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Forge Principal Chosen For Key School Support Role

Posted on Saturday 25th March 2017

The Principal and staff at Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath have been selected for a top role supporting schools in challenging circumstances.

Andrew Burns is one of more than 70 principals to be appointed to the role of national leader of education (NLE) in the latest recruitment round.

NLEs along with staff in their school – designated a national support school (NSS) – use their success and professionalism to provide additional leadership capability in other schools.

NLEs are deployed to suit the needs of each school needing support. The type of support provided is flexible and can sometimes involve NLEs becoming executive headteachers. They also have responsibility for developing the next generation of NLEs and national support schools.

Principal at Ormiston Forge Academy, Andrew Burns, said: “It’s an incredible honour to receive this designation on behalf of the academy and I am looking forward to supporting other schools on their journey towards improvement.

Our commitment to the young people at Forge remains unwavering, but we are now able to extend the reach of the Forge effect and make an even bigger difference.

Many NLEs/NSSs report improved outcomes at the schools they support.

Roger Pope, Chair of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, said: “It’s fantastic that heads like Andrew have the passion and ambition to help improve the life chances of young people, not just in their own but in other schools as well.

The aim of national leaders of education is to drive improvement in underperforming schools. We now have over 1,200 NLEs and we’re working to increase this number further to spread educational excellence everywhere.

Successful heads have been invited to attend a formal induction and training event for the role in driving school improvement.

Stephen Rayner, Chair of Governors at Ormiston Forge Academy, said: “We’re proud of the strength of leadership throughout our academy, but Andrew has a particular ability to recognise and develop the leaders of the future, while always thinking first of the needs of students and communities.

Working from a National Support School, Andrew and his colleagues have an exciting opportunity to influence improvements on a wider scale.


Andrew Burns, Principal of Ormiston Forge Academy and National Leader of Education

                   Andrew Burns, Principal of Ormiston Forge Academy and National Leader of Education

Building a network of former students for Ormiston Forge Academy

Posted on Thursday 16th February 2017

As you may know, Ormiston Forge Academy has begun to build a fantastic network of former students who are becoming a great part of school life. This year, we have chosen to work with the charity Future First to help reconnect with even more of our former students. The vision is that our school should be supported by a thriving, engaged alumni community.

Alumni can offer us support in several ways, including as career role models, work experience providers, mentors, governors and even fundraisers or donors.

Whether former students have gone on to be graphic designers, sports coaches or surgeons, we want current students to understand the different options that are out there for them. Very simply: if former students can do it, so can they.

To help make sure that all former students know they can reconnect with us, we are appealing to students who have left in the past few years to keep in touch. It would be fantastic to hear what you are doing now, so please do follow this link – it only takes a couple of minutes:

In addition, we are also looking for older past pupils to keep in touch too! If you, any of your older children, friends or neighbours are former students of the school (Heathfield or Forge), please do pass on the link as we’d love to find out where our former students have gone on to.












World Champion from Dudley

Posted on Sunday 22nd January 2017

Last weekend a former student from Forge won the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) UK Championship belt. You may not think that I’m a wrestling fan but when a Forge student is involved, I’m always interested. It helps to receive a plethora of messages about the win and it was blanket coverage on social media.

Tyler Bate is 19 years old and when competing in the title tournament he was up against opponents bigger than him and opponents who had much more experience than him. Yet, when you watch the footage you can clearly see that Tyler has worked hard and has an incredible amount of talent. In fact, Triple H, 14-Time World Champion and executive vice president of the WWE suggested that Tyler is the future of wrestling.

That’s wrestling which has grown to be a multi-billion-dollar sport, a global phenomenon with millions of fans all over the world and a sport that includes some of the most athletically gifted performers on the planet. It’s a sport that has produced names like The Rock, Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin; megastars!

Tyler is, and will always be a WWE Champion, the company have shown absolute faith in him and given him this spotlight because he is the best. He’s the best in the UK and it won’t be long before he shows the rest of the world how good he is.

At no point during the many hours of hard work he put into his profession did where he came from have a part to play. At no point did anyone in the WWE consider where he came from as an obstacle to his undoubted talent. Being the best was good enough.

Being from the Black Country or the West Midlands (the geography will depend on your politics) is NOT an obstacle to success and I hear the excuse all of the time. We teach our students that anything is possible but there is a difference between teaching and showing. Tyler has shown that anything is possible. We’ve had a student this year interviewed for Oxford University, he’s shown that anything is possible.

Tyler has shown that age and where you come from isn’t a barrier to success. He’ll inspire Forge students and he’ll inspire young people all over the world, wherever he goes. He’s worked hard and is a leading light for bright young talent in this area.

In his interviews, Tyler has shown humility and great pride and we are all incredibly proud of his success. He’s a role model for all of us. Let’s keep putting ourselves on the map!

Andrew Burns
















We Are Five! Happy Birthday To Forge.

Posted on Tuesday 3rd January 2017

We’re five years old! That’s to say, Ormiston Forge Academy opened five years ago. I’m delighted with the progress that we’ve made in this time.

Our celebration this morning was quite a low-key affair. It’s a training day. There was cake, pictured! We’re going to save the main celebration for Prize Giving, where we celebrate our students, it seems right that we combine the two as they go hand-in-hand.

For the staff, I led a visioning session today. Before we finished for the Christmas break I asked everyone to provide some structured reflection on the last five years, it made for an inspiring read. The commitment and aspiration the staff at Forge show makes me very proud. It is also encouraging to read that staff echoed many themes and with such a large body of staff, having people on the same page means that we’ll reach our goals quicker and with less friction.

We started our visioning session by looking at the journey and my remarks from five years ago when I first started. We’ve come so far and we weren’t far off the mark in our aspirations. We wanted to be good, all day, every day! In 2016 Ofsted told us that we were!

Now we need to be VERY good, all day, every day. I make no secret of the fact that I want us to be Outstanding. It’s what our students deserve and I know that my staff are committed to delivering. However, it’s more than that. As we plan for the next five years we all need to be involved in what this school will look like. To this end, I’ll be inviting parents, stakeholders and, most importantly, students into visioning sessions to reflect on the past and build for the future.

This is the best fifth birthday present I can deliver. We will build on the firm foundations we have, plan for the future and ensure that this school inspires and serves generations of young people from Cradley Heath and beyond. There will be candles at Prize Giving, I’m sure they’ll be a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday too but what matters is that this school pushes on, that we keep improving exam results and our student get the best education and the best start in life that they can possibly have.

Andrew Burns














End of term arrangements – December 2016

Posted on Tuesday 13th December 2016

Dear Parent/Guardian

End of term arrangements

As we approach the end of the Autumn Term, I would like to thank you for your continued support, inform you of the end of term arrangements and wish you all a fantastic festive period.

Thursday 15 December – Non-Uniform Day
The cost is £1 per family. Money raised will be donated to Save the Children. Whilst it is optional we are looking for as many Christmas jumpers as possible.

Thursday 15 December – End of term, 12.20pm
Term ends at 12.20pm for all students. Food will be provided at break time as per usual ‘Friday’. arrangements

Friday 16 December – Staff training day
Academy closed to students

Tuesday 3 January – Staff training day
Academy closed to students, except student leaders. Student leaders are joining the staff training from 10.15am

Wednesday 4 January – Start of Spring Term, 8.40am

Year 11 Results Day
Year 11 students will have an important assembly at 2.10pm on Wednesday 4 January. At the end of the assembly, they will receive their Mock Examination results in an envelope, like they will do with their ‘real’ results in August 2017.

Parking on Wrights Lane and Heathfield Close
Can you please be mindful of local residents and traffic on Wrights Lane. From January the local authority camera car will be out reviewing the traffic situation. They will be handing out spot fines for anyone parking in Heathfield Close and parking anti-socially on Wrights Lane. If you have to pick children up at the end of the day can you please use Best Street or adjacent streets and get children to walk to you.

We really appreciate your support in these matters.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Yours faithfully

Andrew Burns

Forge Celebrates Fourth Year of GCSE Improvement

Posted on Thursday 25th August 2016

Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath is celebrating yet another excellent day of GCSE results after A level success last week and in the same year that the Academy was judged as Good by Ofsted.

Students have achieved a 53 per cent A*-C pass rate for five GCSEs, including English and Maths. Three years ago this figure was 44 per cent.

This excellent set of GCSE results represents a three per cent point increase on the five A*–C grades including English and Maths from last year and a six per cent point increase from two years ago. Even more so, there has been a significant improvement at the top end with a record 91 A* (A-star) grades amongst the year 11 cohort, compared to 63 in 2015, this is all in spite of declining national trends. In total there were 245 A*/A grades.

Alongside results that are consistently good like Business Studies and English, which recorded an impressive 91 per cent A*-D, there have been some incredible departmental performances this year. Religious Studies students achieved an 84 per cent A*-C pass rate, an increase of 16 per cent on last year. German rocketed from 50 per cent to 93 per cent, an increase of 43 per cent at A*-C grades, and Tech Graphics and Child Development posted increases of 50 per cent and 42 per cent respectively. Maths posted a three per cent increase on last year and Geography improved on its impressive 2015 total by two per cent, resulting in an 84 per cent A*-C pass rate.

Notable achievements this year include:
Samuel Robson – 8 A*, 3 A, 1 B
Alex Bennie – 8 A*, 1 A, 1 B
Lee Harding – 7 A*, 4 A
Jake Buswell – 6 A*, 4 A, 1 B
Tahirah Sultana – 5 A*, 6 A, 1 B
Jodie Walwyn – 4 A*, 4 A, 1 B, 1 C
Liam Wilkinson – 4 A*, 3 A, 5 B
Ibrahim Yaseen – 4 A*, 4 A, 4 B
Max Wilding – 3 A*, 8 A, 1 B
Leighton Smallshire – 2 A*, 5 A, 4 B

The overall pass rate for English and Maths (i.e. the overall percentage of grades A*-G) was 99 per cent. The five GCSE A*-G pass rate has barely fluctuated over the last four years at 96.7 per cent, proving the Academy provides a model of consistently good education. All of this, combined with the outstanding A level results from last week, means the Academy represents excellent choice for Sandwell students starting in September at year 7.

Andrew Burns, Principal, said: “We continue to be a model of consistency and make good, solid progress each year at GCSE and A level. There’s no secret; we work hard and play hard. I have to thank my staff for their continued effort and dedication in ensuring our young people get the education that they deserve. Congratulations also to our students who commit to study and work incredibly hard and who deserve great success.

He added: “We’ll welcome back many students into our Sixth Form in September, another new start for them. Alongside that, we’ll also welcome record numbers into year 7. Forge is fast becoming the school of choice in the area and with a Good Ofsted grade and further increases in GCSE and A level pass rates we are going from strength-to-strength.

Dr Lisa Mason, Vice Principal for Key Stage 4, said: “Congratulations to our students who have done so well this year; there is nothing better in education than seeing young people fulfil their potential and I am very proud of the achievements we are seeing today.

Toby Salt, CEO of Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “We would like to congratulate the students for their hard work, there are some lovely success stories at Ormiston Forge Academy today. It is our absolute priority as a Trust to ensure that every student fulfils their potential, no matter what their background and we look forward to building on progress year after year.

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Ormiston Forge Academy Goes From Strength-To-Strength

Posted on Thursday 18th August 2016

Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath goes from strength-to-strength as students record another outstanding set of A level results in the same year that the Academy is judged as Good by Ofsted.

Students marked yet another year of consistently high academic and personal achievements with 63 per cent earning three or more A level passes (A*-E), a four per cent increase on last year.

In addition, 91 per cent of students passed with two or more A levels and 98 per cent with one or more. This excellent set of results confirms the Academy’s position as one of the top establishments in the area for A level success.

Attainment is mirrored in vocational subjects with students securing excellent results for the wide variety of subjects on offer at Forge. This represents the success Forge has at delivering both pathways, something which it is very proud of.

Average point score per student for A level this year was 692 compared to last year at 627. In vocational subjects the average point score per student this year was 646, compared to last year at 554. Schools are ranked on league tables within each local education authority by the average points score per student at secondary school. A level grade A* scores 300 points, A = 270, B = 240, C = 210, D = 180, E = 150.

There were some outstanding individual performances:
Chris Hall: A*A*A* A
Emily Mahon: A* B B C
Merjam El Tabie Shousha: A A (and three distinction stars at BTEC Level 3)
Fay Hadley: Two distinction stars and a distinction at BTEC Level 3

The following students, picking their AS results up today, also performed with great distinction:
K-Ryan Hinds: A A A A
Eleanor Kendrick: A C A
Iram Qayyum: B C B

The large majority of students who have applied to university have been accepted to study the courses they wanted and many students have been successful in their applications to Russell Group Universities.

Principal Andrew Burns said: “I’m delighted with yet another good set of Key Stage 5 results. On average our students are earning a point score of 208 per entry, this number is the equivalent of a strong C grade, last year this number was 196. By making these gains year-on-year we are showing that we, as an academy, continue to improve and young people who study here, do well.

He added: “In the upcoming weeks and months when the national picture becomes clearer and we are compared to other schools, our positive value-added results will show that we aren’t just a Good school, but we are a school on the path to Ofsted Outstanding.

Vice Principal in charge of Sixth Form, Mr Craig Cooling said: “I’ve nothing but pride and admiration for this group of students who have applied themselves so well and worked so hard for these grades. They are earning places at good universities and securing good jobs; they are well-rounded, capable individuals who have much to contribute to society.

He added: “Sixth Form study at Forge is the best choice for young people to do well; our results show this and Ofsted agrees that our provision is Good. Our Forge family is a strong network of parents, teachers, governors, support staff and students – we all strive for the best and on days like this I offer congratulations to the students and thanks to everyone involved.

Professor Toby Salt, CEO of the sponsor Ormiston Academies Trust added: “It is our absolute priority as a Trust to ensure that every student fulfils their potential, no matter what their background, and key to this is raising students’ aspirations. We are thrilled that Ormiston Forge Academy is continuing to make progress with some fantastic student achievements this year.

l-r Sam Banner, Amy Dunn, Cameron Edmondson



Open Events – September 2016 for 2017 Entry

Posted on Saturday 23rd July 2016

We’re delighted to be able to announce our open event dates for September. We will be throwing open our doors to prospective students and their parents on Thursday 22nd September and Saturday 24th September.

Children who are due to start secondary school in September 2017 and their parents are invited to visit Forge to gain a taster of life at the Academy. Once again, we achieved another set of excellent A level results last summer as well as a first-class set of GCSE results.

Forge has a Good grade from Ofsted. We are rated as Good in every category we were inspected – including sixth form; personal development; pupil outcomes; quality of teaching and effectiveness of leadership and management.

The doors will be open from 6.00pm–8.30pm on Thursday and 9am until 12 on Saturday. No need to book, just turn up.

Visitors will be able to try out science experiments, view paintings, watch our food technology department cook for our modern foreign language cafe, check out our new range of Chromebooks, interact with the geography and history departments and meet our Principal Andrew Burns amongst many other things. Also in attendance will be our resident sea cadet group and The Access Project who help our student improve their grades even more to get them into a top university.

Last year an incredible amount of visitors turned up so please arrive early and allow around 90 minutes to get the most out of your visit.




Action by Major Teaching Union – 5th July

Posted on Saturday 2nd July 2016

You may know that the NUT are planning strike action on Tuesday 5th July, which will disrupt teaching nationally.

Ormiston Forge Academy will be open as normal and we have made plans to keep disruption to an absolute minimum. All students are expected to attend school on Tuesday 5th July, teaching and learning will continue as normal.

Should you need any further information, do not hesitate to contact the academy.

End of Half-Term Newsletter

Posted on Tuesday 24th May 2016

Dear Parent/Guardian

Ofsted Training Day
The Ofsted training day, each school/academy is allowed to take, is scheduled for Friday 24 June. The academy will close at 1.25pm on Thursday 23 June and re-open to students on Tuesday 28 June. We have scheduled the day to make a long weekend and reward students for their hard work.

As per all of our training days we will supervise children in the academy if child care is an issue. We do appreciate that training days inconvenience parents, so if you need us to supervise your children let the main office know.

Students who have external exams scheduled for Friday 24 June should attend for their exam.

Riding Bikes and Scooters to the Academy
We are really pleased that so many children are choosing the healthy option and riding bikes or scooters to the academy. We have, however, had some reports of children riding dangerously in the community. Safety of our students is paramount and the roads around the academy are incredibly busy. Please encourage your children to ride safely, walk at busy junctions and wear a helmet when riding. We will be running Road and Cycle Safety sessions next half term.

Pencil Cases and Equipment
Thank you for supporting us in our drive to ensure all students bring equipment to the academy in a pencil case. The vast majority of students have their equipment day in day out. To become an outstanding academy all students need to show a readiness to learn. If your child does not have a pencil case, please address this over the Whitsun break, if there are any issues, please let us know and we will provide one.

Holidays in Term Time
You will have seen much of this issue banded about the press recently. Whilst we have not authorised any holidays in term time, we have always taken a common sense and sensitive approach to the subject. We have exceptional attendance at the academy, which has undoubtedly contributed to improved outcomes and our good judgement. There is a link between attendance and student performance. We consider attendance at 96% and above to be the accepted standard for students, preparing them well for their future careers.

Thank you for your continued support on this matter and sending students in with a sniffle, it really helps them develop a work ethic for future life.

England v Wales – 16 June
We will be streaming the first half of the European Championship football match for those students who want to watch the game.

Important Dates
Friday 27 May break up for half-term at 1.20pm
Monday 6 June return to the academy after half-term
Thursday 23 June academy closes at 1.25pm
Friday 24 June training day, academy closed to students
Monday 27 June training day, academy closed to students.
Friday 22 July end of summer term, academy closes at 12.20pm

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Burns

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Ormiston Forge Academy, Wrights Lane, Cradley Heath, West Midlands, B64 6QU. Tel: 01384 566 598.