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Corby Primary Academy

Purple Oaks Academy provides 100 places for students with a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or Severe Learning Difficulties with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) naming Purple Oaks Academy as the appropriate provision. 

Academy details 

The Corby Primary Academy opened to pupils in September 2013, initially to pupils in Foundation stage to Year 2. In September 2017 the Academy opened a 40 place nursery unit and have now reached the important milestone of having pupils in all year groups from Nursery to Year 6. It is a two form entry school with 60 children in each year group. The Academy’s age range expanded from 4-11 to 3-11. To find out more visit the website:


The need for pre-school places within the local area was identified by Northamptonshire County Council and as a result they fully supported this. There was a shortfall of local places and many local families travelled around the town and further afield to find suitable pre-school places. Based on parental questionnaires, the vast majority of the proposed nursery places were taken by families who already have a pupil on roll at the Academy. The nursery provision is offered both 15 hour and 30 hour free places.

We anticipated that this would help alleviate the need for families to use cars to bring children to school, as they will be able to bring both school aged and nursery pupils to the same site. Nursery opening hours vary slightly from the main Academy but the car park is still available for parents to use when bringing and collecting children from the Academy.

Corby Primary Academy is committed to providing a safe, nurturing environment that promotes academic achievement and personal development through the core values of:

* Responsibility

* Respect

* Perseverance

* Courage

* Honesty

* Positivity

Project Overview 

Why and how the Academy came about?

This project was initiated by Northamptonshire County Council who identified the need for an additional Primary School in the Oakley Vale area of Corby, Northampton due to new housing developments in the area. A bid was submitted to the DfE for Greenwood Academies Trust to become the sponsor of a new two form entry primary school. The bid received Ministerial approval and work began to plan the development with Northamptonshire County Council.

The Local Authority provided the land and the funding and we worked with GSS Architecture to design the new Academy. Lendlease were appointed to manage the programme and provide technical advice. A full invitation to tender process was undertaken to appoint a contractor. Heron Bros was the successful company.

Due to the Trust’s in-house expertise, we were able to plan the curriculum and design the building to match, procure the relevant resources, provide a sustainable staffing structure, recruit the staff required, including a Principal to lead the Academy, provide our own IT infrastructure, provide a robust financial plan, utilise the advice of our Catering Operations Manager to design the catering facilities as well as project managing everything that was needed to set up and open the new Primary Academy.

A full marketing plan was developed to raise awareness of the new two form entry Primary Academy to help recruit high quality staff and increase the pupil recruitment.

The Academy opened in September 2013 and the new building opened to pupils in September 2014. The value of the build was £4.5m.


Admission number for Primary Provision (age 5). The Academy has the following agreed admission numbers:

* 60 for pupils in Year R (Reception)

* Accordingly, the Academy will admit a maximum of 60 children each year in the relevant age group if sufficient applications are received.

Northamptonshire Local Authority co-ordinate admissions for in-year applications and for applications for year groups other than the normal point(s) of entry. Parents are to contact the Northamptonshire Local Authority directly for an application form. More on the Admission policy here: https://

The Academy co-ordinate admissions for the nursery. Please visit the website for further details or email

Number of staff members: 79 


Tom Lyons, Partner at GSSArchitecture, said, “These exciting new developments will provide a flexible, modern and vibrant learning environment. The facilities will meet the demands of the older children as well as being conducive to the exciting and stimulating early year’s curriculum." Tom Lyons, GSSArchitecture 


Northamptonshire-based GSSArchitecture designed the new Academy building, which has 14 classrooms, for pupils aged 4-11, along with hall facilities, office accommodation, external play areas and car parking.

Tom Lyons, Partner at GSSArchitecture, said, “These exciting new developments will provide a flexible, modern and vibrant learning environment. The facilities will meet the demands of the older children as well as being conducive to the exciting and stimulating early year’s curriculum.”

The new Academy building is located on a designated education site on Butland Road, and will cater for the expanding residential area of Oakley Vale.

The Academy opened in September 2013 in temporary accommodation on the old Exeter Junior School site, and initially accommodated pupils from Foundation Stage to Year 2. The Academy will grow in a controlled manner to its full capacity of 420 pupils over the following academic years.

GSSArchitecture have designed the new Academy for Lend Lease Consulting on behalf of Northamptonshire County Council



The Academy was judged to be ‘outstanding’ overall.

Support from the Trust:

The report found that “this growing Academy got off to an extremely good start because of the outstanding leadership of the Principal and Executive Principal and strong support from the Trust”.

“The Trust provides effective professional advice, support and administrative and financial guidance to the Academy”

"The Trust ensures that there are robust arrangements for the management of teachers’ performance, for tackling any under-performance and ensure that teachers’ salary increases are linked to their pupils making good or better progress. The Trust ensures that additional funding for disadvantaged pupils is used effectively and questions the impact of spending on pupils’ achievement."

"Leaders make effective use of the primary sports grant to develop pupils’ physical and sporting skills. For example, the Academy employs specialist coaches to improve sporting opportunities for the pupils and to provide training to improve teachers’ physical education skills. Pupils participate well in the sports opportunities provided."


Courtesy of the appropriate systems in place we have witnessed a high standard of pupil performance maintained throughout the Academy. The variety of learning activities and teaching methods lead the OFSTED inspector to say:

"Pupils show an enthusiasm and a thirst for learning. They participate very well in the wide range of learning activities provided. Pupils told the inspectors, ‘We work hard and learning is fun,’ and, ‘We are learning more and more."

"Records of incidents indicate that behaviour has been of a high standard over time."

"Pupils of all backgrounds are making rapid gains in their learning from their various starting points and their achievement is outstanding. In the current Year 3, pupils are attaining standards above those expected for their age in reading, writing and mathematics."

"Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make fast progress. They benefit from high quality teaching and support, and from activities that are well suited to their needs."

Provision and support:

"Teachers plan interesting lessons and strive to ensure that learning activities are suitably challenging for the different groups of pupils. As a result, pupils are fully engaged in their learning and their interest and motivation are sustained. They make rapid gains in their learning."

"The Early Years setting is well led and managed" "The setting is attractive, stimulating, and well organised and resourced for indoor and outdoor learning."



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