Spa School Camberwell

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About Spa School Camberwell

Name Spa School Camberwell
Ofsted Inspections
Miss Erin McCarthy
Address 150 Southampton Way, London, SE5 7EW
Phone Number 02034345210
Phase Academy (special)
Type Free schools special
Age Range 4-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 76
Local Authority Southwark
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils enjoy coming to this school. Everyone works together to make sure that pupils are happy, safe and getting ready for their future.

The school environment is carefully planned to meet pupils' needs. There is a consistent and well-organised approach to classroom set-up and the school day. This helps pupils to concentrate on their lessons and make progress through the curriculum.

Pupils' behaviour is excellent. When pupils do need help to manage their feelings, this is done in a calm and consistent way.

Pupils like their lessons and the teachers and other adults that help them.

They say that bullying is not a problem at the school and that they kn...ow who they can talk to if they have any worries. Leaders are quick to follow up any incidents of unkind behaviour.

All pupils who attend the school need extra help and support to develop their communication and interaction skills.

The curriculum helps them develop these important areas, as well as promoting their academic achievement. Overall, the curriculum is well designed to help pupils learn.

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

Leaders have ensured that there is an ambitious curriculum which focuses on developing pupils' social and communication needs as well as their progress in academic subjects.

Pupils revisit key information to help this stick in their long-term memory. Teachers check carefully what pupils know and remember.

Many pupils at the school are still learning to decode text.

Leaders have made sure that an appropriate, structured programme is in place to help them read fluently as quickly as possible. Staff have received training in phonics. Teachers check that pupils are making progress in reading and give them extra support if they need it.

Leaders have made sure that reading is a priority in the school. Each class has a selection of high-quality books, which pupils take care of and enjoy reading. Pupils spend time in the school library and visit local libraries in the community.

In some subjects, such as mathematics, the curriculum is particularly well thought out and implemented. In these subjects, teachers help pupils to build up their knowledge step by step. In some other subjects, the curriculum is not planned as effectively.

When this happens, the curriculum does not show the ambition seen in stronger subjects. Leaders already have clear plans to address this so that pupils can access the whole curriculum with confidence.

Leaders have established clear and positive values and expectations which permeate the school.

Staff are very positive about working at the school. They say that leaders are careful to make sure that their workload is manageable. They appreciate the training that they receive and they feel valued.

The behaviour of pupils is exemplary. At times, pupils need help to regulate their behaviour. Staff support pupils to become calm again as soon as possible, so that they can return to learning.

Staff know their pupils very well and relationships are warm and positive.

Leaders provide a wide range of trips, visits and other activities which support pupils' personal development. For example, pupils learn how to travel with increasing independence.

They go shopping in the local community and participate in sports and leisure acitivities. The personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum covers a wide range of important topics, including tolerance and respect for other people, healthy relationships and physical and mental health. Pupils learn about different jobs and careers.

They also learn important knowledge and skills that will help keep them safe, such as internet safety and how to behave in public settings.

Governors and trustees have a wide range of relevant skills. At present, those responsible for governance are too reliant on information they receive from leaders.

It is not always clear how governors and trustees organise oversight of the school's work between them.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

All staff at the school have received up-to-date safeguarding training.

They know what to do if they have any concerns about a pupil. Pupils at the school are more vulnerable because of their special educational needs and/or disabilities, and school staff understand this clearly.

Leaders responsible for safeguarding keep meticulous records of any concerns.

They work very well with external agencies if pupils need extra help from outside the school.

The procedures to check that staff are suitable to work at the school are strong. Policies and procedures take account of current guidance and reflect the needs of the pupils.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In some subjects, the curriculum is not planned as effectively as it is elsewhere. This means that pupils do not reach their potential in every subject. Leaders should ensure that in every subject curriculum thinking sets out clearly the essential content they want pupils to learn and in what order.

• It is not clear where the respective responsibilities of the governing body and the trustees lie. Furthermore, governors and trustees are over-reliant on school leaders for information about how well the school is doing. Trustees and governors should clarify their responsibilities and strengthen their systems for holding school leaders to account for their work.

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