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|Tower Learning Centre Independent School
|Miss Kim McCormack
|316 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 3QE
|Other independent school
|Number of Pupils
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils are nurtured and cared for at Tower Learning Centre. Several pupils have experienced regular periods of disruption to their learning before joining the school. Pupils enjoy warm and trusting relationships with staff. Pupils learn to manage their emotions well and make positive decisions about how to behave and access their learning. This enables them to behave well.
Bullying is rare. Pupils know the different forms that bullying can take. They know what to do should it occur. They have every confidence that staff would help them if they had a problem or concern.
Pupils are happy at school. There is a calm and respectful culture which helps them to feel safe. This is because all staff know pupils well. Pupils benefit from a range of clubs and experiences. This includes science club, visits to local parks and trampolining.
Leaders have carefully considered how to develop the curriculum to meet pupils’ individual needs. This helps pupils to enjoy their lessons. They are keen to learn more. Staff have high expectations of pupils, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Pupils live up to these high expectations and have positive aspirations for their future.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders, including the chair of the proprietor company, have a clear vision and strongly held values aimed at developing every pupil, both academically and personally. They are determined that all pupils will succeed. Subject leaders are appropriately skilled and have thought carefully about the essential knowledge they want pupils to learn and when they should learn it. The curriculum is broad and ambitious. Leaders ensure that all pupils benefit from this curriculum. This means that pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their lives and learning.
Leaders’ high expectations ensure that each pupil achieves well. Staff deliver the intended curriculum effectively. Teachers use praise well in order to support pupils to succeed and to develop pride in their work and learning. Lessons are calm and orderly and are very rarely disrupted by poor behaviour.
Staff carefully assess pupils’ prior understanding and learning effectively in the majority of subjects. They provide regular feedback for pupils to improve their work. However, assessment strategies are still developing in some subjects. In these subjects, pupils sometimes move on to new learning before their prior learning is secure.
Pupils with SEND access the full curriculum. They work towards the same challenging learning goals as other pupils. Leaders identify pupils’ needs. They ensure pupils receive the provision and support they need. This means that teachers adapt their teaching effectively to meet pupils’ needs. As a result, pupils with SEND achieve well across the curriculum.
Leaders prioritise reading. They have created an environment that develops pupils’ love of reading. Staff introduce pupils to everyday routines of reading. For instance, selecting books, reading texts for research, finding information online or listening to audiobooks. Pupils enjoy the diverse range of books from the library that they have helped to choose. The curriculum is planned to ensure that pupils read a range of appropriate texts and build up their reading and comprehension skills well. Staff quickly identify and support pupils who need help to catch up.
The personal, health, social and economic education (PHSE) curriculum provides many opportunities for pupils to learn about fundamental British values. Pupils’ understanding about respecting differences between people and different religions is strong. They are encouraged to adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Leaders place a strong emphasis on developing pupils’ mental health. Pupils receive appropriate careers information, advice and guidance. Leaders have developed strong links with local employers. This helps pupils to develop their employability skills.
The chair of the proprietor company, the advisory board and senior leaders ensure that the independent standards are consistently met. They are knowledgeable, experienced and carry out their strategic role well. For example, regular checks ensure that pupils’ welfare and safety are considered. The chair of the proprietor company provides effective challenge and support for leaders. The school complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010. The safeguarding policy is available on the school’s website for parents.
Staff have confidence in the school’s leadership. Leaders are mindful to help staff manage their day-to-day workload. Staff are positive and feel well supported to help pupils learn.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have clear processes in place to keep pupils safe. Staff understand that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. They receive regular, suitable safeguarding training. This helps staff to be alert to any signs that pupils might be at risk from harm. Staff understand how to recognise and report any concerns about a child’s welfare. They know leaders take all concerns seriously. Leaders work well with external agencies, when required, to help ensure pupils’ safety.
Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe through the PSHE education curriculum and through discussions.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and proprietor)
? In some subjects, assessment strategies are still at an early stage of development. This means that pupils are sometimes introduced to new learning before their previous learning is secure. Leaders should ensure that assessment strategies in these subjects are developed so that pupils’ learning builds on what they already know.