Following an Ofsted inspection on 10 and 11 May 2022, we are pleased to confirm that Retford Oaks Academy has retained its ‘good’ judgement.

In its report, the academy’s leaders and governors were praised for having ‘high ambitions for pupils’, who ‘are proud to be part of Retford Oaks Academy’ and ‘know that staff will go ‘above and beyond’ to keep them safe.’

Ofsted visited the academy in May to undertake a short inspection – a visit carried out within ‘good’ rated schools to ensure standards have been maintained since the last inspection date. The two-day visit looked at the overall effectiveness of the school, including the quality of education and behaviour and attitudes.

Inspectors found students were ‘dedicated to their learning’ and ‘work hard and do well during lessons’, and that they ‘are friendly and polite to each other’ and ‘respond positively to their learning’. The report also outlined how students, through the academy’s vison of ‘we empower, we respect and we care’, ‘know and understand that this vision will help them grow in confidence’ so that they ‘become well-rounded young people.’

Staff were credited with having ‘good subject knowledge’ and the report described how students ‘enjoy the opportunities to know more about a subject beyond what they learn in the classroom.’ Students also expressed how they ‘appreciate the wide range of extra-curricular activities’ which include ‘sports clubs, performing arts and charitable challenges.’

Executive principal, Heather Widdup, said: “We are incredibly proud of our students and are delighted that Ofsted recognised the high aspirations we have for them. Our staff and leadership team is dedicated to academic excellence and committed to providing the best quality of education for our community – and the latest Ofsted inspection is testament to this.

“Our wide and varied curriculum, supported by a range of learning enrichment opportunities, is crucial to engaging young minds. We empower our students so that they can challenge themselves and we actively encourage each student to go beyond what they think is possible, helping them to reach their goals.”

The report also highlighted that students who progress into sixth form learn in an environment which ‘challenged’ them to ‘achieve their full potential’, with one student commenting that “teachers know you and know how to guide and support you” and “because of this you want to be dedicated to your learning.”

The Ofsted praise comes after a series of Diverse Academies Trust schools, including Bracken Lane Primary Academy and Thrumpton Primary Academy in Retford, Samuel Barlow Primary Academy, Clipstone, and Redgate Primary Academy and Yeoman Park Academy, Mansfield, were also given glowing Ofsted reports in the same academic year.

David Cotton, CEO of Diverse Academies Trust added: “Education is at the heart of any community and our families can be confident that their children will receive a high-quality learning experience at Retford Oaks, delivered by staff who are expertly skilled and care deeply about helping young people pursue their aspirations. The whole academy should be very proud of this inspection outcome, and I’d like to extend my gratitude and thanks to our staff for their continued hard work and dedication to excellence.”