Paternoster School

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About Paternoster School

Name Paternoster School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Jennifer Laird
Address Watermoor Road, Cirencester, GL7 1JR
Phone Number 01285652480
Phase Academy (special)
Type Academy special sponsor led
Age Range 2-17
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 66
Local Authority Gloucestershire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Learning at Paternoster School is like being a part of a big family. Positive relationships underpin the success of this school. Staff want the best for pupils.

They have high expectations and look to ensure that learning is meaningful and fun. As a result, the school's values of 'courage, ambition, respect and enjoyment' are reflected in all pupils' experiences.

Pupils say they feel safe and well cared for.

They are right. Bullying is exceptionally rare, if it ever happens. Everyone knows what is expected.

This helps maintain a calm and organised atmosphere. As a result, learning is mostly purposeful. Occasionally, however, some teaching is less eff...ective in helping pupils to learn and they lose focus.

Nevertheless, pupils typically make strong progress over time. Parents and pupils agree that this school is making a positive difference to their lives.

Pupils enjoy the range of opportunities to learn and to prepare them for adulthood.

They benefit from many interesting and stimulating experiences, including learning outside, being in the community and regularly celebrating important dates in the calendar. Pupils want to come to school, they like learning and they are well prepared for the next stage of their lives.

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

The trust and the school work together determinedly to improve this family-focused school.

The success of their collaborative approach can be seen in the shared ambition staff have for pupils. Since joining the trust, leaders have systematically worked to improve the school. For example, they have rightly focused on ensuring that the curriculum is designed to meet the wide range of needs of the pupils.

Processes to improve attendance are very effective.

There have been several recent changes to the leadership of school. The school has a clear vision for building on its current strengths.

This includes making changes to the behaviour policy, developing the careers advice package and introducing new values. It is too soon, however, to see the full impact of these changes.

The school is developing a highly effective curriculum.

Staff are trained to be skilled, whatever their role. For example, this means that curriculum planning is well established and sometimes very strong. Pupils learn within a broad and balanced curriculum that sits within four pathways.

Each pathway has carefully sequenced planning that links to the national curriculum. The school uses its deep knowledge of specialist provision and individual pupils' needs to ensure that plans are progressive, relevant and engaging.

The implementation of the curriculum is sound, but not as consistent as it could be.

Staff are skilled and use assessment prudently. Pupils are assessed carefully when they arrive. The school uses this information to ensure pupils learn through the appropriate pathway.

Ongoing formal and informal assessments allow the school to ensure that lessons are enjoyable and give pupils tangible opportunities to build on what they already know and can do. However, some changes are too new to be as effective as they could be. For example, recent amendments to the approach being used in some subjects and in some parts of the school are not as consistent.

The school prioritises reading. Significant work has led to an established, robust approach to teaching early reading. Pupils learn with pupils communicating or reading at the same stage as them.

Regular checks ensure that lessons are adapted to meet individual need. Once ready, pupils utilise books that are very well matched to their reading ability. Consequently, pupils communicate and read better.

They learn to enjoy reading. Many develop the skills needed to read and communicate independently.

Pupils' personal development is promoted exceptionally well.

From the moment pupils arrive at the school, the curriculum is focused on preparing them for adulthood. Strong links are made between the curriculum pathways, the personal, social and health education curriculum and pupils' individual needs to ensure that pupils are helped to improve communication, gain independence and make sensible choices for themselves. Pupils benefit from an array of experiences within and beyond the curriculum.

These include work experience, careers advice and opportunities to explore and build on their talents within the school's normal day-to-day curriculum offer.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Elements of curriculum implementation need more time to embed.

For example, staff do not consistently apply the approaches the school has adopted to teach some subjects. This can impede pupils' learning. The school should build on and strengthen the consistency of the implementation of the curriculum so that pupils learn well in all areas.

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