Bradfields Academy

Name Bradfields Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Address Churchill Avenue, Chatham, ME5 0LB
Phone Number 01634683990
Type Academy (special)
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 312 (59.9% boys 40.1% girls)
Academy Sponsor Fortis Trust
Local Authority Medway
Percentage Free School Meals 38.9%
Percentage English is Not First Language 8.3%
Persisitent Absence 13.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Indicator Available No
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (07 March 2017)
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Information about this school

Bradfields Academy is a special school for pupils who have complex learning difficulties and disabilities. Pupils also have speech, language, sensory, physical and autistic spectrum conditions. It occupies a large site situated within a residential area of Chatham in Medway. Four years ago, the school re-designated to include the early years and key stages 1 and 2. This was to provide an additional 20 school places for pupils of this age. There are too few children in the early years to report on this part of the school separately, without identifying individual children. Provision for children in the early years is evaluated in each of the other sections of this report. The school also includes off-site provision at Strood Academy for pupils aged 11 to 16, known as Bradfields [email protected] Academy, which is nearly five miles from the main site. The provision provides inclusive opportunities for pupils who are academically and emotionally able to manage integration within a mainstream provision for part of their timetable. The principal is currently on secondment with the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) in his capacity as president of that association. In his absence, the school has been led by a guardian principal since May 2016. More boys than girls attend the school. The majority of pupils are of White British heritage with a relatively small number of pupils of other ethnicities. Very few pupils speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils who are eligible for pupil premium funding is well above the national average. A much higher proportion of pupils are looked after by the local authority than is found nationally. The school is organised into four learning zones where most classes are taught by the stage of their learning. The blue zone, which extends across the schools five key stages and includes the early years, is for pupils whose primary need is autism. The yellow zone is for key stage 3 classes, the red zone is for key stage 4 classes and the green zone is for Years 12 to 14. The school uses alternative vocational courses off-site at Mid-Kent College and Hadlow College at different times during the week for key stage 4 pupils and post-16 students. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan. Most pupils are referred to the school by Medway Council, but some are referred from neighbouring authorities. The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school Together, the principal and guardian principal provide outstanding leadership, ably supported by very capable senior and middle leaders. Staff share leaders’ high expectations of pupils. Therefore, a culture of ambition and enthusiasm to secure positive futures for all pupils flows throughout the school. Subject leadership is strong, especially in the secondary phase. High expectations are widespread across all subjects. However, these leaders’ skills and knowledge should be used more effectively to support staff who are new to holding leadership roles. All pupils make excellent progress from their different starting points. Consequently, any differences between pupils’ achievements and those of other pupils nationally are diminishing quickly. Teaching is outstanding because teachers are reflective about their practice. Teachers’ superb subject knowledge is used to engage, challenge and support pupils in a wide range of subjects. Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes to learning are outstanding. Pupils demonstrate excellent manners, consideration, empathy and respect towards each other and adults and so model British values very well. They exude an intrinsic pride in their work and a love of learning. Students in the sixth form thrive because their individual needs are met exceptionally well. Students have a wealth of opportunities to build on what they have already achieved both academically and personally. They are extremely well prepared for life beyond the school and to be successful young adults. Pupils flourish because they are extremely well looked after in a nurturing and enabling environment. Leaders are relentless in their pursuit of school improvement and seize every opportunity available to participate in research projects and to work with other schools in the local area. This outward-looking attitude has contributed significantly to the school’s strengths. Leaders feel a moral obligation to work collaboratively with other schools to further raise pupils’ outcomes. Leaders are eager for pupils to continually improve their academic and personal outcomes. They know that there is always more scope to include parents in their children’s learning, and to continue to raise parents’ aspirations for their children.