The visit included a tour of the school’s purpose built site where attendees were able to experience lessons, meet staff and pupils and ask questions of Associate Principal Karen Hayes.
Back in Derby County's stadium, Wendy Whelan, Executive Principal of the trust then gave a presentation focusing on how Derby Pride Academy became the first AP free school to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted and the attendees had a chance to discuss their observations over a working lunch. They showed particular interest in the school's monitoring and tracking systems and how its partnerships, across the trust and with wider business partners, has allowed them to develop both high expectations for all students and a strong CPD offer for staff.
The attendees commented on how useful it had been to hear about Derby Pride's journey to being an 'Outstanding’ AP school at first hand, as well as on how the opportunity to share good practice with others had given them lots of ideas to take back to their own schools. Comments from some of those on the visit included:
- “It’s been a fabulous day. The learning around quality assurance will have a massive impact on our own recording systems. It’s really reassuring to know that you are not a million miles away from where you should be. I am so glad I came” - Annette Turner, Principal, Southend YMCA Community School
- "It’s been brilliant and I have taken away about a dozen things to go back and tweak. Lots and lots of ideas” - Jeremy Dodd, Principal, Academy of Central Bedfordshire
“A massive thank you, the best of these events I have been to” – Chris Mulqueen, Principal, Aspire Academy
We would like to join them in thanking the staff and students of Derby Pride, and their partners, for welcoming us into their school and for sharing their experiences.
NSN is running a series of ‘Spotlight’ visits to other free schools throughout 2015. They are open to anyone from an open or approved free school and free to attend. For more details of the visits we have planned and to book your place on one, please visit our Events page.