Osborne School

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About Osborne School

Name Osborne School
Website http://www.osborneschoolwinchester.com
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Ms Sonia White (O'Donnell)
Address Athelstan Road, Winchester, SO23 7GA
Phone Number 01962854537
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 222
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils become successful learners at Osborne.

This is a school where leaders have high ambitions for everyone. The skilled staff team supports every pupil to do their best, tailoring support to meet individual needs when required. Barriers to learning are tackled effectively.

Preparation for post-16 is exceptional so that all pupils continue their studies beyond school. Some continue learning in the school's sixth form. Here, they enjoy an enriching college experience.

Clubs, visits and performances contribute to pupils' success. They relish being part of their diverse school choir, Rubik's Cube. Everyone is able to join in.

With boundless enthusiasm..., pupils raise their voices and sing happily together.

Strong relationships with staff help pupils to feel safe and to thrive. Pupils told inspectors that one of the school's best features is its trustworthy staff.

A dedicated team enables pupils to grow in confidence and to manage anxiety. Pupils love to play together in their well-equipped playground. They speak kindly about each other.

School records confirm pupils' views that bullying is very unusual. Leaders have been thorough to deal with bullying well when it has happened. Some pupils struggle with behaviour.

Staff are quick to support them so that everyone can continue learning.

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

Pupils' needs are at the core of an exemplary curriculum that supports remarkable achievement. Staff are alert to every nuance of pupils' learning and behaviour.

Teachers are skilful at breaking down knowledge into small steps. They support pupils to repeat learning until it is secure.

In all subjects, teachers use stories to help pupils make sense of their world.

Staff promote reading using approaches that are exactly right for each pupil. In key stage 3, pupils deepen their phonics knowledge to develop fluency. Key stage 4 pupils enjoy some challenging texts.

These stories stimulate pupils by providing a model for their own imaginative writing.

Patient attention to detail enables staff to develop pupils' communication skills. Parents praise the progress that their children make over time.

Some pupils use alternative strategies to help them to communicate with others. For example, some of the sixth-form students working in the school's café follow recipes that use symbols.

Leaders prepare pupils extremely well for transition to college.

From Year 9, some pupils attend 'Oskings', which is on the site of a local secondary school. Pupils learn to cope with the noise and interactions of a busy environment because they mix freely with each other at key times of the day. Staff have expert knowledge to support each pupil into a sustainable college placement.

Students who remain in the sixth form learn about adult life. They study basic skills and develop domestic and vocational expertise. Students learn to express their wants and needs for the future.

The innovative curriculum includes typical teenage experiences that support students to socialise. Staff do whatever is required to be inclusive. In devising the breadth of opportunities, leaders 'see the pupil, not their needs'.

All students move into further training that supports their employability.

Throughout the school there are excellent opportunities for personal development. Pupils experience challenging residential visits that help to build independence.

Teamwork is highly regarded. Every pupil takes part in an annual Shakespeare play. Staff make every possible adaptation so that all pupils can perform.

Older pupils learn about democracy, including how to vote. Some of them asked the local council to improve a pathway for wheelchair users, and it did. A vast range of strategies support good mental health.

Pupils de-stress by using mindful moments and identifying their safe space.

Pupils follow routines well and move around school sensibly. Behaviour at school is typically calm.

The complex needs of some pupils means that they may display some challenging behaviour when they are anxious or frustrated. Staff are experts in managing incidents and addressing pupils' unease. Pupils are supported to find ways to communicate their needs.

Over time, their anxiety reduces, and behaviour improves.

The governing body works extremely effectively with leaders to promote the school's values. Together, they plan improvements and check their impact.

Leaders have responded thoughtfully to the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there were interruptions to staff training, they are now implementing well-developed plans. Leaders are equipping staff with the skills that are unique to their school so as to meet pupils' changing needs.

Teachers, including those who are new to the profession, are positive about the support they receive. Staff say that leaders are mindful of workload and demands are fair.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that all staff are trained to identify signs of abuse. Staff are especially mindful of pupils' barriers to communication. Staff are confident about what to do if they have a safeguarding concern.

No time is wasted in reporting to the designated leader. Leaders quickly refer to partner agencies where appropriate, so that children and their families get timely help.

Pupils say they trust the adults in school if they have any worries.

Staff listen to pupils carefully. Teachers know that all pupils are vulnerable in this school. They teach pupils the importance keeping themselves safe, including when online.

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