St Nicholas School

Name St Nicholas School
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Address Reedham Drive, Purley, CR8 4DS
Phone Number 02086604861
Type Special
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 174 (75.3% boys 24.7% girls)
Local Authority Croydon
Percentage Free School Meals 31%
Percentage English is Not First Language 30.5%
Persisitent Absence 26.4%
Pupils with SEN Support 0.6%
Catchment Area Indicator Available No
Last Distance Offered Available No
Highlights from Latest Full Inspection (21 May 2014)
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Information about this school

St Nicholas is a larger than average special school, in which a large majority of pupils are boys. There are just a few children in the Early Years Foundation Stage. A tiny proportion of pupils are children who are looked after by the local authority. Predominantly, the school caters for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, speech and communication difficulties and autism. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs. Two of the three senior leaders, including the headteacher, have been appointed to their current post since 2012. The school receives additional government funding, pupil premium, for nearly half of its pupils, which is high compared with the national average. This is additional funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and or who are looked after by the local authority. Pupils come from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, with White British being the predominant group. A small number of pupils speak English as an additional language. All pupils have regular opportunities to work with pupils from Beaumont Primary School, which is next door to St Nicholas. There has been a high turnover of staff since 2012. Almost half of the class teachers have joined the school since then. The school provides an outreach service to local primary schools.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school. Teaching is good, and so pupils learn well across the school. Pupils make good progress and achieve well. Those who are eligible for additional government funding perform as well as other pupils. The provision for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage is good. Good teaching ensures that children make good progress in their learning, in the development of their social skills and in their ability to communicate effectively. Leadership and management are good. The relatively new senior leadership team has worked effectively with the staff, especially those new to the school, to maintain good provision. The curriculum meets the needs of all pupils. A programme of visits and school clubs do much to broaden pupils’ learning. Pupils’ attitudes are outstanding, as is their behaviour. Attendance is high. Pupils make excellent progress in their personal development. Pupils are well looked after and cared for. Their knowledge of how to keep themselves safe is outstanding. Parents and carers are pleased with the school and happy that their children are safe, enjoy school and are making good progress. All staff share the leaders’ enthusiasm and high expectations of what pupils can achieve. Very good relationships between pupils and adults and between the pupils themselves are evident throughout the school. Strong links with the adjacent primary school provide very good opportunities for all pupils to interact with mainstream pupils. It is not yet an outstanding school because : The proportion of outstanding teaching is not high enough to ensure all pupils make maximum progress. Pupils do not make outstanding progress in their communication skills, including reading and writing. Leaders do not make best use of assessment information to compare pupils’ achievement with those of the same age and starting points in other schools. The presentation of pupils’ progress data does not give staff or governors a clear enough picture of how well pupils are doing as they move through the school.