Grestone Academy

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About Grestone Academy

Name Grestone Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Head of School Mrs Deborah Steen
Address Grestone Avenue, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, B20 1ND
Phone Number 01216756787
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 419
Local Authority Birmingham
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are proud to attend Grestone Academy. They are kind and have great manners at this happy school.

This is because the school's values are so important to them. The values are based on the word 'PRIDE' and represent perseverance, respect, independence, diversity and excellence. Pupils know and show these values in their conduct.

They are thrilled to be rewarded for displaying the values in the weekly Friday assembly.

Pupils behave consistently well both in the classroom and outdoors. Staff know pupils well.

Positive relationships are at the centre of everything that the school does. Pupils have a genuine understanding of those who need additiona...l support to learn or behave. They are happy and safe at this school because staff are vigilant and deal appropriately with any concerns pupils may have.

There is an ambition for the pupils. Teachers inspire them, including those pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), to have high aspirations. Staff help pupils to enjoy their learning and to achieve well.

Enrichment beyond the academic curriculum is an important part of the school's vision. Pupils enjoy the range of educational trips, visitors and clubs offered. There are leadership opportunities for pupils, including as 'learning leads' and school councillors.

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

The school is led and managed well. Improvements have been made since the previous inspection. Leaders quickly pick up on what needs to be addressed and ensure that swift action is taken.

Leaders support one another and are supported effectively by the trust.

Pupils study an ambitious curriculum. Leaders have prioritised their work to improve the curriculum.

They have made important changes to ensure that subjects are sequenced well. This work has ensured that pupils secure key knowledge, skills and vocabulary in an order that builds in complexity from early years onwards. Overall, leaders know how well the curriculum is delivered.

However, in a few subjects, the school is in the process of implementing a newly revised curriculum. Where this is the case, the school's understanding of how effectively the curriculum is being taught is less secure.

Lessons are well structured.

Teachers present information clearly so that pupils learn new knowledge and find lessons enjoyable. Leaders have broken down learning into small steps and link this learning together. This helps pupils, including those with SEND, to be successful.

In mathematics, for example, younger pupils learning their times tables are encouraged to look for number patterns. Grasping this important foundation helps pupils when older to carry out more complex multiplication methods. Pupils can remember their learning well.

For example, in history, they confidently shared their knowledge about events on a timeline. They knew that the Tudors existed at the same time as the Edo people in Benin.

The teaching of reading and phonics is a high priority in school.

The school has embedded its early reading scheme. Skilled staff ensure that pupils learn their early phonics sounds successfully. Should a pupil start to fall behind, teachers quickly provide focused support, which helps pupils catch up.

The books pupils read are well matched to their reading ability. This means that pupils enjoy reading because they understand the books they are reading. Older pupils analyse and discuss texts in detail, while pupils of all ages love listening to their teachers read good-quality texts with enthusiasm.

Staff identify, at an early stage, the specific needs of pupils with SEND. The school takes and acts on advice from external agencies where required. Staff adapt learning so that pupils with SEND access the same curriculum as their peers.

As a result, all pupils learn well.

Pupils' behaviour across the school is positive. There is almost no low-level disruption in lessons.

Pupils know and follow the school's expectations well. Children in early years quickly settle into routines that help them learn. This is the foundation for good behaviour later in school.

Pupils' attendance is a high priority for the school and is improving. The family support team communicates well with families to improve attendance.

The school offers an impressive range of opportunities to support pupils' broader development.

Their spiritual, moral and social development is of high quality.

Those responsible for governance share leaders' high ambitions for pupils. They make effective checks on many different aspects of school life.

The school engages well with staff about their workload and well-being. Staff work well as a team and feel valued.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Some subject leaders are new to their role or are in the process of implementing a newly revised curriculum. This means that they are at the early stages of understanding the strengths and next steps to develop their subject. The school should ensure that all subject leaders have a clear understanding of what is required to further develop their subjects so that pupils achieve as well as they can.

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