Priory Woods School

Name Priory Woods School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 05 March 2014
Address Tothill Avenue, Netherfields, Middlesbrough, TS3 0RH
Phone Number 01642770540
Type Special
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 189 (60% boys 40% girls)
Local Authority Middlesbrough
Percentage Free School Meals 52%
Percentage English is Not First Language 20.6%
Persisitent Absence 30.1%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

The school has attained specialist Arts College status. Pupils attend between the ages of four and 19 and have a range of difficulties which affect their ability to learn. These include severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties and moderate learning difficulties. The majority of the 166 pupils who attend are from Middlesbrough. A small number are from neighbouring authorities. The majority of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 and post-16 pupils who attend are of White British heritage with just a small number from other ethnic backgrounds. Pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 and 2 are predominantly of White British heritage. However, approximately 40% are from other ethnic backgrounds. A higher than average proportion of pupils are eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, those in the care of the local authority and those from service families. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs. The school currently has extended school provision, which provides a range of activities and clubs for pupils and families outside school time. Since the last inspection, the school has moved to purpose-built premises on a site shared with a secondary school.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school. Pupils’ achievement is outstanding because : they make excellent progress from a very wide range of starting points, academically, socially and emotionally. This is because of the exceptionally good teaching and care they receive. Staff teams work very closely together and ensure pupils’ care and educational needs are equally well supported. A small group of more able pupils often start at the school in Year 7. Although the quality of teaching overall is excellent, occasionally in English lessons teachers’ questions do not stretch the knowledge and understanding of these pupils sufficiently and as a result progress slows for this group. Children start in the school’s Early Years Foundation Stage with a wide range of needs that include both learning and physical difficulties. Staff provide an excellent range of experiences and activities which enable them to learn through play and achieve exceptionally well. Students who attend the school’s sixth form make excellent progress in developing the skills and knowledge needed to prepare them for the next stage in their education. Pupils’ behaviour is outstanding; both inside and outside the classroom. Pupils often display impeccable manners in the corridor towards each other, staff and visitors. They arrive in lessons with high expectations and are very keen and eager to learn. They know how to keep safe because staff offer excellent guidance which enables them to make the right choices. The outstanding leadership of the headteacher, senior leaders, managers and governors has improved the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement since the last inspection. Their continuous and relentless focus on improving outcomes for all pupils demonstrates their ability to continue to improve. Governors ensure safeguarding checks are carried out rigorously and regularly and records are kept to a high standard. However, the recording of more minor accidents and incidents is not always sufficiently detailed and does not always provide a clear description of the incident.