Pendle Community High School & College

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About Pendle Community High School & College

Name Pendle Community High School & College
Ofsted Inspections
Ms Debra Grogan
Address Oxford Road, Nelson, BB9 8LF
Phone Number 01282682260
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 11-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 162
Local Authority Lancashire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Pendle Community High School & College continues to be an outstanding school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils, including students in the sixth form, are placed firmly at the heart of this welcoming and highly aspirational school. They thrive as part of a friendly and exciting learning community.

The school is relentlessly ambitious for pupils and students, all of whom have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).

The curriculum is thoughtfully designed to challenge pupils and to celebrate each step of their learning, however small or large. The school's expectations are extremely high. There are no limits.

Pupils achieve exceptionally we...ll.

Pupils are kind and supportive of each other. They appreciate the routines that the school provides and the rewards that they gain for their positive behaviour.

Staff know pupils as individuals. They provide personalised and sensitive support that helps pupils to communicate their needs and regulate their own behaviour.

The school places a sharp focus on ensuring that all pupils are extremely well prepared for adulthood.

Pupils flourish due to an extensive programme of activities and experiences that nurture their personal development. This equips pupils with the skills that they need to keep themselves safe and healthy, communicate effectively, and live their lives as independently as possible.

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

The school has meticulously designed specialist curriculum pathways that cater exceptionally well for pupils' specific learning needs.

Some pupils are at the very early stages of development and cognition. The curriculum is expertly designed to focus on their engagement, communication and sensory needs. Other pupils study a wide range of discrete subjects at key stage 3.

This prepares them well for the opportunities that are provided in key stage 4 and 5. It also means that they are well equipped to be successful when completing examinations.In each subject, the school has thoughtfully identified and ordered the most pertinent knowledge that pupils should learn.

This is broken down with clarity into small steps for each pupil, so that pathways for pupils' progression are clear.

The school ensures that staff have strong subject knowledge, as well as a detailed understanding of pupils' SEND needs. Pupils' prior knowledge is accurately assessed so that the delivery of the curriculum is skilfully matched to pupils' various starting points.

Teachers make regular checks on what pupils know, remember and can do. They continually identify and address any gaps in knowledge. This helps pupils to make progress through the curriculum and excel in their learning.

Pupils' communication and reading skills have a high priority. Pupils who are non-verbal or in the very early stages of development, receive focused support using a wide range of resources such as sign language, story boards and assisted technology. For many, this is transformative.

It allows them to engage with the world around them and make choices for themselves.

The school has introduced a new phonics programme with success. All staff have received training.

They deliver the programme with expertise. Pupils read books that contain the sounds that they know. This is helping pupils to read with increasing fluency and confidence.

The school ensures that all staff model how to be polite, tolerant and respectful. Pupils rise to this expectation. The school environment is calm and productive.

Pupils behave well and develop strong interpersonal skills that they apply with impressive confidence in a range of social situations.

The programme that the school provides to enhance pupils' wider development is exceptional and inclusive for all. For example, pupils enjoy international travel, residential trips and outdoor activities.

There is an extensive range of clubs and activities including the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme, dance, drama, sailing, football and singing to encourage pupils to explore their interests and talents. Pupils' understanding of the world is enriched by visiting speakers, trips to places of religious worship and museums.

Pupils are supported very well in preparation for their next steps when they leave school.

There is a comprehensive and specialised careers advice and guidance programme. For example, the school has set up its own social enterprise so that it can provide real life work experience for post-16 students and develop their employability skills. All pupils progress into positive destinations when they leave the school.

The school is supported and challenged by an experienced governing body. They set an ambitious vision and work closely with leaders to ensure that the quality of education that pupils receive is continually improving. The school engages well with staff when making changes and reviewing practices so that they feel well supported and are able to manage their workload.

Staff value the regular training that they receive so that they can carry out their work effectively as part of a strong and collaborative team.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.


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

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 first ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be outstanding in October 2017.

Also at this postcode
Pendle Vale College

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