Great Arley School Report
Scottish Literacy ReportScottish Numeracy Report
Special schools provide a unique and distinctive educational environment to meet the needs of the pupils in their community. Undertaking standard tests may not be appropriate and we do not show performance data for special schools.
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The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. Since you joined the school as headteacher in 2016, you have worked with the governing body to shape your vision and direction for the school. You acted quickly to create a culture of shared ownership and belonging. Every member of the school community works together to strive for continuous improvement. You have strengthened the curriculum and this has had a positive impact on pupils’ learning. Staff now spend more time with their tutor group teaching the core lessons, and they know pupils’ needs well. Consequently, pupils make strong progress towards their academic and personal targets. Positive relationships are the foundation of the school. Pupils are happy and thrive. Their enthusiasm for learning and their love of school shines through. Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive about the school and are happy that they chose Great Arley. One parent summed it up by saying, ‘We are lucky as parents to have a school like this.’ Another parent echoed many other comments by saying, ‘A happy child will learn.’ In response to the previous inspection, new assessment systems have been introduced to monitor the progress of pupils more closely. This information is used well by you and other school leaders to spot any variation between the progress of groups of pupils and monitor the learning of individuals. Governors analyse this information and, as a result, they know the school well. Governors hold leaders firmly to account. School leaders act quickly to plan interventions and support for pupils who fall behind. For example, in mathematics, teachers are now able to identify more effectively any gaps in pupils’ understanding of number and measurement skills. Appropriate strategies to address these gaps are then swiftly put into place. You have also worked with the senior leadership team to maintain the good quality of teaching across the school. Subject leaders are now in place and are leading improvements in their areas of responsibility. Staff have time to research good practice and to share their findings. The improvements that staff have implemented are clear to see. For example, sensory resources are used to support each pupil’s specific needs, leading to calmer and more productive learning environments. Training has focused on the use of effective questioning techniques that enable staff to challenge pupils to think for themselves and to make connections between topics and concepts. Teaching assistants make a valuable contribution to lessons and are deployed purposefully to promote and expand pupils’ learning. Many pupils arrive at school with limited academic skills as well as poor social and emotional skills. Through challenging yet supportive teaching, pupils make good progress from these low starting points. However, in a small minority of instances, tasks do not match pupils’ abilities closely enough. In these cases, pupils’ learning is less effective. Safeguarding is effective. There is a strong and effective culture of safeguarding in the school. Governors take an active role and work closely with you and other leaders to ensure that all systems and procedures are fit for purpose and that all pupils are safe. You have strengthened and expanded the safeguarding team. This has resulted in rapid access to direct support for more pupils and their families. Staff know the pupils well and are very vigilant. The high staff-to-pupil ratio ensures that pupils are well cared for and their needs are met. Most pupils arrive and leave the school by taxi. This is a well-managed, meticulous and highly supervised procedure which keeps pupils safe and secure. Inspection findings One of the areas I explored with you during the inspection was whether most pupils make good or better academic progress during their time in your school. The school’s assessment systems are a valuable tool which enable you and other leaders to evaluate information about pupils’ progress accurately. Where small gaps exist between the progress of groups of pupils, you take decisive action to ensure that these are closed. Consequently, there is very little difference between the achievement of disadvantaged pupils and other pupils. The school’s own assessment information and the records of pupils’ work in a wide range of subjects show that pupils make good progress overall from their starting points. However, occasionally work is not well matched to pupils’ needs, which at times leads to their progress faltering.
2015 GCSE RESULTSImportant information for parents
Due to number of reforms to GSCE reporting introduced by the government in 2014, such as the exclusion of iGCSE examination results, the official school performance data may not accurately report a school’s full results. For more information, please see About and refer to the section, ‘Why does a school show 0% on its GSCE data dial? In many affected cases, the Average Point Score will also display LOW SCORE as points for iGCSEs and resits are not included.
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