Keelman’s Way School

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About Keelman’s Way School

Name Keelman’s Way School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Paula Selby
Address Campbell Park Road, Hebburn, NE31 1QY
Phone Number 01914897480
Phase Special
Type Foundation special school
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 166
Local Authority South Tyneside
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Keelman's Way School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Keelman's Way School provides a nurturing environment in which pupils thrive.

All pupils have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Their welfare, care and safety are at the centre of everything that staff do. Pupils are happy and feel safe.

Adults know individual pupils extremely well. There are highly positive relationships between pupils and members of staff. Pupils are friendly and supportive of their peers.

Behaviour is exemplary.

The school has high expectations for all pupils. There is a clear ambition that every pupil learns the skills that t...hey need to live as full a life as possible.

The personal development programme is especially strong. It gives pupils many opportunities to understand the world outside school to prepare for adulthood. For some pupils, this includes work experience in local businesses and volunteering in the community.

Pupils learn in a lovely environment and access purpose-built facilities. They enjoy being in the outdoor spaces such as the sensory and wildlife gardens. Pupils learn gardening skills in the greenhouse and school allotment.

The school provides onsite hydrotherapy, music therapy and other programmes tailored to individual needs.

The school has replicated many aspects of the provision at the new base, Keelman's at South Shields.

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

Appropriate 'curriculum pathways' are in place to meet the pupils' complex needs.

Staff have a deep understanding of what individual pupils can do. This is considered when placing a pupil on a particular pathway. There is continuing development of the curriculum offer, for example the recent inclusion of music therapy.

Revisions are made to the curriculum to ensure that the changing needs of pupils are met. In all pathways, staff have thought carefully about the important knowledge and skills they want pupils to learn and the order in which they will learn it.In both the early years and semi-formal pathways there is an emphasis on developing communication skills.

Pupils are taught to communicate through a variety of means, best suited to them. Staff encourage pupils to make choices through signing and picture exchange. Pupils are immersed in sensory stories.

They enjoy interacting with staff and singing along to familiar rhymes. Pupils are learning through activities designed to be fun. For example, hunting for three-dimensional shapes in mathematics.

Within the subject specific pathway, pupils access a more formal curriculum. The curriculum design for mathematics assists pupils in attaining appropriate qualifications. Teachers know what to teach and when.

They are adept in checking pupils' knowledge and understand when to move on to teaching a new concept. Older pupils complete units of work in preparation for adulthood that build towards accredited outcomes. Pupils learn to read in a variety of ways.

Some pupils who are learning to read through phonics, do not have sufficient opportunities to practise their phonics knowledge. This means that they do not remember the phonics sounds that they have been taught.

The pathway for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) is highly effective.

Pupils follow a sensory curriculum. This develops their interaction skills through learning activities which engage all the senses. The level of attention that adults show towards pupils is exceptional.

Staff are very respectful of pupils. They take time to discuss lesson transitions using now and next symbols. Adults actively encourage pupils to take part in activities and model what to do.

For example, pressing electronic switches to control devices. Staff assist pupils in becoming more aware of their bodies through hand massage. They carefully support pupils in changing their body position during the school day.

This helps pupils to build up their core and leg strength. Staff are alert and give pupils time to rest when they need to do so. Staff manage pupil behaviour exceptionally well.

They are very successful in helping pupils to regulate their emotions.

The school continues to broaden the wider curriculum offer. All classes contribute to the termly fairs, raising funds through enterprising activities.

Older pupils relish their involvement in the running of the school café. They especially enjoy making the food to be sold. Staff provide a wide range of activities that help pupils to make the transition to the next stage of their lives.

Staff are highly committed to the school's success and are proud to work at Keelman's Way. Leaders reduce staff workload where possible. Teachers welcome being part of working parties and contributing to policy development.

However, some members of staff do not consistently follow school policies and agreed approaches to teaching the curriculum. This means that a minority pupils miss out on some learning experiences.

Members of the governing body bring considerable experience to their role and carry out their duties effectively.

As a result, leaders are both supported and held to account.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school has not reviewed the implementation of a small number of policies and agreed approaches to teaching the curriculum carefully enough.

Occasionally, the learning experience of a minority of pupils does not match the school's intentions. The school should continue its work to support, evaluate and embed high quality teaching across the school. ? There is insufficient time given to the teaching of phonics for those pupils who are able to access phonics lessons.

Some pupils do not have enough planned opportunities to practise their learning so that they remember and apply their phonics knowledge. The school should review and improve its approach to teaching phonics.


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

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 good in January 2014.

Also at this postcode
Stanley’s at Hebburn The Sue Hedley Nursery School

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