Great Barford Church of England Primary Academy

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About Great Barford Church of England Primary Academy

Name Great Barford Church of England Primary Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs S Evans
Address Silver Street, Bedford, MK44 3HZ
Phone Number 01234870342
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 228
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils speak with pride about their school. They know that learning is important and live up to leaders' high expectations by working hard in lessons. Pupils are articulate and speak enthusiastically about what they are learning.

Pupils bring the best out of each other and, in line with the school's aim, 'grow together through learning, friendship and worship'. They work well together in lessons and help each other when they find something tricky to learn. They also care for each other's needs around the school.

On the playground, pupils look for those on their own and invite them to play so that nobody feels lonely or without friends.

Pupils told us, and sch...ool records show, that bullying is rare and dealt with effectively by staff so that it stops. When pupils fall out with friends, adults help to find positive solutions and restore their relationship.

Pupils are determined to do well in school. They have high expectations for themselves and value their own and others' achievements. Older pupils have impressive plans for the future and speak confidently about starting secondary school.

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

Since the previous inspection, leaders have put in place an ambitious and well-designed curriculum. Leaders have organised the curriculum effectively to enable teachers to deliver, in a sensible order, what pupils need to learn. Teachers teach the curriculum content with carefully chosen learning activities.

They know their pupils well. Teachers check that pupils remember what they need to know before taking the next steps to new learning. When pupils find elements of the curriculum difficult to learn, teachers and teaching assistants act swiftly to ensure pupils do not fall behind.

Leaders review the curriculum and its effectiveness regularly. They identify areas for development accurately and have appropriate plans underway to make any necessary changes. Improvement plans, for example, rightly include ensuring the curriculum in all subjects has sufficiently detailed guidance for teachers about the specific knowledge pupils must know by the end of a year.

Reading is a high priority at the school. Starting with the youngest children in Nursery, staff help pupils develop a love of reading. Pupils appreciate the school's extensive collection of books and recommend books to each other.

Using leaders' chosen approach for the teaching of early reading, staff teach pupils how to read effectively. Teachers systematically teach pupils new vocabulary, and this helps pupils to understand sophisticated texts.

Leaders ensure that staff identify quickly when pupils show signs of difficulties with learning.

They work well with external experts to plan provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teachers usually follow leaders' detailed guidance about what these pupils need to learn effectively. However, at times, teachers do not support pupils in the precise way that leaders expect.

As a result, some pupils with SEND occasionally struggle to learn aspects of the curriculum.

In the early years, children quickly learn leaders' expectations for good behaviour. Children sustain their concentration for long periods of time.

They take pleasure in learning new things. Staff build upon the strong ethos developed in the early years so that as they progress through the school, pupils delight in learning and behave well.

The curriculum includes many opportunities for children in the early years and pupils in the rest of the school to learn about the diverse lifestyles and beliefs in contemporary society.

Pupils show respect for others who are different. They also understand the importance of values such as democratic decision-making and the rule of law. Pupils take their positions of responsibility at the school seriously.

They willingly and capably serve on the school council and support younger pupils on the playground as play leaders. One play leader showed their mature understanding of the role by saying that they are helping younger pupils 'learn how to be physically and socially healthy'.

Despite difficult times since the previous inspection, trustees and leaders have continued to make the necessary improvements, including to arrangements for communication with parents.

Most parents and staff are confident in the school's leadership.

Staff told us that while leaders expect continuous improvements, they support staff to maintain reasonable workloads. Trustees hold leaders accountable for the quality of provision, including important elements of the curriculum.

However, trustees do not pay sufficient attention to the quality of the curriculum beyond English and mathematics.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff know the signs of when a pupil is at risk of potential harm.

They respond quickly and effectively when concerns arise. Effective work with external agencies helps to secure the support that vulnerable pupils need.

The required background checks are made so leaders are confident that adults in school are appropriate to work with pupils.

Staff teach pupils how to keep themselves safe. Pupils know what to do if they are concerned about their well-being. They are confident that staff will help them if they need support.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers do not always provide the support that leaders expect for pupils with SEND. When this happens, some pupils with SEND do not learn as much as they could. Leaders must ensure that teachers have the necessary training to implement the guidance for supporting pupils with SEND effectively so that all pupils achieve well.

• When evaluating the quality of the curriculum, trustees do not pay sufficient attention to subjects other than English and mathematics. As a result, trustees do not know enough about the quality of the provision in those areas to enable them to hold leaders strictly to account. Trustees must ensure that they understand the quality of the whole curriculum at the school.

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