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Backwell School
  • Backwell School
    Station Road
    BS48 3BX
  • Head: Jon Nunes
  • T 01275 463371
  • F 01275 463077
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A state school for boys and girls aged from 11 to 18.
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: North Somerset
  • Pupils: 1,791; sixth formers: 354
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Good 1
      • 16-19 study programmes Good 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Good 1
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good 1
      • Personal development, behaviour and welfare Good 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Good 1
    • 1 Full inspection 28th January 2020
  • Previous Ofsted grade: Outstanding on 22nd May 2013
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

The atmosphere feels traditional but not stifling, purposeful but not pressured. Teaching struck us as traditional, with a French class not spared the rigour of good old-fashioned grammar, and history students undeterred by an IT malfunction as they looked at the political causes of the second world war. There is no escaping the ‘world famous Backwell fishing trip’, where sea/lake/river fishing are all laid on. Historians visit Berlin and linguists...

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What the school says...

Backwell School has established over many years a reputation as one of Britains best performing comprehensive schools. Year on year our students achieve very highly in exams, on the sports fields, in the Arts, and in local and national arenas. In its last two most recent inspections in 2008 and more recently in 2013 Ofsted judged both the School and the Sixth Form to be outstanding. Inspectors referred to the 'can-do culture' that permeates the school, and stated in June 2013 that 'behaviour is exemplary' and that 'in this outstanding school, all groups thrive, achieve highly and are very well prepared for the next stage of their education'.

Backwell is a designated National Teaching School, as a result of the very high standards of teaching in the school, and its focus on high quality professional development. We are also an International School, reflecting our commitment to help all our young people to become positive and conscientious citizens of the world.

We hope the website will tell you all you need to know about the school. If you want to find out more please phone or email us - we welcome visitors and enquiries, and will always take the time to show you the school.
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What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2017, Jon Nunes (early 50s), having held the fort as interim head for 18 months and before that, deputy head and a member of staff in the history department for over 25 years. A graduate of Oxford, where he represented that august university at darts, and with a PGCE from Bristol, Mr Nunes has spent his entire career at Backwell, taking on increasing responsibilities along the way. A proper selection process preceded his appointment, which was greeted with enthusiasm.

Urbane and sharply dressed in suit and tie, Mr Nunes appeared confident and assured (but friendly) when he addressed the assembled group of nervous-looking year 6 children and their parents at the tour morning we attended. Backwell School joined the Lighthouse Schools MAT in 2018, and Mr Nunes is keen...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

Keeping quiet but school is very supportive of SEN. Inspectors and parents report excellent levels of focussed, relevant support from teachers and support staff and very good teaching programmes that meet individual needs. Ofsted say: 'The management and leadership of special educational needs are excellent. Students with special educational needs benefit from expert support in the classroom. The achievement of pupils with special educational needs is very good and students with special needs develop very positive attitudes to their work.' A number of pupils have statements of SEN. Questionnaire completed by GSG, check with school for latest info.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

most years
quite often
sometimes, but not in this year

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