The Student Room Group

What was your experience at Sharnbrook Academy?

My younger siblings are considering moving to Sharnbrook Academy for secondary school and sixth form. They are both roughly at secondary school ages. If you currently attend Sharnbrook or have left recently, feel free to share your experiences related to:
Teaching styles; encouragement and/or ignorance of discriminatory behaviour and/or bullying within students, staff and in books (particularly towards those who are neurodivergent and LGBTQIA+); support of strengthening mental health; your friendship group dynamic; clubs/societies that are available and may have even joined (the more-niche, the better).

Your experiences don’t have to match all the criteria above as long as you are honest, we can have a more accurate image of what Sharnbrook Academy is like.
(edited 8 months ago)
Reply 1
hello b33orchid.tsr!!! i'm so glad you've asked this question.
i attended sharnbrook academy from 2015 to 2020, joining in year 9 when it was sharnbrook upper school and leaving at the end of year 13 from sharnbrook sixth form. i have three younger siblings, one of whom left in 2022, one of whom will be finishing next year (2024) and the other who my mum took out of sharnbrook. there are many reasons for this.

firstly, sharnbrook prides itself on being an LGBTQ+ safe school. this is true, to an extent. you will never have a homophobic or transphobic teacher (at least, not overtly) and there are posters promoting the group around the school. however, when i was at the school, one of the heads of this group (it is student-led) was a friend of mine who had been quite transphobic to me on a number of occasions. when i came out as bisexual in year 10 as well, i received many comments from girls in my year (i am a transgender man) that i was going to perv on them, and i was therefore alienated, with no teachers attempting to step in and stop this. i don't know how much this has changed now, but ex-students of my age and a little older will say that sharnbrook often is not an LGBTQ+ safe school.

similarly, if your siblings have learning difficulties that require them to have a TA (teacher assistant) with them in class, then they will be alienated. if they struggle to work in groups, they will be made to (i had one teacher tell me i would fail university as i could not work in a group). there is also student support, which sharnbrook has basically so they can say they are doing something about mental health (they aren't).

in it's latest OFSTED report, the school received a "requires improvement" ranking (https://www.bedfordindependent.co.uk/sharnbrook-academy-defends-requires-improvement-ofsted-rating/) which the new head (who people like much less than the old head (who was a legend)) continues to defend. the school puts grades above all else, and if your siblings do not want to go to university and attend sharnbrook they will be overlooked and ignored. the school says it shows a holistic view of options for what to do upon leaving school, but it truly does not, and many from the school feel pushed to go to university as the other options are not shown. many of my friends who attended the school have dropped out of university. they also made an admin error for my year, meaning none of my year at sharnbrook got into oxbridge (oxford or cambridge university), so the school pretends my year doesn't exist as it looks bad for them.

the school isn't all bad, but my mum did take my brother out of the school due to it getting worse. but, if your siblings like how it looks, then it can be a good school with a seemingly good reputation. the other schools in the area aren't great either, and they did find a body at bedford academy so it could be worse!!

i think that's all. any more questions, let me know. (:
Reply 2
Original post by teeshirtis
hello b33orchid.tsr!!! i'm so glad you've asked this question.
i attended sharnbrook academy from 2015 to 2020, joining in year 9 when it was sharnbrook upper school and leaving at the end of year 13 from sharnbrook sixth form. i have three younger siblings, one of whom left in 2022, one of whom will be finishing next year (2024) and the other who my mum took out of sharnbrook. there are many reasons for this.

firstly, sharnbrook prides itself on being an LGBTQ+ safe school. this is true, to an extent. you will never have a homophobic or transphobic teacher (at least, not overtly) and there are posters promoting the group around the school. however, when i was at the school, one of the heads of this group (it is student-led) was a friend of mine who had been quite transphobic to me on a number of occasions. when i came out as bisexual in year 10 as well, i received many comments from girls in my year (i am a transgender man) that i was going to perv on them, and i was therefore alienated, with no teachers attempting to step in and stop this. i don't know how much this has changed now, but ex-students of my age and a little older will say that sharnbrook often is not an LGBTQ+ safe school.

similarly, if your siblings have learning difficulties that require them to have a TA (teacher assistant) with them in class, then they will be alienated. if they struggle to work in groups, they will be made to (i had one teacher tell me i would fail university as i could not work in a group). there is also student support, which sharnbrook has basically so they can say they are doing something about mental health (they aren't).

in it's latest OFSTED report, the school received a "requires improvement" ranking (https://www.bedfordindependent.co.uk/sharnbrook-academy-defends-requires-improvement-ofsted-rating/) which the new head (who people like much less than the old head (who was a legend)) continues to defend. the school puts grades above all else, and if your siblings do not want to go to university and attend sharnbrook they will be overlooked and ignored. the school says it shows a holistic view of options for what to do upon leaving school, but it truly does not, and many from the school feel pushed to go to university as the other options are not shown. many of my friends who attended the school have dropped out of university. they also made an admin error for my year, meaning none of my year at sharnbrook got into oxbridge (oxford or cambridge university), so the school pretends my year doesn't exist as it looks bad for them.

the school isn't all bad, but my mum did take my brother out of the school due to it getting worse. but, if your siblings like how it looks, then it can be a good school with a seemingly good reputation. the other schools in the area aren't great either, and they did find a body at bedford academy so it could be worse!!

i think that's all. any more questions, let me know. (:

Hiya! Thank you so much for writing such an in-depth response, I could tell this has been on your mind for a little while ^^; I’ll give you another update as to what other questions I have once my family has visited sharnbrook and I have the opportunity to get questions from them as well.

Apologies for the late reply, and I hope all is well on your end!

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