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|Name||Ellern Mede School Limited|
|Mr Adel El-Shirbini|
|Address||Holcombe Hill, Ridgeway, London, NW7 4HX|
|Type||Other independent school|
|Number of Pupils||28 (100% girls)|
What is it like to attend this school?
Leaders and staff and the proprietor are determined to ensure that pupils receive the very best support. Staff show immense care and help all pupils to thrive. Leaders prioritise pupils’ medical, social and emotional needs. They work extremely closely with medical professionals and hospital staff to provide each pupil with support tailored to their needs.
Staff are ambitious for pupils’ academic success. They have high expectations of all pupils. The school’s curriculum is very wide ranging. The school encourages pupils’ personal development strongly. Leaders organise enrichment opportunities for pupils very carefully. Pupils take part in many extra-curricular activities, including in music, art and photography.
All staff manage pupils’ safety and well-being very well. Pupils are happy. Working relationships between staff and pupils are respectful. Staff use personalised strategies to manage behaviour highly effectively. Pupils are safe and value the care they receive at the school. Leaders have strong systems to deal swiftly with bullying should it occur and get it to stop. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education and future lives.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Pupils study a range of subjects, including languages, art, music, psychology, philosophy and history. Staff motivate pupils to achieve qualifications, including in GCSEs and A levels. There is a ‘no excuses’ culture that seeks to ensure that every pupil can achieve their potential.
The curriculum builds on pupils’ prior learning. Staff work closely with the schools that pupils attended before joining this school. They check on pupils’ starting points, consider what pupils have already learned and identify any gaps in their knowledge. Staff use this information to tailor the next steps in each pupil’s education. Leaders encourage pupils’ reading by ensuring that pupils have access to high-quality reading texts.
A professional development programme for staff and their excellent subject knowledge help them to present subject matter very clearly. They go over previously learned subject content and check that pupils understand key concepts. Teachers develop pupils’ vocabulary effectively. For example, in English, pupils were very confident to critically evaluate texts and discuss the use of ‘Machiavellian’ themes.
Working very closely in partnership with external professionals, staff consider pupils’ individual needs and plan for them meticulously. They routinely discuss any challenges and identify the most appropriate strategies to use. They provide the strongest support for all pupils. Leaders and staff are quick to identify where additional specialist support may be needed.
The school is friendly, welcoming and calm, which enables pupils to settle quickly. Staff build strong, professional and trusting relationships with pupils. This helps pupils to participate positively in their education. Staff use individualised strategies skilfully that help pupils to remain focused in class. As a result, curriculum teaching is rarely ever disrupted. Pupils’ attitudes to their learning are excellent.
Staff provide pupils with extremely strong emotional and social support. The school’s personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education programme teaches pupils about contemporary issues. This includes learning about healthy relationships, the wider community, financial decision-making and identity, including gender and sexuality.
Pupils learn about different beliefs and points of view. They explore moral issues and develop their personal and social skills. Pupils’ cultural development is encouraged through opportunities to make virtual visits to art galleries, and to explore the work of artists and writers. Pupils receive high-quality support to prepare them for life beyond the school, including the career options open to them. Excellent arrangements help pupils to return confidently to their mainstream schools.
Staff are very positive about working at the school. They feel consulted and involved in decisions that leaders make. They appreciate the clarity of communication from leaders. Their workload and well-being are taken seriously.
Since the previous inspection, leadership has been further strengthened. New leaders are well supported to build their expertise. Leaders and the proprietor maintain strong oversight of statutory policies and procedures. Leaders ensure that all the independent school standards are met.
The school complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have a detailed oversight of safeguarding procedures at the school. They have worked closely with multi-agency groups to ensure that pupils are kept safe. The safeguarding policy is available to parents and carers on the school’s website.
Regular ‘reflection meetings’ with leaders help staff to consider how best to support pupils. Staff have an understanding of pupils’ varying needs. They are vigilant and know how to deal with any concerns should these arise.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe. They know that they can go to a range of adults for help, including ‘key teachers’, should they have any concerns.