Bedminster Down School

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About Bedminster Down School

Name Bedminster Down School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Louise Davies
Address Donald Road, Bedminster Down, Bristol, BS13 7DQ
Phone Number 01173532800
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1047
Local Authority Bristol, City of
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of good as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now.

The school's next inspection will be a graded inspection.

The headteacher of this school is Louise Davies. This school is part of the Futura Learning Partnership, which means other people in the trust also have responsibility for running the school.

The trust is run by the chief executive officer, Andrea Arlidge, and overseen by a board of trustees, chaired by Malcolm Broad.

What is it like to attend this school? ...

In lessons, pupils focus on their learning. The school has high expectations for behaviour in lessons, and pupils understand and follow these.

Yet, some pupils do not behave well during social times. Staff maintain a high presence at these times so that incidents are promptly dealt with.

Pupils feel safe at school.

They have an adult they can talk to when they have concerns. The school makes sure there is support for looking after pupils' well-being. However, reports of bullying incidents are not unusual.

The school follows up and acts on these. To reduce this, a new anti-bullying pilot scheme prioritises training for staff and pupils.

Pupils attend a wide range of clubs and activities.

Promoted through freshers' fairs, the school runs many sports, arts and well-being clubs. It responds to pupils' interests, such as setting up a Warhammer club. Pupils perform in showcases, such as the Christmas show.

The school plans for pupils to have experiences they may not otherwise have. For example, all pupils camp on Dartmoor during their time at the school. From Year 7 onwards, the school hosts many speakers and performers at events.

Many of these are careers events.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The school has planned a sequenced and well-mapped curriculum. To support pupils to remember their learning better over time, teachers check frequently what pupils can recall.

Pupils revisit and improve their learning regularly with guidance from their teachers. Teachers model work and provide structures to support pupils. In key stage 4, only a minority of pupils choose to study a language.

This means very few pupils study the full suite of English Baccalaureate qualifications.

The school ensures pupils who are in the early stages of learning to read have the precise support for their specific reading need. The school tracks this carefully to make sure every pupil receives the help they need.

The school has implemented a new strategy to support pupils to improve their attendance. When pupils do not attend, they have gaps in their knowledge. They do not keep up with their peers.

The school plans intervention to support these pupils. However, this strategy has only been introduced recently. Published outcomes for pupils with poor attendance were low in 2023.

The school makes appropriate use of alternative provision for pupils who need it. The school carefully checks to make sure the provision is meeting the needs of the pupils who attend. The off-site provision for pupils, 'The Lamp', has been relocated back on the school site.

Pupils who need it receive intervention and support.

Teachers have the information they need to support pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities appropriately. Teachers use common approaches to teach the curriculum.

These strategies makes sure all pupils who need extra support get the input they need in a timely way.

The school makes sure the personal, social and health education curriculum is appropriate and timely for pupils' needs. The school enhances the curriculum to make it relevant to pupils.

For example, pupils learn about knife crime, or misogynistic language. Pupils learn how to keep safe and behave safely, both online and in the wider community.

The careers programme ensures pupils from Years 7 to 11 hear about careers and further education from a wide variety of providers.

Work experience, careers fairs and university visits give pupils a broad knowledge to support them in their next choices. All pupils can speak with a careers adviser.

The school has experienced changes of leadership in recent years.

The trust supports and provides resource to ensure sustainability. Governors have the detail they need to ask challenging and pertinent questions. Staff say they feel this is a growing time of stability.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some pupils do not act respectfully during social times. This results in incidents of poor verbal and physical behaviour.

The trust needs to ensure that the high expectations for conduct seen in lessons are replicated across the whole school day. ? Attendance at school, particularly of disadvantaged pupils, is low. As a result of missing lessons, pupils have gaps in their learning.

They are unable to keep up with their peers. The trust needs to ensure the new systems to improve attendance are embedded.


When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good.

This is called an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in November 2014.

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