New Bridge School

Name New Bridge School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Address Roman Road, Hollinwood, Oldham, OL8 3PH
Phone Number 0161 7706999
Type Special
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Not applicable
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 299
Local Authority Oldham
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection
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Information about the school

New Bridge School is a much larger than average size special school, which has specialist arts status. Students have a wide range of learning needs including behavioural, physical, sensory and communication difficulties. All of the students have a statement of special educational needs. The majority of students are boys and the number of students from ethnic minority groups is above average. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is well above average. The school has been awarded Healthy Schools status, Artsmark Gold and the Sportsmark. It is an approved centre for the National College of Further Education, Oxford Cambridge and Royal Society of Arts (OCR), City and Guilds and Sports Leaders Assessment. In April 2010, a new deputy headteacher was appointed. Forty six percent of the current teachers have followed, or are following, the professional route to qualified teacher status based in the school. Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory and 4 is inadequate Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Main findings

This is an outstanding school. Staff and students show a deep understanding and respect for individual differences. Meeting individual needs and promoting equality of opportunity for all are at the heart of the school. Arrangements for care, guidance and support are outstanding, as is the curriculum and the sixth form. These, coupled with very well developed engagement with parents and carers and excellent partnerships, contribute to a student body that is aspirational and very socially aware. Central to the school’s ambition is the ongoing drive to ensure that all students live a fulfilled adult life. Students make outstanding progress in their wider personal development and, for example, understand the importance of emotional well-being for living a healthy life. Some students make outstanding progress in other subjects, such as art. Progress in basic skills is good overall, with strengths in reading in Key Stage 3 and in speaking and listening in Key Stage 4. Progress in mathematics is less strong, especially at Key Stage 4. Students mature into caring young adults who develop the essential attitudes, skills and self-reliance that prepare them very well for the next stage of their education and for later life. Students say that they feel completely safe and enjoy school. They respond to the school’s high expectations and participate enthusiastically in the wide range of enrichment opportunities on offer. The students’ excellent behaviour and positive attitudes to learning underpin their impressive achievement in gaining positions in further training or employment when they leave school. Good teaching overall, combined with a highly tailored, rich curriculum and excellent support and guidance, underpin the students’ good, and sometimes outstanding, progress. Some teaching is inspirational. In other lessons, students wait too long for their turn and activities do not sufficiently challenge or engage them. Despite this variability, the students’ keenness and commitment to succeed ensures that they make at least good progress even when teaching is less effective. Systematic tracking, alongside careful assessment, ensures that any students in danger of underachieving are identified and suitably supported. The school’s sustained and impressive improvement since the last inspection is securely founded on high ambition, rigorous monitoring and effective development planning. School development is informed by rigorous self-evaluation and is guided by the strong, strategic leadership of the senior team, ably supported by the well-informed and very effective governing body. Steps to strengthen sixth form provision, for example, have further improved teaching and raised achievement. The whole demonstrates the school’s outstanding capacity for further improvement.