Fordwater School, Chichester

Name Fordwater School, Chichester
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 16 January 2013
Address Summersdale Road, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6PP
Phone Number 01243782475
Type Special
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 135 (69% boys 31% girls)
Local Authority West Sussex
Percentage Free School Meals 33.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 9.8%
Persisitent Absence 28.2%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

All of the pupils are undergoing statutory assessment or already have a statement of special educational needs for severe and complex learning difficulties. Increasing numbers of pupils with autism and those with profound and multiple needs are being admitted. Very many post-16 students enter the school from other local special schools at the end of Year 11. Post-16 students make up almost half of the school population. There are only a small number of children in the Early Years Foundation Stage. There are specialist classes for pupils with severe sensory impairment, profound and multiple learning difficulties and those with the most severe autistic conditions. There are slightly more boys than girls on roll. Approximately a third of pupils receive pupil premium funding (additional funding from the government for students looked after by the local authority, students known to be eligible for free school meals, or those with parents in the armed services). The school received an Inclusion Quality Mark in September 2012. The school makes use of local college facilities to extend the post-16 students’ learning opportunities.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Teaching is typically good across the school. A small proportion is outstanding, while a similar small amount requires improvement. Overall, pupils achieve well in lessons and make good progress over time. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage get off to good start, making rapid progress in some areas of learning. Pupils make excellent progress in their personal development, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes are outstanding. They grow into caring, friendly and good-natured young people. Leaders’ and governors’ monitoring and evaluation of classroom practice and pupils’ progress have made an important contribution to raising the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement. The post-16 department is good. It enables students to acquire important self-help skills and prepares them well for leaving school. The school is a very safe place. All safeguarding policies and procedures are in place and applied routinely. Different agencies work very well together to support pupils and their families. Staff provide a very high level of care and welfare for pupils. The school is well led and managed. Ambitious senior leaders and governing body provide strong leadership. Leaders at other levels are being developed well, although senior leaders know that not all are yet wholly effective. Parents and carers are unanimously positive about the school and appreciate the work that it does and the support that it provides. The great majority of staff are enthusiastic about working in the school and know what it is trying to achieve. It is not yet an outstanding school because : Lesson planning lacks detail about what individual pupils are expected to learn. This limits staff’s ability to evaluate small gains in learning. Whole-class activities go on for too long in a few lessons. Pupils do not move on to individual or small group work quickly enough. Post-16 students move into different groups some of the time, but they are mostly taught in classes in which there is a wide range of attainment. This arrangement does not encourage consistent, rapid learning for the most capable as they do not benefit from spending extended periods of time with classmates of similar ability.