Kingsgate School


Name Kingsgate School
Website http://www.kingsgateschool.co.uk
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
Address 239 West Street, Fareham, PO16 0HZ
Phone Number 01329446921
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 7-14
Religious Character Not applicable
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 12 (75% boys 25% girls)
Local Authority Hampshire
Pupils with SEN Support 8.3%%

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a nurturing school. Everyone is interested in making things better for pupils. Leaders have a clear vision for how things should be for the school. They show an admirable determination to improve pupils’ lives and give them a positive school experience. Pupils are at the centre of everything they do.

Pupils hardly ever miss school. Considering their often difficult former experiences of education, this is a remarkable turnaround. Despite the short time the school has been open, staff show an impressive understanding of pupils’ needs and have put in place well-considered support. The school’s work is enabling pupils to thrive.

Pupils, parents, carers and staff say that bullying is rare or non-existent. Pupils’ behaviour is excellent. They feel safe physically and emotionally. Pupils, many for the first time, are forming healthy friendships and engaging in positive relationships with staff. Everyone wants the best for each other.

Leaders have high expectations for each pupil. The curriculum is carefully considered to ensure that there is an effective balance of academic learning and other activities to interest and engage pupils. For instance, pupils enjoy growing vegetables at the allotment, learning to climb and caring for horses.

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

Leaders have worked with great integrity to ensure that their ambitious vision is put into practice. They have been successful in this work. Much has been done since the school opened to develop the curriculum and create a positive culture for learning. Leaders, staff and those in positions of governance understand their roles and responsibilities well.

Pupils follow bespoke programmes of learning. All pupils have an education, health and care plan, and these are instigated well and reviewed regularly. Comprehensive assessments take place when pupils join the school so that leaders can swiftly implement a range of support where needed. The experienced and dedicated staff understand how to deliver this support effectively. Staff intrinsically understand that pupils’ low level of self-esteem or high levels of anxiety need to be addressed so that pupils can engage successfully in their learning.

Well-understood systems to manage behaviour play an important part in ensuring that pupils are ready to learn. For instance, during the inspection, pupils took short ‘movement breaks’ outside of classrooms that helped them to concentrate. Pupils spoke enthusiastically about earning behaviour points leading to ‘fun’ activities on a Friday, such as constructing models or going ice-skating. Pupils self-regulate their behaviour well and support their peers, showing notable understanding and kindness to each other. The headteacher deftly models his high expectations for pupils’ and adults’ behaviour. Consequently, there are heart-warming levels of respect for all.Pupils receive a broad and rich curriculum. Leaders, including governors, are now focused on further developing different subject areas. The teaching of mathematics is a strength. Pupils greatly enjoy these lessons, and work in pupils’ books shows how they can apply their mathematical knowledge to problem solving, particularly in key stage 3. However, some aspects of pupils’ personal development are not as well supported. For instance, pupils’ knowledge of different cultures and religions and diversity in modern Britain is not consistent or well developed. Leaders have already recognised this gap in the school’s provision and have recently put in place firm actions to address this area of the school’s work.

Leaders have prioritised reading, and consequently pupils are developing a love of books. Staff introduce interesting texts that capture pupils’ imaginations and make them want to read more. Specific additional support to help pupils who are behind with their reading is effective. However, staff would benefit from further training in the teaching of reading to ensure that they too can support pupils to become even more confident readers.

Leaders carefully consider pupils’ transition into the next stage of their education. Leaders ensure that pupils receive appropriate careers advice and guidance to help them make choices about possible future work. Leaders liaise closely with parents and the local authority to ensure that pupils’ current successes can be sustained.

Trips develop pupils’ confidence and social skills with great success. Pupils enjoy their visits into the local community, such as going to a local restaurant to celebrate Chinese New Year or buying items at the nearby shops and cafés.

The school environment is suitable for the purpose it serves. For instance, classrooms are suitably resourced, pupils enjoy playing basketball outside and they have a room where they practise musical instruments or do art lessons.

The headteacher, who is the joint director of the proprietorial body, has sensibly put in place a very experienced governing body. Governors are reflective and contribute much wisdom and skill to leading the school as it continues to develop. They offer an impressive level of challenge and support. Together with the headteacher, they ensure that the leadership and management of the school are effective. This includes ensuring that all the independent school standards are met.

Staff are unanimously positive about their work. Many agree that the headteacher ‘empowers us to be the best practitioners we can be’. Every member of staff subscribes to the headteacher’s determination to ‘never give up on any pupil.’ All parents who replied to Ofsted’s online survey, Parent View, are delighted with the difference the school has made to their children’s lives.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff are well trained in safeguarding matters. They display an impressive knowledge and understanding of how to keep pupils safe. They are highly vigilant and report concerns to relevant leaders. Strong communication and robust systems ensure that the culture of safeguarding is effective in this school.

Leaders work tirelessly with external agencies to ensure that pupils and their families get the help and support they need. Leaders ensure that appropriate checks are carried out on all adults who work at the school. The school site is well maintained and secure.

All parents, pupils and staff who completed surveys or spoke to inspectors were positive about safeguarding at this school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and proprietor)

Leaders and staff are beginning to develop pupils’ love of reading. There is some evident expertise in the teaching of reading in school. However, not all staff have the skills and knowledge they need to support pupils who may have fallen behind or who find reading difficult. Leaders need to ensure that staff have the necessary training, so that they can better support pupils to become confident readers. . The school’s work to support pupils’ social and emotional development is strong and is already having an extremely positive impact on pupils’ behaviour and attitudes to school. However, some aspects of pupils’ personal development are not yet supported as well as leaders want. Opportunities for pupils to learn about British values and to develop their understanding of diversity and different cultures are not consistent, leading to gaps in their knowledge. Staff have started to act on this. Leaders now need to ensure that staff are fully resourced and equipped to deliver this aspect of the school’s wider curriculum.