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Charles, year six student at St. Michael's Primary Academy in Exeter, holds the International School Award for School Improvement from EdisonLearning

Improvement award for Exeter primary academy

St. Michael's Primary Academy receives International School Award for improvement

Posted by Stephanie Broad | March 11, 2016 | Teaching

St Michael’s Primary Academy in Exeter has received the International School Award for School Improvement from EdisonLearning, specialists in school improvement strategies and support.

St Michael’s Primary School converted to Academy status in September 2013 and became the founder school of St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust. EdisonLearning was identified by the trust as the best partner to take St Michael’s forwards. The collaboration has provided the springboard for St Michael’s to quickly progress from a school that ‘Requires Improvement’ (Oftsed, January 2013) to an ‘Outstanding’ one (Ofsted, July 2015). Along the way it has gained more than 40 new pupils, consolidated an excellent reputation amongst parents, become a benchmark of success for other local schools and boasts one of the highest attendance records in the city.  

EdisonLearning presents the award to St Michael's Primary Academy

The aim of St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust, a trust set up by the Diocese of Exeter, is to ensure its strong family of schools either maintains an outstanding status or achieves outstanding status after joining the trust. “Until achieving its outstanding Ofsted judgement in 2015, St Michael’s had been party to an inconsistent history of achievement, was insular in its approach and dependent on local advisors to provide support for school improvement,” says Malcolm Hunt, Academies Improvement Officer at St Christopher’s Multi Academy Trust. “The EdisonLearning model combined with our strong Christian ethos has helped to shape the successful school that St Michael’s has become – one that works in collaboration with others, provides opportunities for teachers to flourish, delivers inspirational learning experiences to the children they work with and has the leadership, processes and systems to ensure sustainable improvement and growth.”

Headteacher Gill Kendrick, whose commitment was also officially recognised at the 2015 Pride of Exeter Awards where she was a Teacher of the Year finalist, says: “We’re absolutely thrilled to receive this award which recognises the amazing journey of improvement that our school community has been on. Our aim is to provide the best education possible for our children and their families. We are on a journey that can never end, and will always be on the look-out for new paths of excellence and improvement to keep our offering fresh, challenging and inspiring for all involved in its delivery. To be nominated, not only nationally, but internationally, is something we could only have dreamt of three years ago, but it is a fitting acknowledgement to the dedication of our talented staff. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to achieve this. It’s been an enormous privilege to work so hard with them to ‘Enrich Lives Every Day’, and to lead the school through such great change.”

Gill Kendrick, Headteacher at St Michael’s Primary Academy in Exeter accepts the award for ‘The Most Improved EdisonLearning School Internationally’ in front of her team of staff, pupils and parents. David Herbert, EdisonLearning Advisor, South West presented her with the award

Thom Jackson, CEO of EdisonLearning, which works with schools across the UK and America to encourage partnership working, the sharing of good practice and the provision of expertise and skills, says: “The staff, children, parents, governors, directors and members of the local community have all played their part in the success of St Michael’s Primary Academy, which thoroughly deserves this award.  With values closely aligned to our own, the Academy has made amazing progress over the last couple of years and has really grasped the EdisonLearning spirit during their journey towards outstanding.  We are delighted to celebrate their success and looking forward to the next stage of our work together.”

St Michael’s Primary Academy has strategically planned for the long term to make continual improvements and to ensure it maintains its outstanding Ofsted rating. The 2015 Ofsted judgement found pupils’ standards had risen rapidly and consistently and that pupil’s achievements were outstanding. It also reported that the headteacher and senior leadership provide very determined and focused direction, and that staff skilfully provide children with a vibrant and interesting environment for learning and that the governing body are ambitious for everyone in the school. Believing it is their Christian and moral duty to serve and help others , the school is now reaching out to support other schools across  the South West, including those in Special Measures, and schools are also being signposted to St Michael’s to benefit from their good practice, their expertise and experience.

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