Riverside Community Special School

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About Riverside Community Special School

Name Riverside Community Special School
Website http://www.riverside.hants.sch.uk
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Catherine Le Roux
Address Scratchface Lane, Purbrook, Waterlooville, PO7 5QD
Phone Number 02392250138
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 132
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy and safe at this inclusive school. A sense of respect and kindness pervades.

Pupils treat everyone at school with consideration and encourage each other to do their best. Pupils' relationships with adults in the school are excellent. Staff know and nurture the needs of pupils very well.

Pupils trust staff and know that they want the best for them.

Leaders have very high ambitions for pupils' personal development. It is truly at the heart of everything that takes place at school.

Through the 'play and interaction' programme, pupils learn how to share their views and thoughts. They value and enjoy the various leadership roles and oppor...tunities that they have. As school council members and 'classroom helpers', pupils learn the importance of making a positive contribution to society.

Pupils know the high expectations that staff have for them. They rise to these in their behaviour and work. Pupils' behaviour is exceptional, and the school environment is often calm and purposeful.

Breaktimes are joyous times, and pupils play very well together. On the rare occasions when pupils find it hard to regulate their emotions, staff support pupils with sensitivity. Staff are highly expert in the help they provide for pupils to have positive interactions.

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

Leaders have focused on developments in the curriculum since the previous inspection. In many subjects, they have set out ambitious learning outcomes that span from Reception to Year 6. In these subjects, leaders have carefully sequenced what pupils will learn and when.

As a result, in these areas of the curriculum, pupils learn well and build on knowledge over time.

Leaders are still thinking through improvements to some foundation subjects. In these subjects, leaders have not yet confirmed the knowledge and skills they want pupils to learn through their time at the school.

This means that in a small number of subjects, pupils do not build on knowledge over time as well as they could. Leaders are aware of this and have plans in place to complete their work on the curriculum.

The curriculum in Reception is fully considered and embedded.

It provides an excellent starting point for children. Leaders recognise the wide range of needs of children. They have precisely mapped out an ambitious and engaging curriculum to build children's knowledge in all areas of learning.

Teachers make detailed adaptations to support those children with the most complex learning needs. They also make adaptations to deepen knowledge for children who will be able to meet their early learning goals. Due to this, children in Reception are exceptionally well prepared to move into Year 1.

Across the school, teachers have effective subject knowledge and plan engaging learning activities. All staff have secure knowledge of pupils' special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teachers lead meetings well to review pupils' education, health and care plans.

They work effectively with parents to set and monitor precise interim targets for pupils each term.

Since the previous inspection, leaders have begun their work to embed phonics as the main approach to teaching pupils to read. They have put in place a sequenced commercial scheme and most staff have been well trained to support pupils with their reading.

However, leaders have not yet finished their work on embedding phonics. This means that some staff are not as well trained as others to support pupils to read. In addition, leaders have not yet matched all decodable books to the sounds that pupils learn.

This means pupils are not able to secure knowledge of sounds and develop fluency in reading as well as they could.

Leaders' work on pupils' personal development is exceptional. This starts in Reception, where staff plan targeted activities to teach pupils routines and rules.

Through personal, social, health and economic education lessons, pupils learn about difference. When pupils talk about each other's differences they are clear that everyone should be treated with respect and kindness. Leaders have a sharp focus on the mental health and well-being needs of pupils and their families.

The home– school link team provides high-quality guidance and care for families. The team's expert work, whether through parenting programmes, SEND workshops or individualised support, has made a considerable impact on the lives of pupils and their families.

Leaders have not yet fully addressed some of the areas for improvement identified in the last inspection, especially for the expert teaching of early reading.

However, they have taken effective action to improve some other areas of the curriculum. Staff are proud to work at this school and are inspired by the vision of leaders and governors. Governors know the school well and provide useful challenge and support for leaders.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Pupils' safety is paramount. Leaders make rigorous checks on those working in the school.

Staff are well trained to spot when a pupil or their family needs help. When they have concerns, they raise these quickly and precisely.

Designated safeguarding leads keep detailed records that show the rapid and robust actions they take to keep families safe.

They are tenacious in their work with external agencies to ensure families and pupils have the right support. Leaders also use the school's well-trained home–school link team to support families.

At school, pupils learn how to keep themselves safe online and in the community.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders have not yet completed their work to embed phonics as the primary way of teaching pupils to read. This means that pupils are not securing knowledge of sounds or developing fluency in reading as well as they could. Leaders should ensure all staff have the knowledge to support pupils with their reading and that the books used to help pupils learn to read are closely matched to the sounds they are learning.

• Leaders are still making refinements to the curriculum in some non-core subjects. This means that pupils are not learning as well as they could across the entire curriculum. Leaders should ensure that for all subjects taught, there is a progression of knowledge sequenced towards ambitious end points and that these are shared with staff.

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