HARRIS ACADEMY SPURGEON ROAD “OUTSTANDING” – INNIT!
HARRIS ACADEMY in Spurgeon Road, Upper Norwood has been marked ‘outstanding’ by inspectors from OFSTED – less than two years after it opened.
The latest OFSTED verdict has attracted national newspaper attention after previous head Chris Everitt made headlines back in October 2013 when he banned a wide range of words and phrases – coz*, aint, bare, like, innit, extra, you woz, we woz – at the school, off Beulah Hill.
Students were also banned from beginning sentences with “basically” and ending sentences with “yeah”.
The OFSTED report makes no mention of the banned words – and whether or not they are still banned.
But it does praise the “outstanding” school on many points. The report says:
- Students made rapid progress in the academy’s first year, particularly in English and mathematics. Over half of the Year 11 students attained five good GCSE grades, including these two subjects.
- Students now achieve extremely well; their reading has improved significantly and they confidently and successfully write at length.
- Teaching has moved into a higher gear since the academy opened. Students’ learning is often outstanding. Many teachers are skilful at asking questions which make students think and justify their answers.
- With increasingly effective marking, students learn how to improve their work. They also receive excellent one-to-one advice during lessons and revision sessions.
- Students’ personal development is outstanding. They are thoughtfully prepared for their future lives and to understand British values, and styles of life and religious beliefs different to their own. Social, moral, spiritual and cultural elements of academy life have an outstanding impact on broadening students’ aspirations and knowledge.
Students described numerous assemblies and tutor sessions on topics related to British values. These ranged from terrorism to the rule of law, democracy to child labour or human rights day to Holocaust Remembrance Day. At least once a week, students discuss the news, often viewing well-chosen, related video clips.
And there’s also praise for the students:
Students behave very sensibly around the academy. They are polite and considerate. They get on very well together and enjoy life at the academy. Practically all students work hard and are keen to learn. A small minority find it hard to concentrate in lessons and have yet to enjoy and be enthusiastic about learning.
The number of exclusions, whilst declining fast, reflects why behaviour is not outstanding. Students’ safety has a high profile. Students feel safe and secure and confident that adults will help them with any problems or issues.
All the Year 11 students met during the inspection had chosen to stay on into the sixth form. The academy supports those who choose to move into work, apprenticeships or sixth form colleges equally well.
In September 2015, present Year 8 students will join with those at South Norwood and they will all start their GCSE courses at that site. Only Years 11 and 10, along with Year 10 students from South Norwood, will remain at Upper Norwood in September 2015. .
At present, the two academies have separate identities but by the end of August 2017, the name Harris Academy Upper Norwood will no longer be used – it will continue to be one of two sites within Harris Academy South Norwood.
Over 90 per cent of students are from minority ethnic backgrounds, dominantly Black African, Black Caribbean and Asian. Only a small percentage of students are White British.
Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people, and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages. They rate schools on four grades: gutstanding; good; requires improvement; and inadequate.
*HARRIS ACADEMY TOP TEN
1 Coz I luv you – Slade
2 Aint No Stopping Us Now – Mcfadden and Whitehead
3 The Bare Necessities – from the film The Jungle Book sung by Phil Harris as Baloo and Bruce Reitherman as Mowgli.
4 Like I Do – Maureen Evans
5 Hole innit my shoe – Traffic
6 Yeh Yeh – Georgie Fame
6 If you woz the only girl in the World – sung and recorded by various artists since it was written….in 1916
7 We woz the champions – Queen
9 Basically 4th Street – Bob Dylan
10 Headline News – Edwin Starr (Extra, extra read all about it)
Bubbling under: Cum on Feel the Noize – Slade / Mama Weer All Crazee Now – Slade
Further reading / sources:
Teachers at failing Westwood Girls’ College in Upper Norwood strike over lesson observations – by Chris Baynes Croydon Guardian 16 May 2013
‘Like’, ‘innit’ and ‘bare’ among slang words banned in school by Harris Academy Upper Norwood – Hannah Williamson, Croydon Guardian 15 October 2013
Struggling school turns round its fortune by banning slang words ‘innit, ain’t, coz and woz’
by Eleanor Harding, Daily Mail published: 28 July 2015
Full OFSTED report can be downloaded from Harris website.