The Halley Academy community is proudly celebrating the outcome of its first Ofsted inspection which took place on 21st and 22nd June 2022. The Academy has been judged to be Good overall with three areas of the inspection categories being judged to be Outstanding. The extremely pleasing outcome of the inspection demonstrates, in writing, the transformation that has taken place at the Corelli Road site; the academy is “safe”, “calm and orderly”.
The report highlights that all students, including those in the sixth form, are supported to achieve their aspirations through an ambitious curriculum, strong pastoral support and rich experiences. This is driven by highly effective decision making from leaders to ensure that the academy is able to provide excellent learning opportunities for students. The Halley Academy is an International Baccalaureate World School accredited to offer the Middle Years Programme in Key Stage 3 and the Career-related Programme in the Sixth Form.
Since becoming part of Leigh Academies Trust in 2018, the Academy has undergone a period of rapid transformation under the leadership of Principal John Dixon. In building a team culture all members of staff are aligned in the common vision and have a true passion for shaping and transforming the lives of young people in the community. The students reported to inspectors that they recognise the efforts of the staff body as they “receive individual support for both their learning and well-being.” This unrelenting desire to provide the best for the community is what makes The Halley Academy successful; allowing students to deepen their “understanding of themselves and their world.”
The importance of the well planned and sequenced curriculum that “allows students to learn more and remember more over time” is emphasised throughout the report. The truly inclusive community ensures that all students, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and English as an additional language (EAL), are able to access the full suite of subjects on offer. The Academy, as a learning community for all, provides purposeful professional development to ensure that staff are at the forefront in being informed of the latest research of effective teaching and learning practice.
The Academy values of Respect, Achievement, Integrity, Collaboration and Resilience are clear throughout the report and these are lived day in day out by everyone. Students both value and enjoy their learning as they “attend well”, “arrive punctually”, and “disruption to learning is rare”.
High praise was awarded in the categories of Leadership and management, Personal development and Sixth Form provision, which were judged to be Outstanding. Inspectors were particularly impressed with the collaboration of curriculum teams in encouraging students to “bring together and apply knowledge learned in different curriculum subjects” that also supports their own development. Leaders adopt an “excellence for all” approach and staff, students and parents appreciate this. Particularly in the Sixth Form, it is noted that all “go on to further education or employment, with a high proportion of sixth-form students successfully taking up university places of their choice”. Students are “keen to contribute to wider society”, taking the academy values into the wider community.
The Academy has faced many challenges in distancing itself from the legacy of its predecessor school with some onlookers struggling to separate the two institutions. However, “parents speak positively about the way the school has improved” with many reporting that their “children’s experience…had surpassed their expectations”. This is testament to the unrelenting commitment of every member of staff and much deserved recognition for everyone.
We are all extremely proud of this outcome and we know that the committed staff body at The Halley will not lose momentum in this journey of true transformation. We look forward to its continued growth and celebrated successes. “You didn’t come this far to only come this far”. [Mick Kremling]
John Dixon, Principal at The Halley Academy says: “We are so proud of our staff and students for their hard work and sheer determination. We are absolutely delighted with the report. Our relentless day-to-day high standards and expectations ensured that the inspection team experienced ‘normal’ Halley days”.
Tracey Trusler, Academies Director for The Halley Academy says: “I could not be prouder of the immense achievements of the staff and students at The Halley, it is an inspirational place to work and learn”.
Simon Beamish, Chief Executive Officer of Leigh Academies Trust says:
“The transformation at The Halley is inspiring. With so much gloom in the world at the moment, it gives us all hope and something truly uplifting to celebrate. I am grateful to the team at The Halley who have achieved an Ofsted judgement far in excess of anything achieved at the predecessor school”.