executive principal Nicole McCartney told the new teachers she was thrilled to welcome them, and urged them to remember what motivated them to join the scheme.
- Venture hosts its first “Venture Stars” evening celebrating the excellence of students across Years 7-10. Local businesses sponsor exclusive awards and World class athlete Sophie McKinna gives a motivational speech.
- The Ormiston Cup is launched and Venture Sports stars prove their talent, retaining it for most of the season.
- Venture officially becomes a Community Hub for Norwich City Football Club
Year 4 (2013 – 14) – Beyond Outstanding and World Class!
We had achieved Ofsted Outstanding and moved into our amazing new build, 2014 became the next step on our journey to providing a world class education for all.
- Venture opened its doors to a new academy building providing learners with an innovative space for learning, ensuring that students and staff had the environment they deserved. The Chair of Governor’s Lesley King said “What we have now are buildings that you, the students and staff, deserve. These buildings are ready for the flair and excitement of trying out new things and taking even more pride in your work.”
- Professor Toby Salt, Chief Executive Officer of Ormiston Academies Trust described Venture as “our most outstanding and special academy”
- Venture succeeded in its bid to become the first secondary teaching school in Norfolk and launched Ignite. “The National Teaching School programme is a Government initiative marking a shift towards school centred training and development. To be designated a Teaching School it is essential the applicant school be judged outstanding by Ofsted, have consistently outstanding results and demonstrate a history of collaborating with other schools to secure pupil improvements”.
- Venture is visited regularly by our Education Adviser who rigorously monitors and supports the Academy to ensure it continues to improve “the ethos of the Academy overall never fails to impress” (EA Report April 2014)
- Venture has taken part in the Norfolk LEA visits to monitor progress - “the school has continued its forward progress without any pause in its mission”. (ECF Report July 2014)
Year 3 (2012 – 13) – Outstanding Ofsted Report
- “Inspired leadership from the Principal has transformed the quality of education provided for students. Her determination to raise their aspirations and achievement has led to rapid and sustained improvements.”
- “A relentless drive to improve teaching quality has made it consistently good and regularly outstanding. Teachers know individual students well. They make sure that students’ personal needs are met and that they achieve the challenging targets set for them.”
- “Based on their low starting points, most students make outstanding progress. Standards have risen from well below to above the national average since opening.”
- “Students who join the academy with low levels of literacy are promptly taught how to read and write, enabling them to enjoy learning and achieve well. Gaps in their basic skills are filled through intensive, personalised support.”
- “An innovative, stimulating range of subjects enables most students to enjoy learning and acquire qualifications during and by the end of Key Stage 4. The vast majority are well prepared for the next stage of their education, training or employment.”
- “Students’ behaviour is exemplary. They attend regularly, are well mannered, courteous and respectful. Students wear their uniforms with pride and aspire to represent the academy as prefects, captains and councillors. Older students enthuse about the improvements that have taken place and say they feel much safer than in the past.”
- “The concerted drive for sustained improvement is based securely on rigorous, regular monitoring of individual students’ progress and wellbeing, including of disabled students and those who have special educational needs. Those at risk of underachieving are nurtured and supported so they can meet the high expectations of them.”
- “Senior and subject leaders work collaboratively to secure improvement. They regularly observe lessons to check the quality of teaching and its impact on learning, and encourage staff to share best practice. Systematic auditing of each subject holds staff accountable for the achievement of students in their care.”
- “Governors’ incisive knowledge of schools makes a major contribution to the academy’s ethos and success. They set the highest expectations of staff and students.”
Year 2 (2011 -12) – Outstanding Ofsted Section 8
- “The academy has made outstanding progress towards raising standards.”
- “Standards have risen sharply since opening. In 2011 the vast majority of Year 11 students attained at least five A* to C grades. Based on their well below average starting points and the low standards achieved in the predecessor school, this is a notable achievement. This year, students are predicted to achieve higher standards. The proportion of students attaining at least five A* to C grades, including English and mathematics, increased to 46% in 2011, more than double the amount achieved by the predecessor school. This year, 52% of pupils have already achieved this benchmark which is above the academy’s target. Senior leaders anticipate this will rise further to close to the national average after GCSE examinations later this year.”
- “Changes introduced by senior leaders have generated a strong ethos based on regular attendance, hard effort and high achievement.”
- “Students value the quality of teaching they receive and feel that it is much better than in the predecessor school. They told inspectors that they are on-track to achieve what they are capable of because of the high expectations teachers have of them and the help and encouragement they provide. Lessons observed jointly by senior leaders and inspectors confirmed this.”
- “Student exclusions have reduced considerably this year. Students are punctual, sensible and polite. They wear their uniform with pride and adopt responsibility as prefects, councillors, team and inner college leaders. They enthused about the range of enrichment opportunities provided for them. Closer monitoring of attendance has reduced persistent absence significantly. Overall attendance is above the national average. Procedures to safeguard the welfare of students are secure.”
Year 1 (2010 – 11), progress at Ormiston Venture Academy was assessed by the Young Person’s Learning Agency.
As part of this review, Peter Johnson, of the YPLA, met with Principal McCartney and the Vice Principals, various members of the middle leadership team and members of the Student Executive Board. He also analysed data and reviewed the Academy’s self-evaluation process and observed a number of lessons. In his final report, Mr Johnson made the following conclusions:
- The Academy has continued to develop and improve at an astonishing pace. Inspirational senior leadership has established a confident community where staff and students work together to achieve the ambitious vision for success; the Academy’s capacity to achieve excellence is outstanding.
- Students’ progress has improved rapidly through much improved teaching and learning. As a result the Academy is on track to achieve results that are much higher than ever achieved in the predecessor school. Predictions based on accurate and reliable data indicate that GCSE results in 2011 will exceed targets, past results and Fisher Family Trust estimates by considerable margins.
- Students’ personal development has improved significantly in the last year, they have become conscientious learners who work hard in lessons to meet the increased expectations for their academic and personal development. Their behaviour has improved substantially and exclusions have fallen dramatically. Attendance has risen by 7 percentage points compared to the predecessor school and is now above the national average.
- Leadership is outstanding; governors provide robust challenge to the Academy and support it effectively. The development of middle leadership has been a particular success and together with the senior team they now provide the means by which further improvement is assured.