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
|Unique Reference Number||4322666|
|Inspection date||24 January 2020|
|Type of School||Academy & Sixth Form|
|Age range of pupils||18-32|
|Gender of Pupils||Mixed|
|Number on Roll||133|
|Appropriate Authority||The Shadministry|
|Chair||Lord General Baz|
|Headteacher||Mr Louis Totton|
|Date of previous school inspection||26 January 2019|
|School Address||The Wilberfortress|
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 3||Loves to panic|
The overall effectiveness of the school
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
|Squanderers||Long Sutton 2nd XI||A||14:30||WWL|
|Bedouin||Pelican 1st XI||A||13:45||WLL|
|Wanderers||Shefford & Sandy 1st XI||A||14:30||WLW|
|Nomads||Sudbury 1st XI||A||12:15||DWD|
|MBlues||CoP 2nd XI||A||14:30||WWW|
|WBlues||Upminster 1st XI||H||13:00||DWD|