Bracken Lane Primary Academy and Thrumpton Primary Academy have retained their Ofsted ‘good’ ratings following two independently led inspections.

Ofsted visited the academies in November and December 2021 to undertake short inspections – a visit carried out within ‘good’ rated schools to ensure standards have been maintained since the last inspection date. In its feedback reports, published on 12 January (Bracken Lane) and 19 January (Thrumpton), both academies were praised for the quality of education provided.

Executive Principal for Bracken Lane and Thrumpton, Gareth Letton said: “We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the inspections. Our leadership and staff teams across both academies are committed to providing the best quality of education for children within our communities, and strive to fulfil our vision of inspiring children, raising aspirations and creating brighter tomorrows. The latest inspections are testament to the hard work and determination of our academies, and it is fantastic to see this being acknowledged by Ofsted once again.”

At Bracken Lane Ofsted commented that children ‘are happy at their friendly school,’ where all leaders and staff ‘strive to provide every pupil with a good education,’ with staff, children, and their families saying: “We are a family.”

Children shared with the inspector that the ‘Bracken Lane Behaviours are helping them to be confident,’ and that they ‘care about their friends and want to do their best.’ In their learning, the inspector described them as ‘curious to learn new things,’ ‘keen readers,’ and ‘proud of their speedy arithmetic’.

Staff were credited for regularly checking what pupils remember and understand, which ‘enables teachers to plan next steps in pupils’ learning and identify any extra support which pupils may need.’

Emotional and physical wellbeing was also highlighted as a strength, with children commenting that they ‘feel safe and trust adults to help them sort out any worries they may have.’ Parents also commented on being ‘grateful’ to Bracken Lane ‘for the support the school provided during national lockdowns.’

At Thrumpton Primary Academy, it was highlighted that, ‘staff and pupils support each other to ‘be the best they can be,’ with the inspector commenting that there was a ‘strong sense of community’ where ‘both pupils and staff are proud to part of this school.’

The academy was praised for providing ‘a good quality of education’, where ‘leaders have a clear vision of how they want to develop the school’, and teachers and support staff were commended for helping children ‘to remember facts and concepts through well-sequenced lessons.’

Parents and carers were found to ‘value the support that their children received’ and ‘praised the school’s response to the global pandemic’, with one parent saying: “The school did a great job over lockdown and were understanding of the difficult situation and supportive to us as a family.”

Dave Cotton, CEO of Diverse Academies Trust added: “We have a wonderful community of children and families in Retford and I am delighted to see our academies go from strength to strength. My thanks go to the staff teams at Bracken Lane and Thrumpton for the amazing work they do day-in, day-out, and particularly for their determination to maintain our high standards during what has been a very challenging time. We know that by working together we can make a difference in our diverse communities and in the lives of those who learn with us and work with us, and it was particularly pleasing to see this acknowledged by Ofsted in their visits. Our staff and children should be very proud of these inspection outcomes.”