Peterhouse School

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About Peterhouse School

Name Peterhouse School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Calvin Wallace
Address Preston New Road, Churchtown, Southport, PR9 8PA
Phone Number 01704506682
Phase Special
Type Non-maintained special school
Age Range 5-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 72
Local Authority Sefton
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Peterhouse School enjoy learning and playing with their friends. They benefit from the supportive relationships that they form with staff. Pupils value Paisley the school dog.

She, and staff, help pupils to have a successful start to the school day. Pupils feel happy and safe in school.

Pupils typically respond well to leaders' and staff's high expectations for their behaviour and conduct.

Most pupils understand and follow the clear school rules and routines. Staff minimise disruption to learning. Leaders work effectively with pupils, and parents and carers, to sort out any rare incidents of bullying.

Pupils, including disadvantaged pupils,... enjoy a range of activities that help them to become active citizens. They litter pick on the local beach to improve the environment, and they visit the local fire and police stations. Pupils work as a team to report on school life in the Peterhouse Press newspaper.

They value trips to the theatre, art galleries and to the local community.

Leaders and staff have increasingly high expectations of pupils' achievement. Pupils try hard in their lessons.

However, leaders have not paid enough attention to the design and delivery of subject curriculums. This means that pupils do not achieve as well as they should.

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

All pupils at Peterhouse School have autism spectrum disorder.

Leaders are ambitious and committed to pupils becoming successful adults. Staff identify, assess and meet pupils' special educational needs and/or disabilities effectively. Most parents agree with this view.

Pupils benefit from appropriate on-site therapy services. Therapists work hand in hand with leaders, staff, parents and pupils.

Leaders have established a broad curriculum that meets the ambition of the national curriculum.

They make sure that pupils follow a tailored pathway based on their needs, not age. However, in several subjects, the knowledge that leaders intend pupils to learn lacks clarity. As a result, some pupils do not successfully build new knowledge on what they have learned before.

This hampers their academic progress in some subjects.

Leaders have not ensured that staff deliver the curriculum consistently well. Some of the activities that teachers design do not give pupils the support and structure that they need to learn the subject curriculum content.

Consequently, pupils do not deepen their knowledge as well as they should.

Older pupils, including students in the sixth form, benefit from accredited courses such as functional skills and GCSEs. Where pupils follow these accredited courses, the curriculum is more effectively designed as it links closely to the examination specifications.

Many pupils gain appropriate qualifications and transition to further education, employment or training. Students in the sixth form learn well.

Leaders prioritise the development of pupils' communication and language skills.

They have recently launched a curriculum that introduces pupils to phonics in a systematic way. Staff have received some suitable training in the phonics programme. However, they are in the process of developing their confidence in delivering the programme.

This is because the implementation of the phonics programme is in its infancy.

Pupils on the flexible education programme receive a well-designed package of support. Many pupils on this programme have found a love for learning due to the care, support and guidance of staff.

Pupils improve their behaviour over time. This is demonstrated in the positive attitudes shown by older pupils and students in the sixth form. Most staff use supportive approaches that help pupils to engage with their learning.

However, a minority of pupils can lose focus at times because staff do not support them to learn the subject curriculum as effectively as they should.

Leaders promote pupils' personal development well. For example, staff ensure that pupils learn about a range of faiths and fundamental British values.

Leaders design activities that successfully develop pupils' interests and talents.

Leaders provide suitable impartial careers information, education, advice and guidance to pupils. Older pupils, including students in the sixth form, take part in purposeful work experience with a range of employers.

Leaders work well to ensure that these opportunities match pupils' aspirations for their future.

Governors have benefited from useful training. This has helped to improve the level of challenge that they give to leaders.

Governors and leaders acknowledge that further improvements are required to the quality of education that pupils receive. They are acting to strengthen subject leadership and the curriculum that pupils receive.

While subject leadership and the curriculum have recently been improved, it is too early to evaluate the impact of these changes on pupils' achievement.

Subject leaders are passionate and ambitious. However, many are very new to their roles and they have not had sufficient training or support to fulfil their duties as effectively as they could.

Staff, including those new to teaching, are proud to work as part of the Peterhouse School team.

They appreciate leaders' consideration for their workload and well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.Leaders provide pupils with opportunities to learn how to stay safe.

For example, pupils learn how to swim and about the risks that they could face when online. Pupils receive carefully considered relationships and sex education, and health education. Pupils are confident that staff would help them with any issues that make them feel uncomfortable.

Staff are well trained to identify any signs of abuse or neglect. When required, they raise concerns promptly. Leaders involve suitable agencies that help to ensure that pupils and their families get the timely support and guidance that they need.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In several subject areas, leaders have not identified the knowledge that pupils must learn in sufficient detail. As a result, some pupils do not achieve as well as they should in these subjects. Leaders should ensure that they pinpoint the knowledge that pupils must learn in each subject in sufficient detail.

• Leaders have not ensured that staff deliver the curriculum, or design learning activities, as well as they should. This impacts negatively on some pupils' academic progress and, at times, their engagement in lessons. Leaders should ensure that staff have the skills and knowledge required to deliver subject curriculums effectively.

• The recently introduced phonics programme is not delivered consistently well. This hinders how well some pupils acquire phonics knowledge. Leaders should ensure that staff have sufficient training and support to deliver the phonics programme as intended.

• Some subject leaders have not had enough training or support to deliver their areas of responsibility as well as they could. This hampers some subject leaders' ability to develop the curriculum and evaluate its impact on pupils' learning. Leaders should ensure that subject leaders continue to receive support and guidance to fulfil their roles effectively.

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