The Old Park School

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About The Old Park School


Name The Old Park School
Website http://www.oldpark.org
Inspections
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Bradley Jones
Address Thorns Road, Brierley Hill, DY5 2JY
Phone Number 01384818905
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 153
Local Authority Dudley
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Outcome

There has been no change to this school's overall judgement of outstanding as a result of this ungraded (section 8) inspection. However, the evidence gathered suggests that the inspection grade might not be as high if a graded (section 5) inspection were carried out now. The school's next inspection will be a graded inspection.

What is it like to attend this school?

The Old Park School is a nurturing place where pupils feel safe and happy. Pupils learn about a wide range of topics and subjects and enjoy coming to school. They benefit from resources such as the swimming pool and soft play to support their personal development.

The school makes sure that pupils are involved in activi...ties in their local community. For example, this year a group of pupils performed at a symphony hall to a large audience. This reflects the school's determination to see pupils succeed.

Pupils feel safe. Communication aids give pupils a voice to express their feelings and worries. In personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education pupils learn about online safety, keeping themselves safe and bullying.

Pupils know what to do and who to tell if they have a concern. Pupils report that adults respond well to concerns.

In lessons, most pupils focus on their learning and behave well.

Pupil relationships with staff are a joy to observe. For example, staff sing and dance with pupils. In lessons, pupils work hard to meet the high expectations that staff have of them.

The school focuses well on improving pupils' communication skills, as well as enhancing their social and emotional development.

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

Since the last inspection, The Old Park School has been through a period of change. The interim headteacher and his new leadership team have quickly stabilised the school.

Leaders have clear plans and ambitions for school improvement. Staff speak positively about the steps the school is taking to improve the school. They particularly value the introduction of a working group to promote well-being.

Parents also recognise the positive changes. However, leaders are aware that they do not yet have a full understanding of the school's work. This means they have not yet identified and begun to address all of the improvements that are needed to ensure that all pupils receive a high-quality provision.

The curriculum is well designed and supports pupils to become more independent. The school has carefully identified what they want pupils to know and remember and pupils learn about topics that motivate and interest them. There is effective planning in place for teachers to follow.

However, some teachers do not teach the curriculum as well as they could. Leaders have spotted this but have not made sure that all staff have the training they need to deliver the school's ambitious curriculum as intended.

The school has prioritised making sure all pupils learn to read well.

Reading activities are well planned. For example, adapted communication aids support pupils to learn the well-considered phonics curriculum. Now and next boards structure the order in which pupils learn their sounds.

The selected texts are engaging and interesting for pupils. This means that pupils enjoy reading and learn to read well.

Pupils are taught to communicate well.

They are able to express their emotions and ask for help if they need it. Most pupils use their communication aids well. The school has a carefully staged approach to build on pupils' functional language.

For example, language displays become more advanced as pupils recognise more symbols. This makes sure that pupils are well prepared for adulthood.

The school assesses pupils' progress well.

Every term, teachers identify where pupils are, and where they are heading next. Pupils in the sixth form achieve qualifications to support their next steps.

All pupils learn about the world of work.

In the early years, pupils learn about people who help them in the school and wider community. In the sixth form pupils have opportunities to take part in work experience activities. This includes running a snack cafe, working for a catering company and a customer relations company.

As a result of this, pupils are being well prepared for adulthood.

Attendance is well managed. The school quickly identifies reasons for absences and responds appropriately.

As a result of this, most pupils are now attending school regularly.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• The implementation of the curriculum is variable.

This means that some pupils do not make the progress they should. Leaders should ensure that all staff are trained to deliver the curriculum effectively. ? Leaders do not yet have sufficient oversight of all of the school's work.

This has meant that some areas are not well focused on the improvements that need to be made. The school should make sure that they identify and implement quality assurance processes that help them ensure that they can meet their ambitions for the school.

Background

When we have judged a school to be outstanding, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains outstanding.

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 outstanding in November 2013.

Also at this postcode
Thorns Pre-School Thorns Primary School

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