Stone Lodge School

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About Stone Lodge School

Name Stone Lodge School
Ofsted Inspections
Mr Gavin Barnett
Address Stone Lodge Road, Dartford, DA2 6FY
Phone Number 01322250340
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 677
Local Authority Kent
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Stone Lodge is a highly inclusive school where pupils and sixth-form students thrive. Pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are happy and safe here.

Pupils know that adults will always help them if they have a problem. Staff go the extra mile to support pupils' well-being. As one pupil said during the inspection, 'This school is like coming home'.

The school has high expectations of both pupils' behaviour and achievement. The school's mantra of 'warm and strict' is played out in daily life. Pupils respond well to well-established routines, high staff visibility and clear rules.

As a result, behaviour is usually faul...tless. Pupils work hard in lessons and value their teachers. Skilled staff support pupils with SEND well and are ambitious that all pupils achieve highly.

Pupils enjoy attending a range of extra-curricular clubs and activities, such as art, sport and musical theatre. These help to develop pupils' talents well. As the school has expanded over recent years, so too have opportunities for pupils to take on responsibilities.

Roles such as student leaders and school council representatives are now making a positive impact in the school and in the wider community.

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

The school has an impressive determination to make sure that all pupils, irrespective of background, achieve well and succeed in life. Staff at all levels share this ambition and work tirelessly to make it a reality.

Very high proportions of pupils study the English Baccalaureate at key stage 4. Trust staff and those responsible for governance support school leaders extremely well in managing the complexities of this rapidly growing school.

The school has prioritised creating a high-quality, ambitious and carefully sequenced curriculum in each subject.

Leaders have thought carefully about how pupils should build on what they already know. In most subjects, pupils remember the important knowledge well. However, in just a couple of subjects, some pupils have not grasped the basics and do not recall the key learning.

This means that they do not have firm foundations on which to build their learning further.

Most teachers have good subject knowledge. Where teachers are not subject specialists, school leaders support them with intensive training and coaching.

This means that less experienced teachers quickly gain the necessary skills to teach effectively. Teachers are adept at asking skilful questions and explaining new ideas clearly. They check regularly and address any misconceptions that pupils may have.

All pupils, including those with SEND feel confident to contribute during lessons. Pupils who struggle with reading are given extra help. This means they gain confidence and increased fluency.

Students in the sixth form are well supported in their courses. Their current achievement is strong. Students speak highly of their teachers and of the pastoral support they receive.

The school's personal development programme is well embedded in most areas. A few aspects are developing further, in line with the growth in pupil numbers. For example, while the school has plans to expand the sixth-form enrichment offer, it is currently relatively limited.

Through the school's 'successful lives' programme, pupils are taught about healthy relationships, managing risk and staying safe, including when online. There is a focus on pupils' physical and mental well-being. Pupils understand the benefits of being active, of getting enough sleep and of eating healthily.

Pupils and sixth-form students say that it is very rare to hear disrespectful language in the school. They are clear that people's differences should be accepted. The school offers appropriate careers information, advice and guidance, including a growing work experience offer.

Pupils feel well-prepared for their next steps and for life in modern Britain.

Pupils' behaviour and attendance are strong, including in the sixth form. The school sets firm expectations about how pupils should conduct themselves around the building and in lessons.

It is rare to see poor behaviour. When this happens, the school acts swiftly and staff will support the pupil to make better choices. Pupils enjoy warm, respectful relationships with their teachers who show them exactly what is expected by the school.

In turn, pupils are polite, attentive and mature.

Leaders at all levels are unwavering in their drive for consistently high standards across all areas of the school. They engage exceptionally well with staff who are unanimously proud and pleased to work here.

Staff appreciate that leaders are always approachable and are mindful of their workload and well-being. Staff place great value on the excellent training they receive, noting how much more confident it makes them in their roles.

Parents endorse the work of the school.

Most feel that their child is happy, safe and learning well. One parent, summing up the views of many, commented, 'Staff have gone above and beyond in supporting my child, I would recommend this school to anyone.'


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a couple of subjects, the curriculum does not support pupils' retention of key knowledge. This means that some pupils do not have a firm base on which to incorporate more complex learning. Leaders should ensure that the curriculum in these subjects supports pupils to remember and re-use the important knowledge so that they have firm foundations on which to build further.

• A few aspects of the personal development curriculum are not yet fully embedded because they have developed gradually as year groups have moved through the school. This means that some pupils and students may not receive a personal development programme that is as fulsome as it could be. Now that all year groups are in place, leaders should ensure that a full personal development curriculum offer is in place for all pupils and sixth-form students.

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