Torfield School

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About Torfield School

Name Torfield School
Ofsted Inspections
Executive Headteacher Mr John Anderson
Address Croft Road, Hastings, TN34 3JT
Phone Number 01424428228
Phase Academy (special)
Type Academy special converter
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 96
Local Authority East Sussex
Highlights from Latest Inspection


Torfield School continues to be an outstanding school.

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils love coming to Torfield School. Attendance rates are high.

Each day starts positively, with happy greetings between pupils and with staff, followed by breakfast served in classrooms. Pupils' happiness and strong sense of safety are evidenced through trusting relationships, smiles and laughter. The planned curriculum ensures that pupils learn about staying safe in different circumstances.

Staff are highly vigilant and caring. They are trained well in a range of methods of communication as well as in safeguarding.

Leaders and staff have high expectations for pupils' ...behaviour, learning and personal development.'

My son is able to sound out words using phonics… something I didn't know if he would ever learn' and, 'My son has complex special needs...

he has exceeded my expectations' are typical of the views expressed by parents. Pupils are motivated and value the range of prizes, certificates and 'rainbow awards' that mark and celebrate their achievements.

Pupils, families and staff are proud of their school.

Extensive use is made of the outdoor environment. Trips and visits take place frequently for all pupils. Pupils' special educational needs and/or disabilities are not seen as a barrier to learning or to full participation in all that life has to offer.

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

Torfield is a school filled with high aspiration. Leaders and staff are determined that pupils develop independence and 'tools for life'. This is to enable pupils to communicate, make choices, experience successful transitions in education and beyond, and become adults who participate in and contribute to society.

To achieve this vision, leaders have placed a strong focus on the academic curriculum. This is a strength of the school, alongside the impressive personal development curriculum and bespoke provision for pupils' individual needs. Pupils enjoy a wide range of subjects.

Curriculum leaders have identified themes for study and how learning will be sequenced over time, including for children in early years. Within each subject and class, teachers know precisely what they want pupils to learn.

Teachers assess pupils' learning and development day by day, and more formally with leaders, each term.

Amendments are made to provision, ensuring that all aspects of the curriculum are tailored to enable pupils to build on what they know and can do. Pupils' education, health and care plan (EHC plan) targets are seamlessly woven throughout lessons and the school day.

Pupils' personal development, including opportunities for wide experiences, is core to the school's ethos.

For example, all pupils are enabled to participate in clubs and residential visits. 'Rainbow awards' chart progress in key independence skills. The extensive use of praise and rewards contributes to the atmosphere of positivity and ambition.

One pupil's high aspiration was revealed when he told the inspector, 'I want to be King!'

The recent introduction of a structured phonics scheme has been a resounding success. Led by a knowledgeable subject leader, staff have been trained and high-quality resources purchased. Pupils enjoy the routines of learning sounds and blending them together to make words.

They have books that are exactly matched to the sounds that they know, and they read aloud often in school. Consequently, many pupils learn to read and progress in speaking. The youngest children and those pupils who are non-verbal or pre-verbal are fully included in the school's reading and communication curriculums.

For example, pupils are supported to make, listen and respond to sounds. Staff are skilled in a range of assisted communication systems, including signing, picture exchange systems and symbol-based language used with accompanying text. Throughout the school, pupils are immersed in literature, listening to carefully selected stories and texts, which contribute well to their wider learning.

The headteacher shares his love of poetry in school assembly on Fridays.

With expert support from staff, pupils learn about 'zones of regulation' and how to manage their feelings and behaviour with increasing control. For example, when a pupil becomes dysregulated, adults step in and lessons continue uninterrupted.

Leadership at all levels is strong. Leaders routinely consider staff well-being and workload. The expert trust directors provide support and challenge to the chief executive officer (CEO) and the leadership team.

Collectively, leaders are innovative in their thinking. The different strands of the school's work combine to form an impressive whole: Torfield School.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

A strong culture for safeguarding is embedded. Pupils, and their families, are known and cared for exceptionally well. Pupils feel safe.

Staff receive regular training and information. Consequently, they remain acutely aware of risks facing pupils, including additional risks because of pupils' specific needs. Staff share concerns with the leaders for safeguarding.

Concerns are closely monitored and acted upon. Whenever necessary, leaders work well with health professionals, social workers, the police and other agencies.

Strengths of the school include pupils' extensive learning about staying safe and the expert use of social stories to prepare pupils for different situations.


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.

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