The Vale Academy
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

Primary
School Guide Rating
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Wilbury Drive
Dunstable
LU5 4QP
01582211150
Pupils
512
Ages
2 - 11
Gender
Mixed
Type
Academy converter
4 1 1 2 3 4
NATIONAL AVG. 2.08
Ofsted Inspection
(17/10/17)
Full Report - All Reports
80%
NATIONAL AVG. 65%
% pupils meeting the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics
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School Description

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. The Vale Academy has sustained high standards, alongside embedding a wellrounded, rich curriculum for all pupils. Parents are supportive of the school and appreciative of the hard work of staff. Parents commented on Ofsted’s online questionnaire, Parent View, on the ‘extremely approachable staff’ and the ‘exciting curriculum’. Determined leadership, including that of governors, has ensured that the school’s drive for improvement has not wavered. Having transitioned from a middle school to a full primary school, your vision for an exciting, innovative curriculum that meets the needs of all pupils has remained constant. This too is acknowledged by some parents. One parent stated how their child is ‘excited to be going to school every day’. Your clear vision for a school that stimulates pupils’ curiosity and thirst for knowledge, new skills and understanding is evident in the improvements you have made to the curriculum and to teaching and learning. Governance at The Vale Academy is robust. The local governing board is well led and governors have clearly defined roles that enable them to regularly gather information about the school. Governors share your ambition for the success of all pupils in the school. Their regular visits to the school and involvement in the monitoring of the quality of education demonstrate their commitment to improvement. The information they gather is used to both challenge and commend leaders on the standard of education. Pupils’ behaviour is exemplary. Pupils are courteous, kind and empathetic to the needs of others. As a result, there is a harmonious learning environment throughout the school. Pupils are very eager to learn and supportive of each other’s learning. You have ensured that pupils have access to an enriched curriculum, whereby they develop key skills, knowledge and understanding through the study of exciting topics, such as dragons in Year 2 and space in Year 5. As a result, very many pupils develop independent learning skills, alongside insightful reflections on the world they live in. You correctly judge the teaching of writing to be a strength of the school. Strong leadership has ensured that most pupils from Nursery to Year 6 make good progress. The high expectations of staff are clear and pupils respond accordingly. The curriculum is well designed, enabling most pupils to develop key skills and culminating in above-average achievements at the end of key stage 2. You and your leadership team are alert to changes in pupils’ engagement and development, and act swiftly and effectively. You have developed innovative ways in which to embed the key skills required for effective writing, such as through poetry in outdoor settings. You and your leaders take effective action where you consider improvements are required. For example, as a result of your developments in the teaching of mathematics, outcomes at both key stages rose sharply. You and your leadership team draw effectively on both external and internal support. As a result, the teaching of mathematics is stimulating and effective. I observed pupils in a Year 6 class enthused by the different ways in which they could develop their calculations. You identified issues relating to girls’ confidence with mathematics at key stage 2 and immediately established effective support. Consequently, the progress of girls has improved. As a result of your developments in the teaching of mathematics, outcomes at key stage 2 rose sharply and were significantly above the national average in 2016. You recognise that there are still areas in which the school needs to improve. For example, you have prioritised plans to accelerate the progress of the most able pupils, including the most able disadvantaged pupils, across the curriculum. You acknowledge that staff need to ensure that pupils receive more precise guidance to accelerate their progress. Safeguarding is effective. Pupils speak openly and appreciatively of the hard work of staff in keeping them safe. The Vale Academy is a safe and very happy place to learn. Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe when online. Pupils also learn about road safety and the importance of care and attention when crossing the road, as many pupils walk to school. Parents stated clearly that their children were safe and well cared for at the school.

The Vale Academy Catchment Area Map

This pupil heat map shows where pupils currently attending the school live.

Enter a postcode to see where you live on the map
heatmap example
Source:
All attending pupils
National School Census Data 2020
ONS
Pupil heat map key

How many pupils attending the school live in the area?

Many
Some
Few



The concentration of pupils shows likelihood of admission based on distance criteria

0300 300 8037

This School Guide heat map has been plotted using official pupil data taken from the last School Census collected by the Department for Education. It is a visualisation of where pupils lived at the time of the annual School Census.

Our heat maps use groups of postcodes, not individual postcodes, and have naturally soft edges. All pupils are included in the mapping (i.e. children with siblings already at the school, high priority pupils and selective and/or religious admissions) but we may have removed statistical ‘outliers’ with more remote postcodes that do not reflect majority admissions.

For some schools, the heat map may be a useful indicator of the catchment area but our heat maps are not the same as catchment area maps. Catchment area maps, published by the school or local authority, are based on geographical admissions criteria and show actual cut-off distances and pre-defined catchment areas for a single admission year.

This information is provided as a guide only. The areas from which pupils are admitted to a school can change from year to year to reflect the number of siblings and pupils admitted under high priority admissions criteria.

3 steps to help parents gather catchment information for a school:

  1. Look at our school catchment area guide for more information on heat maps. They give a useful indicator of the general areas that admit pupils to the school. This visualisation is based on all attending pupils present at the time of the annual School Census.
  2. Use the link to the Local Authority Contact (above) to find catchment area information based on a single admission year. This is very important if you are considering applying to a school.
  3. On each school page, use the link to visit the school website and find information on individual school admissions criteria. Geographical criteria are only applied after pupils have been admitted on higher priority criteria such as Looked After Children, SEN, siblings, etc.

The Vale Academy Reviews

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