Broadlands Academy celebrates Ofsted success

BROADLANDS Academy in Keynsham is celebrating after it retained its ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted.

The secondary school, which has been part of the Academies Enterprise Trust since 2012, had 502 pupils at the time of the inspection. 

Ofsted says school leaders, working closely with the trust, have brought in many changes over the past few years, creating an ambitious new curriculum that aims to help all pupils achieve highly.

Pupils say they feel cared for, and relationships between pupils and staff are strong.

A new behaviour policy has had a positive effect, and pupils appreciate the calm, orderly school environment in which they can learn uninterrupted.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) are identified early and achieve well.

Leaders have created a “whole-school” approach to improve reading for all pupils. Those who need to catch up to their peers are identified and supported. This approach is having a positive impact. 

Pupils are involved in decision-making. Staff feel well supported, and leaders make sound decisions to ensure workload is manageable.

Staff like the changes that have taken place at the school. They say they are able to teach, as behaviour is well managed. They value the developing culture of excellence and the high expectations of leaders. 

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Pupils receive a well-planned careers programme from Year 7 onwards and are also well prepared for the next phase of their education. 

The report did find that some pupils, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, have low attendance, which hinders their learning. Ofsted says leaders should take more steps to improve attendance.

Louise Hamilton, who became Broadlands principal in July 2020, described the report as “the fruit of our improvement journey of the past three years.”

In a newsletter to parents and carers, she said: “In spite of the pandemic, staff have worked tirelessly to provide our students with the best possible educational experience day in, day out. I am delighted that this report recognises their efforts.

“In their feedback to me after the inspection, inspectors said that they were extremely impressed by our ambitious curriculum and our high-performance learning community.

“As I would have predicted from the typical culture at Broadlands, inspectors did not see a single instance of disruption to learning in the two days of their visit.

“Most importantly, our wonderful students presented themselves as the kind, respectful and responsible young people that they are, and expressed a great deal of positivity about their experience at Broadlands.

“I am extremely proud of each and every one of our Broadlands students.”