Thames Valley School

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About Thames Valley School

Name Thames Valley School
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Gemma Buley
Address 2 Conwy Close, Tilehurst, Reading, RG30 4BZ
Phone Number 01189424750
Phase Academy (special)
Type Free schools special
Age Range 4-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 53
Local Authority Reading
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils are happy and motivated learners in this inclusive school.

They are well known and supported by the staff here. They are clear about the adults they would go to if they had any concerns and know adults will get help if they need it. This means that pupils feel safe and have the support that helps them to learn.

Pupils benefit from the high expectations that staff have for how well they will achieve. Due to this, pupils work hard and strive to achieve their best, which they do.

This is a calm school community where pupils treat each other, and adults in the school, with respect.

Pupils play and interact very well together during breaks and lunc...htimes. Pupils' conduct is kind and courteous through the school. This means that social times are consistently positive and purposeful environments.

During which, it is clear to see how warm and trusting the relationships are between pupils and staff. Sometimes, as a result of their special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), a pupil may find their emotions difficult to manage. When this happens, adults in school skilfully support pupils to use effective strategies that help them to self-regulate.

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

The school is highly ambitious for what pupils will achieve. The curriculum is broad and mostly well sequenced. A small number of foundation subjects do not yet fully match the ambition of the school.

They have not been mapped out with the specific knowledge that pupils will learn in the same detail as the rest of the curriculum. However, where the curriculum is well established, pupils are achieving very well. Key stage 4 pathways are extremely well designed and matched to pupils' needs.

They provide pupils with a range of options that will enable them to pursue their goals.

Most teachers have secure knowledge to plan well matched and effective lesson activities to help pupils learn. Pupils have their specific SEND met well by the expert therapeutic team.

Additionally, effective learning support ensures that gaps in knowledge are found and filled. This includes spotting when pupils need help with their reading. Assessments are used well to spot any specific reading needs which pupils have.

A personalised package of support is then put in place to help pupils become fluent and enthusiastic readers.

Pupils' behaviour is exemplary. Classrooms are focused environments where pupils are enthusiastic to learn.

Adults set high expectations for how pupils will behave, and pupils consistently meet these. The school methodically monitors pupils' behaviour and attendance. From this, they put in place highly effective support to pupils and families.

This ensures high attendance and calm and respectful behaviour.

Pupils' personal development underpins everything in this school. The school has crafted bespoke personal development programmes, specifically linked to pupils' SEND.

These ensure that pupils will learn the personal and life skills required to be ready for life beyond school. Pupils are inclusive and have strong awareness of difference, including different cultures. Immersive religious education days help them to learn about the practices of various religions.

Pupils, from primary age onwards, learn about the world of work and careers. The careers programme for the school is currently in development. Pupils now have exposure to further education providers and employers.

As such, they learn about the various options available to them, post-16 and beyond. However, the school's work experience programme is not yet providing opportunities for pupils to develop valuable employability skills. The school is aware, and has plans to improve this.

Staff love to work at this school. They are motivated by school leaders but also by the vision of the trust. They are respected and valued members of the school community and actively play a role in shaping the future of the school.

The school recognises the crucial role parents play. They continue to develop their approach to engage pupils, so they feel fully involved in the school community.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• There are changes to a small number of foundation subjects which are not yet embedded across the school. This means that pupils are not learning as well as they could across the entire curriculum. The school should ensure that all staff have the subject and pedagogical knowledge they need in all curriculum areas to ensure that pupils can build coherent knowledge effectively over time.

• The school is still refining the approach to careers education. Currently, pupils do not yet develop employability skills as well as they could. The school should now consider how it can create meaningful work experience opportunities, so that pupils are able to build these vital skills over time and be as ready as possible for life beyond school.

Also at this postcode
The Avenue Special School

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