Bradfields School

Name Bradfields School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Churchill Avenue, Chatham, ME5 0LB
Phone Number 01634 683990
Type Special
Age Range 3-19
Religious Character Not applicable
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 240
Local Authority Medway
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection
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Information about this school

Bradfields provides for students who primarily experience complex learning difficulties and disabilities, including speech, language, emotional, sensory, physical and autistic spectrum disabilities. Since September 2012, the school has been re-designated to include Early Years Foundation Stage children and Key Stages 1 and 2 pupils with autism and severe learning difficulties. The Lower School site has been redeveloped so that the Key Stage 3 MLD provision now includes additional and new build facilities for students with autism and in some cases additional challenging behaviours. Currently, the large majority of students are boys. Most are of White British background, with a small minority of mixed, Asian or Asian British backgrounds, Black Afro Caribbean, Black African and White Eastern Europeans. A few students are from families where English is not the home language. All students have a statement of special educational needs, the majority for moderate learning difficulties and a growing proportion, almost a half, for autistic spectrum disabilities. The school is organised into five Learning Zones where most classes are taught by the stage of their learning. The Blue Primary (including the Early Years Foundation Stage) and Blue Secondary Zones are for students whose primary need is autistic spectrum disabilities. The Yellow Zone is for lower school Key Stage 3 classes, the Red Zone is for Key Stage 4 classes and the Green Zone is for Years 12 to 14 classes. In addition, there are three separate mixed-aged ‘special programme’ classes in the lower and upper schools and the sixth form for students with more complex needs, including severe learning difficulties. The proportion of students at Bradfields eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional government funding to support pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, children in local authority care and children from service families, is well above the national average. Currently, there are a few in local authority care. The school uses alternative vocational courses off-site at Mid-Kent College and the Catch 22 provision at different times during the week for small groups of Key Stage 4 and sixth form students. A new Chair of the Governing Body has been appointed since the last inspection.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Students make outstanding progress over time, particularly in English and mathematics. There has also been a year-on-year improvement of the proportion of students achieving GCSE passes, as well as successes in other accredited courses such as BTEC. Children attending the Early Years Foundation Stage in 2012 to 2013 made outstanding progress. This prepared them for learning and enabled them to move on successfully to the next stage of their education. The sixth form is outstanding. Many students continue their seamless progression throughout the school, others move directly to other further education provision, and some now join the school from other mainstream settings. All are prepared very well for the next stage of their lives beyond school. Students benefit from teaching which is mostly good and sometimes outstanding. However, a small amount of teaching requires improvement. Students’ behaviour is good. This is as a result of the highly effective care and support that staff provide. In lessons, students were highly motivated and wanted to do their best. Students say they feel safe and happy at the school, as well as at the off-site provision they attend weekly. This is confirmed by their parents and the school’s own records. Leadership and management are good. The headteacher and his senior leadership team have a strong focus on continuing improvement of all aspects of the school’s work. The governing body is highly supportive of the school, knows it very well and supports on-going improvements in all aspects of the school’s work. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Teachers’ marking does not always provide students with a clear understanding of the next steps needed to improve their learning. Sometimes the work is not hard enough for all students in some classes.