The Serendipity School
Catchment Area, Reviews and Key Information

Primary & Secondary
Post 16
Special school
9 - 19
Other independent special school

How Does The School Perform?

Ofsted report
Full Report - All Reports

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399 Hinkler Road
SO19 6DS

School Description

Pupils flourish at this superb school. Extremely skilled staff quickly build caring, professional relationships with pupils. This develops trust and increases pupils’ involvement in education. Leaders and staff have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour. Care for pupils’ social, emotional and mental health needs is excellent. Staff help pupils to understand themselves. Pupils learn to self-regulate their behaviour and improve their communication skills. Consequently, pupils’ self-esteem grows, and they are able to attend regularly, behave very well and work hard. Pupils rarely fall out with each other, because leaders are adept at spotting any signs of tension between pupils. Pupils learn to enjoy learning. They especially relish learning about hair and beauty in ‘the spa’ and participating in a wide range of trips, visits and sporting activities such as cricket and rock-climbing. Such activities help to develop pupils’ character and cultural awareness extremely well. Adults keep pupils on track and help them to make informed decisions about their futures. Older pupils benefit from college and work placements. Pupils, parents and carers recognise the life-changing impact of attending this school. One pupil, who told us the biggest difference the school has made to her, said, ‘I’m not predicted to fail all my GCSEs anymore.’ What does the school do well and what does it need to do better? Leaders, the sole director and all staff are highly ambitious for pupils’ achievement. Together they make sure that the standard of education and care in this school is continuously exceptionally high. Clear and consistent systems and routines are at the heart of the school’s success. Leaders’ attention to detail is impeccable. This ensures that pupils thrive. Pupils who join the school have significant barriers to learning. Many have experienced trauma and display extreme behaviour. Most have had periods out of education. Leaders and staff quickly learn about every aspect of pupils’ needs and how best to support them. They become pupils’ biggest advocates. Everyone makes sure that pupils’ experience of the school is deeply rooted in their education, health and care (EHC) plan. Consequently, the education, behaviour support and therapy pupils receive matches their needs precisely. Pupils recognise this and most soon start to attend school regularly. For many pupils it is the first time they have been successful at school. Pupils follow a well-designed, ambitious curriculum which is broadly based on the national curriculum. Teachers follow a similar approach to teaching the curriculum across the school. This ensures that a purposeful environment provides consistency for pupils and helps to minimise their anxieties. Staff adapt their plans expertly so that what pupils learn is finely tuned to fill in gaps in their subject knowledge. There Inspection report: The Serendipity School 13 to 15 July 2021 2 is, rightly, a strong focus on reading throughout the school. Teachers understand the importance of unpicking gaps in pupils’ phonics knowledge, especially when teaching pupils of primary age. Older pupils are supported to attend part-time off-site courses such as animal care and hair and beauty. They achieve qualifications such as ASDAN, functional skills and GCSE. The curriculum focuses strongly on pupils’ personal development, health and safety. For example, personal, social, health and citizenship education (PSHCE) strongly emphasises the importance of making safe choices when using social media. The excellent ‘discovery curriculum’ is aimed at pupils whose needs and particular circumstances have limited their experiences of ‘ordinary life’, such as driving in a car, playing in a park or having a friend. Adults develop pupils’ social and communication skills expertly as they visit places in the local community such as parks, shops and museums. Activities are closely mapped to pupils’ EHC plans. For example, a trip to a city helped one pupil understand that we live in a multicultural society. For another pupil, a trip to a museum was a much-needed opportunity to feel a sense of awe and wonder in the world. Leaders meet pupils’ behaviour needs very well. Pupils enthusiastically collect ‘STAR’ points for working hard and behaving positively throughout the day. They convert these into rewarding experiences at the end of the week. Leaders use the programme to help pupils manage their behaviour, and to see how well pupils are coping with their education. They adapt the education and behaviour support pupils receive based on their analysis. Additional high-quality support and bespoke therapies help pupils to self-regulate their behaviour and manage their emotions. As a result, pupils are helped to stay calm and focus on learning. Pupils are prepared exceptionally well for the next stage of their education and later life. Right from when pupils join the school, leaders’ ultimate aim is for pupils to be able to return successfully to mainstream education or to attend college independently. It is a testament to the excellent work of the school that pupils are highly motivated to achieve this aim. Independent careers advice along with carefully organised college courses and work experience help ensure that they are on the right path. Any pupil who is not quite ready to leave school at the end of Year 11 can stay into the sixth form. Here they are helped further to develop their academic knowledge along with social and independent living skills. This allows pupils to leave very well prepared for further education, employment or apprenticeships. Leaders and the director carry out their responsibilities very well. They ensure that all staff develop professionally and have a manageable workload. They are adept at utilising staff interests and talents as part of their desire to show pupils that there are many different ways to be happy and successful in life. Leaders make sure that the independent school standards are fully met. For example, all the necessary health and safety checks are carried out regularly. The school site is extremely well maintained. Schedule 10 of The Equality Act 2010 is complied with. Inspection report: The Serendipity School 13 to 15 July 2021 3 Safeguarding The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Leaders and staff are very well trained in safeguarding. Adults are tremendously knowledgeable about pupils’ needs, circumstances and any potential risks to their well-being and safety. Safeguarding records and individual risk assessments are detailed and meticulously kept. This helps leaders to spot any worrying patterns and act on any concerns quickly. Leaders work closely with parents, carers, local authorities and other agencies to help keep pupils safe. The safeguarding policy includes the most recent statutory guidance. It is available on the school’s website. Recruitment processes are rigorous and fully meet requirements.

The Serendipity School Parent Reviews

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The Serendipity School Catchment Area Map

This school is independently managed and its admission criteria may be selective. There is no set catchment area as pupils are admitted from a wide variety of postcodes and, in the case of boarding schools, from outside the UK. Contact the school directly or visit their website for more information on Admissions Policy and Procedures.