School etc

Thornhill Community Academy Trust

Thornhill Community Academy Trust
Valley Drive
West Yorkshire

phone: 01924 324890

headteacher: Mr Jonny Mitchell


school holidays: via Kirklees council

759 pupils aged 11—17y mixed gender
900 pupils capacity: 84% full

425 boys 56%


335 girls 44%


Last updated: Aug. 5, 2014

Secondary — Academy Converter

Education phase
Establishment type
Academy Converter
Establishment #
Open date
Dec. 1, 2012
Reason open
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 425380, Northing: 418255
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.66, Longitude: -1.6174
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
Yorkshire and the Humber › Dewsbury › Dewsbury South
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Main specialism
Science (Operational)
SEN priorities
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Private Finance Initiative
Part of PFI
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Free school meals %
Trust school
Is supported by a Trust
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Dewsbury

Schools nearby

  1. The Community Science College at Thornhill WF120HE
  2. 0.3 miles Thornhill Junior and Infant School WF120QT (372 pupils)
  3. 0.7 miles Overthorpe Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior, Infant and Nursery School WF120BH
  4. 0.7 miles Overthorpe CofE Academy WF120BH (278 pupils)
  5. 1.1 mile Sitlington Middlestown Junior and Infant School WF44QE (205 pupils)
  6. 1.2 mile Thornhill Lees Church of England Voluntary Controlled Infant and Nursery School WF129DL (326 pupils)
  7. 1.3 mile Paradise Primary School WF129BB (225 pupils)
  8. 1.4 mile Headfield Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior School WF129PD (582 pupils)
  9. 1.5 mile Pentland Infant and Nursery School WF129JR (191 pupils)
  10. 1.6 mile Madni Muslim Girls' High School WF129AY (215 pupils)
  11. 1.6 mile Ravenshall School WF129EE (180 pupils)
  12. 1.7 mile Savile Town Nursery School WF129LY
  13. 1.7 mile Savile Town Church of England Voluntary Controlled Infant and Nursery School WF129LY (170 pupils)
  14. 1.7 mile Institute of Islamic Education WF129NG (263 pupils)
  15. 1.7 mile Horbury Bridge Church of England Voluntary Controlled Junior and Infant School WF45PS
  16. 1.7 mile Horbury Bridge Church of England Junior and Infant Academy WF45PS (132 pupils)
  17. 1.8 mile Dimple Well Infant School and Nursery WF58LB (186 pupils)
  18. 1.8 mile Ossett School WF50DG
  19. 1.8 mile Ossett Academy and Sixth Form College WF50DG (1771 pupils)
  20. 1.9 mile Earlsheaton Infant School WF128JF (108 pupils)
  21. 1.9 mile Sitlington Netherton Junior and Infant School WF44HQ (236 pupils)
  22. 1.9 mile St Ignatius Catholic Primary School WF50DQ
  23. 1.9 mile St Ignatius Catholic Primary School WF50DQ (164 pupils)
  24. 2 miles South Ossett Infant School WF50BE

List of schools in Dewsbury

CfBT Inspection Services
Suite 22
West Lancs Investment Centre
Maple View
T 0300 1231231
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
Direct T 01695 566863
Direct F 01695 729320
Direct email:
reveal email: jben…

1 June 2015
Ms Beverley Matthews


Thornhill Community Academy
Valley Drive
West Yorkshire
WF12 0HE
Dear Ms Matthews

Requires improvement: monitoring inspection visit to Thornhill
Community Academy, Kirklees

Following my visit to your school on 3 June 2015, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s

Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to report the inspection

findings. Thank you for the help you gave me and for the time you made available to
discuss the actions you are taking to improve the school since the most recent
section 5 inspection.
The visit was the first monitoring inspection since the school was judged to require
improvement following the section 5 inspection in February 2015. It was carried out

under section 8 of the Education Act 2005.

Senior leaders and governors are taking effective action to tackle the areas requiring
improvement identified at the recent section 5 inspection. The school should take
further action to:

 improve teacher expectations regarding the quality of pupils’

handwriting and the presentation of written work

 review the roles of senior and middle leaders to ensure a more

balanced distribution of responsibilities and a sharp focus on the main
priorities for improvement.


During the inspection, meetings were held with the headteacher, other senior
leaders, members of the Governing Body, a representative of the local authority and

two of the school’s trustees to discuss the actions taken since the last inspection.
The school’s action plans were evaluated. Pupil’s work in books was scrutinised. The

outcomes of internal monitoring were evaluated.


Since the last inspection a new headteacher has been appointed. You began your
new post two days before this monitoring inspection on 1 June 2015. Also,
recruitment has taken place to appoint several new teachers some of whom start
their posts in June and others on 1 September 2015. This is ensuring the school will
have a full complement of staff in time for the start of the new academic year. An

external review of the academy’s use of the pupil premium has been completed by

an external consultant.

Main findings

You and your senior staff and the Governing Body have accepted the findings of the
recent inspection. You committed time prior to starting in post and worked with
senior leaders and governors to respond quickly to the issues raised by the
inspection report. This is much appreciated by staff and governors.
An action plan is in place with suitable targets to improve the quality of teaching and
the standards achieved by pupils. The Governing Body were involved in the planning
and their views inform the intended actions. An external consultant evaluated the
plan. The plan provides a detailed record of actions, who is responsible, how
improvement will be made and success criteria at certain milestones. However, it is a
lengthy document and not easy to access for governors. A review should be
undertaken and the main points produced in a summary which is easy to read and
which can be used by governors to hold school leaders to account for progress and

The review of the academy’s use of the pupil premium was prompt. It is critical of
the school’s evaluation of the impact of additional funds. Notably, the report

highlights that staff and governors show a significant lack of knowledge about the
strategies used to intervene with pupils eligible for this funding. In response, led by
you and your senior team, an action plan has been produced which addresses the
findings in the report. The plan is sharp and comprehensive and governors are
knowledgeable about the intended actions.
You are raising expectations about standards and the quality of teaching. There is a
tangible confidence among governors and senior leaders about the pace and early
impact of changes being made. You have reviewed the roles and responsibilities of
senior leaders taking into account the new expertise which you bring to the school
and the skills of other senior leaders. This has been welcomed by staff. The roles of
middle leaders need a similar review. The balance of responsibilities is heavily

weighted on senior staff. The school’s improvement priorities require a more

equitable distribution in order that individual senior staff may put more time and
effort into the main issues.
You and senior leaders have produced revised guidance and new procedures for

teacher’s marking of pupils’ work and improvements to pupils’ extended writing.

Inspection evidence shows that these initiatives, whilst relatively new, are being
consistently implemented across the school departments. For example, in all pupils’
work seen there is regular use of `even better if’ (EBI) comments from teachers and

`my response is’ (MRI) comments back from pupils. These are collated onto one

sheet and used at the end of each half term when pupils apply these improvement
points as they review and redraft a piece of extended writing.
There are examples of significant improvement to the quality of some pupils
extended writing. This is variable and for too few pupils. In particular, the impact of
new guidance is not resulting in enough improvement in the general standard of

pupils’ written presentation and especially in regard to pupils’ handwriting.

A number of school to school partnerships are in place providing additional expertise
and capacity for improvement. You have put in place a strategy to coordinate these
partnerships. It aims to share best practice, borrow ideas, establish networks,
provide staff development and to concentrate on addressing the priorities raised in
the inspection report. Early impact is evidenced in new homework booklets which
highlight past examination questions and encourage extended writing. Also, the

school has liaised with an examination board advisor to support the school’s

guidance for pupils about assessment tasks.
The recruitment procedures recently used by the school for the post of headteacher
and other teaching roles are robust. In particular, they ensure that appointments are
made which are well matched to the needs of the school. For example, your own
significant and successful experience with regard to the use of the pupil premium.
Equally, the procedures ensure that appointments are only made when a sufficiently
high quality applicant is available, as shown by the decision not to appoint to one
Ofsted may carry out further monitoring inspections and, where necessary, provide

further support and challenge to the school until its next section 5 inspection.

External support

Local school partnerships provide effective support to develop expertise and staff
skills. The local authority provides additional funding for advice and support from a
school improvement consultant. The school engages external consultants to support
leader’s monitoring and evaluation. The external review of the academy’s use of
pupil premium provides a sharp and helpful evaluation.

I am copying this letter to the Chair of the Governing Body, the Director of Children’s
Services for Kirklees.

Yours sincerely
John Coleman

Senior Her Majesty’s Inspector

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