Ofsted Report / Performance

Please feel free to download our latest Ofsted report:

Link to our report on the Ofsted site

Link to school and college performance tables


Key Stage 2 Results 2017/2018:

KS2 Data 2017/2018
The percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics 19
Average progress in reading between KS1 and KS2 -3.33
Average progress in writing between KS1 and KS2 -5.79
Average progress in mathematics between KS1 and KS2 -8.23
Percentage of pupils achieving a high level of attainment in reading, writing and mathematics 0
Average scaled score in the reading test 99.5
Average scaled score in the maths test 94.1


Please see the following email from Dave Strudwick, which was sent to parents on 4 December 2018:

An important message about our school’s progress

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope this email finds you well. It certainly is a busy time of year for everyone as we prepare for the festive season, and also reflect on the year gone by.

In its sixth year there are already many areas of success in our school – ranging from the achievement of the youngest children, who consistently achieve well compared to other Plymouth Schools, to the oldest students already achieving great success in their Culinary Art BTECs (a qualification that is equivalent to a GCSE that some of our students are taking).

Our goal, as a school, is to give our students a whole life education that prepares them for their future and grades are, of course, a part of that. We are terrifically proud of our BTEC students and others for what they’ve already achieved.

However, we have also had disappointment as a school in our End of Key Stage 2 SATS (Year 6 results). Those assessments happened in May 2018, with the revised results confirmed this term. Our KS2 outcomes were well below the national average, mainly in Maths. (further details are provided in the notes at the end of this letter).

It means that our school’s ranking as a whole is lower in performance than other schools, but this is not representative of our school as a whole or where we are now. As Headteacher, I take full responsibility for the poor performance and apologise to you all as parents.

There are certain things that we have already done since the summer, that our monitoring is showing have already made a difference. This includes strengthening the Phase 2 maths team which now has three very experienced teachers in Jon, Jess (who returned from maternity leave part way through last year) and Lizzie, as well as Dani (who is a maths specialist) and Claire and Tamsin, who work as Teaching Assistants, although they are fully qualified teachers. We have also given additional teacher time to the students in Year 7 (last years’ Year 6) who were behind where they should be and these students are already improving.

I want to also clarify the main reasons why we had these low results. One of the reasons included being without a permanent Phase Leader for 2016/17, prior to Jon Merrison’s arrival. This meant that some of the teaching was not good enough in 2016/17 but this has improved significantly over the past 12 months. As the school grew we also had many children arriving in Year 5 or 6. Unusually, half of last year’s Year 6 arrived in Year 5 or 6. As a result our school had much less time to make a difference. In fact only 13 of the 55 students in the Year 6 group were with us from Year 2.

We have, since the summer, embarked on further training and support for our staff. Staff have attended courses and we have identified schools, in Plymouth and outside the city, to work with who have achieved excellent standards in Year 6. Jon is leading Phase 2 Maths, and the current student attainment (the level of their work) and progress (how quickly they have improved from Key Stage 1) is much improved. Results in Reading and Writing are also very encouraging.

Let me again say that I take full responsibility, and reiterate that we have already taken strong action. We are therefore confident that, as the quality of teaching has improved, that this is not an issue we will be facing again.

We hope that you can see that, whilst our results were really disappointing and not good enough, we have continued to take action to improve all outcomes. We are committed to your child’s future in our school. We will keep on working hard to see them fully prepared for their future by having good grades and having the ability to develop habits of success that help them find their way in life. Exams are a part, but not all, of this. Just recently we were recognised in a national report for our work, which was a strong indicator of the need for a refreshed view of school that appreciates the changing world we are living in.

And that’s what we are building here – a school for the whole of your child’s life. We are in our 6th year of something incredible, and I thank every single one of you for supporting us as we move forward.

Finally, if you have any questions about your child’s progress, please speak in the first instance with their base camp teacher / tutor or the Phase Leader. If you have any concerns about the issues in this letter, please do contact me directly at headteacher@schoolofcreativearts.co.uk

Thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the Winter Exhibitions over the coming weeks.

Best wishes,



Further Detail:

Further to the email regarding our end of Key Stage 2 (KS2) results, and our ranking as a school, this section below gives greater detail of the issue

Our Key Stage 2 results

Every year, at a national level, students in Year 6 are assessed for Key Stage 2. At PSCA, we had 55 students assessed in May of this year for Key Stage 2, which makes up about 5% of our student population.

(The Key Stage 1 assessment happen in Year 1 for Phonics and Year 2).

The expectation is for a school to have 60% of its students meet the expected standards in all of Reading, Writing and Maths. We only achieved 19%, mainly due to the scores in Maths where only 25% achieved the expected level.

In reading 60% achieved the expected standard

In writing 46% achieved the expected standard

In Maths 25% achieved the expected standard

Progress from Key Stage 1 was well below national expectations in all three areas.

Questions and Answers 
How are our teachers being helped?
We have invested significantly in staffing and resources to support KS2 and the assessed year group, now Year 7. This includes appointing Teaching Assistants who are qualified as teachers, engaging external maths consultants to provide quality assurance, identifying schools in Plymouth and outside the city to work with linked to the teaching school alliance who have achieved excellent standards in Year 6, and meeting with the Regional Schools office to secure further guidance and support for our school. Phase Two Leader Jon Merrison has begun working alongside staff in the studio to further support their development.We also have training planned for the Non Pupil Days in January.his supports the roll-out of training that staff such as Jon and Dani have attended, ran by specialists outside the school.

Is there any outside monitoring of our school?
Our assessments are moderated by the local authority.

What is being done with Maths in KS2?
We have met with and will be working with a specialist maths consultant to quality assure the developments we have been making. They are working to improve the quality of learning for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Still being a young school, are we receiving any outside help?
We’ve been in contact with the Regional School’s Commission and they have offered additional support in the form of us working with another school.

How have we been measuring the improvement?
We have been moderating our assessments each half term and developing the quality of planning in relation to these through staff and Phase meetings.

What is the response from the Board of Governors?
The governors have provided a great level of scrutiny, which has included observations, analysis and meeting with the deputy Regional Schools Commissioner to discuss where we are. Governors are provided with a termly update and specific questions relating to Maths were picked up at half term.