Sunnydown School

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About Sunnydown School

Name Sunnydown School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr P Jensen
Address Portley House, 152 Whyteleafe Road, Caterham, CR3 5ED
Phone Number 01883342281
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Boys
Number of Pupils 87
Local Authority Surrey
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive in this inspirational and transformative school. They value the high ambitions that leaders have for them. Pupils flourish due to the high-quality guidance and support staff give them.

Consequently, they are enthusiastic and focused learners. They have high aspirations for themselves and continually strive to do their best.

Pupils have excellent relationships with adults and each other in the school.

They trust them and know that staff want the best for them. As a result, pupils eagerly take advantage of the superb range of learning and wider opportunities on offer. Whether through school landscaping projects, looking after the wallabies, or volunteering activities, pupils make highly valuable contributions to their school and local community.

Pupils know the importance of helping others. In addition to acting as peer mentors, older pupils lead assemblies to motivate and inspire others to do their best. They act as role models by behaving consistently well.

A sense of calm pervades the school. Pupils show respectful and considerate conduct both inside and outside of the classroom. They learn to be leaders, not only in a community, but also of themselves.

They independently manage themselves and communicate well, so they are ready for the next stages in their lives.

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

Leaders show an absolute commitment to providing the best educational experience for pupils. They have created an inventive and ambitious curriculum, which sets out clearly what pupils will learn and when.

Leaders have expertly balanced both the academic and personal learning for pupils. This means that pupils leave the school with the knowledge and skills they need to be ready for the next stage of their education. Teachers are highly skilled at planning lessons, helping pupils build knowledge over time.

They are expert teachers for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and securely know how to support pupils to achieve their best.

Teachers and leaders regularly and precisely check how well pupils are learning. They use information from assessments to spot when a pupil may be falling behind.

Teachers fine tune their planning and provide pupils with extra activities, which helps them to close gaps in their knowledge. As a result, pupils progress through the curriculum exceptionally well. External outcomes are very positive, and pupils successfully study a range of qualifications.

While most pupils are fluent readers, there are some pupils who arrive at the school with gaps in their reading knowledge. Expert phonics teachers use the school's chosen scheme and skilfully help pupils to be able to read. Due to the celebration of books and stories around the school, pupils love to read widely and often.

Staff actively encourage pupils to read a range of books that build their understanding of difference. This is part of a whole-school approach to prepare pupils well for life in modern Britain.

Pupils' personal development is at the heart of this school.

Pupils securely learn about careers from Year 7 onwards. They receive high-quality, independent advice and guidance to help them plan their career pathways. Leaders recognise that developing pupils' social, communication and interaction skills is paramount to their future success.

The communication and interaction curriculum is expertly planned. In these lessons, pupils learn how to articulate their views and opinions clearly, as well as to respect those of others.

Leaders have carefully planned a rich set of wider opportunities for pupils.

These are part of the innovative 'Friday curriculum'. Leaders have thought about the life and vocational experiences pupils need and have sequenced them across each year group. In key stage 4, pupils have a range of enrichment options they can choose.

This includes a programme of activities at a local college. In addition to providing pupils with the opportunity to learn vocational skills such as construction or motor vehicle maintenance, this experience also supports pupils with their transition to further education.

Governors provide impactful support and challenge to make sure leadership is effective.

Leaders do not stand still. They have a strong moral purpose and demonstrate a constant drive to improve to ensure the provision best meets the needs of all pupils. Leaders' vision motivates and inspires staff, who are proud to work at this school and appreciate how much leaders value them.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that safeguarding is a high priority in the school. They make appropriate checks on adults who work at the school.

Staff are well trained and have secure knowledge of safeguarding. This means they quickly spot when a pupil or their family may need help. Leaders respond to concerns tenaciously and keep robust and detailed records.

Leaders work very well with external agencies, ensuring pupils and their families get the right support, at the right time. They are aware of the risks that pupils may face. Pupils learn how to keep themselves safe, both online and in the community.

Also at this postcode
Audley Primary School St Francis Catholic Primary School Just Like Home Breakfast and After-School Clubs Whizz Kids Holiday Club

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