Ryecroft Academy is an average sized primary school that acts as a feeder school for our Outstanding Farnley Academy. It has a large proportion of students eligible for free school meals as well as a very boy-heavy cohort. Transformation and progress has been slow at the school, but we believe that under its new leadership, great strides will be made in all areas over the next 12 to 18 months. The academy is part of The GORSE Academies Trust and is able to access some of the best partnership support available in Leeds and nationally. Our flagship primary academy, Hillcrest was rated as Outstanding in 2016, and Ryecroft will be able to make full use of the Trust-wide support provided to it. A number of areas of development have been identified as key foci, including Early Years. We recognise that this important stage in a young child’s development is essential for their continued academic success at KS2 and have begun to make significant changes to the buildings and quality of teaching at this stage in order to maximise the quality of the provision offered. Many challenges lie ahead, and this is work in progress. We look to the example of Hillcrest and recognise that in a short space of time, great changes can and will be wrought.
KS2 data is noticeably below that of the national average. We are working to overcome a legacy of poor literacy and mathematics teaching and are implementing very successful programmes of teaching from Hillcrest and using the support of our primary AST team. This is coupled with the recruitment of a very strong teaching force from some of our other academies, in order to bolster the quality of teaching received by our young people. We recognise that these students will go on to study at an outstanding secondary academy and they will need all the tools available to ensure the very best academic performance.