Ridgeway School

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About Ridgeway School

Name Ridgeway School
Website http://www.ridgewayschool.org.uk/
Ofsted Inspections
Acting Head Mr Joe Creswick (Executive Head)
Address Hill Rise, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 7EB
Phone Number 01234402402
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 2-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 95
Local Authority Bedford
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Ridgeway School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at Ridgeway have very particular complex learning, physical or medical needs. Staff work hard to make sure these needs do not stop the pupils from learning and having fun. The relationships between staff and pupils are based on mutual respect and trust.

Therapists and staff work closely together to ensure that pupils' sensory and care needs are met. The way in which pupils are treated with dignity and respect is impressive.

Teachers expect the pupils to work hard.

They encourage pupils to be as independent as possible, but also make sure they are safe. Staff provide a perf...ect balance between nurture, support and challenge. This helps pupils to do their very best.

Pupils told us that they enjoyed their lessons because teachers make them interesting. They particularly like the clubs they can choose to go to at lunchtimes and on Friday afternoons.

Pupils' behaviour is a strength of the school.

Pupils and staff show genuine kindness towards each other. Pupils told us that bullying doesn't happen. Parents and carers and staff agree with them.

Parents are positive about the school. One parent told the inspectors, 'The whole school look out for each other. It is an absolute pleasure to be part of it.'

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

Governors and leaders want Ridgeway to successfully prepare pupils for the next stage in their education. They work hard to ensure that all pupils are as independent as possible, are confident to make choices and can communicate their needs.

Since his appointment, the headteacher and leaders have been working hard to improve the curriculum.

They want it to be relevant and meaningful to all pupils.Curriculum leaders choose to plan three distinct learning pathways that match pupils' different needs and abilities. Plans for mathematics, science and computing are in place and being used throughout the school.

The learning pathways for other subjects will be in place later in the school year. Leaders know that these plans must identify what pupils need to learn and in what order so that pupils build on previous learning.

Leaders' chosen assessment programme helps teachers to identify any gaps in pupils' learning to make sure pupils make good progress.

Teachers told inspectors that this has reduced their workload and, as a result, they feel supported by leaders.

The teaching of reading and communication is a priority for the school. Pupils develop a love of reading by listening to lots of different types of stories and rhymes.

Pupils successfully use signs, pictures, technology or words to communicate their thoughts and ideas. Leaders know the programme for teaching phonics could be better. Staff have received training this term and the curriculum leader has plans to improve the teaching of reading further.

Routines are quickly established in the early years class so that children learn what is expected of them. Staff model the good use of spoken English and use signing and symbols well.

Teachers want pupils to be as independent as possible.

Teachers plan pupils' personal development so that lessons build on their prior knowledge and skills. For example, in a cookery lesson, pupils were washing up the equipment they had used. They looked at the labels on cupboards to help them put things away in the right place.

In the sixth form, students followed recipes to cook their own lunch.

Pupils' personal development is further enriched by many interesting activities and opportunities. The sixth-form students explained how they make and sell things at a market stall in the town.

Inspectors saw examples of artwork and listened and watched pupils singing and signing. Pupils say they enjoy the trips organised for them during school time and at weekends. Pupils are interested in the world around them.

The older pupils told inspectors that they are worried about the effect of climate change on the environment. They recently protested with placards outside a local shopping centre and gave leaflets out to passers-by explaining their concerns.

Leaders make sure that pupils are ready for the next stage in their education.

Most of the pupils go on to college or training. They gain the skills and knowledge needed to become more independent and confident about themselves.

Governors share leaders' ambition for all pupils to succeed and achieve well.

They visit the school regularly and provide effective support and challenge. Governors need to make sure the school's website is kept up to date so that it gives an accurate picture of the school's successful work.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

The culture of safeguarding is consistent with the caring ethos of the school. Governors and leaders have ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose.

Leaders and staff provide pupils with strong pastoral care.

They know the pupils well and take their welfare very seriously. They understand the signs that might mean a pupil is at risk. Staff report any concerns promptly following the school's clear procedures.

Leaders follow up concerns tenaciously and involve the appropriate external agencies where necessary.

Leaders have worked diligently to ensure the extra risks around pupils' medical and special educational needs and/or disabilities are well managed through very effective care plans.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Governors and leaders need to ensure that the three curriculum pathways they have chosen are effectively implemented in all subjects.

Leaders need to ensure that curriculum plans build on pupils' past knowledge and prepare them well for the learning that is to come. It is clear from the actions that leaders have already taken that they are in the process of bringing this about. .

The development of communication skills and reading rightly remains a school priority. Leaders and staff are determined that all pupils will communicate and/or read fluently by the time they leave the school. Senior leaders need to ensure that teachers are supported well to achieve this, so that the teaching of phonics and reading is consistently strong throughout the school.

. Governors are supportive of the work of the school and meet all their statutory requirements. However, they need to ensure that the website is updated as soon as policies are updated so that parents have up-to-date information.


When we have judged a school to be good we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good This is called a section 8 inspection of a good school or non-exempt outstanding school. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find some evidence that the school could now be better than good or that standards may be declining, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.

Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will convert the section 8 inspection to a section 5 inspection immediately.

This is the second section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in November 2012.

Also at this postcode
Skool’s Out Kempston Academy

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