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 seven members of the Senior Leadership Team are relatively new to the school and its SLT but 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 teaching and learning.
James Osborne came to Bradfield School first of all as Head of Maths before taking on an Assistant Headteacher role in September 2019. He brings an analytical approach to lead on behaviour and attendance, with a relentless focus on removing barriers to student engagement in learning.
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 leads on student personal development, Careers and Pupil Premium students’ progress.
Joanne Hogg was first intended to work with the school as a Trustee, but was excited about the potential of the school. This led her to apply for and secure her role as the SENDCo in early 2020. Having been both the lead for Visually Impaired students at Tapton School and on the Senior Leadership Team for Sheffield Local Authority SEND provision, there are few in the city with more expertise and contacts in this area than Joanne.
Helen Tyrrell joined the school in March 2020 as our Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL). With a background as Vice Principle in several schools, and with both DSL and SENDCo qualifications, she is highly experienced in her field.
As School Business Manager, Helen Durdy has been at the school for four 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. Under previous leadership, through no fault of their own, Bradfield’s staff were often quite isolated in terms of working practices. 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.
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 NQTs 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 and Century Tech
Keen to add to the Trust as well as benefit from it, Bradfield School is also pioneering new ideas and approaches.
As an integral part of our Covid catch up planning, we are the first in the Trust to sign-up to Century Tech, a personalised approach to learning that combines learning science, Artificial Intelligence and neuroscience to enhance teachers’ knowledge of their students and student learning. You can read more about this on our website by clicking here.
Secondly, our staff are excited to engage in a 2 - 3 year 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, and it is genuinely exciting to be at the start of the journey.
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.
Appointing Joanne Hogg as our SENDCo, with this her only role, was the first necessary step to overhauling our provision. Strengthening the Teaching Assistant team, locating them in one part of the school as a base for both staff and students was another key structural change needed, as was ensuring the quality assurance of our SEND register to make sure support is strategically targeted.
The Trust wide CPD offer this year has been on Inclusive, Responsive Classrooms. In-school staff training on SEND provision has also been prioritised, informed crucially by student voice as well as the SEND team’s expertise.
Strategic academic interventions are now an integral part of our approach. The success of student out-of-class interventions are now often judged according to the student’s transferral of skills into lessons. Every class teacher completes a support plan for the students on the SEND register for each class they teach to ensure training is embedded into practice. The Visible Learning programme, plus student centred lesson observations, will continue to drive staff's reflection on their impact of their teaching on SEND students’ learning further over the next 3 years.
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.