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|Address||Willow Tree Park, Beech House, Lymm, WA13 0GH|
|Number of Pupils||66 (81.8% boys 18.2% girls)|
|Percentage Free School Meals||0.0%|
|Pupils with SEN Support||0%|
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils, including students in the sixth form, rarely miss a day of school. They told inspectors that they enjoy learning and that they like being with their friends. Pupils form exceptionally strong bonds with staff. Pupils talked confidently to inspectors about always feeling safe, happy and cared for.
Pupils are adamant that any rare incidents of bullying are dealt with immediately. They understand and accept each other’s differences. Pupils know that they can go to any member of staff if they are concerned about anything, secure in the knowledge that staff are always there to help.
Staff have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour and achievement. Despite the challenges that pupils face because of their special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), they are determined to succeed. Pupils’ exemplary behaviour, coupled with their positive attitudes to learning, help to ensure that the school is a calm, purposeful and harmonious place. Pupils achieve well.
Pupils are responsible and active citizens. They enjoy having their say as members of the school council, raising money for good causes and volunteering their services at the local food bank. Pupils develop essential skills, such as cooking and horticulture, which prepare them well for adult life. They participate eagerly in team sports, such as football, cycling and swimming.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The executive headteacher, senior leaders and the proprietor have high aspirations for all pupils. Leaders have developed an ambitious curriculum which covers a broad range of subjects. They are determined for pupils to gain the knowledge and skills that they need to live happy and rewarding lives. Pupils can gain GCSE qualifications, or other qualifications which help them to develop their communication and independent living skills.
Leaders have created a well-ordered curriculum that engages pupils and helps them to know and remember more of their learning. When pupils find it hard to remember what they have learned, staff use different strategies to help them.
All pupils have SEND. Leaders and teachers are very effective in adapting the curriculum so that pupils can learn. For example, teachers use signs and symbols, as well as textured and ‘noisy’ books, to help pupils to learn to read. In addition, the electronic forms of communication provided by the school enable pupils to make themselves understood in class.Leaders have developed effective procedures for assessing pupils’ knowledge and skills. This enables teachers to create tailored programmes of learning for each pupil. Teachers use assessment information well to quickly identify and address any misconceptions that pupils may have.In key stages 1 and 2, teachers focus on developing pupils’ phonics knowledge. Most teachers are helping pupils to recognise the sounds that different letters make. Students in the sixth form are developing their fluency in reading, as well as their appreciation of the work of different authors. However, some staff do not have enough understanding of older pupils’ missing reading knowledge. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some staff have not had phonics training. This means that they are not always well equipped to help older pupils to improve their reading.
The work that leaders and staff do to promote pupils’ personal development and understanding of British values is outstanding. Pupils carry out their leadership responsibilities diligently. Their successful negotiations led to the acquisition of artificial turf and a trampoline for the outdoor recreational area. Pupils manage the school allotment, where they cultivate vegetables and flowers. Pupils relish outdoor activities. Many pupils participate in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Leaders also ensure that pupils understand different religions and cultures. Pupils understand the harm that can be caused by discriminatory behaviour such as racism and sexism.
Pupils behave exceptionally well. The school’s therapists help pupils to develop different strategies to deal with their emotions. When pupils find being in a classroom environment difficult, they know that they can use the sensory room and soft play areas or go for a walk with an adult. When pupils are distressed, or in crisis, staff intervene effectively.
Pupils in key stages 3 and 4, and students in the sixth form, have access to a comprehensive careers programme. Staff help pupils and students prepare personal statements for college and employment. Pupils also benefit from an extensive range of work placements in areas such as dog walking and grooming, beach and woodland conservation and office administration. These opportunities prepare pupils well for their next stage of education or training after leaving the school. The proprietor’s safeguarding policy and relationships and sex education policy are published on the school’s website. The policies take account of the most recent statutory guidelines.
Parents and carers are happy with the regular reports that they receive on their children’s progress.
Staff appreciate leaders’ consideration of their workload and well-being. They are committed to the school’s values. The specialist training available to teachers and teaching assistants supports their teaching well.
The proprietor knows the school well. He supports and challenges leaders to ensure that the school continually improves. Since the previous inspection, the proprietor has invested in a food technology room and added extra facilities to the outdoor recreational area. These arrangements help to ensure that the school meets all the independent school standards.
A written risk assessment policy is in place. This clearly outlines the responsibilities of staff and leaders. It provides a suitable framework for protecting pupils from risk.
The curriculum meets the requirements of the independent school standards. The school accessibility plan complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Staff are vigilant when it comes to ensuring that pupils are safe. Safeguarding leaders are well trained and fully up to date with all relevant guidance. All staff are familiar with the school’s safeguarding policies and procedures.
Staff are alert to the dangers that pupils may face. They are highly skilled at identifying pupils who may be at risk of potential abuse and neglect. They know exactly what to do if they are concerned about the welfare of a pupil. All staff report concerns in a timely manner. Leaders have successfully incorporated safeguarding into the curriculum. Pupils know how to keep themselves safe, including online.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and proprietor)
? Leaders have not ensured that all staff can accurately identify the deficits in older pupils’ reading knowledge. Some older pupils do not read as fluently as they should, because they have missing phonics knowledge. Added to this, some staff do not know how to help pupils to improve their phonics knowledge or reading skills. Leaders should ensure that all staff are appropriately trained to help pupils improve their reading fluency and comprehension skills.