Fiveways Special School

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About Fiveways Special School

Name Fiveways Special School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Swavek Nowakiewicz
Address Victoria Road, Yeovil, BA21 5AZ
Phone Number 01935476227
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 94
Local Authority Somerset
Highlights from Latest Inspection


There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of outstanding as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now.

Inspectors are recommending the next inspection to be a graded inspection.

What is it like to attend this school? '

My child is put at the centre of all decisions' and 'consistent and passionate' are views shared by parents. Pupils love coming to this school.

It is a place where they thrive and blossom.

Behaviour is exemplary. Relationships between adults and pupils are exceptional.

Staff ...create an atmosphere which is calm and purposeful. They understand each pupil's unique needs, enabling them to reduce anxiety and stress. As a result, pupils are happy, feel safe and achieve well.

Provision for pupils' personal development is strong. Pupils, irrespective of their disability or need, take pleasure in the rich and varied wider opportunities on offer. For example, orchestra, theatre groups and cricket are just a few activities available to pupils.

These increase their confidence and build self-esteem. Pupils and students develop high levels of independence through these and other experiences. This enables them to contribute positively to their community and prepare them for adulthood.

The school has expanded rapidly since 2021, with many new pupils and staff joining. Leaders are working hard to ensure that the curriculum meets the needs of every pupil. They recognise that more work is needed in some curriculum areas.

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

Pupils are at the centre of all conversations leaders have about the quality of education and care they provide. The aim of the school, 'What does a good life look like for me now and in the future?', shines through. Leaders aspire for all pupils to develop the life skills they need.

Leaders have crafted an ambitious and well-planned curriculum. It is personalised to the needs of the pupil. However, as the school welcomes pupils with moderate learning difficulties, leaders recognise that, in some subjects, the curriculum is not implemented as effectively as they would like.

As a result, pupils do not gain the planned knowledge they need to achieve as well as they could. Many subject leaders are new to the school and have not had the opportunity to monitor the subjects they lead. This means they do not know if pupils are acquiring the knowledge and skills they need.

Throughout the school, there is a strong focus on communication. The use of technology, signs and symbols promotes pupils' communication skills. Staff help pupils with the most complex needs to appreciate the world around them through sensory activities, using sound, smell and touch.

This focus on communication starts in the early years and goes through to the sixth form. Staff use all communication and interaction tools superbly. This enables pupils to share their views, minimising frustration and anxiety.

Leaders and adults share the aspiration that, where possible, pupils will become at least functional readers by the time they leave school. Pupils start phonics when it is appropriate for them to do so. They use this knowledge well when they read.

Staff receive training in the teaching of phonics and early reading. Leaders provide regular support and guidance. Staff appreciate this supportive approach; it gives them the knowledge and confidence to teach early reading with skill.

Pupils who struggle have the additional help and support they need to improve their reading skills. Those pupils who are unable to learn to read enjoy books through sensory stories.

Developing pupils' independence and preparing them for adult life begin the moment they start at Fiveways.

Pupils and students receive excellent careers guidance and are encouraged to have high aspirations for their futures. Leaders provide high-quality work placements to enable students in the sixth form to experience the world of work. As a result, teachers plan each student's next steps carefully.

Leaders are determined that pupils and students experience life to the full during their time at the school. For example, pupils and students have access to the Duke of Edinburgh awards and the Ten Tors challenge. These many varied activities provide them with pride and a sense of achievement.

Personal, social and health education is threaded throughout the curriculum. There is a focus on relationships, personal safety, and physical and mental well-being.Staff are skilful in spotting any changes in pupils' demeanour.

They respond to these changes with sensitivity and care.

Adults in the school are rightly proud of the nurture and care they provide. This is seen from the moment pupils arrive at school.

Pupils are greeted with a smile and a warm welcome. 'Staff make every child feel special and happy' and 'kind and patient' are typical comments made by parents.

Governors know the school well.

They provide leaders with a great balance of support and challenge. There is a continuous cycle of school development to ensure that pupils and students receive the very best quality of education and care. Leaders are outward looking and work closely with external experts to ensure the school continues to grow and flourish.

Staff, irrespective of their role or length of service, love working at the school. They welcome the support leaders provide for their well-being and the consideration given to providing an appropriate work-life balance.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders create a strong safeguarding culture. They ensure that keeping pupils safe is everyone's responsibility. Staff know what to do if they think a pupil is at risk.

Leaders make timely and well-informed decisions. They work closely with other agencies and are not afraid to challenge decisions made to ensure that pupils are safe. Governors regularly check the effectiveness of the school's work, including safer recruitment procedures.

Leaders provide a curriculum that teaches pupils to understand age-appropriate risks, including healthy relationships. Pupils know that adults will listen to them if they have any concerns.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders recognise that in some subjects, the curriculum is not implemented as effectively as in the more developed subjects for some pupils.

As a result, these pupils do not gain the planned knowledge they need to achieve as well as they could in these subjects. Leaders need to ensure that their plans to strengthen all subjects are implemented effectively.

• Many subject leaders are new to the school and have not had the opportunity to monitor the subjects they lead.

This means they do not know if pupils are acquiring the knowledge and skills they need. Leaders need to ensure that subject leaders are able to check the quality of provision to assure themselves that pupils are learning the intended curriculum.


When we have judged a school to be outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.

This is called an ungraded inspection and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the ungraded inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the ungraded inspection a graded inspection immediately.

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in July 2014.

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