Cranbrook School

Name Cranbrook School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Address Waterloo Road, Cranbrook, TN17 3JD
Phone Number 01580711800
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Christian
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 874 (58.4% boys 41.6% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 18.6
Academy Sponsor Cranbrook School Academy Trust
Local Authority Kent
Percentage Free School Meals 3.5%
Percentage English is Not First Language 5.8%
Persistent Absence 11.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 6.3%
Catchment Area Indicator Available Yes
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (28 April 2015)
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Information about this school

Cranbrook School is a smaller-than-average-sized selective secondary school. The school converted to become an academy in December 2012. When its predecessor school, also known as Cranbrook School, was last inspected by Ofsted, it was judged to be outstanding. Most students are from White British backgrounds. The proportion of students eligible for the pupil premium funding (additional government funding for students entitled to free school meals and in the care of the local authority) is very low. The numbers of disadvantaged students in Year 11 in 2014 were too low to report on their attainment separately. There are no students eligible for Year 7 catch-up funding. This is funding for students who did not achieve National Curriculum Level 4 (the nationally expected level) in English or mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2. The proportion of disabled students and those with special educational needs supported through school action is below average. The proportions that have a statement of special educational needs or who have education, health and care plans are below average. No students attend alternative provision. The headteacher is a Local Leader in Education (LLE). The school met the government’s floor standards in 2014, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. The headteacher’s and governors’ compelling vision for the school is informed by a non-negotiable decision to put ‘first rate’ learning at the top of everyone’s agenda at Cranbrook. At all levels, leaders are committed to developing curiosity and an appetite for learning in students. Where this works best, achievement is outstanding and students’ responses to the daily diet of challenges in their learning are impressive. Teachers know each student extremely well. Very high levels of achievement at the end of Key Stage 4 and in the sixth form have been sustained since the school became an academy. In 2014, the percentages of top GCSE passes far exceeded national norms and trumped Cranbrook’s previous best. Excellent teaching is characterised by teachers’ notable command of their subject, coupled with an expectation that all students will excel. Students value, and respect greatly, the skills and knowledge that their teachers bring to bear. The broad range of courses on offer meets students’ needs exceptionally well. In particular, high quality enrichment and sporting opportunities provided through the Cranbrook ‘co-curriculum’ add breadth and depth to the students’ personal and academic development. Behaviour is outstanding. Students feel very safe and happy in the school. They express well-founded confidence in the adults in the school to attend properly to their well-being. The sixth form is outstanding. Results are routinely high, with many students proceeding to leading universities. Students are well informed about the choices on offer. They leave Cranbrook well equipped for the next stage of their education, training or employment. Governors are conspicuous in their knowledge of the school, the wider community which it serves and the interpretation of their roles and statutory duties. They provide excellent challenge and support to leaders, which have resulted in improvements in teaching and achievement. The development of students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural needs is a strength of the school. In lessons, students demonstrate a keen awareness of others’ needs and respect for individual differences. Teachers’ breadth of knowledge and abilities to unconsciously model the school’s values ensure that students are very well prepared for life in modern Britain.