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City Academy is on the way up

David Brunton, principal at City Academy Norwich, which Ofsted said is making satisfactory progress.

David Brunton, principal at City Academy Norwich, which Ofsted said is making satisfactory progress.

Archant © 2009

Norwich's second academy is making steady progress since it changed status just over a year ago, inspectors have found.

City Academy Norwich (CAN) opened in September 2009, replacing Earlham High, which had previously reached a low point when just 6pc of its pupils gained five or more A*-C GCSEs including English and maths.

On October 20 and 21, the academy was subjected to a monitoring visit by Ofsted for the first time since the transformation, which will eventually see it move into a new £20m-plus complex.

The report, which gave an overall “satisfactory progress” verdict, said attainment improved in 2010, but standards remained “low”, with GCSE results “well below the national average”.

The issue of children joining the school with low standards of literacy was being addressed through adaptations to the curriculum, the report added.

The inspectors observed lessons and said the progress students made was “satisfactory”, while the academy’s monitoring of student progress had “developed well”.

Principal David Brunton said: “I’m delighted by Ofsted’s recognition of the continuing improvement being made at City Academy Norwich.

“Ofsted has praised the highly challenging targets set by the school and, more importantly, that these targets are being met. Local parents know that this is a school on the way up and first choice applications have more than doubled this year.

“We recognise that we are only part of the way along the road to becoming the outstanding school we aspire to be. However, I am delighted for our students, staff and parents that the improvement in attainment, attendance and behaviour already achieved has been recognised.”

Inspectors praised behaviour, saying the “great majority” of students were well behaved, although in a “small minority” of lessons some students were “too unsettled”.

The report said there had been “some difficulties” in recruiting fully qualified staff to teach information and communication technology and design and technology, but these were now fully staffed.

It also pointed out that the number of students was rising, with twice as many in year seven as in year eight.

The report added: “Students told inspectors that behaviour is much improved since the academy opened and say that teachers’ use of the disciplinary policy contributes well to this.

“Attendance is also improving, and is currently in line with the national average. The number of students who are persistently absent is reducing, though it remains high.”

Visit www.ofsted.gov.uk

Do you have an education story for the Evening News? Call reporter Steve Downes on 01263 513920 or email steve.downes@archant.co.uk

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