Ofsted inspectors find BSCS has maintained its status as a ‘good’ school

Photo of a group of students standing at the entrance to a building and waving.
Students and staff at Bradley Stoke Community School celebrate the establishment’s recently confirmed ‘good’ Ofsted rating. Photo credit: BSCS

Senior staff at Bradley Stoke Community School (BSCS) say they are “delighted” that Ofsted has confirmed that the all-through academy “continues to be a good school” following a visit by inspectors last November.

The latest Ofsted visit came more than five years after the school was given an overall grading of ‘good’ – with ‘outstanding’ in two of the six assessment categories – following the last full inspection in May 2018.

As a Section 8 ‘ungraded’ inspection, the recent assessment could only confirm the existing ‘good’ rating, so there was no possibility of an upgrade to the much-sought-after ‘outstanding’ classification which the school last held in its pre-academy guise in 2009.

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Commenting on proceedings during the inspectors’ two-day visit, a spokesperson for the school said:

“We were able to discuss and demonstrate the journey that we are on as a school around developing our curriculum to be both ambitious and inclusive and around developing teaching and learning to engage, support and motivate all students.”

In the introduction to her report, lead inspector Sarah Favager-Dalton says “students enjoy school and most attend well”.

She adds that the school “helps students to feel that they belong as part of the community”.

Referring to what the school terms “wider character education”, the report states:

“Pupils of all ages take on responsibilities in roles such as mental health ambassadors, buddies, school council members and tutor captains. Pupils raise money for charities and sixth-form students volunteer in a local care home. This helps them to understand how they can contribute to wider society.”


The report notes that students “trust staff to help them” and that the school’s atmosphere is “harmonious” with “clear routines for behaviour” – meaning that students can “focus on learning”.

Inspectors say the school “makes sure that teachers have strong subject knowledge” and they note that students with special educational needs and/or disabilities are “well supported”.

In relation to the school’s primary phase (opened in 2015), the report states:

“Children begin learning to read as soon as they start in Reception Year. They become familiar with letter sounds and formation. This prepares them to become fluent and enthusiastic readers. Parents get helpful information about how to support their children with reading at home. At all stages, pupils who need help to improve their reading get effective support.”

Photo of Bradley Stoke Community School.
Bradley Stoke Community School.

Inspectors identified one area area for improvement, namely that “[some] aspects of the curriculum are not yet fully embedded. This means that “not all pupils currently learn as well as they could across all areas of the curriculum”. Their report states:

“The trust should ensure that planned changes to the curriculum are fully implemented so that all pupils benefit from the broad, ambitious curriculum that the school has designed.”

Parent/carer views

The Parent View survey results recorded on the Ofsted website show that 71 percent of parents would currently recommend BSCS to other parents, down slightly on the 77 percent figure returned over the period September 2017 to August 2019.

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Commenting on the Ofsted findings, BSCS headteacher Sophie Francis said:

“We are always looking at how we can further improve and the only area for improvement the inspection gave links to the work already underway in the school to fully embed changes in our curriculum – particularly the move from a three- to two-year Key Stage 4 and amendments to our curriculum to align across the Olympus Academy Trust. This is already allowing us to share best practice and refine and develop learning to support our learners’ progress across each year – from Reception through to Year 13.”

Photo of a female teacher wearing a dark blue jacket over a white blouse.
Sophie Francis, headteacher at Bradley Stoke Community School.

“I am incredibly proud of our students, children, staff, governors and the community reflected in the day-to-day life of our school and captured so well in this report.”

Dave Baker, CEO of the Olympus Academy Trust, to which BSCS belongs, added:

“We are delighted that Bradley Stoke Community School has maintained its status as a good school, following the recent Ofsted inspection.  It is an excellent springboard for Sophie Francis in the first few months of her headship at Bradley Stoke. She can now work with staff, parents and learners across the age range to develop her plans to take the school community on the next stage of its improvement journey, with support from The Olympus Academy Trust.”

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