Announcements | 5th July 2024

Our plans in response to Ofsted findings

Ipswich Academy has launched a programme of weekly meetings with parents and students as part of its drive to address the results of its recent Ofsted inspection.

School co-principals Abbie Thorrington and Samuel Fox have also announced an action plan to ensure that the quality of teaching provided by supply staff is of high standard and to place a stronger focus on the quality of teaching and consistency of approach across all areas. 

The move comes after the school’s May inspection, published 5 July, which concludes that despite careful planning and some high-quality teaching, the school requires improvement.

Abbie Thorrington said: “We’ve been through the Ofsted report carefully with the inspectors and are now engaging with the whole school community to address issues raised. Yes, that means staff, but parents and pupils also have an important role to play. By working together, we can make changes quickly and effectively.

“While we know we have issues that need to be addressed, we were pleased that inspectors highlighted the high degree of trust between staff and pupils and the rich range of personal development activities we provide.”

Inspectors noted that early reading is a strong point for the school with effective support for pupils.

Samuel Fox added: “We’ll use these meetings to keep our parents and carers informed about progress and to tap into our students’ experiences and views in order to find what will work best.

“The inspectors have pointed to the areas in which we need to improve. As well as our local school community, we’ll be drawing on the expertise within Paradigm Trust, which runs schools in both Ipswich and London. Our Trust’s director of school improvement, Ben Carter – a senior leader and an ex-headteacher himself – will also be actively involved.”

The school has convened weekly meetings of its parent director and academy council members as well as a weekly staff meetings and a weekly meeting of students. Support in classroom management and teaching have been in place for supply staff since April and this will continue throughout the the summer term and the autumn. The school has also targeted three main areas to drive school improvement and address issues highlighted by the inspection; there are culture and ethos, stabilisation of staffing and providing a high quality of teaching for all students.

Announcements | 4th July 2024

Inspired Junior Chef competition!

For more information and an application form please contact

If you apply, you are confirming that you would like to take part in our Charity Junior Inspired Chef event and will be available for 5 weeks of training every Tuesday from 18:30 until 20:30 starting 10 September 2024 and for the main event on the evening of Tuesday 15 October 2024.

Participants must be aged between 13 and 16 years old. Closing date for applications 31 July 2024.

News | 6th June 2024

Free mental health and wellbeing workshops

Mental health is important so we would like to highlight these upcoming free virtual workshops on mental health and wellbeing. Find out more and book your place through the website.

Announcements | 22nd May 2024

New basketball club for children and young people in Ipswich

Aspire Basketball is a newly established club who are passionate about delivering quality, fun coaching sessions for children and young people in Suffolk. The club has been formed due to the recognition that there are limited opportunities for children to learn basketball in the Ipswich area. Why not give it a try over the half term holiday?

Uncategorised | 19th April 2024

Year 9 Options

The options process is a really important time for Year 9s. Ensuring that students are well informed of the GCSEs available and possible career paths will help them make the right choices. The Options Evening is on Thursday 9 May, but please take all opportunities to discuss the process with teachers before then.

Announcements | 15th April 2024

Year 10 Booklook

We would like to invite parents and carers to our Year 10 Booklook on Monday 29th April from 3:40-4:40pm. Come along and take a look at the great work your child has been producing towards their GCSEs. We look forward to seeing you all there.

Announcements | 15th April 2024

PE extracurricular timetable for summer term

News | 22nd March 2024

Free workshops to explore competitive university paths

Explore your ambition! One Sixth Form College is hosting a series of free workshops to help students explore competitive university pathways. Each workshop is designed to support students with higher education decisions and you will receive lots of tips and advice to help you with your future decisions. Sign up today to ensure you have a place!

News | 14th March 2024

Creative Workshop

Why not join this creative workshop that is happening over Easter (8th-11th April) in Ipswich – the workshops and lunches are free, and travel bursaries are available!

Teaching | 13th March 2024

The benefits of extracurricular activity

Extracurricular activities can play an incredibly important role in a student’s educational journey. They give young people the chance to explore beyond their classrooms, providing them with the opportunities to discover new interests and learn new skills. 

The benefits of extracurricular activities

A study published in the Economics of Education Review by Stephen Lipscombe found that when it came to extracurricular activities, athletic participation is associated with a 2 percent increase in maths and science test scores. Club participation is associated with a 1 percent increase in maths test scores, and involvement in either type of activity is associated with a five percent increase in Bachelor’s degree attainment expectations. 

It’s crucial however, to avoid thinking extracurricular activities are only good for supporting subjects on the mainstream curriculum. Each one has its own intrinsic value and can spark an interest or uncover a passion which students carry with them for years to come, either simply as a pastime, or something that influences their choice of a profession in later life. 

Paradigm’s core principle is that our curriculum prepares students to lead fulfilling lives and to play an active, positive and productive role in our democratic society. In essence, the value of extracurricular activities lies in the holistic development they offer, contributing to well-rounded individuals ready to face the challenges of the future.

Extracurricular activities often improve social skills and teamwork. Whether through sports teams, games clubs, music ensembles or other activities, students learn to collaborate, communicate effectively, and appreciate the importance of collective effort. These experiences can contribute to personal growth and prepare students for the collaborative nature of the world of work.

Taking part in extracurricular activities is also a positive way for young people to build cultural capital. Participation exposes students to a variety of new experiences and environments, and this exposure can help them develop a broader understanding of different cultures, perspectives and ways of life. Participating in arts, music, drama and other creative activities can allow students to express themselves and develop an appreciation for various forms of cultural expression. This exposure enhances their cultural capital by growing creativity and aesthetic awareness.

Finally, clubs can also encourage students’ attendance, as they provide something additional they may look forward to coming to at school. 

By having a wide range of extracurricular activities on offer, before and after school, and at lunchtimes, we can give young people access to learning and experiences they may not receive otherwise, helping them become more rounded individuals for the future. 

Last updated March 20, 2024