Castle School, Cambridge

Name Castle School, Cambridge
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Courtney Way, Cambridge, CB4 2EE
Phone Number 01223442400
Type Special
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 198 (65.7% boys 34.3% girls)
Local Authority Cambridgeshire
Percentage Free School Meals 38.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 13.9%
Persisitent Absence 24%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection
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Information about this school

Castle School is larger than the average area special school, and was created from five Cambridgeshire special schools in 2006. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs, mostly for autistic spectrum disorder or speech, language and communication needs. Some have severe or moderate leaning difficulties and a small number have behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties or visual impairments. A few pupils have multisensory impairments. Most pupils are White British and speak English as their first language. An above-average proportion are eligible for the pupil premium (extra funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, looked after by the local authority or from a family with a parent in the armed forces). Some older pupils attend Cambridge Regional College or the College of West Anglia for academic courses and work-related training. The school provides an outreach support service for teachers and pupils with special educational needs in local mainstream schools.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. The headteacher’s exceptional leadership has brought about a strong, well-knit school community. The experienced senior leaders are constantly looking to improve their work, and have made important changes to help pupils with different needs to learn in the best way for them. The staffing structure has been altered and this, together with good new appointments, has made the school even more effective. Teaching has improved. It is now mostly good and a small amount is outstanding. This means the vast majority of pupils make good and sometimes outstanding progress. The sixth form is good. The well-taught study programmes prepare pupils well for the next stage of their education or training. Subjects are mostly taught in an interesting and exciting way, with lots of opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. Pupils are mostly polite and well behaved around school and in lessons, and feel safe. Most parents are supportive of the school and feel it does a good job in helping their children get off to a good start in life. Governors have a good understanding of the journey the school has been on, and have a clear picture of what needs to happen next. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Not all teachers plan really interesting work that is just at the right level of difficulty for each pupil and fully involves them in the lesson. Not every parent feels their child is doing as well as they could at school. A very small number of pupils sometimes have difficulty managing their own challenging behaviour, and the school is not fully effective in helping them to do so. A few staff do not always give clear messages about the high standards of behaviour they expect from pupils in lessons.