Gravenhurst Academy

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About Gravenhurst Academy

Name Gravenhurst Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Debbie Randall
Address High Street, Gravenhurst, Bedford, MK45 4HY
Phone Number 01462711257
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 5-9
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 52
Local Authority Central Bedfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Gravenhurst is a small school with big ambitions.

From the moment children join in Reception, they are encouraged to be curious. They develop an enthusiasm for learning that grows as they move through the school.

Pupils love the exciting experiences adults plan for them.

They know when to have fun and when to listen, thanks to clear routines and high behaviour expectations. Pupils work hard to meet the adults' high expectations in lessons. Many pupils achieve very well, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

Pupils flourish in the school's friendly environment. They say the school is like a big family, where cares for each other. At social times pupils play happily together across year groups.

Relationships between pupils and adults are warm and nurturing. Older pupils look after younger pupils on trips, at playtimes and during whole school themed curriculum days. Pupils are safe here.

The school's outdoor spaces offer pupils many opportunities to develop their skills and talents. Whole school shows take place in the outdoor theatre. Pupils plant seeds and bulbs or investigate wildlife in the allotment.

In the forest area, pupils learn to take risks, build their confidence or toast marshmallows over a fire.

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

The school and trust have put in place an ambitious curriculum. It is thoughtfully designed to give pupils the key knowledge they need in each subject.

The curriculum breaks down learning into manageable chunks. These are ordered so that pupils build a strong body of knowledge over time. The curriculum starts in early years.

Children in Reception are exceptionally well prepared for their later learning.

There is a strong focus in the curriculum on teaching subject-specific vocabulary. In Reception, key words are identified for each topic.

Adults model correct use of these in their interactions with children. Pupils use this subject-specific vocabulary appropriately in their recorded work and when talking about their learning.

Teachers deploy a variety of approaches that enable pupils to succeed.

Teachers recap prior learning often. They explain new concepts clearly and make connections between subjects. They use skilful questioning to check pupils' understanding and identify any gaps in learning.

The needs of pupils with SEND are identified quickly. The school has the same ambition for pupils with SEND. Teachers meet their needs through adaptations to the curriculum, or through carefully planned adult support.

Most pupils, including those pupils with SEND, build their learning exceptionally well. They call upon what they have learned before and apply it effectively to new learning. In a science lesson on forces, for example, pupils learned about friction.

They applied this to an explanation of the forces at work when someone dives into a swimming pool or rides a bicycle over gravel.

Pupils' behaviour in the classroom is exemplary. This is thanks to engaging lessons, consistent routines and clear adult modelling of the expected standards.

Pupils learn in a calm and well-ordered environment. The rare minor disruptions that arise are well managed. If a pupil's behaviour does not meet expectations, the school intervenes rapidly to help them to improve.

Pupils' attendance rates are high.

Reading is a high priority. Adults promote a love of books by sharing their own reading preferences, current and past.

They read stories to pupils often, modelling enthusiasm and excitement that are infectious. In Reception and key stage 1, expert phonics teaching ensures pupils learn rapidly the sounds they need to become fluent readers. Adults identify any pupils who need extra help.

They deliver this effectively so that pupils catch up quickly.

The programme for pupils' personal development is impressive. There is a range of popular extra-curricular clubs.

This includes cyphers and coding, gardening and drama. Pupils take part in a range of sports from curling to swimming. They compete against other schools in the trust or beyond.

Older pupils take on leadership roles as house captains and school councillors. They organise fundraising events and choose books for the library. They contribute to the life of the school through a carefully planned helpers rota.

The personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum is well planned. It is supplemented by a carefully thought-out programme of assemblies. Pupils learn about issues such as consent, peer pressure, online safety and diversity.

They are extremely well-prepared for life in modern Britain.

Trust and school leaders are determined to provide the best possible experiences for pupils. They prioritise staff development and well-being.

Consequently, staff morale is high. There is a strong team spirit. This includes governors, who understand their role.

They use it effectively to challenge leaders and support the school to realise its ambitious goals. Parents' view of the school is overwhelmingly positive.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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