The Chalet School

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About The Chalet School

Name The Chalet School
Ofsted Inspections
Mrs Claire Morris
Address Liden Drive, Liden, Swindon, SN3 6EX
Phone Number 01793534537
Phase Academy (special)
Type Academy special sponsor led
Age Range 3-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 72
Local Authority Swindon
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils who attend The Chalet School enjoy a caring, nurturing ethos. Staff form strong bonds with pupils and go out of their way to ensure that pupils are happy and have a positive time while at school. Pupils say they feel safe at school.

They know who they can talk to if they need help with any friendship issues. Many parents and carers agree, saying that the school cares for their children and supports families well.

Pupils particularly enjoy their play and social times outside.

The space is stimulating both for physical play and for exploring the natural world. The woodland and garden areas are newly developing outside learning spaces. These areas really ...add to pupils' overall experiences.

Recent improvements to how well pupils learn phonics are starting to support pupils to learn to read. However, the overall quality of education at the school is not yet good. Leaders are working to improve the curriculum so that it is relevant for pupils and planned in a logical way.

However, many subjects are still at an early stage of development. In addition, there are inconsistencies in the expectations of what pupils can achieve. Therefore, some pupils do not make the progress they could.

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

Despite leaders' best efforts, the school continues to experience an extended period of staff turbulence. There are significant challenges in retaining and recruiting staff. Trust leaders recognise the impact of these staffing issues and have organised additional leadership support.

Leaders, including those in the trust and the local governing body, have an accurate understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in the school. An appropriate action plan aims to remedy the issues that exist. Leaders work to reduce the impact of staff changes on pupils' day-to-day experiences, but this reduces their capacity to work on some of the school's weaknesses.

Consequently, the curriculum across several subjects is not well-developed. Some subjects have an outline of the important knowledge that pupils will learn, but do not have the detail or teaching resources needed.

Most pupils in the school need extra support to learn to read, and reading is rightly prioritised.

There are high-quality fiction and non-fiction books available for pupils across the school. The literacy leader has successfully overseen a new phonics programme. Staff receive phonics training and appropriate feedback.

However, other areas of the school's work do not receive such successful scrutiny. The mathematics curriculum sets out the learning for each year group. However, there are a variety of approaches in the implementation of mathematics.

At times, expectations of what pupils can achieve are too low. Consequently, pupils repeat methods they have already grasped. This slows their progress.

The inconsistencies in approaches are also seen in the expectations for behaviour. Some pupils experience clear routines from the team of adults supporting them. Pupils respond well to this.

Elsewhere, expectations are not as reliable. At times, pupils are not supported well to develop their resilience and to work towards becoming independent learners. Some pupils are over-reliant on adult support.

This can result in pupils becoming less interested and engaged in their learning when the adult support is not available. This does not prepare pupils well for their futures.

Leaders gather information about behaviour incidents, including when staff need to intervene to support pupils with their behaviour.

However, too little is done to spot patterns of incidents across the school. As a result, opportunities to improve behaviour for some pupils can be missed.

A new assessment system has recently been introduced.

It aims to support staff to be able to identify the small steps of progress that pupils make as they learn the curriculum. However, pupils' individual learning needs are not clearly identified, planned or reviewed. This lack of clarity can slow the progress that pupils make towards their desired outcomes.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Trust leaders and governors understand their safeguarding responsibilities. The trust provides regular safeguarding audits to check that processes remain secure.

Recruitment processes are robust.

Staff have a strong understanding of how to keep children safe. They are vigilant to notice and report signs of abuse or concerns about pupils' well-being.

Designated safeguarding leaders know pupils and their families well. They ensure that a range of agencies are called on to support any child when needed. However, leaders need to ensure that they are clearer about the thresholds for contacting social services when there are concerns raised.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The curriculum in some subjects lacks detail about how learning builds over time. This means that leaders cannot be sure that pupils will learn and remember agreed important knowledge. Leaders need to ensure that the curriculum for all subjects is well-sequenced and includes sufficient detail to support teachers to plan learning in an organised way.

• Some areas of the curriculum are not implemented well enough. In mathematics, some staff do not have the knowledge they need to ensure that pupils move on to new learning when ready. This means that, at times, pupils do not make the progress they could.

Leaders must ensure that the agreed curriculum is implemented well across the school. ? There is a lack of consistency to the setting of routines and expectations for behaviour. Pupils experience a mix of approaches.

Where expectations are lower and there is a lack of clear routines, pupils do not engage in learning as well as they could and therefore do not make the progress they should. Leaders must ensure that there is a robust system to check that behaviour is managed consistently and effectively across the school. ? The system to identify pupils' next steps for learning is not clear.

This means that staff do not have the guidance they need to adapt the curriculum to meet pupils' exact needs. This can lead to pupils losing interest in learning tasks and not moving forward as they could towards their desired outcomes. Leaders need to ensure that pupils' precise next steps in learning are identified and reviewed effectively.

• There are inconsistencies in how well staff support pupils to be as independent as they can. This weakens how well the school helps pupils to develop their characters and to grow in confidence and resilience. Leaders need to ensure that staff use an agreed approach to developing pupils' independence so that pupils are prepared well for their futures.

Also at this postcode
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