Sharnbrook Academy

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About Sharnbrook Academy

Name Sharnbrook Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Head of School Mrs Clare Raku
Address Odell Road, Sharnbrook, Bedford, MK44 1JL
Phone Number 01234782211
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 1741
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Most pupils are happy at Sharnbrook Academy. They are keen to share the many things they like about their school.

The majority of pupils feel safe. They know there is an adult they can talk to if needed.

Pupils behave well in and around the school.

They are respectful and polite to teachers and visitors. Most pupils think that bullying is rare. Some say it never happens.

A minority disagree; they also think that teachers do not deal with bullying as well as they might.

Pupils learn a broad range of subjects. In some areas of the curriculum, pupils learn very well.

At times, learning is slowed because some teachers do not spot and gaps in pupils' learning. In the sixth form, students participate enthusiastically because of the high-quality teaching they receive.

Most pupils are very open-minded.

They welcome those who are different from them. They like the many clubs and activities the school provides. Pupils produce impressive artwork, which decorates the school.

Parents have mixed views about the school. Some are delighted with the education their children receive, while others are less positive.

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

Since joining the Meridian Trust in September 2021, leaders have been implementing a new curriculum.

Pupils access a broad curriculum offer and a rich array of subjects in all year groups, including in the sixth form. Around half of pupils choose to learn a foreign language. This provides them with important skills in a global world.

An increasing number of pupils access a range of subjects that count towards the requirements of the English Baccalaureate.

Where this curriculum is implemented well, leaders have ensured that learning is broken down into logical steps. Teachers provide pupils with opportunities to practise prior learning.

This enables pupils to remember important knowledge. In the sixth form, teachers ensure that students develop an understanding of complex concepts. Students demonstrate a range of academic skills, which puts them in good stead for future study and work.

However, in some areas of the curriculum, knowledge does not build so well on what pupils have learned before. Additionally, while some teachers are skilful at identifying pupils' misconceptions and missing knowledge, some teachers are not regularly checking pupils' learning. Some teachers are not aware of where pupils have gaps in their knowledge and learning.

As a result of this, these pupils continue to make the same mistakes.

While leaders are currently reviewing the provision for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), and are identifying their needs more accurately, staff do not consistently provide pupils with SEND with the precise support they need. Leaders are, however, beginning to ensure that they have robust systems in place to check regularly how well support is working.

Behaviour around the school is very often calm and orderly. There is a small minority of pupils whose behaviour is more challenging. Most pupils say that teachers deal with negative behaviours well.

However, a significant minority of pupils do not feel that teachers deal with bullying, mainly name-calling, appropriately. As a result of this, some pupils continue to experience bullying. Leaders are trying to address the use of derogatory language in school.

Most pupils radiate highly positive values and attitudes, especially around diversity, and say, 'We may look different on the outside but we're all the same on the inside.' They learn in an age-related way how to develop healthy relationships. They are kind and considerate.

While leaders know pupils need to be more aware of how their learning prepares them for potential careers, they do provide rich advice about future options. Careers provision therefore meets the Baker Clause, which requires schools to provide pupils in Years 8 to 13 with information about approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships. Leaders support students in the sixth form well to make informed decisions about future study or employment.

This ensures they embark on a wide range of professional and educational destinations.

Provision in the school has declined since the previous inspection. However, since taking on the school, the trust has acted swiftly to address the weaknesses.

Trust leaders have accurately identified what needs to improve, especially within the realms of the curriculum and SEND provision. Trust staff provide challenge and support to ensure that leaders are taking the right actions for the benefit of pupils. As a result, leaders are in a strong position to make the improvements needed.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that staff receive regular training so that all know how to identify if a child may be at risk. There is a strong culture of vigilance.

Staff report concerns about a pupil's welfare swiftly. Leaders respond appropriately to any concerns. They liaise with a range of outside agencies to ensure that pupils receive the support they need.

Leaders make sure all pupils are aware of how to keep themselves safe when online and out of school.

Leaders run meticulous checks on all new members of staff before they join the school to ensure they are suitable to work in schools.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Teachers do not consistently identify misconceptions, errors and gaps in pupils' learning.

As a result of this, some pupils continue to make the same mistakes, and gaps in their learning are not identified. Leaders need to ensure that teachers systematically identify misconceptions and what pupils do not know, so that teachers can provide the necessary support to help pupils improve their learning. ? While leaders have more recently provided teachers with the necessary training and information so that they apply the precise support and strategies to meet the needs of pupils with SEND, this is in the early stages of development.

As a result of this, pupils with SEND do not always learn as well as they might. Leaders must ensure teachers fully understand pupils' needs and that they provide the appropriate help. Leaders must also ensure regular review of how support for pupils with SEND is working.

• Leaders are not successfully ensuring that all staff deal with some incidents of bullying involving a minority of pupils. As a result of this, some pupils continue to experience name-calling and intimidation. Leaders must ensure that incidents of bullying are dealt with effectively and consistently by all staff.

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