Cambian Walnut Tree Lodge School

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About Cambian Walnut Tree Lodge School

Name Cambian Walnut Tree Lodge School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Joyce Kuwaza
Address Renhold Road, Bedford, MK44 2PT
Phone Number 08001381184
Phase Independent (special)
Type Other independent special school
Age Range 7-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 10
Local Authority Bedford

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Walnut Tree Lodge are friendly and respectful. When they are in school, they get on well with each other and with staff. When pupils join the school, staff work with them to build trust and confidence. Pupils appreciate the time and attention that staff give them. They feel they are listened to and understood.

The school is a calm and purposeful place to be. Behaviour is managed consistently by staff. Pupils are well supported to develop the strategies they need to help them manage their emotions. Pupils show understanding when others are upset and are supportive towards each other. Pupils say bullying is not a problem because staff deal with any issues at an early stage. Pupils feel safe, valued, and respected.

Pupils respond well to the high expectations that staff have of their learning and of their behaviour. As pupils experience success in their learning, staff help them raise their aspirations of what they can achieve. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education.

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

Leaders have improved the quality of education since the previous standard inspection. They have focused their efforts on ensuring that the curriculum is better designed and delivered to meet pupils’ needs. Leaders are ambitious for what pupils can achieve. Leaders are clear that they want pupils to ‘leave with something’ that will support their future education and employment.

When pupils join the school, teachers carry out detailed checks of what pupils know in each subject. These checks identify gaps in pupils’ knowledge, as well as what pupils remember from what they have learned before. Generally, teachers use the information they gain from these checks well. Pupils revisit and practise subject knowledge which is less secure. They receive extra sessions in English and mathematics to help secure important knowledge. Leaders acknowledge that there is still some work to do to ensure that teachers use assessment to personalise learning consistently well across all subjects.

Pupils have significant social, emotional, and mental health needs. Care workers and school staff provide effective emotional and pastoral support for pupils. Behaviour management strategies are followed consistently. When they are in school, care workers also take on the role of teaching assistants. Care workers have not received specific training to carry out their role as teaching assistants. This means that support for pupils’ learning is not as effective as it could be.

Leaders ensure that the curriculum contributes successfully to pupils’ personal development. In physical education (PE), pupils learn the relationship between physical activity and well-being. For example, pupils use their knowledge of yoga breathing techniques to help them when they feel anxious or stressed. In personal, social and health education (PSHE), pupils explore issues of racism, tolerance, and the impact of poverty on the choices people make. Throughout the curriculum, pupils have opportunities to debate, discuss, and explore ideas. They consider issues from different points of view. They explore the rights and responsibilities we have as citizens and celebrate differences. Pupils show maturity in their thinking. Consequently, the school’s curriculum is helping pupils gain knowledge and understanding that helps them make informed choices about what they do now and in the future.

Pupils receive guidance and support in preparing for their next steps. Pupils are following career pathways that relate to their knowledge and experience of the world of work. Careers education builds on pupils’ interests and their own aspirations for the future. However, pupils’ knowledge is limited. The curriculum does not provide pupils with the information they need to consider a wider range of career choices.

The school is well led and managed. Regular meetings take place between the headteacher and the proprietor. There are clear processes for reporting incidents and safeguarding concerns. Leaders and the proprietor understand the requirements of the independent school standards. There are systems in place to ensure that the standards are met. The proprietor challenges and supports school leaders so that the school continues to improve.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

There is a strong culture of safeguarding across the school. This is because leaders and staff have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. Staff receive regular training. This helps ensure that staff are alert to risks. Leaders ensure that staff have the information they need to support and safeguard pupils effectively. Pupils are supported by a large number of external agencies. Effective communication between the school and these agencies helps keep pupils safe. Record-keeping is thorough and organised.

Statutory checks are carried out for all who work at the school. The proprietor carries out a rigorous safeguarding audit each year. Identified actions are addressed promptly by leaders.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and proprietor)

? There are occasions when teachers are not using the assessment information they have precisely enough to tailor the curriculum specifically to meet individual pupils’ needs. Leaders need to ensure that teachers are clear about how they make the best use of assessment so that through their curriculum plans, and in lessons, teachers address specific gaps which pupils have in their subject knowledge, as well as take account of what pupils know, remember and can already do. ? Care workers have not received relevant training to support pupils’ learning in school. Leaders must ensure that care workers are provided with the guidance and training they need to support pupils’ academic progress as well as they do their personal and emotional needs. ? Leaders have designed a curriculum for careers education that builds on pupils’ interests and matches these to potential career goals and the pathways pupils need to take to get there. Leaders need to develop this aspect of the curriculum further. They need to ensure that the curriculum enables pupils to develop their aspirations by broadening their knowledge and experience of possible future careers.

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