Shepherdswell Academy

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About Shepherdswell Academy

Name Shepherdswell Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Ruth Ryan
Address Billingwell Place, Springfield, Milton Keynes, MK6 3NP
Phone Number 01908735865
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 4-7
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 137
Local Authority Milton Keynes
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are thriving at this small, nurturing school. They embody the school's core values of 'collaboration, community courage, curiosity and creativity' in all that they do.

Pupils develop a deep understanding of different faiths, cultures and protected characteristics. They welcome everyone at their diverse and inclusive school.

A sense of kindness and care emanates through the school atmosphere.

Pupils keenly and routinely attend, greeting their peers, staff and visitors to the school with enthusiasm. They are consistently considerate and calm in their conduct. Staff put all pupils' emotional needs and academic development at the centre of everything they

This helps pupils to achieve well and be happy in their learning.

Staff provide interesting ways for pupils to learn, which keeps pupils motivated. Pupils appreciate that teachers make their learning enjoyable and challenging.

They are keen to learn and proud of their work. There are extensive opportunities provided to widen their learning experiences through interesting trips and visits.

Pupils relish the opportunity to celebrate their achievements.

There are weekly reward assemblies to recognise pupils as a 'star of the week' and a 'remarkable reader'. They love receiving star badges and reading tokens, which they exchange for books at the vending machine.

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

Staff deeply care about the education offered.

Pupils eagerly learn about the wider world through all aspects of the curriculum. They are curious and proudly talk about their learning experiences. This creates a joyful and positive approach to learning across the school.

There is a detailed and ambitious curriculum in place that carefully considers what pupils should learn right from the early years. Important knowledge and skills have been clearly identified and broken down into small steps. This helps pupils learn well, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

Pupils are expertly supported by teachers, who ensure that pupils get help with their individual learning needs. Pupils who attend the specially resourced provision, 'Aspen', receive bespoke support. This enables them to develop both academically and emotionally.

They explore how to build relationships and manage their feelings and behaviour. Consequently, they develop self-confidence and self-awareness.

The school and staff at the trust work collaboratively and invest time to develop the knowledge of teachers.

This ensures that the school's research-based knowledge of curriculum development is well understood and implemented across the school. In many subjects, including history and mathematics, what pupils will learn is precisely identified. Teachers have the skills they need to check what pupils know, and this helps to identify any gaps in pupils' knowledge and to close these quickly.

In a small number of subjects, however, the curriculum is at an earlier stage of implementation. In these subjects, pupils are not always able to articulate their learning over time as clearly. Leaders know this and are providing support to embed the curriculum across the school.

Reading is prioritised. Children in the early years get off to a positive start when learning to read. These children, along with pupils in key stage 1, have regular opportunities to practise what they have learned in their daily phonics sessions.

Pupils immerse themselves in the high-quality books they frequently read in class. Staff check pupils' reading progress regularly and systematically. Teachers provide effective and rapid support for pupils who find reading more difficult.

Staff receive ongoing training required to develop their expertise in teaching pupils how to read. Consequently, pupils become confident and fluent readers.

The school is calm and orderly throughout the school day.

The youngest children in the Nursery Year help to tidy up, and they take turns and share. Children in the Reception class engage in activities with enthusiasm. Routines are well embedded, and adults help pupils to manage their behaviour well.

Disruptions to learning are rare, and pupils are well known by staff. This helps to enable positive learning experiences across the school.

Staff carefully thread teaching about relationships and inclusivity throughout the curriculum.

This constant focus underpins the very high expectations that staff have for developing pupils' cultural awareness. Pupils understand why they should treat each other well. Pupils know that they are each entitled to their own opinion, and they maturely address each other.

As a result, pupils' knowledge of other cultures, faiths and religions is exceptional.

The school's personal development curriculum helps to prepare pupils for life in modern Britain. For example, pupils learn about democracy by voting for the school council team.

Pupils treat each other with tolerance, kindness and respect. They recognise their part in creating a positive community and are proud of their school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The strong implementation of the curriculum seen across some subjects is not yet fully implemented consistently. This means pupils do not yet achieve as well as they could across the full breadth of the curriculum. Leaders should continue to provide support to staff, as required, to embed the curriculum securely and consistently in every subject.

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