Gravenhurst Academy is a small village school set in the heart of the Bedfordshire countryside. We pride ourselves on achievement and we are very proud that our standards in reading, writing and mathematics are consistently well above average for all groups of pupils. We believe this is testament to the outstanding quality of teaching and the positive learning environment we create for the pupils.
Progress is driven by a carefully planned curriculum which focuses particularly on developing pupils’ interpersonal skills, as well as their literacy, numeracy and computer skills. As a result, pupils are extremely well prepared when they progress to their next level of school.
The core of our school is a 140-year-old Victorian building housing the main office and reception area, our hall and its adjoining Library and one of our classrooms. A mobile classroom serves the needs of our Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage pupils. The school is well resourced for teaching computer skills (known as ICT - Information and Communication Technology). Every classroom is equipped with laptops and “smart-boards or Clevertouch boards” that are linked throughout the school. (Clevertouch Boards are interactive and allow teachers to display materials developed on the computers and also allow them to demonstrate key lesson points by accessing carefully chosen websites on the internet.
Physical Education and outdoor activities are key components of any learning curriculum and we are fortunate to have access to the village hall as well as being able to utilise our own playground.
In fact, we are very proud of our large, attractive site which has been developed to include a large vegetable plot, an “outdoor classroom”, a theatre, and even an area for the children to build “dens” (carefully supervised, of course). We are able to use the local woods for nature walks and have access to a bird watching area which we use regularly. The nature trail lets children see pheasants, deer and a variety of insect life. There is an extensive adventure playground giving the children a wide range of opportunities for developing skills in balance and co-ordination. Staff utilise the outside area as a learning resource as much as possible and the development of a new pond and nature area is planned for the future.
Our Principal, Mrs D Ransall is very experienced and manages both Gravenhurst and Langford Academies, allowing each school to benefit from cross-learning opportunities.
The curriculum is broad and balanced. As you would expect, all aspects of school life are supported by clear policy documents. These policies are reviewed on a regular basis in accordance with the School Development Plan and supervised by our active Governing Body, which includes Parent Governors.
Our pupils represent the full breadth of the local society and display the full breadth of individual abilities. Because we understand that pupils have a range of capabilities, we have developed methods to develop all children that share our school. We are able to support high-achieving pupils and also those who join us with special educational needs. In fact experience shows that pupils with special needs or disabilities do extremely well because they are sensitively supported, for example enjoying dedicated time with our experienced Teaching Assistants.
Gravenhurst school is at the heart of the local community and we encourage parents to play an active role in school life. F.R.O.G.S. (Friends Of Gravenhurst School) support us by helping within the classroom, providing transport for trips, fund-raising, and helping with activities such as swimming.
The Governors are equally supportive and meet regularly to ensure that standards are high and that the school is properly managed.
Underpinning our caring ethos is a Values Programme that is supported by teachers, Governors and parents alike. In fact the school has achieved numerous local and national awards for our use of the school grounds. We have also won a “Healthy Schools” award for the way we run our pupil-driven School Council, our Travel Plan, Active mark and FMSIS.
As a result of our strong links with Campton and Gravenhurst Pre-schools, we now have a dedicated building within our school premises, meaning that we can offer parents and the community wrap-around care from 8am until 5.30pm every weekday.