Alumni Weekend Preview

In a worldwide exclusive, please see below a leaked version of our inspection report by alumni from the upcoming alumni weekend!

23 days to BDotY! Fun fact: Dr Pepper is flavoured with a proprietary mixture of 23 flavourings.

Cambridge University Hockey Academy

Inspection report


Unique Reference Number4322666
Local AuthorityCambridgeshire
Inspection number1890
Inspection date24 January 2020
Reporting inspectorAlumni

Type of SchoolAcademy & Sixth Form
School CategoryCambridgeshire
Age range of pupils18-32
Gender of PupilsMixed
Number on Roll133
Appropriate AuthorityThe Shadministry
ChairLord General Baz
HeadteacherMr Louis Totton
Date of previous school inspection26 January 2019
School AddressThe Wilberfortress
Contact Address

Introduction

Following an unexpected ‘requires improvement’ designation in last years’ completely redacted report, a visit this year was commissioned to assess how improvements have been made to specific areas of the school’s performance ahead of the BDotY examinations.

The inspection was carried out by three teams of prestigious alumni. The inspectors evaluated the overall effectiveness of the school and investigated the following issues:

  • The quality of coaching, and a suitable lack of, where appropriate,
  • Interpersonal & conversational skills,
  • The standard of student achievement,
  • The quality of school uniform and school meals,
  • The involvement and contribution of leaders at all levels in developing the school.

The inspectors gathered evidence from lesson observations, informal discussions, school documents, including weekend previews and fantasy hockey statistics. Discussions were held with teachers, governors and students.

Description of the school

This very popular over-subscribed school is larger than average. The socio-economic circumstances of students are well above average. It is hockey after all. Students travel to the school from three countries, the United Kingdom, Girton and Homerton. The proportion of students classified as ‘atypical’ is well above average, although this can be explained by the dominance of science and engineering. The vast majority of students are from White British heritage; very few students speak conventional English as an additional language. 

The attainment of students when they join the school is usually below average in useful skills such as being able to look after yourself. Student attainment is, however, well above average in unnecessary hobbies such as calculus, naming the bones in the body and critiquing the work of Tolkein.

Key for inspection grades

Grade 1 Got a wobble
Grade 2Average
Grade 3Loves to panic
Grade 4Chopper

The overall effectiveness of the school

Overview

Grade 2

This academy tries its very best to live up to its ancient motto of ‘GDBO’. With the omission of an anomaly last year, the recent excellence that the school achieves results from the emphasis given to this motto in all aspects of its work. Students are overwhelming in their praise of the academy. Parents expressed delight with the choral skills exhibited at the multiple family events held throughout the year. Pressure for places is high because of the academy’s excellent reputation in the locality and further afield.

Quality of Teaching

Grade 1

Throughout the school, the boys and girls are taught separately to reflect their different learning styles. In the senior school, experimental teaching of girls in the blue house has led to some interesting results. In their most recent transferable skills session, girls learnt that if you’re awful at one sport, then if you pretend to be bad in other sports, you’ll perform in the top decile. Meanwhile, the boys in the blue house learn in a more traditional rote learning approach. Through repetition and reading of extensive textbooks sent each Friday night, they have adapted the approach famed in Singapore and pioneered by housemaster Bang-Li-Star Chan-Li. In junior school, boys in the wanderer’s house are frequently taught through ‘positive reinforcement’. Rewards are set for high performing candidates, whilst underperforming candidates are provided with additional teaching to rig-d’or-ously condition them for their upcoming annual assessments.

Extra-curricular activities are led expertly, with minimal contact time. This allows students to develop into true autodidacts, learning from their surroundings. As expected, results show a greater degree of scatter, but the approach reveals intangible long-term benefits.

Student Achievement

Grade 1

Performance of the school can be easily evaluated through their performance league tables. The school conducts weekly assessments in order to evaluate the performance of all classes. Data is rigorously analysed and summarised in an exemplary manner.

Analogous to attainment 8 scores

Independent tests carried out by the inspectors show that their remains room for improvement. This is somewhat surprising given the array of high performing graduates and those that have gone on to work at a now less familiar technology-enabled management consultancy. Teams of inspectors tested students rigorously in each house to identify flaws prior to their annual assessments. Their vivas were weak, with many gaping holes, indicating that youth should still respect their elders. 

Interpersonal Skills

Grade 3

The quality of interpersonal skills was consistent with previous reports. Informal conversations highlighted a lack of basic conversation skills. When speaking with those of opposing gender, male students lacked a great degree of confidence. A plausible explanation cannot be found, although conversation flowed better after milk time.

More generally, the academy should be extremely grateful that comedy is not contained within the national curriculum.

School Uniform

Grade 4

Recently, supply issues have hampered efforts to standardise appearance. Attempts by the boys to sexualise the school uniform were quickly quashed by the staff. Inspectors were informed that it was a tight call, but the problems were numerous. A replacement uniform is still to arrive and the uniform secretary in HR is yet to send a postcard to send a letter to send an email to have a phone call to have a meeting to get a confirmation date for delivery. 

For the annual examinations, the dress code is yet to be confirmed. This leaves many students confused and worried about what to wear. Inspectors were told that a list of acceptable items for each house was due soon, after submissions from house captains, but that all ‘dark’ blue items are strictly prohibited (see C7).

Meals

Grade 2

The school canteen provides students with hot food. The salad is fresh and crispy, the rest of the food is hot. Boys in ‘blue house’ have shown a high degree of global awareness and are trying to eat more veg. 

Pasta is the sustenance of the Italian economy

More generally, nutrition is taken very seriously, with no milk being consumed on Fridays. The students also show commendable global awareness, as illustrated by their efforts to keep the Italian economy afloat. 

Leadership

Grade 1

The committee works tirelessly to keep the club running. The headteacher has assembled an exemplary team of knowledgeable staff. This is backed up with a group of procrastination-prone students who form an excellent set of house captains.

The exams officers have organised a good quality group of invigilators who enforce regulations consistently and fairly. Not all heroes wear capes. As always, some of them are more aware of their surroundings than others, and some of them have a better understanding of the regulations.

Finally, the welfare committee appears well-prepared for the imminent setting, having discussed and laid the key groundwork with house captains to help explain decision-making processes. No student should feel unable to contact a welfare officer, they are extremely capable.

What the school should do to improve further

  • More wholesome events such as Pictionary, film nights, trips to Super 6s… Fewer wholesome events also encouraged, but there appear to be many already in the school calendar.
  • Score more goals, concede less goals.

Annex A: Upcoming assessments

TeamOppositionH/ATimeForm
SquanderersLong Sutton 2nd XIA14:30WWL
BedouinPelican 1st XIA13:45WLL
WanderersShefford & Sandy 1st XIA14:30WLW
NomadsSudbury 1st XI A12:15DWD
MBluesCoP 2nd XIA14:30WWW
WBluesUpminster 1st XIH13:00DWD

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