Outwood Academy Shafton is absolutely thrilled to announce that, after our recent Ofsted inspection, the academy has been judged to be "Good" in every category, with Overall Effectiveness also judged to be "Good". This is a huge accolade for the academy and the community it serves and rightly recognises the transformation in outcomes for young people over the 3 years since joining Outwood Grange Academies Trust.

"As a result of the increasingly aspirational culture, pupils are growing in confidence as learners and young people" Ofsted Report February 2018


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An Invitation for Year 5/6 Parents
You are welcome to visit our Academy at any time, you need make no appointment, a member of staff will be more than happy to show you around our Academy during the school day.

Student Voice

Our Student Voice President for 2018/19 is Sophie Lee. Sophie is currently in Year 10 and is a fantastic role model to other students within the Academy. She worked hard to campaign for student votes and is keen to show students how seriously she is taking the role.

‘I would like to thank everyone who supported me during my campaign. I’m extremely appreciative to everyone who voted for me and I won’t let you down.’

Sophie will work closely with other student voice groups including the Charity Committee, VMG Representatives and her Vice Presidents, Ebony Holland and Alfie Booker. Sophie, Ebony and Alfie form the Student Voice Leadership team and their roles are focused in each one of the Deeps. Sophie is working with the Deep Leadership team, Ebony is working within Deep Support and Alfie is working within the Deep Experience team. We are very excited to see them progress in their roles.

For 2018/19 Student Voice has a number of groups that encourage students to become involved within the Academy:

  • VMG Representatives
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Charity Committee
  • Y7/8 Ambassadors
  • Events team

Each term the SV Leadership team will meet with VMG Representatives to listen to student voice and ensure students feel their voice is heard within the Academy. We are keen to develop links with our community through our Charity Committee. So far this year we have raised a total of over £1500 for a variety of local and national charities. We are also keen to increase the number of Ambassadors we have in Year 7 and 8. These students are excited to show their support for anti bullying campaigns and also keen to raise awareness of looking after our environment.

So far it is another successful year for Student Voice and we are excited for what we have planned in the Spring and Summer term!

Outwood Brass

It has been an extremely exciting year so far for the Music Department of Outwood Academy Shafton.

September saw the beginning of two new ensembles showcasing the beautiful sounds of the brass and woodwind family and talent of our students. Outwood Academy Brass and Outwood Academy Woodwind are bringing back to life the more traditional sounds of music in danger of being forgotten in secondary schools. These two wonderful ensembles have been rehearsing every week, showing dedication to rehearsal and practicing at home, resulting in their fantastic sound improving week on week.

November saw each ensemble’s first public appearance at our annual Remembrance Day service, performing in front of the whole school, parents and local dignitaries with a tremendous amount of talent, professionalism and bravery, performing in front of over a thousand people at their first concert, making everyone across the academy extremely proud (and a little emotional). This was also our extremely talented cornet player, Elizabeth Iacobescu’s first solo appearance, playing the ‘Last Post’ to mark the beginning of the minute silence.

Our Christmas Concert was also an event to be proud of, with our Choir singing some beautiful songs and the first collaboration between the Brass and Wind ensembles, of which there will be more in future, watch this space!

As Miss Wragg wrote this, she was proudly sat on a coach with students and parents on the return journey from the National Youth Brass Band Competitions in Warwick where Outwood Academy Brass won the third place trophy and Elizabeth bringing home the trophy for best soloist – an absolutely amazing achievement for our first ever national competition!!

We are so proud of our musician’s achievements this year and extremely excited for the future of the various ensembles that we have running during enrichment. What an amazing year so far. With so many more students joining every week and events to come this year……Barnsley Vocal Festival, Outwood Academy Shafton Summer Spectacular and many more, and that’s just this year! The next few months are going to be an amazing adventure. I would love for anyone with a love of music to come along to a group and join in, we would love to see you!!!

Recommended Reading for Year 7 and Year 8 Students

The reading list below is for students in Year 7 and Year 8 and is tailored to content that they will potentially cover across a range of subject over the summer term. Reading these recommended books will also help students to further develop their literacy skills and give them a deeper knowledge and understanding of their subjects.

Letters to Parents

Principal's Blog

The Incredible Power of Memory

Students often ask about the "mysterious" staff training that happens in the academy each Tuesday evening. For the students, it is the one night of the week when they don't stay, in their hundreds, for after academy enrichment. Instead, this time is given to the Deep Learning team, our Directors and our departments to ensure that our staff receive the highest quality continuous professional development which, in turn, impacts directly on continuously improving the quality of teaching in our classrooms. Among other things, this time is focused on ensuring that all our teachers remain absolute experts in their relative field of study. It is also the time when students' assessments are rigorously standardised so that we can quality assure the accuracy of the information that comes out to parents and students in our Praising Stars(C) reports.

During the last half-term, we focused, through this time, on ways to develop memory recall with our students. With the exam season just weeks away, revising is a key skill that our Y10 and Y11 students need to develop. We were thrilled, once again, to invest in and host our annual Revision Festival. Families attended in record numbers and were seemingly very impressed by the support and materials made available to our young people as they prepare for their GCSE exams. With an array of techniques showcased, the event showed that our teachers had given a lot of thought and developmental time to designing ways to help students learn what they need to learn. There was a great deal of fun to be had too - GCSE PE's "Revision Pong" was an instant hit and there were great demonstrations of the various apps and online platforms that have been invested in to help our students. It was great, too, that Mindspace could attend the event and that a number of the stalls looked at student and family well-being and how to remain calm and focused during what can feel like a pressurised time.

"Memory" refers to the processes that are used to acquire, store, retain and later retrieve information. There are three major processes involved in memory: encoding, storage and retrieval. I was fortunate to lead an assembly with all students that looked at the science of memory and ways in which your own memory can be improved. Whilst retrieval of knowledge is, of course, important for students who sit exams, remembering what you have learnt is important for all learners - a house cannot be built on a foundation of sand. So, we have to ensure that what is learnt in our classrooms is concreted into the long-term memory of our learners and becomes a strong knowledge-foundation. Memory is strengthened by retrieval practice. Learning does not miraculously "sink in". It is essential to use and to teach retrieval methods routinely: Low stakes quizzing, key practice routines, mental rehearsal methods and strategies that replace weak ideas like "going over your notes" with self-quizzing and repeated practice.

In 2017 GCSE Specifications (WHAT students are expected to learn) changed across the whole country placing a much bigger emphasis on ROTE LEARNING - or "Learning Off by Heart". Students now have to recall from memory an anthology of 18 poems in English, quotes from a 20th century place, a 19th century novella and Shakespeare play in English Literature. They have to be able to recall from memory and manipulate 20 different science equations for Physics. And, in subjects such as GCSE PE, they have to recall anatomical names and facts. There are many more examples, but this knowledge expectation has to change what we deliver through our curriculum and we have to raise, even more, the expectations of our learners in terms of the revision and practice that they need to do in order to maximise their potential.

However, memory is so much more than this because memory is about knowledge and knowledge makes you interesting, gives you confidence and a feeling of self-achievement. Memory, it should also be considered, is about WHAT you know and remember but it is also about what you EXPERIENCE and how that makes you feel. Your "memories". This absolutely aligns with what we try to achieve her at Outwood Academy Shafton. Our students returning from the recent ski trip will never forget the breath-taking sights they have seen or the feeling when they took to the slopes for the first time. You never forget how it feels to go to the Prom or to walk in to over a thousand people cheering for you at Prom breakfast. When you stand in respect of the fallen in solidarity with your fellow students - this stays with you. The feeling of pride as you return from the Duke of Edinburgh expedition, captain the Y7 football team to their first ever win, get nominated as a Learning Star, take to the stage with the Outwood Brass or open a food bank for the community become a part of your incredible story. This year, once again, we have more students than ever taking part in the brilliant National Citizens Sevice programme. They will fill their summer with a thousand unforgettable moments and achievements.

So here's to committing all that brilliant knowledge from your classes to your memory and to making amazing memories for you during your time with us at OAS.


Future First: Shafton Alumni

Are you a past student of Outwood Academy Shafton, or did you attend Shafton ALC, Willowgarth or Priory School & Sports College? We would love to hear what you are up to. We are in the process of setting up a student alumni. Please get the message out and share our link to build our growing family. We can keep you up to date of any reunions and events you may be interested in. It’s always fantastic to hear the successes of our past students and provide you with the opportunity to come back and inspire our current students. Please click on Future First

Remember, spread the word!

Latest News

  • Eco Warriors!

    Huge thanks to our Eco Warriors who have been litter picking in the community today! Great community spirit and environmental awareness shown by every student.


  • Barnsley College Easter Drop-In

    Y11 students why not pop into Barnsley College for advice and guidance on Post 16 opportunities between Monday 15 and Friday 26 April.


  • Eco Warriors!

    We are so delighted that our Student Voice now have a team of dedicated Eco Warriors looking at different ways for us to be more environmentally friendly.


  • Pop-Up Foodbank

    Student Voice are seeking donations of tinned goods, pasta, instant mash etc for their pop-up foodbank. All donations can be dropped into Reception and will be gratefully received.


  • Bikeability

    Any students interested in completing the Bikeability Level 3 qualification please speak to Mr Jepps. It involves a 1.5 hour ride in the community where you will be required to demonstrate a number of skills.


Outlook Magazine

Parent View

Parent View gives you the chance to tell us what you think about your child’s school.

Parent View asks for your opinion on 12 aspects of your child’s school, from the quality of teaching to dealing with poor behaviour. Ofsted will use the information you provide when making decisions about which schools to inspect, and when. By sharing your views, you’ll be helping your child’s school to improve. You will also be able to see what other parents have said about your child’s school.