The Woodlands School

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About The Woodlands School

Name The Woodlands School
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mr Jonathan Budd
Address Admiral Drive, Hazeley, Milton Keynes, MK8 0PU
Phone Number 01908563885
Phase Special
Type Community special school
Age Range 4-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 198
Local Authority Milton Keynes
Highlights from Latest Inspection

Key findings

This is a good school. It is not yet outstanding because teaching, although good overall, lacks consistency in challenging fully the needs and capabilities of all students in the main school and assessment procedures do not always ensure targets are realistic, especially for those students with more complex needs and challenging behaviour. In addition, the curriculum does not provide structured individual learning programmes for students aged 14 to 19.

The quality of learning is good. It is particularly so in the Early Years Foundation Stage. By the time they leave school, all students have made good strides in developing their communication skills, as well as in the key skills of literacy, numeracy an...d information and communication technology (ICT).

Good quality teaching is underpinned by the effective close collaboration between teachers and teaching assistants. All adults know their students well and provide calm and measured support. They use a wide range of communication strategies to engage students.

Students are keen to learn and their behaviour, although sometimes challenging because of their needs, does not unduly disrupt others' learning because staff are highly skilled in behaviour management. The school is a safe place in which to learn. Leadership and management of the school are good.

Self-evaluation has improved well since the previous inspection and there is a greater involvement of leaders at all levels in evaluating the school's work. Effective monitoring by senior leaders has resulted in improvement in the quality of teaching. Good self-evaluation and tracking enable senior leaders to keep a careful watch on progress and improve the performance of both students and teachers.

Although there is no designated sixth form provision, there being small numbers involved, older students make good progress, particularly in developing independent living skills.

Information about the school

This is an above average-sized residential special school for students who have autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and a range of social, communication and interaction difficulties. In addition to their primary need, most have associated learning difficulties ranging from moderate to severe.

Numbers have risen since the previous inspection with increasingly more severe, complex and challenging behaviour needs. All students have a statement of special educational needs. As a result of the increase in numbers, the school is now based on two sites, some three miles apart.

The annexe in Bletchley provides for children in Reception to Year 3. Sixth form students are taught as part of whole-school provision at the main building. The oldest sixth form group travel daily, with adult support, to a local base in the community.

Boys outnumber girls by almost five to one. The large majority of students are of White British and other White backgrounds. A small minority are of Black African and Asian or Asian British background.

A few students speak English as an additional language. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is above average. The school has gained a number of awards, including National Autistic Society Autism accreditation.

It is also a specialist school for communication and interaction. The headteacher also has responsibility for the residential provision. A copy of the report for this provision is available on application to Ofsted.

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