Hall Cliffe Primary School

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About Hall Cliffe Primary School

Name Hall Cliffe Primary School
Website http://www.witherslackgroup.co.uk/our-locations/our-schools/hall-cliffe-primary-school/
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Claire Traynor
Address 7 Wrenthorpe Lane, Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, WF2 0QB
Phone Number 01924614490
Phase Independent (special)
Type Other independent special school
Age Range 5-13
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 34
Local Authority Wakefield

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils get a second chance at Hall Cliffe Primary School. Many have had difficult previous school experiences. This changes when they start school here.

For most pupils, managing behaviour and emotions is a struggle. At school, there are frequent outbursts when pupils get frustrated or upset. Help is always available. The wonderful pastoral support that pupils receive is helping them to get better at regulating their emotions.

Pupils feel valued, understood and special. They appreciate the calm, kind and consistent support they receive from staff. Pupils understand what bullying is. Bullying is not a problem at this school. There are very high staff to pupil ratios in class and when the pupils are outdoors. Well-trained staff swiftly manage any inappropriate behaviours.

There are high expectations for pupils. Pupils know that they are expected to work hard. Pupils respect and understand the needs of others. Many pupils who have had prolonged time out of education now enjoy reading and mathematics, and they study a full curriculum. The skilful combination of adapted personalised curriculums, high-quality pastoral care and plenty of fun activities results in an exceptional educational experience for pupils.

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

Leaders have skilfully designed a curriculum that provides pupils with the academic knowledge they require. All subjects are sequentially organised, with knowledge mapped out to match pupils’ developmental age. When pupils start school, staff check what they know and do not know. Teachers are then able to adapt the curriculum to meet individual needs. As a result, pupils achieve well.

To help pupils focus and engage with the curriculum, staff employ a range of creative strategies. Lessons are chunked into small segments to support pupils’ concentration. A variety of sensory resources are used, such as weighted blankets, under table pedal machines, gym balls and body pressure socks. As a result, pupils follow teacher instructions, listen attentively and fully participate in lessons.

In literacy, pupils are grouped according to their reading knowledge. Some classes have daily phonics sessions, in which pupils are taught the sounds that letters make. Most pupils quickly learn how to sound out words and then read books that are carefully matched to their reading knowledge. Reading is prioritised across the curriculum with many opportunities for pupils to read a variety of text types such as fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Leaders provide pupils with many opportunities to develop their personal and interpersonal skills. The personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum teaches pupils about relationships, staying safe and diversity. During the week, two additional sessions (well-being Wednesday and my curriculum) enhance the curriculum further with activities such as swimming, food exploration, community trips and visits to places of worship. Pupils also take part in a termly community kitchen event, in which they get to learn about different types of food. They cook and serve food to the local community, parents, carers and members of the Witherslack group. The school’s personal development offer is exceptional and has had a significant impact for parents and families. Many comment on the positive changes they have seen with how their children cope in real-life situations.

The school offers more than academic and pastoral support. The educational psychologist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, plus a play-based therapist offer expert support and guidance that directly supports pupils’ development. The personalised support pupils receive is often underpinned by detailed assessment information that the clinical team provides. The addition of the clinical team is invaluable.

Leaders have created a culture of trust, openness and collaboration. The board of directors, school staff and parents share the same vision and aspirations for pupils. At times, there are difficult incidents to deal with, but everyone looks forward and not backwards. Positive relationships between all stakeholders ensure that everyone is striving to give the pupils the best possible chance to succeed in life.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff attend daily safeguarding briefings, in which current information is shared. As a result, staff know exactly why a pupil may be behaving in a certain way and therefore what support to offer. The ongoing training leaders provide ensures that all staff are aware of the signs of concern to look out for, especially given the complex needs of many pupils. The designated safeguarding lead checks incidents and makes sure that all appropriate agencies are involved when required. Record-keeping of concerns is meticulous. The curriculum teaches pupils how to keep themselves safe. Staff use every opportunity to make appropriate safeguarding references in day-to-day teaching.

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