Ryde Academy Is On The Up

Ryde Academy has made huge strides since the appointment of its Principal Joy Ballard in September 2015. This progress was recently confirmed by a successful Ofsted inspection where Ryde Academy was rated as ‘Good’ following years of ‘Requiring Improvement’.

The grading is well deserved by Joy, all the students and staff as well being important recognition for education standards on the Island, the Ryde community and especially parents who have chosen a local school that is determined to raise standards and educational attainment for their children and young people.

All this hard work is not only raising ambitions for students but also for staff who enjoy a supportive working environment which encourages them to have high aspirations for themselves whilst achieving the best for the students.

A rise in student numbers and responses to staff recruitment campaigns also highlight the Academy’s increasing popularity. For the first time retention rates into the 6th Form have increased.

Students and staff are very excited about moving into their new school which is really taking shape and is expected to be completed in Autumn 2017. The new building includes a bright and modern library as well as a designated area for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) which along with the new sports and performing arts facilities will ensure that the Academy continues to develop Island talent.

Joy attributes the turnaround to a number of factors not least the hard work and dedication of staff and students. She said: “It is lovely to see staff and students working together for a common purpose which is to fulfil the potential of all our young people as well giving staff the opportunity to develop their own aspirations.

“The students are at the heart of what we do and as such have a voice in their school. We have strong Student Council who represent the views of their peers. They have been involved in discussions about their new school from the beginning of construction and also help shape day to day life at the Academy.”

Ofsted inspectors noted that ‘relationships between teachers and pupils are strong.

The environment is safe and supportive and pupils are encouraged to discuss to explore their ideas. Pupils enjoy their lessons and speak positively about their experiences’.

They are proud to be Ryde Academy students which was reflected in the Ofsted report which stated that ‘pupils are extremely proud to belong to Ryde Academy.

They recognise the better progress they are making and are appreciative of their teachers and the leaders of the school’.

The Ofsted report, along with the building of the new school, means that the Academy is well on the road to the success that everyone has worked for and that students and the community deserve. It looks like 2017 will continue to Shine Bright for Ryde Academy!


Joy Ballard is from Southampton and moved to take up the post of Headteacher at Willows High School in Cardiff, made famous by the TV Channel 4 series ‘Educating Cardiff’.
Joy returned to the south coast and in 2015 was awarded ‘Headteacher of the Year’. She became Principal of Ryde Academy in 2015. She says: ‘I love the Isle of Wight. It is such a special place. The people are warm and kind-hearted and there is so much to do and enjoy. I am proud that my family and I are part of life on the Island’

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