Heltwate School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

Primary & Secondary
Post 16
Special school
4 - 18
Community special school

How Does The School Perform?

4 1 1 2 3 4
Ofsted Inspection
Full Report - All Reports

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Happiness Rating

Ofsted Parent View

Pupil/Teacher ratio
Persistent Absence
Pupils first language
not English
Free school meals
North Bretton
Heltwate School

School Description

The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the previous inspection. During the last year, there has been some uncertainty about plans for developing the school site. Despite this and the significant increase in pupil numbers since the previous inspection, you and your leaders have maintained the well-being and positivity of pupils which are at the centre of your work. Pupils are happy and settled within the school’s extremely nurturing environment. It is testament to you and the skills of your committed team that pupils behave well. They are carefully supervised and breaktimes are a calm affair. Pupils’ behaviour is exceptional in the dining hall. They manage their meals without fuss and enjoy the orderly environment. Adults make sure that pupils are supported so that they can all enjoy this important social time of day. Leaders ensure that the curriculum enables pupils to have many opportunities to learn through practical and real-life experiences. For example, inspectors observed pupils enjoying a cooking lesson that required them to follow a recipe. Pupils learned to set a table with knives and forks and eventually appreciated their hard work by eating the meal that they had cooked themselves. Adults work effectively with pupils to ensure that they are making the progress they should. For example, when appropriate, instructions are clearly set out with pictures to help pupils recognise what to do next. Adults make sure that classrooms are vibrant and exciting places to learn. In all the lessons visited by inspectors, pupils were enthusiastic about learning and keenly involved in their activities. Pupils are helped to understand the progress they are making through, for example, the school’s chosen system for awarding effort grades in each lesson. This is clearly understood by the pupils. Inspectors observed pupils’ excitement as they received an effort grade that demonstrated how successfully they had worked towards their individual targets. Since the previous inspection, you have made sure that staff are fully aware of the responsibilities within their job roles. You have empowered staff to take on leadership roles for which they are held to account. In addition, you are perceptive at recognising where staff have shown an aptitude and a willingness to develop their skills further. This has ensured that staff are more effective in their work and make more of a contribution to the leadership of the school, helping to raise standards. This is particularly the case in the monitoring and analysis of behaviour, attendance and pupils’ progress information. Leaders are astute in their evaluation of these areas and the impact of their work. You are successfully creating a cohesive team that works towards a common goal to improve pupils’ outcomes. Safeguarding is effective. You have ensured that all staff and governors have had relevant safeguarding training. Your system for checking and recording the suitability of all those who work with pupils in the school is maintained rigorously by your office staff. Evidence shows that records are routinely checked by governors and the safeguarding leader. Pupils told inspectors that they feel safe and parents and carers who spoke with inspectors agree. Pupils confirm that if they have any worries, they are confident to speak with an adult at school. They are sure that their concerns would be dealt with well. Pupils also show an appropriate awareness of online safety and cyber bullying. You and your leaders ensure that processes for reporting concerns about pupils’ safety and welfare are strong. Staff understand these processes and leaders take swift actions when there are concerns to ensure that pupils get the help they need in a timely manner. Leaders ensure that behaviour support plans in place for pupils are appropriately shared with relevant staff. The plans are detailed, with helpful information for staff to understand what triggers pupils’ challenging behaviour. These help staff to take the appropriate steps to support pupils effectively. The majority of staff agree that pupils are kept safe, and that pupils’ behaviour is managed well. However, a very small number of staff commented in response to Ofsted’s online staff survey that they do not feel well enough supported in managing the behaviour of those pupils who present significantly challenging behaviour. You know that with the growing complexity of your pupils’ needs, it is a priority for leaders to routinely review staff development, training and support.

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