A school has won the praise of Ofsted inspectors who hailed it as a “caring and close-knit family” where students are nurtured to achieve their full potential.

Newsome Academy has been turned around under the leadership of head teacher Dean Watkin, supported by Impact Education Multi-Academy Trust. The school has gone from being rated ‘inadequate’ to ‘good.’

Ofsted inspectors who visited the school in February were impressed by the behaviour and attitudes of the students which they described as “outstanding.”

The report says: “Pupils’ conduct at the school is exemplary and an excellent model of inclusion.

“Pupils are unfailingly polite and exhibit the school’s values of respect, integrity, teamwork and aspiration. Pupils are attentive in lessons and enjoy learning.”

Describing the school as a “caring and close-knit family”, the report adds: “Staff and pupils form strong relationships that underpin the school’s work.

“Pupils are safe. They are nurtured to achieve their full potential. In the words of one pupil, echoing the sentiments of many: ‘We belong here.’

“Pupils respond admirably to the high expectations that staff have of them. They are happy, enjoy learning and achieve well. Teachers support pupils very well. Pupils learn a curriculum which is constructed and designed to give them the best start in life.”

The report says that pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) were said to “thrive” and are “fully included in every aspect of school life.”

School staff were singled out for praise for helping to transform the school. “Leaders inspire staff and pupils,” it said.

“Transformative changes to the school have been made by skilled and determined leaders. They have a sharp understanding of the school’s many strengths and remaining areas for development.”

The school has over 700 students and around 100 dedicated teaching and support staff.

Mr Watkin (pictured above) said: “This achievement is a testament to the hard work, dedication and collaboration of our exceptional staff, supportive parents and, most importantly, our talented students.

“Together, we have created an environment where every child can thrive academically, socially and personally.

“Our vision at Newsome is ‘everyone exceptional, every day,’ and we are committed to enabling every member of our school community to achieve their very best by connecting hearts and minds.”

Mick Kay, CEO at Impact Education MAT, said: “Ofsted Inspectors were fortunate to visit Newsome Academy to see the amazing school it has become under Dean’s leadership.

“I’m really pleased that the report captures many of the exceptional elements that make Newsome such a special place to learn and work. The school has been completely transformed from the one Dean and the Trust inherited.

“Newsome is now an inclusive learning community where hearts and minds connect. Relationships are exceptional, expectations are high and our model for inclusion is one of the best in the education system.”