Brooklands Middle School

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About Brooklands Middle School

Name Brooklands Middle School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Julie Hodgson
Address Brooklands Drive, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 3PF
Phone Number 01525372018
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 9-13
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 595
Local Authority Central Bedfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Brooklands Middle School are happy.

They enjoy coming to school. They know their teachers want them to do well. Most pupils work hard in lessons to meet these high expectations.

Pupils are polite, respectful and engaging. They celebrate difference. They are clear that it does not matter if something makes you different.

You are still welcomed and included. As a result, bullying is rare. On the unusual occasion where bullying does happen, pupils fully trust adults to sort it out.

Pupils feel part of a community. They form highly positive relationships with each other and with adults. These relationships create an environment where everyone f...eels safe.

Pupils know that there is always someone who will help them if they are feeling down. Mental health champions make sure that everyone has a friend to talk to or to play with. Older pupils are well supported and excited about moving to upper school.

This excitement is tinged with sadness because they know they are leaving something special behind.

A broad range of opportunities is offered for pupils to develop new, and nurture existing, talents. All pupils take advantage of these opportunities with enthusiasm.

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

Leaders have adopted a curriculum that is ambitious, broad and creative. They have set out exactly what pupils need to know to succeed in the next stage of their education. This knowledge is broken down into small pieces.

Leaders use information about what pupils already know when they join Year 5 to adapt plans and plot precisely what pupils will learn as they progress to Year 8. The curriculum is planned so that pupils have the knowledge to succeed when they transition to upper school.

Subject leaders have a clear understanding of how best to meet the overarching curriculum aims.

Most teachers deliver the planned curriculum well. They help pupils to succeed by using precise explanations and examples. They use questions to check effectively what pupils know and if they are ready to move on.

Pupils respond by engaging in learning activities with confidence. They add new information to what they already know and deepen their understanding. Pupils learn well and can apply this knowledge to solve problems.

Senior leaders have prioritised the use of training time for generic approaches to teaching. This has left a deficit in some teachers' knowledge of how to teach the subject curriculum well. Consequently, teachers sometimes use, for instance, less helpful examples, explanations and feedback to pupils' ideas.

This slows the pace of learning for some pupils.

In some subjects, questioning is not as helpful as in most. It focuses on how to structure an answer, but not on checking and developing pupils' understanding.

This means pupils sometimes do not know how to improve their work, and teachers' understanding of what pupils know is not always accurate.

Leaders have prioritised reading. They have trained staff in the teaching of phonics.

Their intervention programme supports struggling readers to catch up. As a result, most pupils read with confidence and are improving their fluency.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) access the same curriculum as their peers.

Leaders have equally high expectations for pupils with SEND. Leaders understand the needs of individual pupils. They share strategies with teachers to help them overcome pupils' specific barriers to learning.

Teachers use these strategies to make suitable adaptations to their teaching. Consequently, pupils with SEND progress well.

Pupils behave well, and most display a positive attitude to learning.

There is a calm and orderly environment around the school. On the rare occasions where pupils fail to meet leaders' expectations, teachers are quick to intervene effectively.

Pupils are prepared for life in modern Britain.

They understand tolerance and respect. They have an age-appropriate understanding that some people's characteristics are protected by law. Opportunities are provided for pupils to take on leadership roles and contribute to improving school life.

Staff are proud to work at this school. They support the leaders' vision. Staff feel valued, and say that their workload and general well-being are considered by leaders and governors.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders have put in place robust systems to record and track concerns. Training for staff helps them identify and support pupils who may be at risk.

When staff have a concern, they are quick to report it.

Leaders engage proactively with local agencies. They are relentless in helping pupils and their families access the help they need.

Leaders understand the local context. They use this information to adapt the curriculum so that pupils know how to keep themselves safe online and in the real world.

Governors are effective in overseeing leaders' work to keep all pupils safe.

This includes ensuring that checks on adults are completed in advance of taking up roles in the school. These checks are recorded in detail in the school's single central record of pre-employment checks.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some teachers do not use assessment as well as most.

They focus on how to structure an answer rather than assessing pupils' understanding. This means that they, and their pupils, do not know clearly enough what pupils need to spend more time on. Leaders should ensure that all teachers understand how to effectively check how well pupils understand what they have been taught.

• The training that teachers receive is often generic and not directly related to the subject knowledge they are teaching pupils. As a result, some pupils progress more slowly than they should. Leaders should ensure that subject leaders are able to adapt whole-school training to make it subject specific and focused on the best pedagogical approaches for their subjects.

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