Skip to content ↓

Our School Journey

Bradfield School has undergone a lot of change in a short space of time. Working within the collaborative nature of the Tapton School Academy Trust (TSAT), leaders at all levels work hard to lead the school and the wonderful families it serves to help all our students to fulfil their life chances and dreams. We believe that the foundations are now in place to build Bradfield School as the community where all thrive.

The Senior Leadership Team

The members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge relative to the areas of the school they lead. As Headteacher, Adrian May has worked within TSAT for seven years, firstly as Assistant Head in Forge Valley School, then as Co-Headteacher at Tapton School, before moving to Bradfield in June 2019. Previously a Head of Science, and leading on data and assessment across the Trust, he is uniquely placed to maximise how Bradfield, its staff and its students can benefit from and contribute to collaboration across the Trust.

Deborah Banks has been Deputy Head at Bradfield since June 2018. With a background as a Head of English in Rotherham and an Assistant Headteacher in Derbyshire leading on literacy, Pupil Premium and KS3 – 3 transition, she has a wide range of experience on which to draw in her role leading on Quality of Education.

Gemma Bott came to Bradfield School first of all as Head of Geography before taking on an Associate Assistant Headteacher role in September 2021, and is now Assistant Headteacher in charge of Curriculum and Systems.  She brings a wealth of knowledge working with the Quality of Education team.

Gemma Furness joined the team in April 2021, as an Assistant Headteacher, but has worked within the Trust in senior leadership for over fifteen years. Working with the Quality of Education team, she leads on assessment and exams, KS3 and KS4 progress. 

Sarah Lofthouse has worked as a Head of Year at Bradfield for many years, and has led on KS2 to KS3 transition for a number of years. She is now an Assistant Headteacher working with the Quality of Inclusion team, leading on relationships and behaviour. She is also the Trust lead for Transition.

Karen Carter has been at Bradfield School both as a student, a teacher, Assistant Head and then  Head of Sixth Form before becoming an Assistant Headteacher in September 2020. With strong knowledge rooted in our community she works with the Quaity of Inclusion team and leads on student personal development, Careers and Pupil Premium students’ progress.

Theresa Bullough joined the school in January 2023 as the SENDCo. An experienced SENDCo, she brings with her a wealth of experience working in secondary schools down South before relocating to Sheffield.

Tom Carrington has been with the school for a long time, as a student and then joining as a teaching assistant, working as a Pupil Support Officer and then the Deputy Safeguarding Lead, before becoming the Designated Safeguarding Lead in 2021. He has an extensive knowledge of the local area, our families and the challenges many of our children face, and leads the work on safeguarding across the school.

Tom Markham has been at the school for many years, working as a Head of Year for number of years before taking on the role of Associate Assistant Headteacher. Working with the Quality of Inclusion team, he leads on attendance and oversees the National Tutor Programme.

For 2023 / 24, Zeba Shoaib and Steve Thompson join the team as Associate Assistant Headteachers leading respectively on assessment and progress and metacognition and routines to support learning. Both also have substantive roles as Subject Lead for RE and Year Lead for Year 11.

As School Business Manager, Helen Durdy has been at the school for six years. With a background as Business Manager in both previous schools and the NHS, she again has a wide range of experience in premise management and maintaining financial stability.

The combined experiences and skill sets of the members of the SLT, with a shared commitment to make Bradfield School a place where all students are heard, catered for and thrive, means that Bradfield School is now led by a strong, coherent team of practitioners at its core.


Strong Governance and Financial Stability

Decisions about leading and running a successful school must have the focus on the impact of any actions on its students. But budgets are finite and without financial stability schools are not sustainable. Operating within TSAT, Bradfield School now enjoys strong governance acting as critical friends holding the SLT to account for the impact of all actions on the students with maximum fiscal prudence and safeguards in place.

Collaboration Across the Trust

One of Bradfield School’s strengths has always been its hard working and loyal staff and we enjoy relatively low staff turnover compared to national averages. Already having improved student results inline with national average progress between 2017 and 2019 our staff have huge potential for further growth now able to collaborate, co-plan and share ideas with their counterparts across the Trust. This work has helped the school move away from the Special Measures judgement in 2019 (as the predecessor school) to its recent Ofsted judegement in 2022 to Requires Improvement.

Aligning our curriculum and approaches to the best the Trust has to offer as well retaining much of what makes Bradfield unique - such as our strong commitment to the performing and creative arts, technology and sport -  our staff are open to and have benefited from collaboration across the Trust at all levels. These links stem from ECTs (Early Career Teachers) to SLT and all layers in between. With a strong and shared approach to staff Professional Development, common assessments, focus on pedagogy and curriculum, the Trust ensures Bradfield, like all its schools, places the student learning experience at the heart of everyone’s practice.

Visible Learning 

Keen to add to the Trust as well as benefit from it, Bradfield School is also pioneering new ideas and approaches.

Our staff are in the fourth year of a teaching and learning programme with Osiris Education : Visible Learning Plus driven by research on what works best drawing from more than 95000 studies involving 200 million students around the world, led by John Hattie. You can read more about this on our wesbite by visiting Teaching and Learning at the bottom of this page here.

At the heart of this programme is the research led knowledge that there is not one ‘silver bullet’ pedagogical approach that improves student progress. Instead the key lies in the mindset of the teacher to make learning visible in our students and adapt our approaches according to what this shows us. Moving away from a rigid one size fits all approach to both teaching and learning, this programme prioritises seeing learning through the eyes of the student and developing students as active learners.

This is a sustainable, long term commitment to staff and student development.

Improvements in SEND provision

A key focus for the school since the Ofsted report in 2019 has been the provision for and experiences of our SEND students. Our student and parental voice were clear in its criticism of our approaches and the school has not shied away from accepting this criticism. Previously, the SENDCo role had been fulfilled by staff who also had other responsibilities.

Our new SENDCo Theresa Bullough, appointed in January 2023, is already building on the work of our previous SENDCo Joanne Hogg , who overhauled our provision, was able to secure an Integrated Resources (IR) unit for some of our most complex students, and ensured the quality assurance of our SEND register to make sure support is strategically targeted. For 2023-4 we have further strengthened the team delivering in the IR, with a teacher in charge of the IR and curriculum, Jess Platts, as well as staff from DT and Science. The aim is to deliver an experience that meets needs and echoes the mainstream curriculum where appropriate.

Strategic academic interventions are now an integral part of our approach and Theresa Bullough is developing these further, working with our Strategic Reading Lead and Head of English Lucy Dewsnap to streamline approaches and interventions in reading. The success of student out-of-class interventions are now often judged according to the student’s transferral of skills into lessons. ]The Visible Learning approaches, plus student centred lesson observations, will continue to drive staff's reflection on their impact of their teaching on SEND students’ learning further.

The Right Foundations for Future Growth

Bradfield School has always been privileged to be populated by our students from fantastic feeder and non-feeder primary schools who come to us as articulate, knowledgeable, and well-rounded young people, keen to learn. With our loyal, hard-working, caring staff, experienced SLT and operating at the heart of an ethical, well resourced and collaborative Trust, we know that Bradfield School now has the right conditions in which all can thrive and go from strength to strength in the future.

Whether you are visiting our page as a prospective student, parent or member of staff, we can’t wait for you to be part of that journey.