Academy Improvement Plan

Our Priorities for 2023 - 2024

This year we continue to focus on embedding our ethos and culture as a foundation for continuing to improve standards in all areas. St Mathew Academy will provide the very best opportunities for its pupils. We will enable them to gain the academic qualifications and social skills that will give them choices in the future, increase their cultural capital and make them socially mobile. Our pupils deserve the best teaching and we insist on the highest standards of behaviour and learning. We will ensure our pupils believe in themselves and have faith in their ability. It is crucial that our staff and parents also share this belief.

That said the focus for our improvement plan is inevitably on classroom practice. Planning, teaching and providing impactful feedback to consistently high levels are essential attributes for all our teachers and it is the main role of all leaders to enable this to take place each and every lesson. There are no short cuts and we will have to work hard consistently and collectively to challenge our pupils.

As one body, including our valued support staff, we will approach the next year with determination and confidence. Although our challenges are demanding, we feel we have the necessary expertise and work ethic amongst our staff to overcome them. All of our staff has something in common. We all care about our pupils and are determined to give them a better future. With this core value in place, we can work together to achieve a common goal.

Our Priorities for 2023-24

In Oct 2019, Ofsted identified two related areas for improvement:

  • Subject leaders in art, design and technology and science are redesigning their subject plans. This is intended to help teachers build pupils’ knowledge and skills in a more ordered, understandable way. Leaders, including middle leaders, need to ensure that curriculum planning in all subjects is effective in this way.
  • At present, the curriculum in Year 9 is not sufficiently broad. Leaders have clear plans to improve this from September 2020. They have made a start by deepening pupils’ learning in some subject areas. Transition arrangements have therefore been applied. Leaders need to ensure that plans to broaden the curriculum in Year 9 are realised.

In February 2023, our Denominational Inspection Report stated two areas for the school to improve further:

• Take the opportunity of the introduction of the new Religious Education Directory

              [a] to promote higher standards in Catholic Religious Education across the academy;

              [b] to ensure more robust systems of assessment.

• Ensure that pupils experience the rich tradition of Catholic prayer and liturgy in the daily life of the school community so that pupils can play an increasing part in its planning and leadership.

Merging these priorities with the Academy’s priorities as identified by the Academy’s own review and evaluation, the Academy improvement plan has six key priorities. Throughout the improvement plan, unless otherwise specified, every objective applies across all phases of the Academy. Where an objective is phase specific this is clearly indicated.

Catholic Life, Mission and Collective Worship

  • Ensure all pupils take an active role in the Catholic Life and mission of the Academy

 Quality of Education

  • Ensure all pupils read at or above their chronological age – read to learn!
  • Deliver consistently great lessons resulting in strong progress for all as evidenced by books, pupil voice and the learning environment.

Behaviour and Attitudes

  • Support pupils to understand the importance of taking responsibility for their actions.

Personal development

  • Ensure our PSHE and careers education prepares every pupil for a fulfilling and aspirational future

Leadership and Management

  • Develop the SMA workforce as leaders at all levels, being proactive and courageous in their roles

Early Years Provision

  • Continue to deliver a strong early years offer that builds on the embedded good practice from 2022-23 and prepares pupils well for KS1.