Cambian Potterspury Lodge School

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About Cambian Potterspury Lodge School

Name Cambian Potterspury Lodge School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Head Teacher Miss Sarah Stacey
Address Potterspury Lodge, NN12 7LL
Phone Number 01908542912
Phase Independent (special)
Type Other independent special school
Age Range 8-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 38
Local Authority West Northamptonshire

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Potterspury Lodge have not always had the best start to their educational careers. Here, they get a second chance. Many pupils grab this fresh opportunity with both hands. They thrive.

Pupils say they are happy and feel safe. There are many well-trained adults that they can talk with should they have a worry or problem. Rare incidents of bullying are dealt with swiftly and fairly. There is a calm atmosphere around the school. Staff are skilled in managing pupils’ sometimes challenging behaviours. Relationships are warm and positive. Staff know and care for the pupils very well.

Leaders and staff have high expectations. Pupils rise to this challenge. They have positive attitudes to their learning. They work hard and take an active role in lessons. Pupils earn appropriate qualifications and move onto college or further training. They are ready for their next steps.

Many parents and carers have positive views of the school. Parents typically commented that ‘there are very supportive, understanding and knowledgeable staff’ and that ‘We’ve got our child back. They are so happy now.’

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders have begun to design an appropriate and well-sequenced curriculum. In key stages 3 and 4, in each subject, it is clear what pupils should learn and when. In key stage 2, pupils learn appropriate content. However, leaders have yet to precisely link pupils’ learning in the key stage 2 subjects with what is to come in key stage 3.

Teachers have good subject knowledge. They explain tasks calmly and carefully. Pupils respond well to the very small class sizes. They like the attentiveness of staff, who are quick to help if they need extra support or resources.

Pupils often arrive having missed significant parts of their previous education. Therefore, teachers spend time finding out what pupils know and where their knowledge gaps are. This assessment work is well thought out and done well.

Teachers regularly check how well pupils are progressing through their current curriculum. They do this through careful questioning in lessons and the frequent revisiting of learned material. Through this careful checking, the appropriate curriculum and effective teaching, pupils achieve well.

Not all pupils enjoy reading. However, they can all read effectively. This enables them to access the full curriculum. Pupils’ reading books are at an appropriate level of challenge. In English, for example, pupils are successfully learning about ‘Animal Farm’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’. There are frequent opportunities to read, including during tutor time or after lunch. Leaders are developing pupils’ love of reading and books through updating the school library.Pupils’ behaviour and attendance improve considerably when compared to their experiences in their previous school or setting. Leaders have robust procedures in place for checking on any absences. They undertake home visits to follow up any unexplained absences. This work helps to ensure that pupils are safe.

Leaders consider pupils’ personal development as a priority. The related curriculum is strong. There are opportunities for pupils to learn about different faiths and cultures and how to stay physically and mentally healthy. Pupils learn how to contribute positively to the local community and the wider world. Pupils have an age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships. They receive effective careers advice and guidance. This work is preparing them well for life in modern Britain. However, there are limited opportunities for pupils to develop their talents and interests.

Leaders ensure that detailed work is undertaken to determine pupils’ specific learning and behaviour needs. Staff, including the clinical staff, are involved in deciding about any extra help that pupils require. This carefully considered approach means that pupils receive the support and guidance that they need.

Senior leaders are knowledgeable and committed. They lead by example. They are each clear about their roles and responsibilities. They lead their specific area with confidence and self-assurance. Decisions have a clear rationale and are made with the best interests of the pupils at heart.

The proprietor carefully checks the work of the principal and other leaders. There are robust procedures in place that mean leaders are held fully to account for their actions. The proprietor has ensured that all the independent school standards are met. For example, the building is maintained to a good standard and rigorous checks are in place to ensure the health and safety of staff and pupils. The school complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010. The safeguarding policy is available on the school website.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff have received effective safeguarding training. They are aware of the potential signs of abuse and neglect. Safeguarding concerns and the actions taken are recorded well. When it is required, safeguarding leaders are tenacious in chasing up outside agencies so that pupils get the right support. Consequently, pupils and their families receive the help that they need.

Leaders have rigorous recruitment procedures in place.

Pupils are taught to keep themselves safe in a variety of situations. These include when online. They are knowledgeable regarding the dangers of alcohol and drug misuse.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and proprietor)

? Leaders have yet to link the precise subject knowledge, skills and vocabulary the pupils learn in key stage 2 with the subject content that is to come in key stage 3. Leaders are therefore unclear how each subject curriculum progresses as pupils travel through the school. Leaders should ensure that the subject content in key stage 2 is clearly mapped and sequenced so that pupils’ progression in each subject is clear as they move into key stage 3. ? Pupils do not benefit from a wide enough variety of experiences. They are limited in the number of opportunities available to them to follow their passions. This can limit how well pupils progress in their personal development. Leaders should seek to provide increased opportunities for pupils to follow their talents and interests, therefore improving their overall educational experience during their time at the school.

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