Cranberry Academy

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About Cranberry Academy

Name Cranberry Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Lucie Smith
Address Cranberry Lane, Alsager, ST7 2LE
Phone Number 01270902054
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 430
Local Authority Cheshire East
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive at this happy and welcoming school. Staff expect all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), to work hard and achieve well.

Pupils do their best each day to live up to these high expectations. They get on well with each other and are extremely polite to staff and visitors.

Pupils feel safe in school.

They said that there is always someone there to help them if they have any concerns. They learn how to keep themselves safe at home and when playing out with friends. They also learn about managing positive relationships and how to keep safe when online.

Pupils said that staff are quick to deal wit...h bullying if it happens.

Pupils develop a great enthusiasm for learning. They listen attentively and are keen to contribute to discussions.

These positive attitudes are developed right from the start of early years, where children learn routines that help them to develop independence.

Leaders have developed a well-thought-out programme to support pupils' wider development. Pupils are encouraged to take on additional responsibilities such as those of sports leaders.

They enjoy earning rewards for living up to the school's values. They also enjoy participating in clubs and representing the school in sporting events.

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

The new leadership team has made improvements to the quality of education since the previous inspection.

Leaders work effectively with staff to encourage pupils to become respectful and responsible citizens. Pupils behave well. Learning is rarely disrupted by poor behaviour.

Staff encourage pupils to value diversity. They work with leaders to provide a broad range of extra-curricular activities and use residential visits and educational trips to bring the curriculum to life.

Leaders have developed a curriculum that reflects their high aspirations for all pupils.

They have thought carefully about what they want pupils to learn. In the majority of subjects, leaders have organised the curriculum well to ensure that pupils' learning builds sequentially on what they have previously learned. This helps pupils to achieve well.

However, in a small number of subjects, leaders' curriculum thinking is not as precise. This prevents pupils from making the progress that they could through these curriculum areas.

Leaders have prioritised the teaching of reading.

They help children to develop their understanding of the sounds that letters represent from their very first days in early years. Staff provide effective support for children and pupils who are at the early stages of learning to read. Staff pay close attention to those who struggle and provide extra help to ensure that they keep up with their peers.

Staff have been well trained to deliver the school's new phonics programme. They are using the programme effectively to help pupils to develop into accurate and fluent readers. They ensure that the books pupils read are well matched to the sounds that they know.

Pupils said that they enjoy reading. Older pupils read regularly and have a broad knowledge of different authors and genres.

Leaders ensure that teachers have a strong focus on pupils' language development and communication.

This starts in early years, where children enjoy listening to stories and learning rhymes and songs. Older pupils continue to explore vocabulary through the high-quality books that they read. Teachers also make good use of the school's broad curriculum to introduce subject-specific vocabulary.

In most subjects, there are effective systems in place for teachers to check how well pupils are developing their knowledge. For example, in mathematics, teachers use assessment well to identify misconceptions and plan work that matches pupils' stage of learning. However, in a minority of subjects, the use of assessment is at an early stage of development.

This prevents teachers and leaders from developing an accurate view of how well pupils are progressing through these curriculums.

Leaders have effective systems in place to identify and support pupils with SEND. They ensure that these pupils' specific needs are identified early.

Leaders support staff well and ensure that they have the necessary resources to support all pupils. This helps to ensure that pupils with SEND are able to access the full curriculum alongside their peers.

Staff enjoy working at Cranberry Academy.

They appreciate the support and direction that the new leadership team has brought to the school. They feel respected and valued by leaders. They said that leaders consider workload, well-being and work–life balance when making decisions.

There is a wide range of experience and a high level of expertise on the governing committee. Governors and trustees have a detailed understanding of the school's strengths and the areas that require further improvement.

Parents and carers are positive about the work of the school.

They appreciate the kind and caring ethos of the school in which their children learn.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that safeguarding is given the highest priority.

Staff receive regular safeguarding training. They often consider potential safeguarding scenarios during staff meetings, which helps to ensure that they are alert to the signs that a pupil may be at risk. Governors and trustees make regular checks to ensure that leaders are fulfilling their safeguarding responsibilities effectively.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a small number of subjects, leaders have not identified the key knowledge that they want pupils to learn. This prevents pupils from building their learning on what they already know in these subjects. Leaders should ensure that teachers understand what pupils need to learn in each subject and in each year group.

• In some subjects, teachers do not use assessment strategies well enough to check what pupils know. As a result, pupils' errors and misconceptions can sometimes go unchecked. Leaders should ensure that teachers use assessment effectively so that pupils develop the knowledge that they need in order to achieve well in all subjects.

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