The Mark Way School

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About The Mark Way School

Name The Mark Way School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Sonia Longstaff-Bishop
Address Batchelors Barn Road, Andover, SP10 1HR
Phone Number 01264351835
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 93
Local Authority Hampshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils at the Mark Way School are exceptionally well prepared for their future lives.

They have consistently positive attitudes towards their schoolwork. They are rightly proud of their achievements. Pupils strive to achieve their personal goals.

The school 'virtues', communication, responsibility, tolerance, respect, resilience, independence, courage and organisation, are an intrinsic part of everything pupils do. As a result, pupils flourish. They successfully develop their independence and resilience.

They go on to further education as respectful, responsible young adults with a range of useful qualifications.

All staff hold the highest expectatio...ns for what pupils can achieve. The 'Mark Way challenge' encourages pupils to aim high in life.

Caring staff successfully teach pupils the knowledge and skills needed to reach those heights.

Pupils' personal development is at the heart of all the school does. Highly skilled staff care deeply about pupils' well-being.

They support pupils extremely well to manage difficult situations successfully. As a result, pupils feel safe and secure. Leaders ensure that pupils continually practise and develop effective communication skills.

Consequently, pupils get along particularly well together. The atmosphere in school is calm, friendly and studious. Pupils know that if bullying does occasionally happen, it is never tolerated.

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

Pupils thrive during their time at the Mark Way School. They leave with a range of useful accreditations. The daily focus on functional English and mathematics skills ensures that pupils are ready to tackle real-life situations as independently as possible.

There are no restrictions on what pupils can study for GCSE. Leaders make every effort to support pupils in studying specific subjects at local mainstream schools if necessary. Pupils' accreditations allow them to successfully complete relevant courses at college.

Leaders make sure that pupils and their families are expertly supported throughout the transition to college.

Leaders ensure that pupils' learning is exceptionally well planned and organised. Teachers in all subjects have carefully sequenced learning into smaller, achievable steps called 'learning pathways'.

Teachers have expert subject knowledge. Their deep understanding of how each individual pupil learns is impressive. Teachers ensure that all pupils can understand and access their learning fully.

They do this through readily available, supportive resources. For example, pupils who have difficulty ordering tasks can choose to use a 'to do list'. Pupils fully appreciate how much these strategies help them to learn and become independent.

Pupils benefit hugely from the vast array of therapies and personalised support they receive. Teachers carefully monitor pupils' progress towards their individual education plan (IEP) targets, updating targets as required. This ensures that pupils achieve their education, health and care plan (EHC plan) end points.

Teachers also effectively monitor elements of pupils' personal development and behaviour, using an impressive school 'database'. Consequently, provision is well planned, and pupils achieve remarkably well.

Leaders have ensured that school systems are quick and easy to use while demonstrating the maximum positive impact on pupils' learning.

Staff fully appreciate this.

Pupils' personal development is exceptionally well catered for. Pupils relish the wealth of interesting activities which develop their understanding of the world and their place within it.

A multitude of educational visits inspire awe and wonder in pupils. Pupils benefit from these visits, which allow them to develop socially and overcome personal fears. Pupils told us excitedly about their choir performance in the Royal Albert Hall, for example, and could easily recall how other specific experiences had helped them build their confidence.

Pupils also benefit hugely from activities which successfully promote cultural development. For example, topical debates which effectively, and crucially, develop their communication skills.

Staff are overwhelmingly positive about all aspects of the school.

They feel particularly well supported by leaders. They truly appreciate the way everyone works together as a team. The Mark Way School is a happy, friendly place to work as well as in which to learn.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders ensure that safeguarding systems and processes are extremely robust. Staff training is relevant, useful and up to date.

As a result, attentive, well-informed staff keep pupils safe. Leaders act swiftly and decisively when any decisions need to be made. If outside agencies are involved with a pupil, leaders ensure that communication is strong, and knowledge is shared effectively between everyone involved.

The family support worker is a real strength of the school. They ensure that all staff know and understand pupils and their families particularly well. As a result, pupils and their families receive excellent early help and support when needed.

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