Isaac Newton Academy off to an "outstanding" start

Isaac Newton Academy – a brand new school set up by the ARK academy network – has been praised by Ofsted as an "outstanding‟ provider of education.

The official recognition from the independent schools watchdog means that the school in Cricklefield Place in Ilford is now one of the top schools in the whole country. Under the revised Ofsted criteria it is expected that less than 5% of schools will be given an "outstanding‟ rating. Isaac Newton Academy gained the top grade in all four categories: achievement of pupils, teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.

The report praises the attainment levels and progress made by pupils in the first two years: “The achievement of students is outstanding. The academy has established very high quality teaching where every student succeeds.”

Teaching is seen as “consistently strong” and the behaviour of pupils is singled out for praise as well. The report concludes that, “students‟ behaviour in lessons is exemplary. They have a passion for learning, actively contributing to and supporting their own and each other‟s learning very well.”

Rachel Macfarlane, Principal of Isaac Newton Academy, said: “This result is a tribute to the hard work, commitment and skills of the entire school community and I was delighted that the inspectors recognised that all teaching and support staff make a significant contribution to the running of the academy. It‟s great to be able to share this praise with all our staff, students, parents and the community who are supporting us. We won‟t rest on our laurels - we are determined to continue to make improvements as we take in another secondary year group and our first primary pupils in September.”

The Ofsted inspectors highlighted the academy‟s “specialisation in music and mathematics”: they noted that pupils are very proud of being able to learn a big band instrument and “really enjoy music making”. Pupils at Isaac Newton recently performed at a special gala concert being organised by ARK Schools on 7 July at the world renowned Barbican Centre in central London.

The report also praised the curriculum that the academy uses. “The unique "BRIDGES‟ programme enables the students to learn, explore and develop the qualities and skills to become very well-rounded individuals, exceptionally well equipped for the future world of work.”

You can read the full report here.