First Base Ipswich Academy


Name First Base Ipswich Academy
Website http://www.raedwaldtrust.org
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 28 June 2016
Address Raeburn Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 0EW
Phone Number 01473719553
Type Academy
Age Range 3-8
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 2 (100% boys)
Local Authority Suffolk
Percentage Free School Meals 50%

Information about this school

First Base, Ipswich caters for pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties who have been, or are at risk of, permanent exclusion from their main schools. Most pupils attend the unit for two days each week for two terms. This year, three pupils have attended the unit on a full-time basis. The unit aims to modify and improve behaviour and attitudes, and after a short stay to re-integrate pupils back into mainstream education. The unit provides some outreach services for primary schools in the area. All pupils are identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities. Very few pupils are supported by the pupil premium (additional government funding for pupils eligible for free school meals and children looked after). Since the last inspection, all teachers, including the deputy headteacher, have left the unit. A member of the support team is on long-term sickness absence. A new chair of the management committee was appointed in 2015. No alternative provision is used. The unit meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school Exceptional leadership of the unit ensures that its main aim of successfully re-integrating pupils who are at risk of exclusion and have been excluded from school back into full-time education is met very successfully. This is achieved by making all pupils feel welcome, safe and highly valued. Leaders design a personalised curriculum for each pupil that enables them to re-engage in learning and make accelerated progress. Improving pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare are given top priority. Staff go out of their way to instil in pupils the positive attitudes and modified behaviours needed to engage fully, make friends and achieve exceptionally well. Staff provide exceptional care and support for pupils, whether in small groups or individually, on a one-to-one basis. Time in lessons, and during breaks and lunchtimes, is maximised to teach pupils how to respect one another, show good manners and enhance their social skills. Pupils’ enjoyment is shown in their regular attendance and good punctuality. Once behaviour is secured, high-quality teaching focuses on raising achievement. Gaps in pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills are quickly closed. Inspirational teaching has a substantial impact on pupils’ learning and progress. All staff show remarkable patience, tolerance and understanding when dealing with moments of very challenging behaviour. From their initial starting points, pupils thrive and make very rapid progress. Their books clearly illustrate exceptional progress, particularly in mathematics. They contain fewer examples to show how writing is improving. Teaching is underpinned by thorough assessment of pupils’ personal needs and interests. Work is tailored to match their different needs. Targets are checked regularly to gauge how well each pupil is progressing. The management committee oversees the unit’s strategic development extremely well, and provides very effective support and challenge for the headteacher. Communication between the unit and pupils’ homes, and with support agencies, is very good. Parents and carers enthuse about the unit. They told inspectors that, for example, ‘I feel very lucky to have been given a place for my son here’, with another commenting, ‘without it, I don’t know what I would do’. Records of the unit’s impact on pupils after they have left the unit are not collated.