The Cedar School

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About The Cedar School

Name The Cedar School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Neil Revell
Address Redbridge Lane, Nursling, Southampton, SO16 0XN
Phone Number 02380734205
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 3-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 92
Local Authority Southampton
Highlights from Latest Inspection


The Cedar School continues to be a good school.

What is it like to attend this school?

This is a very happy and positive school community. Both adults and pupils enjoy being here, and their smiles and upbeat attitudes convey this clearly.

Because staff get to know the pupils so well, relationships are strong, and everyone feels safe and secure. There is a strong shared commitment to making sure pupils achieve everything they are capable of. This sense of aspiration, combined with a caring approach, means pupils develop high levels of confidence.

Pupils of all ages proactively invite visitors to join in with their learning. The youngest children warmly invite everyone to in with their song time, and older pupils eagerly share their learning about 'Romeo and Juliet'.

All pupils behave exceptionally well.

They are active participants in their learning. This is because of the well-established routines and expectations, which are consistently followed by everyone. Pupils are polite to each other and to adults.

External professionals, from health and therapy services, are regularly involved in classroom activities. They also share the same high expectations of the pupils they support. They work closely and effectively with school staff to deliver personalised care.

Staff are focused on promoting independence at every opportunity, and pupils' opinions and preferences are listened to and acted upon.

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

The school's curriculum is organised to meet the diverse range of needs of the pupils in the school. The learning provided includes age-appropriate, interesting and motivating experiences from which pupils successfully learn about the world around them.

Pupils follow one of two curriculum pathways: 'Formal/Semi Formal' or 'Sensory/Pre-Formal'. Within the curriculum, pupils have individual learning targets, which are based on their education, health and care (EHC) plans outcomes. In lessons, these outcomes are broken down into smaller steps to ensure that pupils make progress towards meeting them.

The school is currently implementing a new assessment system. Once this is fully embedded, leaders and staff expect to gain an improved overview of the progress pupils are making and where the curriculum on offer needs further refinement.The holistic needs of every pupil are prioritised.

To meet these with minimal disruption to class-based curriculum lessons, the school has introduced a 'Targeted Support Team'. These specialist support assistants focus their expertise on planning and delivering personal care to pupils across the school. Pupils are encouraged to communicate their preferences, and to develop their voice and agency in their personal care routines.

Meanwhile, classroom staff continue to seamlessly deliver the individualised teaching and learning. This results in the integration of care, health and therapy into the curriculum. Every activity is creatively turned into a personalised learning opportunity.

For the pupils who will rely on care support in their future, this forms a vital part of their learning and prepares them well for their future.

Teachers help pupils to enjoy reading. In the early years class, children are surrounded by rhymes, stories and songs.

They develop their communication by, for example, learning Makaton or by recognising symbols. As appropriate, pupils learn to read through phonics, and this helps them to become independent and confident readers. The school has identified the texts which are important for pupils to read as they go through the school.

Staff carefully adapt these, so that all pupils can access them. For example, the welcoming library in the heart of the school contains symbol supported versions of 'Animal Farm' and Shakespeare plays and a collection of sensory and massage stories. This helps everyone to enjoy storytelling.

A unique feature of this school is the extensive range of lunchtime clubs available. All pupils attend at least one a week, if not more. These activities broaden pupils' experiences of the world, with many expressing their enjoyment of newspaper club, choir, or story club.

Connections with local community groups means that there is also a wealth of sporting activities for pupils to enjoy. Older pupils gain appropriate accreditations which show what they have achieved in their time at Cedar. They are well supported to develop their understanding about the world of work.

The school has plans to broaden the range of available work experience in the community to prepare pupils even better for future employment.

Governors and leaders have a shared moral purpose to ensure the pupils have the very best education. They support the staff team to pursue a broad range of professional development opportunities.

This is how leaders ensure that staff are well equipped to meet the diverse and evolving needs of the pupils and results in a culture of collaboration and teamwork, where staff feel valued.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The school has recently implemented a new assessment system.

They are in the process of transferring from the previous system to use this across all subjects for both curriculum pathways. The school should continue the work to fully implement this system to ensure there is a clear overview of the progress pupils are making through the planned curriculum. ? There are currently not as many opportunities for pupils to access work experience placements in the wider community as leaders intend.

This means some pupils could be better prepared for future employment. The school should continue to broaden the range of settings that pupils can visit to experience the world of work.


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 June 2014.

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