Aurora Woodlands School

Name Aurora Woodlands School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 03 October 2017
Address Woodlands, Holly Tree Close, Darwen, Lancashire, BB3 2NG
Phone Number 01254706600
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 10-19
Religious Character None
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 39 (100% boys)
Local Authority Blackburn with Darwen
Percentage Free School Meals 0.0%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

Aurora Brambles East is an independent special school registered to provide education for up to 48 pupils, aged 10 to 16 years, who have social, emotional or mental health difficulties. There are currently 44 pupils on roll and all pupils have an education, health and care plan. The vast majority of pupils are of White British heritage. The school is located in Darwen and works with a wide range of local authorities in the north-west region. Pupils often join the school after a history of poor behaviour, exclusions and/or prolonged absence from schools or other specialist provision. The school currently uses the alternative providers The Preston Vocational Centre and 4Techmoto to contribute to the education of some pupils. The aims of the school are to provide personalised specialist education, support students to be part of an enriched school and community life and prepare students effectively for life beyond school. The school was previously inspected in September 2013.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school The headteacher’s vision of creating an environment where pupils feel safe, valued and respected underpins all aspects of school life. Leaders make sure that the independent school standards are met. Leaders, governors and all staff are dedicated and passionate about improving the life chances of pupils. They work as a close team to foster relationships of respect and trust which run throughout the school. Safeguarding is a strength of the school. Leaders are knowledgeable and put this knowledge into highly effective practice. They are fierce advocates for pupils and ensure that they receive timely and appropriate help. Pupils feel safe in school and trust staff. High-quality personal and social education and effective careers advice prepare pupils well for the future. Some pupils do not know enough about the religious beliefs of others. Leaders plan a wide range of learning opportunities for pupils. As a result, pupils learn well and make good progress as a result. Strong and effective relationships between families and carers contribute positively to all aspects of the progress of pupils. Parents and carers are vocal in their support of how the school is transforming the lives of their children. The quality of teaching and learning is good. Pupils acquire knowledge, skills and understanding which helps them to catch up with any lost learning. Some questioning is not effective in developing pupils’ thinking. Some pupils do not display resilience in their learning. Leaders and staff have high expectations for behaviour. They establish routines which help pupils to move about the school in a generally calm and purposeful manner. However, some incidents of unacceptable behaviour do occur. The attendance of pupils is improving year on year but is still below the national average. Persistent absence remains high for some individuals. Leaders monitor the quality of teaching and learning and behaviour. These systems do not yet ensure that they have a strategic overview across the school. Compliance with regulatory requirements The school meets the requirements of the schedule to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the independent standards’) and associated requirements.