School etc

Brackenfield School

Brackenfield School
128 Duchy Road
North Yorkshire

phone: 01423 508558

headteacher: Mrs Judith Skillington

school holidays: via North Yorkshire council

167 pupils aged 2—10y mixed gender
179 pupils capacity: 93% full

90 boys 54%

≤ 274a44c55y66y117y98y139y1210y9

80 girls 48%

≤ 2104a34b45y126y117y88y59y1010y8

Last updated: June 20, 2014

— Other Independent School

Religious character
Inter- / non- denominational
Establishment type
Other Independent School
Establishment #
Open date
Oct. 17, 1977
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 428554, Northing: 455173
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 53.992, Longitude: -1.566
Accepting pupils
3—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Region › Const. › Ward
Yorkshire and the Humber › Harrogate and Knaresborough › Harlow Moor
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy

rooms to rent in Harrogate

Schools nearby

  1. 0.7 miles Western Primary School HG20NA (512 pupils)
  2. 0.7 miles Harrogate Ladies' College HG12QG (630 pupils)
  3. 0.8 miles Harrogate Language Academy HG12SZ
  4. 1 mile Saltergate Community Junior School HG32TT (157 pupils)
  5. 1 mile Saltergate Infant School HG32TT (214 pupils)
  6. 1 mile Harrogate Grammar School HG20DZ
  7. 1 mile Harrogate Grammar School HG20DZ (1826 pupils)
  8. 1.1 mile Harrogate, St Peter's Church of England Primary School HG11JA (285 pupils)
  9. 1.1 mile Harrogate Tutorial College HG29BA
  10. 1.2 mile Harrogate, New Park Community Primary School HG13HF (129 pupils)
  11. 1.2 mile Rossett Acre Primary School HG29PH (420 pupils)
  12. 1.2 mile Rossett School HG29JP
  13. 1.2 mile West End School HG29BA
  14. 1.2 mile Rossett School HG29JP (1488 pupils)
  15. 1.3 mile Harrogate, Coppice Valley Community Primary School HG12DN (180 pupils)
  16. 1.3 mile St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Harrogate HG12DP (210 pupils)
  17. 1.4 mile Harrogate, Grove Road Community Primary School HG15EP (316 pupils)
  18. 1.4 mile Ashville College HG29JP (763 pupils)
  19. 1.5 mile Harrogate, Bilton Grange Community Primary School HG13BA (313 pupils)
  20. 1.5 mile Harrogate Pupil Referral Service HG15EP
  21. 1.5 mile The Grove Academy HG15EP
  22. 1.6 mile Beckwithshaw Community Primary School HG31QW (63 pupils)
  23. 1.7 mile Oatlands Community Infant School HG28BT (228 pupils)
  24. 1.7 mile St Aidan's Church of England High School HG28JR

List of schools in Harrogate

Brackenfield School

Independent school inspection report
DCSF registration number 815/6027
Unique reference number 121757
URN for registered childcare and social care EY305335
Inspection number 334994
Inspection dates 11–12 November 2009
Reporting inspector Christine Inkster HMI

Age group: 2-11
Published: 30 November 2009
Reference no: 334994

No. 090070


Purpose and scope of the inspection

This inspection was carried out by Ofsted under Section 162A


of the Education Act

2002, as amended by schedule 8 of the Education Act 2005


, the purpose of which is

to advise the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families about the school’s
suitability for continued registration as an independent school.
The inspection of registered provision


was conducted under Section 49(2) of the

Childcare Act 2006.


Information about the school

Brackenfield School is a co-educational preparatory school situated on the edge of
Harrogate. It provides care and education for children aged two to 11 years of age.
There are currently 170 pupils on roll including 38 part-time pupils in the Nursery.
There are 18 children in the Pre-Nursery class. The school was established in 1977
and is accommodated in an early Edwardian house, although there have been more
modern additions to the building. There are currently 32 children who are funded
under the Nursery education scheme. There is a breakfast club from 7.30am to
8.30am and an after-school club until 6.00pm each evening. The school was last
inspected in January 2007. The last inspection for registered childcare was in
February 2006.
The school aims to ‘make children happy and confident, to make the most of
individual talents and for every child to leave the school with high self-esteem, ready
for the next challenge.’

Evaluation of the school

Brackenfield School provides a good quality of education and care for its pupils and
meets its aims effectively, including in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The
curriculum and the quality of teaching and assessment are good enabling pupils to
make good progress in their learning. Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
development and their behaviour are outstanding and, as a result, they develop into
well-rounded, confident and articulate young people. The provision for the welfare,
health and safety of pupils is outstanding; safeguarding arrangements are fully in
place and meet requirements. Leaders have a good understanding of the strengths
and areas for improvement in the school and have successfully addressed the vast
majority of the issues identified at the last inspection and as a result, the school now




Schools which provide childcare for children from birth until the term in which they reach their third

birthday must register this provision separately with Ofsted.



meets all of the regulations for independent school registration. The school’s
registered provision for childcare meets the requirements of the Childcare Act 2006.

Quality of education

The curriculum is good in school and in the Early Years Foundation Stage. It is broad
and balanced and ensures that pupils of all abilities make good progress. The school
teaches all subjects in the National Curriculum; it has a strong focus on developing
pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding in the core subjects and on using these
skills effectively in cross-curricular work. Pupils from Nursery to Year 6 learn French.
Pupils are able to participate in a wide range of sports and musical activities and are
highly successful in inter-school sports competitions, swimming galas and music
festivals. There are ample opportunities to develop pupils’ speaking and listening
skills and pupils are able to articulate their views and opinions with confidence. By
the end of Year 3, an increasing number of subjects are taught by subject specialists.
Information and communication technology (ICT) is well used by pupils to support
their learning. The small number of pupils who have special educational needs
and/or disabilities, or English as an additional language, are catered for well with
additional tuition from a learning support teacher and teaching assistants enabling
them to make good progress. The personal, social, health and citizenship programme
(PSHCE) includes a wide variety of activities which successfully promote pupils’
outstanding personal development. Pupils are enthusiastic about the wide range of
extra-curricular activities on offer and appreciate the opportunity to develop further
their sporting, creative and communication skills.
The quality of teaching and assessment is good in school and in the Early Years
Foundation Stage. Teachers have high expectations of work and behaviour and, as a
result, pupils make good progress. There are very good relationships between staff
and pupils and pupils are highly motivated to learn. They take a pride in their work
and present it neatly. Teachers have good subject knowledge and ask probing
questions that promote pupils’ thinking skills. Pupils are expected to give reasons for
their answers and they listen to and respect each other’s views and opinions. Pupils
clearly enjoy their lessons and say that they are fun. They have good opportunities
to work independently as well as in groups and pairs which enables them to discuss
their work with others. They are also developing good practical skills, for example, in
science and design and technology. Lessons are conducted at a brisk pace and as a
result, pupils are able to concentrate well and participate in activities with
enthusiasm. Work is matched well to the individual abilities of pupils.
Assessment arrangements, including those in the Early Years Foundation Stage, are
good. Improvements have been made to the tracking system since the last
inspection and it is used well to identify pupils who require additional support or
challenge. Pupils make good progress because of the individual support they receive.
However, there is no clear overview or analysis of the progress that all groups of
pupils make year-on-year from their starting points. Staff know pupils very well and
appropriate information is available but this is fragmented and not presented in a


fully cohesive manner. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the assessment of
children’s learning is good, but opportunities are sometimes missed to record
incidental learning.
Pupils make good progress because of the good curriculum and teaching they
receive. Evidence seen in pupils’ work and in lessons confirms this view. By the time
pupils reach Year 6, they are all successful in gaining places at the selective senior
schools of their choice.

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils

The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils is outstanding in
school and in the Early Years Foundation Stage. By the time they leave at the end of
Year 6, pupils have developed into very confident, articulate and well-rounded
individuals. This outstanding personal development begins in the Early Years
Foundation Stage when children settle in quickly and make good friends. There are
many opportunities to celebrate pupils’ achievements and this does much to promote
pupils’ high self-esteem. Pupils say they really enjoy their learning. Attendance is
usually high, although at the time of the inspection a number of pupils were absent
because of swine flu. The behaviour of the vast majority of pupils is exemplary. They
are extremely courteous and polite. Pupils take their responsibilities as monitors,
house captains and school councillors very seriously. They make an excellent
contribution to the wider community through a range of fund-raising activities for
charity and, for example, through visiting a local residence for elderly people. Older
pupils enjoy participating in Young Enterprise projects, for example, by growing
herbs to raise money. Pupils gain a good understanding of British institutions and
services by visiting the local council offices, learning about local and national
government and the work of the police and fire service. Cultural development and
racial harmony are very effectively promoted and a range of different festivals are
celebrated including Diwali and Chinese New Year. Pupils are well prepared for the
next steps in their education and for their future lives. This is aided by the good
progress they make in their basic skills, their ability to engage in teamwork,
particularly in problem-solving activities, and their high levels of confidence and self-

Welfare, health and safety of the pupils

The provision for the welfare, health and safety of pupils is outstanding in school and
in the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is reflected in pupils’ in-depth
understanding of how to keep safe and healthy. The very good provision for sport
not only increases fitness levels, but instils an understanding of the use of
appropriate equipment to avoid injury, such as gum shields for rugby. Pupils
thoroughly enjoy the well-balanced lunches provided and have a comprehensive
understanding of healthy eating. Their understanding of keeping safe is excellent.
They are acutely aware of potential hazards, for example, on the road, water or


when using the internet. As a result of adults’ focus on safety in lessons, pupils
understand the precautions needed, for example, when working with tools in design
and technology lessons.
All the required policies and procedures are in place and are regularly updated
against national recommendations. There are thorough procedures to ensure that
safeguarding and child protection policies are in place. Staff training is up-to-date;
staff have a good understanding of policies and procedures and implement them
very effectively. Any issues raised by annual checks, including health and safety
checks, are addressed immediately. Daily checks of the building and grounds by the
principal and site manager allow for any potential hazards to be remedied
immediately. Detailed assessments of potential risks for visits and activities in and
out of school are diligently undertaken. The school has a comprehensive
development plan in place in respect of accessibility to the premises with regard to
the Disability Discrimination Act 2002. The arrangements for early morning and after-
school care meet requirements. Pupils are cared for very well and there is good
communication with staff in school.

Suitability of the proprietor and staff

The school has established suitable procedures for ensuring that, prior to taking up
their responsibilities, all teaching and non-teaching staff, volunteers, supply staff and
the proprietor are checked for their suitability to work with children and young
people. This has improved since the previous inspection. All required checks
including an enhanced criminal records bureau check have been completed for those
in regular contact with pupils and these are kept, as required, in a single central

School’s premises and accommodation

The accommodation is fit for purpose and is maintained to a good level. The school
is situated in well-maintained grounds which have recently been improved. A
woodland area has been opened up and a climbing wall has been erected and these
contribute well to pupils’ agility and fitness levels. Classrooms are of a good size and
the school has good resources including interactive whiteboards in all classes which
contribute well to pupils’ motivation and learning. There is a hall, separate ICT suite
and library areas. The improved playing fields have extended the range of sports
available and are contributing to pupils’ skills and achievements at school, local and
county level.

Provision of information for parents, carers and others

The provision of information has improved since the last inspection and now meets
requirements. It provides parents, carers and others with a wide range of up-to-date


information through the handbook for parents and the website. There is also a high
quality published magazine which provides a wide variety of information in respect of
pupils’ achievements including musical and sporting achievements, prizes and awards
given and samples of work produced by pupils in each class. The vast majority of
parents are pleased with the education and care provided for their children and, as
one parent states, ‘This is a happy school where children have access to a wide
variety of activities, the staff are caring and enthusiastic and the parents are made to
feel part of the school’.

Procedures for handling complaints

The school has a complaints policy and a set of procedures, which meet all of the
regulations. There have been no formal complaints since the last inspection.

Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage

The overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage is good and some
aspects are outstanding including the promotion of children’s welfare and their
personal development. Children enjoy their time in the Pre-Nursery, Nursery and
Reception classes and make good progress in all areas of learning. Their progress
and achievement in personal and social development and in music is excellent.
Through the good provision, children settle quickly, becoming familiar with routines,
confidently making new friends and relishing the wide range of activities available.
The improvements to the outdoor provision have added to children’s enjoyment and
this was evident in the huge fun they had acting as pirates. As in other areas of
school, each child is truly valued as an individual. Close work with parents compiling
‘special books’ of children’s life stories give children an understanding of the passage
of time, and encourage their desire to read. Teaching is consistently good. Teachers
and support staff work effectively as a team. Planning takes account of all areas of
learning, but planning for the outdoor area is not as focused as for the indoor
provision. Adults know their children well and endeavour to provide activities that
promote each child’s knowledge and skills. The assessment and recording of
children’s achievements is undertaken conscientiously, but opportunities are
sometimes missed to record incidental learning. The leadership of the Early Years
Foundation Stage is good, but is shared between the Nursery manager and the Key
Stage 1 leader. This has resulted in additional demands, especially in the
management of the Reception Class. All the welfare requirements are met, including
those for two year olds.

Compliance with regulatory requirements

The school meets all of the Education (Independent School Standards) (England)
Regulations 2003 as amended (‘the Regulations’).


The school’s registered provision for childcare meets the requirements of the
Childcare Act 2006.

What the school could do to improve further

While not required by regulations, the school might wish to consider the following
points for development:

  • Develop tracking systems further to ensure that leaders and managers have
    a clear overview of the amount of progress made by all groups of pupils’
    year-on-year from their starting points.
  • Refine assessment procedures in the Early Years Foundation Stage
    especially in the day-to-day recording of incidental learning.


Inspection judgement recording form





The quality of education

Overall quality of education

How well the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and
interests of pupils

How effective teaching and assessment are in meeting the full range of
pupils’ needs

How well pupils make progress in their learning

Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

Quality of provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural

The behaviour of pupils

Welfare, health and safety of pupils

The overall welfare, health and safety of pupils

The quality of the Early Years Foundation Stage provision

How good are the outcomes for children in the EYFS?

What is the quality of provision in the EYFS?

How effectively is the EYFS led and managed?

Overall effectiveness: how well does the school meet the needs of children in
the EYFS?


School details

Name of school Brackenfield School
DCSF number 815/6027
Unique reference number 121757
EY URN (for registered childcare only)


Type of school Preparatory
Status Independent
Date school opened 1 September 1977
Age range of pupils 2-11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number on roll (full-time pupils) Boys: 71 Girls: 61 Total: 132
Number on roll (part-time pupils) Boys: 19 Girls: 19 Total: 38
Number of pupils aged 0–3 in registered
childcare provision

Boys: 9 Girls: 9 Total: 18

Annual fees (day pupils) £ 5,985
Annual fees (childcare)

£ 1,875

Address of school 128 Duchy Road

North Yorkshire

Telephone number 01423 508558
Fax number 01423 524841
Email address reveal email: adm…
Headteacher Mrs Judith Skillington
Proprietor Mr Anthony Comerford
Reporting inspector Christine Inkster HMI
Dates of inspection 11-12 November 2009

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