Hollingworth Academy in Rochdale has achieved Flagship School status.
Hollingworth Academy is an impressive 11-16 comprehensive serving a diverse range of local communities largely drawn from the Pennine townships of Milnrow and Newhey. Hollingworth is a caring, vibrant school who are justifiably proud of the high-quality education they provide to all students. They have the highest expectations and insist on the highest standards from all who attend or work there.
Excellence, Equity, Engagement and Enterprise
In September 2013 they were granted Academy status, this did not change the ethos of the school, they continue to be proud to be a comprehensive school serving the local community, providing, in my opinion, an outstanding education for all students in their care. The school is a consistently high achieving and extremely successful school graded by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’ in their most recent inspection. They are designated as a National Teaching School and a National Support School in recognition of their sustained track record of school improvement and in supporting others. Hollingworth continues to build upon its proven record of excellence and their aspiration in this is clearly seen in its their mantra of “Excellence, Equity, Engagement and Enterprise” which is evident in every aspect of the school as part of their drive to seek to provide a world class education for their students, developing them as independent learners who are highly motivated and disciplined, who can focus on learning effectively for extended periods of time, who are resilient, have high levels of initiative and a clear enthusiasm for learning. They are fully committed to continuously reviewing and evaluating learning and teaching to ensure they provide the highest quality of education possible for all learners. It was clear from the evidence of the review that the key focus continues to be on achievement and the highest standards with an understanding that students will achieve where there is excellent behaviour and respect for each other.
An Inclusive Environment
Rudeness, bullying and poor behaviour which prevents others from learning is not accepted and during the review all students’ behaviour and conduct seen either in classrooms, on corridors or during social times was exemplary, the staff and students should be proud of the way they behave and interact respecting both their peers and staff. An ethos and commitment that was clearly in evidence during the review and resonates with the head-teachers, SLT and the Governors’ vision in this superbly inclusive environment.
High Teaching Standards
High standards of teaching from staff and excellent learning from students, alongside the proactive encouragement of parents, have all contributed to the school’s recent success. Everyone involved in the process of education at Hollingworth including external partners are fully committed to maximising the achievement of every student. The school has high standards where everyone is challenged and supported to flourish and encouraged to work hard to fulfil their aspirations, with an expectation that every member of the school will be the best they can be.
Dedicated and Well-Trained Team
Through a highly dedicated and well-trained staff team, Hollingworth succeeds in providing a learning environment where everyone, students and staff alike, are helped to succeed. There is a pride in their highly inclusive approach, a school where inclusion and achievement, is at the very heart of everything done and clearly demonstrate their superb inclusive practice, underpinned by their core values that develop highly positive attitudes to learning and exemplary behaviour amongst the majority of students regardless of background or prior attainment profile. The evidence is clear that the student body has embraced the school’s culture and are rightly proud to belong to Hollingworth Academy and are committed to continuing to play an active role in their community.
Leadership, particularly from the Headteacher and his senior Leadership Team, is inspirational, calm and measured. What was clear from all the evidence available, was that the vision and ethos created over a period of time and that is well established across the school permeates all that they do and is wholeheartedly shared by students and adults. It is striking that all involved actively contribute to the continued development of this ethos rather than simply accepting it. There can be little doubt that this is a school that places students and their families at the heart of all they do here, it is this that makes it such a highly successful, inclusive and popular school. Students are well presented in their uniforms and their involvement in the school through a wealth of student leadership opportunities. Behaviour seen during the review again from a walk around the school, in lessons on corridors, at social times and in discussions with different groups of students is excellent and there is ample evidence of the mutual respect that students and staff have for each other.
Confident, Happy, Polite and Courteous Students
I continue to be impressed by the confident, happy, polite and courteous students who were able to talk honestly and confidently about their learning and their experiences at the school. Students spoken to were appreciative of the efforts made to ensure they were stimulated to learn and be successful. I also continue to be impressed by the shared vision of the staff in the school at each review. It is clear to see a vibrant, stimulating, learning environment across the school with a very clear focus on helping students to develop the skills, they need to be effective and well-rounded adults in a multi-cultural society and that they are actively encouraged to develop the skills needed to be or become independent learners. During the day I met a variety of staff to discuss and thoroughly explore progress since the last review and the Action Plan for the year ahead which enabled me to build a fantastic picture of the superb inclusive practice at the school. Hollingworth has personalisation at its core and pursues excellence in learning and teaching with rigour and determination, embedding a culture where change is continually embraced, and creativity and adaptability are central to all aspects of its work.
A Vibrant, Yet Calm School
During the review, I experienced the school in operation witnessing a vibrant, yet calm school showcasing its values and vision, delivering quality teaching and learning experiences for students and demonstrating their superb inclusive culture that is a natural part of the everyday experience shared by staff and students. An example of this is continued development of ‘The Charity Club’ launched in 2016 and predominantly involving year 7 and 8 pupils who have been involved in several charity opportunities such as Operation Christmas Child where 120 shoe boxes were assembled and donated. They are currently working with The Free Faiths Forum – who bring together different religious groups to talk and provide workshop opportunities.to engage in an inter faith dialogue with links to History and Geography in school, in November they are hoping to go to Berlin to visit the House of One a project that will culminate in the building of a place of worship that will encompass a Mosque, Synagogue and Church all under one roof for inter-faith worship. They will fundraise before going to buy and donate bricks to help build the place of faith. A fascinating and fantastic opportunity for the students in the Charity Club.
Value and Respect
Clearly staff and students value and respect each other, with excellent rapport between the staff, between the students and between the staff and the students in the school. Everyone I met and talked to was very positive about and proud of what is achieved at Hollingworth Academy and as a matter of course they go beyond what is expected to ensure that students’ needs are met, fostering an ethos that is safe, secure and caring where relationships are based on mutual respect, within a structured yet stimulating, creative and engaging curriculum that is accessible and challenging for all.
Enthusiastic, Motivated and Professional
All staff I spoke to in meetings or around the school were highly enthusiastic, highly motivated, professional and work exceptionally hard to ensure that the needs of all pupils are met. Inclusion is evident in everything that happens and lies at the very heart of, and underpins everything, that happens within the school and it continues to grow as a superb inclusive school community focused on quality teaching, learning and life experiences for all those involved. There is a very clear vision of where the school is going and what is needed to get there. The continual drive for excellence is evident across all areas of the school and is key to what is done here with the hard work evident in every aspect of the school to ensure continuous improvements in their superb inclusive practices.
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