The Cavendish School

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About The Cavendish School

Name The Cavendish School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Stephanie Smith
Address Park Drive, Impington, CB24 9LY
Phone Number 01223200421
Phase Academy (special)
Type Free schools special
Age Range 7-18
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 81
Local Authority Cambridgeshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils flourish at this school, fulfilling the school motto of 'enabling the self'. Many pupils have had a significant amount of disrupted education before joining.

It is often the first positive school experience that pupils have. From the outset, pupils benefit from the relentless determination that staff have for them to succeed. Pupils' individual needs and interests are precisely understood.

Everyone is accepted for who they are. Pupils respond positively to this. As a result, they re-engage with learning exceptionally well.

With great care and expertise, pupils are supported to integrate successfully into school life and routines. Pupils return to atten...ding school regularly. They make significant academic and social progress within a short period of time.

Pupils are motivated to take GCSEs and are optimistic about their future careers.

Pupils receive high-quality support to manage their feelings and emotions. They value how well adults understand them.

This reduces anxiety. The school is calm. Pupils work and play cooperatively due to clear expectations and well-adapted provision.

Pupils enjoy competitive games. There is a successful football team. Pupils enjoy cooking, enrichment afternoons, reward trips and visiting the local community.

Young entrepreneurs are encouraged. Pupils access role models who represent what neurodiverse individuals can accomplish.

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

Pupils succeed at this school due to an aspirational curriculum that enables their academic and personal development.

The school places no ceiling on what pupils can achieve. The key knowledge and social skills pupils need to succeed are carefully and clearly woven through each year group and subject. Teachers know exactly what pupils need at each stage of their learning.

Leaders are very knowledgeable and support colleagues expertly to deliver the curriculum as intended.

The school accurately identifies pupils' strengths, as well as gaps in knowledge. These careful checks mean that pupils are placed in classes that best match their needs.

As a result, pupils build swiftly on what they already know, while also having gaps in learning addressed quickly. Pupils' specific education, health and care plan (EHC plan) targets are incorporated into their daily, personalised timetable, along with therapeutic support from an in-house team. This holistic approach means pupils keep up and catch up well.

Pupils like reading. The school ensures all pupils can read confidently and fluently. It provides rapid and precise support for pupils who have fallen behind.

It ensures that all pupils access high-quality texts to support their writing as well. Many pupils overcome their reluctance to write.

Pupils are very successfully supported to re-engage with learning quickly and sustainably.

Through individualised and creative approaches, the school works tirelessly to ensure that pupils go from being non-attenders in previous settings to having high attendance here.

As a result of direct teaching of emotional regulation strategies, and well-timed preventative measures, the school is an orderly place. For pupils who need extra support to manage their feelings, the school responds to this swiftly and appropriately.

Pupils react positively to the consistent and fair way staff manage behaviour in the school. Pupils can share their worries verbally or via email, which they do.

The personal development programme at this school is exceptional.

It successfully supports pupils to achieve their specific social targets through planned opportunities to rehearse these throughout the school day, in a range of situations. Staff ensure pupils gain a firm understanding of social concepts that they may find harder to grasp, such as stereotypes, recognising social cues, use of appropriate language and relationships and sex education. Pupils receive excellent careers advice and opportunities to develop life skills, including applying for 'mini-jobs' in school.

Pupils understand democracy through voting on key aspects of school life. They are being well prepared for adult life in modern Britain.

Governors and trustees use their expertise to hold leaders to account effectively.

They know this school well. Leaders are supported and challenged in equal measure. Leaders check on staff's well-being regularly.

Staff appreciate this and know that their workload is considered. A large majority of parents are also very positive about the school.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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