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|Name||Turnstone House School|
|Principal||Mr Chris Morris|
|Address||Birtwick Park, Old Bungay Road, Bungay, NR35 2HP|
|Type||Other independent special school|
|Number of Pupils||7 (42.9% boys 57.1% girls)|
What is it like to attend this school?
Turnstone House is a secure, safe place where pupils rebuild their lives. Pupils join the school after a heavily disrupted previous education. Some have experienced significant trauma. Pupils’ well-being is ably provided for through adults’ expert support. Pupils learn to trust the adults responsible for their education and care. Pupils say they feel safe, including from bullying.
Pupils make significant strides in managing their own behaviour and emotions in their time at the school. Skilled staff teach and support pupils to behave well. Adults spot and react quickly when pupils struggle with their emotions. Pupils make positive behaviour choices. They are polite. Relationships between pupils and staff are very productive and constructive. This creates a strong foundation for pupils to learn and thrive.
Pupils learn in well-resourced, bright classrooms. Each pupil has a personalised programme of study. Pupils learn in very small groups, or through one-to-one tuition. Pupils discover how rewarding learning can be. Their reconnection with learning is evident in their high attendance and considerable improvement in their attitudes to education.
Pupils’ lives are enriched by the impressive array of activities provided for them. They speak with pride of their achievements, and the awards they have won.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
The proprietor’s clarity of vision underpins the school’s work. Leaders’ commitment to providing a ‘no limits’ education provides the foundation for each pupil’s programme of learning. Staff have a firm grasp of pupils’ academic, social and emotional needs and capabilities. Leaders create precise programmes of learning that make up for gaps in pupils’ previous learning, help pupils to develop their resilience and self-esteem, and prepare pupils for the next stage of their education. Leaders have done a great deal of work to develop the breadth of each pupil’s programme of learning. A few aspects of this work are not yet complete.
The programme of learning for each pupil is different. Leaders have made clear the common educational principles that underpin them. Leaders set out the ‘sticky’ (important) knowledge that pupils must know in each subject. Leaders use external expert guidance to inform teachers how best to teach in a way that re-connects pupils with learning. Teachers deliver the curriculum well in most subjects.
Teachers build up pupils’ knowledge in small steps. Teachers check pupils have a firm grasp of the important knowledge before moving on to new topics. Pupils remember what they have learned. This approach reduces pupils’ anxieties and develops their confidence in learning. Pupils radically improve their view of, and engagement with, learning. Pupils make significant gains in literacy and numeracy skills, in particular.Leaders suitably support pupils to develop a love of reading. Teachers read to pupils often. Leaders provide books and articles that interest pupils. Staff also highlight and explain complex subject-specific language. Most pupils read for pleasure. They become fluent in reading and use subject-specific vocabulary accurately.
In a few subjects, the curriculum is not as well established. Teachers do not have the same depth of knowledge of these subjects and how to teach them. Leaders are putting this right with planned training and support.
The school’s first-rate personal, emotional, social development framework (PESD) has a striking impact on pupils’ personal development. Using the excellent regular careers education programme, staff help to raise pupils’ aspirations. Pupils set themselves ambitious goals. They create realistic action plans to achieve these goals. Pupils learn about relationships and people’s differences. They are increasingly respectful of others. Within the PESD framework, leaders provide pupils with a wealth of carefully planned extra opportunities. Activities such as work experience, residential visits, climbing, dance and diving help to transform pupils’ belief in their own potential.
Leaders have designed the school’s learning centre to provide a safe, supportive learning environment. Leaders focus on pupils’ personal and academic development. They maintain the learning centre to a high standard. Visitors cannot fail to notice the breadth of pupils’ work and photographs of their many achievements displayed on each wall.
External experts and school leaders provide the proprietor with regular updates about the quality of the school’s work. The proprietor is assured, and has ensured, that the independent school standards continue to be met.
The school’s health and safety and safeguarding policies are on the school’s website. All essential policies are made available to parents and carers who ask for them. The proprietor ensures that the school complies with the Equality Act 2010.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have comprehensive arrangements in place to safeguard pupils. Staff receive suitable safeguarding training. They are alert to any small changes in behaviour that could suggest a pupil may be at risk. Staff follow the school’s processes for reporting concerns about a pupil’s well-being. Leaders work with a wide range of external agencies to make sure pupils get the help they need.
Pupils are taught important strategies to stay safe. Pupils say that if they become worried, they will speak with an adult at school. Pupils trust that adults will resolve any issues that arise.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and proprietor)
? Leaders have made well-considered changes to the curriculum to provide pupils with broad, rich programmes of learning. In a small number of subjects, teachers do not have the same depth of subject-specific knowledge that is evident across most other subjects. This results in teachers choosing some learning activities that do not enable pupils to develop their knowledge and understanding to the same extent that they do in most subjects. Leaders should continue to provide staff with the guidance and training they need to deliver the curriculum well in all subjects.