Dartford Primary Academy ready to be judged OUTSTANDING

Photo of the outside of the Dartford Primary Academy building.

Dartford Primary Academy is delighted to share the findings from the recent ungraded Ofsted inspection conducted on 12th and 13th September 2023. The inspection confirmed the academy sustained its ‘good’ status, with evidence indicating that an outstanding judgement would have been achieved if it had been a fully graded inspection. This means that Ofsted will now re-inspect Dartford Primary Academy on the graded framework within a shorter timescale.

Highlighted within the Ofsted report was the academy’s commendable ethos, with pupils living out the motto of aspiring to be ‘determined, persistent achievers, learning to change the world’. The report noted, “From the early years upwards, pupils happily live out the school’s motto… Throughout the school, pupils achieve exceptionally well.”

The inspection underscored the comprehensive programme of character education integrated from the early years, stating, “Pupils benefit from an extremely comprehensive programme of character education… As a result, pupils do not just achieve well academically – they also learn valuable life skills such as being open-minded, reflective and principled. This prepares them very well for life beyond school.”

The impeccable behaviour of pupils and their consistently positive attitudes towards learning were also acknowledged. The report conveyed, “Pupils’ behaviour is impeccable. Pupils demonstrate consistently positive attitudes towards learning. Teaching is rarely interrupted.”

Moreover, the high ambition reflected in the curriculum was praised, with the report detailing, “The school’s curriculum is highly ambitious… It is detailed, sequenced and coherent, which supports teachers to know exactly what to teach and when.” The quality of teaching, especially the support provided to pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), was appreciated for ensuring equal achievement among all pupils.

The academy’s focus on reading was recognised, specifically the emphasis on phonics and the cultivation of a love for reading from a young age. The report shared a delightful insight from Year 6 pupils who “talked fondly and knowledgeably about the reading they were doing about Charles Darwin, saying: ‘We love this, and it is helping us to understand things we are learning in geography and science’.”

The report also praised the exceptional relationships and attitudes among pupils, alongside the comprehensive personal, social, health education (PSHE) curriculum which was described as a strength. The academy’s effort in enhancing pupils’ spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development was acknowledged as high quality, helping pupils to become ‘understanding, respectful and tolerant’ members of society.

On governance, the effective systems and processes in place to keep governors, trustees, and executive leaders well-informed of the academy’s performance were noted, along with the value placed on staff views in decision-making, reflecting a collective well-being ethos.

Principal Rebecca Roberts expressed, 

“I am wholeheartedly grateful to our passionate staff, enthusiastic pupils, and supportive parents whose collective commitment and engagement have significantly contributed to the overwhelmingly positive feedback we have received from Ofsted. It’s the unwavering support and the collaborative spirit within our Dartford Primary Academy community that propels us towards excellence. This feedback not only reflects the hard work of each individual but also reinforces our shared vision for delivering an enriched learning experience. We truly believe that every child is a determined, persistent achiever, who will change the world!.  As we move forward, the insights from this inspection will serve as a valuable compass guiding us, hopefully, towards an outstanding judgement at the next inspection.  Dartford Primary is in my opinion, simply excellent and it is with immense pride I celebrate our communities success”. 

Simon Beamish, CEO of the Leigh Academies Trust said:

“As we approach the 10th anniversary of Dartford Primary Academy joining the Trust, this hugely encouraging feedback from Ofsted is indeed a testament to the persistent efforts of everyone involved over the last few years. The prospect of celebrating this anniversary with a formal recognition of “outstanding” by Ofsted would be very well deserved.  It would not only honour the past decade of dedication and achievement but also sets the tone for the continued pursuit of excellence in the years to come.”

The findings from this inspection bolster the academy’s resolve to continue delivering a rich educational experience, nurturing each pupil towards achieving their full potential in line with the overarching mission of Leigh Academies Trust to deliver ‘education for a better world’.

The full Ofsted report is linked below and will be published on the official Ofsted report website in the coming days.

Dartford Primary Academy Ofsted Report - September 2023