Apple Orchard School

Name Apple Orchard School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Address Apple Orchard School, Five Oaks Road, Horsham, RH13 0RQ
Phone Number 01403783416
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 12-18
Religious Character None
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 22 (100% boys)
Local Authority West Sussex
Catchment Area Indicator Available No
Last Distance Offered Available No

Information about this school

The school caters for pupils who have a range of social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Many also have specific learning difficulties. Almost all pupils have an education, health and care plan. All pupils are children looked after. Local authorities from across the country place pupils at Apple Orchard because of the specialist therapeutic support they receive. The school can cater for 27 boys between the ages of 12 and 18 years. The school does not have a governing body. Pupils attend registered colleges: Merrist Wood and Brinsbury. The headteacher is retiring at the end of 2017. The school was last inspected in November 2013.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school The headteacher is an exemplary school leader. His ambition for pupils sets the tone for the whole school. Safeguarding is highly effective. Leaders and staff are highly tuned in to the vulnerabilities of pupils. The information-sharing culture in the school is a model of excellence. Pupils receive exceptional support for their personal development and welfare. Pupils thrive at Apple Orchard. Leaders work tirelessly to create a highly relevant curriculum. They respond very well to the requirements of their ever-changing pupils. Pupils, including those who are disadvantaged, those who have special educational needs (SEN) and/or disabilities and those who have missed substantial periods of education, make exceptional progress in all subjects. Teaching is highly effective. Staff have very good subject knowledge. They build exemplary relationships with pupils and hold high aspirations for every one of them. The oldest students are exceptionally well supported in readiness to leave school, including the most vulnerable. Apple Orchard transforms students’ lives. Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding. Pupils describe with pride the transformation in their readiness and willingness to learn. Proprietors have a good understanding about the quality of education at the school and are ambitious for the school to be even better. They have great regard and trust in the current headteacher. However, proprietors recognise that they need more effective ways to support and challenge the new headteacher. Leaders and staff are developing helpful links with other schools. They do not want to work in a ‘bubble’. Leaders want staff to work with other schools to check that judgements about pupils’ progress remain accurate. Leaders have ensured that all the independent school standards are met. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent school standards’) and associated requirements.