School etc

Holywell CofE VA Middle School Closed - academy converter Sept. 30, 2012

see new Holywell School

Holywell CofE VA Middle School
Red Lion Close

phone: 01234 *** ***

headteacher: Mr Peter Haddon


school holidays: via Central Bedfordshire council

Middle Deemed Secondary — Voluntary Aided School

Education phase
Middle Deemed Secondary
Religious character
Church of England
Establishment type
Voluntary Aided School
Establishment #
Close date
Sept. 30, 2012
Reason closed
Academy Converter
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 495760, Northing: 242276
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.071, Longitude: -0.60433
Accepting pupils
9—13 years old
Ofsted last inspection
July 5, 2011
Diocese of St Albans
Region › Const. › Ward
East of England › Mid Bedfordshire › Cranfield and Marston Moretaine
Town and Fringe - less sparse
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Bedford

Schools nearby

  1. Holywell School MK430JA (511 pupils)
  2. 0.1 miles Cranfield VC Lower School MK430DR
  3. 0.1 miles Cranfield Church of England Academy MK430DR (282 pupils)
  4. 1.1 mile Cranfield University MK430AL
  5. 2.3 miles Shelton Lower School MK430LS (72 pupils)
  6. 2.4 miles Church End Lower School MK430NE (287 pupils)
  7. 2.4 miles North Crawley CofE School MK169LL (31 pupils)
  8. 2.7 miles Thomas Johnson Lower School MK430SB (112 pupils)
  9. 3.2 miles Wootton Upper School MK439HT
  10. 3.2 miles Wootton Upper School MK439HT (1194 pupils)
  11. 3.4 miles Kimberley 16 - 19 Stem College MK439LY (158 pupils)
  12. 3.7 miles Wootton Lower School MK439JT (293 pupils)
  13. 3.9 miles Marston Vale Middle School MK439NH
  14. 3.9 miles Marston Vale Middle School MK439NH (612 pupils)
  15. 4 miles Aspley Guise Lower School MK178JT (135 pupils)
  16. 4 miles Husborne Crawley Lower School MK430UZ (56 pupils)
  17. 4 miles Broadmead Lower School MK439NN (119 pupils)
  18. 4.1 miles Ridgmont Lower School MK430TS (44 pupils)
  19. 4.1 miles Broughton Fields Primary School MK109LS (412 pupils)
  20. 4.1 miles Broughton Manor Preparatory School MK109AA
  21. 4.1 miles Brooklands Farm Primary School MK107EU (432 pupils)
  22. 4.1 miles Broughton Manor Preparatory School MK109AA (317 pupils)
  23. 4.2 miles Swallowfield Lower School MK178SL (358 pupils)
  24. 4.2 miles Fulbrook Middle School MK178NP

List of schools in Bedford

Holywell CofE VA Middle School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 109712
Local Authority Central Bedfordshire
Inspect ion number 356610
Inspect ion dates 5–6 July 2011
Report ing inspector Trevor Riddiough HMI

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Middle deemed secondary
School category Voluntary aided
Age range of pupils 9–13
Gender of pupils Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 526
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Elaine Cook
Headteacher Peter Haddon
Date of previous school inspection 12 March 2008
School address Red Lion Close
Cranfield, Bedford
MK43 0JA
Telephone number 01234 750381
Fax number 01234 752279
Email address reveal email: sch…
Age group 9–13
Inspect ion dates 5–6 July 2011
Inspect ion number 356610


This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors and three additional
inspectors. Inspectors observed 28 teachers in 33 lessons including six joint observations
with members of the senior leadership team, four tutor groups and four assemblies.
Inspectors carried out a learning walk incorporating a further five lessons, involving eight
teaching assistants, and held meetings with senior leaders and other staff, groups of
pupils, and members of the governing body. They observed the school's work and looked
at the tracking of pupils' progress, performance data, pupils' work, whole-school and
subject development plans, numerous policies, school documents and case studies.
Completed questionnaires from 106 pupils, 266 parents and carers and 34 staff were
received and analysed.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at a
number of key areas.

  • Are all pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities and
    those entitled to free school meals making sufficient progress by the time they leave
    in Year 8?
  • What are the reasons for the variations in pupils' achievement in Key Stage 2 and
    Key Stage 3?
  • Has the relative decline in achievement in English and mathematics been
    successfully resolved?
  • How effective are leaders at all levels and governors in monitoring and improving
    progress of all pupils?

Information about the school

Holywell is in the Diocese of St Albans. It mainly serves children from the two villages of
Cranfield and Wootton. A significant number of pupils come from overseas each year to be
with their parents at a local university. The school is larger than most other middle
schools. It is part of the three-phase system that serves central Bedfordshire. Most pupils
are White British and very few speak English as an additional language. The proportion of
pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is well below the national average, as is
the proportion of those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. Amongst its
awards, the school has achieved Healthy School Status and Sportsmark.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 2
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 2

Main findings

An unusually large number of parents and carers contacted inspectors to tell of their
overwhelming support and appreciation for Holywell Middle School. One parent of a pupil
summed up the views of many when she said, 'All of the staff are keen and interested in
teaching, supportive and caring of the children.' Inspection evidence endorses these
conclusions of parents and carers and the school's self-evaluation: Holywell is a good and
improving school. The school fosters pupils' enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning well
and this is reflected in pupils' outstanding attendance and in their good behaviour. These
positive attitudes contribute positively to pupils' good progress over time in the school.
While pupils' progress is good overall, there is a dip in progress at Key Stage 2 and
acceleration at Key Stage 3. Teaching, too, is variable but good overall. Pupils particularly
enjoy lessons where they can play an active part, are engaged in interesting activities and
are sufficiently challenged. Pupils' progress is further supported by the enrichment
activities provided during and after school. In the less successful lessons, assessment
procedures are not fully embedded in day-to-day practice, which hinders the planning and
delivery of good learning for all pupils in the class. Marking in books and feedback in
lessons is variable and in a minority of lessons do not give useful pointers for further
The school is a cohesive and inclusive community. Pupils are proud of their school; they
typically say, 'this is a really friendly school' and 'everyone is really helpful.' They also say
that they feel very safe in school. School records and pupils' own observations confirm
that incidents of any bullying are extremely rare, and that when anything happens th at
concerns them, pupils know exactly who they can turn to for help or advice. Leaders at all
levels have worked hard to ensure that all the staff share a common philosophy which
places learning at the heart of its work. There is a good sense of teamwork and mutual
respect between staff and pupils. Staff display high levels of commitment towards every
pupil, reflecting the school's caring and inclusive ethos.
The school has improved since it was last inspected because school leaders at all levels
have a good understanding of the quality of their provision and are held accountable for
the outcomes. They have successfully tackled most aspects of underperformance and any
remaining weaknesses are being picked up. For example, they are aware that target
setting and tracking have not always been as strong in Key Stage 2 as in Key Stage 3.
Self-evaluation is accurate and thorough and has identified clear priorities for further
improvement. The capacity for further sustained improvement is, therefore, good.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve the rates of progress of pupils in Key Stage 2 by:
    Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate
    Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms
    setting challenging targets based on assessment information from the very start
    of Year 5
    making sure that pupils' progress is tracked consistently across the key stage to
    identify and address any underachievement.
  • Strengthen teaching further by:
    using assessment information to plan and deliver lessons that challenge all pupils
    providing consistently clear advice and guidance to pupils through the day-to-day
    marking of their work and regular feedback in lessons focused on the next steps
    to learning.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 2

By the time pupils leave the school at the end of Year 8 attainment is above average in
most subjects. Pupils make expected progress from Years 5 to 6, accelerating to good or
better progress in Years 7 and 8. This is because teaching in some subjects has not been
as strong in Key Stage 2, due to variation in teaching quality and subject expertise.
Progress in mathematics at Key Stage 2 has been particularly slow; however, the school
has put into place systems to address this and current data is showing improvement.
Another reason that progress has been comparatively slow is that pupils are not set
challenging targets from the very start of Key Stage 2 nor has the school tracked them in
sufficient detail to enable progress to be checked as rigorously as it is done in Key Stage
3. Good progress was seen in most lessons during the inspection. Classrooms are
characterised by a good learning atmosphere resulting from the good quality relationships
that teachers have established with their pupils. Pupils show they can reflect on their
learning and work well with each other. When given the opportunity they also enjoy
working independently.
In the recent past pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities made
satisfactory progress. The school's data indicate that this progress has risen rapidly
following recent improvements to the teaching quality for this group of pupils, coupled
with improved support arrangements. Inspectors' own observations confirm this view. The
school operates a programme of small withdrawal groups using a team of teaching
assistants. It has made good use of one-to-one tuition funding to provide additional
booster work to support targeted pupils. The number of pupils known to be eligible for
free school meals is low in each year group; while some of these pupils make less than
expected progress, the school is well aware of this and is tackling it. Their progress is
monitored by school leaders who support those who are behind with their work.
The school provides a safe, caring environment which is warm and friendly. This can be
seen, for example, in the creation of the outside play and social areas which have been
thoughtfully designed to integrate the less confident and younger pupils with the others.
Pupils have a good understanding of how to keep themselves safe and develop a healthy
lifestyle, especially through understanding the importance of exercise and sports. Pupils
show care and consideration, courtesy and respect through their charity work and through
helping others. This is exemplified by the work done by pupils on the school council, the
Bedfordshire Youth Parliament, the mentoring of younger pupils and through their support
of the local churches.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Pupils' development of spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness is particularly good.
School assemblies, tutor time and other associated curriculum programmes support pupils'
ability to see the world through others' viewpoints. As a result, pupils learn to take
responsibility for their actions and know what is expected of them. Through activity days,
visitors and the work in their personal and religious education, they gain insights into the
diverse nature of our society. While pupils gain good literacy and numeracy skills, wider
skills in information and communications technology (ICT) are less strong because cross-
curricular provision of ICT is still under development. Nevertheless, pupils are prepared
well for their futures and for the next stage of their education.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning 2
Taking into account:
Pupils' attainment¹
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress 2
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities
and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe 2
Pupils' behaviour 2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles 2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 2
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 2


The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4

is low

How effective is the provision?

The quality of teaching is good and is still improving. Teachers are now generally
knowledgeable about their subjects and use a good range of learning activities to promote
pupils' progress. Good use is made of resources to enhance learning. Teaching is often
stimulating and well paced. In the better lessons teaching provides a fine-tuned level of
challenge for different learners, and teachers provide pupils with useful feedback on how
to improve their work. As a result, pupils respond well, work hard, and make good
progress. In the few satisfactory lessons, challenge is not always as well judged. For
example, pupils are led too much by their teacher, which reduces the opportunities for
them to develop their skills in learning independently. Similarly, in some lessons, teachers

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

do not take as much account of what pupils can already do, so do not plan to extend and
develop key lesson objectives; where this is the case pupils show some disengagement
and make less progress. In some lessons, guidance given through teachers' feedback
throughout the lesson and in marking on how to improve is too variable to have a full
impact on pupils' progress.
Throughout the school, pupils experience a subject-based curriculum and the subject-
specific skills of staff are used wherever possible. The curriculum is modified as
appropriate, to meet the needs of all pupils. Great emphasis is placed on the development
of literacy and numeracy and additional support is provided in a number of ways for pupils
who need it to enable them to progress. A distinctive feature of the curriculum is a series
of subject options in Year 8 which enable pupils to investigate their preferences in
preparation for the next key stage. The school provides a wide variety of enrichment
activities, especially in sports and the arts which enhance pupils' experiences and prove to
be highly popular.
The school is justly proud of the good care, guidance and support that it provides for all
pupils. Pupils know that they can receive help at any time from their teachers, form tutors,
year heads and senior leaders. As a result, pupils have great confidence in the school to
advise and support them with any needs or concerns. Pupils whose circumstances may
make them vulnerable benefit greatly from the highly effective work the school carries out
with external agencies. For example, the school has worked well in helping some pupils
with challenging behaviour to engage in and enjoy their lessons again. Case studies
exemplify the effectiveness of the school in helping individual students to overcome
significant barriers to their education. While targeted support is provided for most pupils in
the school, those in Year 5 do not receive such close attention because of the delay in
setting realistic targets, based on robust assessments, makes it difficult to provide such
support from the outset. Pupils' transition from their lower schools is managed well as is
their induction into the partner upper school. This is illustrated by a comment made by a
pupil in Year 8 who said 'we already know our upper school and we are really looking
forward to going'

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching 2
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 2

How effective are leadership and management?

The headteacher, together with the senior team and governors, has developed a clear
vision for the school, which places learning at the heart of its work. As a result there is a
sense of urgency to drive the improvements that are needed, there is growing confidence
amongst the school community and morale is high. Middle leaders have benefited from

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

support from the senior team coupled with helpful arrangements which enable them to
meet and support the teachers for whom they are responsible. This has resulted in many
improvements, notably in achievement and teaching and learning. The brief decline in
English has been resolved, and that in mathematics is showing improvement. Through its
detailed, thorough and accurate self-evaluation the school is well aware of its strengths
and areas for further development. As a result, it has identified the correct priorities.
The school communicates effectively with parents and carers. It regularly asks parents
and carers for their views and is happy to respond to these. The school's promotion of
equality of opportunities is central to its pastoral provision as well as to its efforts to raise
achievement. Regular monitoring ensures that any potentially underachieving group of
pupils is carefully targeted to ensure that they catch up, for example, in the recent drive
to support the achievement of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
The school engages with a wide range of partnerships that enhance learning. The
programme of links with partner lower schools and the upper school enable resources,
facilities and teachers to be shared to the benefit of all pupils. Community cohesion is
good and is promoted well at school, local and international levels.
Governance is good. The governing body is well-informed, supportive and maintains a
critical eye on the future as well as on the day-to-day aspects of school life. Governors are
very knowledgeable of the school, understand it well and are committed to meeting the
needs of all pupils. The governing body appropriately challenges school leaders to account
for its actions and outcomes. Robust systems are in place to ensure that safeguarding is
effective. There is comprehensive training of all staff, and governors and the school staff
work well with other agencies to reduce the risk of harm to pupils.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers 2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles
discriminat ion
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 2

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Views of parents and carers

Around 50% of parents and carers returned the inspection questionnaire. While the
response was overwhelmingly positive, a small minority of parents and carers commented
about behaviour in the school. Inspectors followed up these comments and they judged

that the school has effective policies and procedures in place with regard to behaviour.

Procedures are followed consistently, contributing to the good behaviour in the school.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Holywell CofE VA Middle School to
complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements
about the school. The inspection team received 266 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site
inspection. In total, there are 526 pupils registered at the school.
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The
percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of
completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question,
the percentages will not add up to 100%.

Statements Strongly
Agree Disagree Strongly
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 83 31 159 60 17 6 4 2
The school keeps my child
102 38 147 55 9 3 1 0
My school informs me about
my child's progress
83 31 163 61 14 5 1 0
My child is making enough
progress at this school
83 31 142 53 30 11 4 2
The teaching is good at this
64 24 178 67 12 5 1 0
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
54 20 155 58 36 14 2 1
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
59 22 182 68 15 6 3 1
The school makes sure that
my child is well prepared for
the future (for example
changing year group,
changing school, and for
children who are finishing
school, entering further or
higher education, or entering
88 33 155 58 7 3 2 1
The school meets my child's
particular needs
71 27 160 60 19 7 4 2
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
55 21 155 58 25 9 8 3
The school takes account of
my suggestions and concerns
40 15 155 58 30 11 7 3
The school is led and
managed effectively
69 26 153 58 17 6 9 3
Overall, I am happy with my
child's experience at this
81 30 155 58 17 6 3 1


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding school
provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school that
is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory
school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant improvement
in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors
will make further visits until it improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 46 48 6 0
Primary schools 6 47 40 7
Secondary schools 12 39 38 11
Sixth forms 13 42 41 3
Special schools 28 49 19 4
Pupil referral units 14 45 31 10
All schools 10 46 37 7

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now
make some additional judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2010 to 31 December 2010 and are consistent
with the latest published official statistics about maintained school inspection outcomes (see

The sample of schools inspected during 2010/11 was not representative of all schools nationally, as weaker
schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100.
Sixth form figures reflect the judgements made for the overall effectiveness of the sixth form in secondary
schools, special schools and pupil referral units.

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their learning,
development or training.
Attainment: the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and
examination results and in lessons.
Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue
improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what
the school has accomplished so far and on the quality
of its systems to maintain improvement.
Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,
not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the school.
Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their
understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.
Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall
effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school. The following judgements,
in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness
judgement will be.
The school's capacity for sustained
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
The quality of teaching.
The extent to which the curriculum meets
The effectiveness of care, guidance and
pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships.
Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and
over longer periods of time. It is often measured by
comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key
stage with their attainment when they started.

7 July 2011
Dear Pupils

Inspection of Holywell CofE VA Middle School, Bedford MK43 0JA

Thank you for the warm welcome you gave us when we inspected your school. Your views
were very helpful and we enjoyed our discussions with those of you we spoke to in
lessons, in meetings and around the school. The school provides you with a good quality
of education. You clearly enjoy school and are enthusiastic in your lessons and this is
shown in your outstanding attendance and in the good behaviour that we saw in and
around school. We particularly enjoyed meeting you while you were using the various
outside areas of your school at breaktimes and lunchtimes.
Your teachers work hard to support you and they care for you well. They monitor the
progress that you make and take action to support you whenever it appears that you may
be falling behind with your work. As a result, you generally make good progress and
achieve well in most of your subjects although most of the progress that you make is
during Key Stage 3.
Your school has a strong leadership team which is committed to giving you the best
possible education. It recognises that, as in all good schools, there is still more that can be
done to improve further, and so we have identified some areas to work on. These are:

  • speed up your progress in Key Stage 2
  • ensure that your lessons always challenge you so everyone in the class makes the
    best possible progress
  • provide you with clear advice and guidance through the marking of your work and
    feedback during lessons on to how to improve.

You all have a part to play and you can really help your school by ensuring that you do not
settle for anything other than your best and that you follow up the comments and
suggestions that your teachers make to help you to improve your work.
Yours sincerely

Trevor Riddiough
Her Majesty's Inspector


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