St Elizabeth’s School

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About St Elizabeth’s School

Name St Elizabeth’s School
Ofsted Inspections
Head of School Mrs Lisa Tooley
Address South End, Much Hadham, SG10 6EW
Phone Number 01279844270
Phase Special
Type Non-maintained special school
Age Range 5-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 37
Local Authority Hertfordshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection


St Elizabeth's School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils receive supportive care and attention at St Elizabeth's School. They arrive each morning eager to start their learning.

Staff welcome pupils warmly. They understand what every pupil needs to help them settle quickly. Positive, trusting relationships flow through the school.

This helps to ensure that pupils feel safe and happy during their time at school.

Staff understand the different ways pupils communicate their needs. Adults respond effectively to any occasions when pupils become dysregulated.

They show kindness and sensitivity to help pupils to manage th...eir emotions. Clear routines support a calm and orderly learning environment.

All staff have high expectations and place no limits on what pupils can achieve.

They encourage pupils to be active in their learning to help build pupils' confidence and independence. Success is celebrated so that pupils know when they have done well.

Pupils enjoy the wider opportunities presented by the school's location.

They grow and cook food from the allotments and collect eggs laid by the chickens. The orchard in the grounds provides opportunities for pupils to pick and sell the apples.

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

The school has designed a new curriculum.

It is well sequenced and matched effectively to meet the needs of pupils who have profound and multiple difficulties. The curriculum outlines clear pathways, personalised accurately to pupils' needs. Pupils have individual learning plans that map out their targets.

The school makes use of pupils' education, health and care (EHC) plans to tailor a curriculum to support pupils' academic and personal achievement. Pupils benefit from the on-site support from health professionals, therapists and specialist support workers. Their work is seamlessly integrated into pupils' timetables.

The 'pathways' approach is a recent introduction. The school has not carried out an in-depth evaluation of the impact of its new approaches. There is not a clear enough understanding of the refinements that now need to be made to the school's curriculum plans.

This is to ensure that all pupils make the strongest progress they are capable of.

Staff skilfully plan activities to build pupils' understanding in small steps. They find imaginative ways to revisit key knowledge to help pupils remember what they have learned.

Regular assessment informs adults how to adapt work to help pupils progress with their learning.

A broad range of strategies support the different ways pupils learn how to communicate. Many pupils are non-verbal.

Staff are well trained to recognise pupils' requests and wishes. This means pupils have a voice and take an active role in their learning.

At the earliest opportunity, pupils learn to read.

They look forward to visiting the 'reading garden' where they have their lessons. Early reading is well taught using the school's chosen phonics scheme. Pupils enjoy selecting their favourite books and hearing stories read by adults.

Preparing pupils for their future lives is a thread running through all the pathways. Meaningful activities encourage pupils to use their knowledge in practical contexts, for example working in the 'handy candy' shop. This helps to develop their social skills.

Older pupils receive clear guidance about roles they may carry out in the community. They are well supported in making future choices about their next steps beyond school.

Carefully planned experiences support pupils' wider development.

An active school council teaches pupils about teamwork and collaboration. Pupils also contribute positively during class and whole-school assemblies. They enjoy visits to wildlife parks, places of worship and different sporting events.

Behaviour is well managed at the school. Pupils learn to respect one another. Whether in classrooms, eating in the canteen or outdoors in the 'park', pupils enjoy friendly relationships with their peers and adults.

Staff are very positive about their experiences of working at the school. There is a strong team ethic where staff support one another. They always feel well prepared when leaders introduce new initiatives.

This helps staff to manage their workload and supports their well-being.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• Leaders have not fully evaluated the impact of their new curriculum.

This means that they are not confident about how well these approaches are working. Leaders should ensure that they check and evaluate the effectiveness of the whole curriculum, identifying any changes that need to be made so that all pupils make the strongest progress.


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 an ungraded inspection, and it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on an ungraded inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a graded inspection, which is carried out under section 5 of the Act.

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

This is the second ungraded inspection since we judged the school to be good in September 2014.

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