Wilds Lodge School


Name Wilds Lodge School
Website http://www.wildslodgeschool.co.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 05 November 2019
Address Stamford Road, Empingham, Oakham, LE15 8QQ
Phone Number 01780767254
Type Independent (special)
Age Range 5-19
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 101 (97% boys 3% girls)
Local Authority Rutland
Percentage Free School Meals 0.0%
Pupils with SEN Support 0%
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils thrive in this caring and inclusive school. They know that in this ‘talking’ school, they can talk to any member of staff about how they feel or about their work. Pupils trust staff to listen to them and help them. This trust helps them to feel safe, happy and supported. It also helps them to manage their behaviour, which improves significantly over time. Many parents and carers commented on the positive change in their children while they have been at the school. By the time they leave, pupils have greatly improved their confidence and social skills. They are ready to take on new challenges.

Pupils know that staff want the best for them. They respond well to the challenge and support staff give them. They work hard in lessons and enjoy learning.

There are regular opportunities for pupils to learn how to treat others respectfully. For example, pupils and staff eat their lunch together every day. This provides time to talk and to get to know each other. Pupils develop strong relationships with each other. As a result, there are few incidents of falling-out or bullying. Staff act quickly to resolve any that may occur.

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

Staff are highly ambitious for pupils. They support pupils effectively to manage their specific needs and to engage with learning. Pupils focus well on their learning and achieve highly. Most gain qualifications in a wide range of subjects. This helps them to move on to their next steps, often in mainstream schools or colleges.

There are plans for learning in every subject that identify what pupils should learn and when. Pupils build on what they know as they complete their work or consider new ideas. This ensures that they understand what they are studying and can do more. In art, pupils study facial dimensions and learn how to draw each part of the face before they complete their self-portrait. In English, they learn about different techniques in writing poetry. They then use this knowledge to create their own poems.

Teachers carefully prepare pupils’ learning. They adapt learning to fill any gaps in pupils’ knowledge they identify. They ask questions to help pupils recall and build on their previous learning. Pupils who struggle receive effective support. Over time, pupils develop determination and resolve. They respond well to challenging work.

Teachers enrich and enliven pupils’ learning through experience of culture, the workplace and the community. For example, they go to the theatre to watch a performance of the Shakespeare play they are studying. To learn about gravity, pupils visit a skydiving centre. They discuss the works of famous artists to explore different styles of art. Such experiences excite the pupils and help them to value their learning.

Leaders have ensured that pupils engage well with the local community. Pupils contribute to a local food bank and visit a local care home and hospice. They meet pupils from local primary schools at the school’s annual music festival. These opportunities help pupils to learn about those who live and work in the local area.

Leaders have prioritised the teaching of reading. Younger pupils in the nurture group regularly practise phonics. Older pupils who struggle to read receive well-targeted support on the ‘reading bus’. Pupils become increasingly confident and fluent readers.

A rich variety of opportunities promote pupils’ social and emotional development exceptionally well. Wide-ranging therapies enable them to discuss their feelings and grow in self-esteem. Pupils learn that people have different beliefs, values and cultural heritages. They understand the need to respect such differences. They are well prepared for their adult lives and for the challenges and opportunities of life in modern Britain.

Sixth-form students receive high-quality support to achieve well in their studies. Leaders ensure that students study courses that will help them move on to their next steps in learning or work. This is also the case in work-related subjects, such as construction, catering and motor-vehicle maintenance. Students take part in work experience that links to their career interests. They also have the opportunity to be part of the successful sixth-form art and design business that leaders have set up. Students regularly hold discussions about topical issues. Recently, they debated the rights of working mothers.

The chair of the proprietorial body is ambitious for pupils and staff. He ensures that pupils receive the very best pastoral care and teaching. He makes sure that all staff have access to high-quality training. He also encourages staff to provide training to other professionals, including those training to teach. This allows staff to share good practice and learn from others. Staff appreciate these opportunities. They feel well supported and cared for. They enthuse about working at the school.

The school meets all the independent school standards. The school complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010. Relevant information about the school is on the school’s website. This includes the school’s safeguarding policy, which reflects the latest national guidance.

High-quality facilities and resources enhance pupils’ learning. There is a strong focus on promoting pupils’ engagement with art and technology. Pupils have access to the latest technology, including as part of the therapy available to them. There are many artworks around the school site, including those which staff have created.

Leaders maintain the buildings to the highest standard. They complete all the necessary health and safety checks and risk assessments. Leaders have created pleasant communal areas in which pupils can relax and meet with others. These spaces help pupils to manage their anxieties and behaviour, and develop their social skills.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Senior leaders have created a culture of vigilance throughout the school. All staff know their safeguarding responsibilities. They receive regular training on how to keep pupils safe. They know to pass on any safeguarding concern immediately to a safeguarding leader.

Safeguarding leaders act quickly to resolve any concerns. They contact parents, and work well with agencies, so that pupils receive the support they need. Leaders keep detailed records. They meet regularly as a team to discuss the support they are providing pupils.

Leaders undertake appropriate checks on the suitability of new staff.