THEY promised to turn things around, and they haven’t disappointed.
Just 15 months after Southampton’s Oasis Academy Mayfield was given notice to improve in a report from Ofsted,
it is literally a completely different place.
Having moved into its new £15m building in February, the school has now been given a vote of confidence by inspectors.
The latest monitoring visit has seen the Ashley Crescent academy rated as “satisfactory”, but with everything in place to continue its rapid improvement.
The report, which praises the drive to boost standards, represents another positive step in Oasis Mayfield’s brief history.
Delighted principal John Toland, whose “excellent leadership” is praised as empowering “staff at all levels to grow and excel with the prime focus of securing students’ achievement”, is proud the
effort to transform the academy has been recognised.
He said: “It’s fair to say it’s radically different, and that’s the product of all the work that was going on in the old buildings – it started way back when I arrived here, but it takes that time
to come through.
“It’s been a focus and vision that this is a centre of excellence for this community.”
Inspector Paul Scott said in his report he had seen a “clear and concerted shared drive and ambition for improving the academy further”.
He wrote: “The increasing range of opportunities offered, the excellent new buildings, good curriculum and the increased quality of teaching are helping students to engage more with their learning
and develop higher aspirations for the future.
“Improving teaching has been the prime focus of the senior leaders, through clear monitoring and support systems. Much is now good, and some outstanding teaching inspires and challenges students to
achieve the best they can.
“Students increasingly believe in their own success because of the academy’s positive ethos for success. The behaviour of students has improved significantly over the last few years.”
Mr Toland, who praised the dedication of all staff for working through what he described as “no joyride” since Grove Park and Woolston secondaries were merged
in 2008, said achievement is set to continue rising.
Results from early GCSE entries already match last year’s overall figures.
He said: “Students right through the school are making progress at least in line with national averages.
“We’ve got a slightly below national average intake, so moving them to that is value added, but with our history here is showing a massive recovery of all the ground that was lost and then more so.
The students know that their aspirations are higher and their ambitions are higher.
“We walked around and (the inspector) said ‘wow’, these kids are energised – they’re engaged and they’re enjoying it.”