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Winwick Road, St Helens, Newton-le-Willows, WA12 8DE
Community special school
Does not apply
Number of Pupils
53 (95% boys 5% girls)
Highlights from Latest Inspection
Penkford School continues to be a good school.
What is it like to attend this school?
Pupils at Penkford School work hard.
They are happy in school and want to do well. Leaders have designed an ambitious curriculum that helps pupils to learn the knowledge and skills that they need in order to do well in life. They understand the needs of the pupils in the school and ensure that they achieve well.
Pupils understand how to stay safe and know that they can talk to any member of staff if they are worried. Leaders have high expectations of pupils' behaviour and communicate these clearly. Pupils behave well in their lessons and breaktimes and when moving around the school. <...br/>Members of staff are skilled at teaching pupils the skills that they need to help them behave well. Pupils explained that staff deal promptly and effectively with incidents of bullying.
Relationships between pupils and members of staff are positive.
Leaders insist on a positive approach and believe in 'success every day'. Parents and carers said that the staff at Penkford School are amazing and that they have made a positive difference to their children's lives.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
Leaders have designed a curriculum that meets the needs of the pupils in the school.
The curriculum for most subjects, including mathematics and English, is well ordered. Subject leaders know what they want pupils to learn and teachers know the order in which to teach subject content. Teachers design activities based on what pupils have learned and use assessment strategies well to further build on this learning.
This means that pupils achieve well in these subjects.
In a small number of subjects, the order in which pupils should learn new knowledge is not clear. As a result, some teachers do not know how to organise subject content to help pupils deepen their learning.
This means that pupils do not learn some of the knowledge that they need to know in order to progress well through the subject curriculum. Subject leaders do not know how well the curriculum is being implemented. Consequently, they are not able to support teachers effectively to help pupils to know and remember more.
Pupils make great strides when learning to read. This is because leaders have implemented a structured programme for learning phonics. Consequently, pupils can identify the key sounds that they need to know.
Teachers' checks identify any pupils who have fallen behind. Skilled members of staff provide a structured programme to help pupils catch up. This helps pupils to become confident and fluent readers.
Leaders have recently introduced a broader curriculum offer. This means that pupils have a greater choice in their studies than before. Pupils said that the careers advice and guidance that they have received have helped them choose the courses that they want to study.
Leaders understand the approaches that help pupils to behave well. Members of staff use these approaches effectively. This enables pupils to behave well in their lessons and throughout the school day.
If a pupil becomes distracted, members of staff carefully refocus the pupil. As a result, pupils' learning is rarely disrupted.
The curriculum helps pupils to develop their emotional resilience and self-awareness.
There is an extensive outdoor education programme which pupils are very enthusiastic about. Pupils take part in a local boxing project which encourages positive decision-making. They engage with local initiatives to eradicate anti-social behaviour.
Pupils can discuss the skills and qualities that they have learned doing these activities.
Staff are proud to work in the school. They said that senior leaders are supportive and are mindful of staff's workload.
Governors know their responsibilities and are committed to improving the school. They hold senior leaders to account and support the headteacher's priorities.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
Leaders have developed robust systems to identify the safeguarding risks that pupils may face. Leaders work very effectively with other agencies to support pupils. Leaders and members of staff help pupils and their families manage safeguarding risks.
Staff are trained to understand how to identify concerns and report them. Pupils understand the importance of learning about safeguarding. For example, they know how to stay safe online and how to report any safeguarding concerns that they have.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• In a small number of subjects, the order in which pupils should learn new knowledge is not clear enough. This leads to pupils' learning not being built on as effectively as it could be. Leaders and subject leaders must ensure that the curriculum for all subjects is well ordered.
• In a small number of curriculum areas, leaders do not have a clear understanding of how effectively their subject is implemented across the school. They are not able to support teachers in delivering some aspects of the subject to ensure that pupils know and remember more across the full curriculum. Leaders must ensure that subject leaders gain a deeper insight into how the curriculum is being implemented to make sure it is having the intended impact on pupils' learning.
When we have judged a school to be good, we will then normally go into the school about once every four years to confirm that the school remains good This is called a section 8 inspection of a good or outstanding school, because it is carried out under section 8 of the Education Act 2005. We do not give graded judgements on a section 8 inspection. However, if we find evidence that a school would now receive a higher or lower grade, then the next inspection will be a section 5 inspection.
Usually this is within one to two years of the date of the section 8 inspection. If we have serious concerns about safeguarding, behaviour or the quality of education, we will deem the section 8 inspection as a section 5 inspection immediately.
This is the first section 8 inspection since we judged the school to be good in February 2016.
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