Top marks for pupils at special school

Smallbrook School in Shropshire – an Acorn Education Care independent special school catering for pupils aged 7 to 18 who have Special Educational Needs (SEN), and Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH) –  has been rated Good by Ofsted with ‘Outstanding’ for the behaviour and attitudes of its pupils.

Ofsted Inspectors praised the school for creating ‘a real sense of family’ and noted that ‘staff nurture, educate and ultimately transform the lives of pupils who attend.’ They also applauded staff for ‘quickly getting to know everything about individual pupils, so that they can personalise their approaches’ and provide them with ‘access to a broad curriculum, including opportunities to pursue vocational interests and qualifications, including GCSEs.

Inspectors also commented that ‘Teachers are creative in their delivery of the curriculum’, that ‘subject leaders are knowledgeable’ and ‘that their passion for their subject often rubs off onto the pupils’, Most importantly, ‘pupils are being well prepared for their next steps into education, employment and training.’

They rated pupils’ behaviour and attitudes Outstanding and described it as ‘excellent’ noting that ‘in lessons, pupils are motivated to learn and complete the work set for them. Pupils value the support they get. They understand the school’s reward and consequence systems’ and attributed all improvements to ‘the nurturing relationships that exist between staff and pupils, and the holistic approach to understanding and regulating behaviour.’

They went on to say, ‘expectations of respect and understanding of different faiths, cultures, tolerance and protected characteristics permeate the school’s approach to education. Pupils show respect to each other and to staff and approach sensitive topics in a mature way. Pupils also participate in wider opportunities to develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding through visits and charity work, learn about the needs of others, as well as communication and employability skills as they run their free pop up shop in Telford.’

Parents also speak highly of the school, based near Harmer Hill, and the positive difference it has made to their children’s lives.

Commenting on the Ofsted rating, Head Teacher, Craig Seretny said, “I’m really delighted that Ofsted has judged Smallbrook School as a Good school with Outstanding behaviour and attitudes.

“Since our last Ofsted inspection in June 2017, the senior leadership team and staff have worked hard to improve the education for our young people. It was noted within the inspection that “Pupils’ behaviour is excellent. In lessons, pupils are motivated to learn and complete the work set for them.

“I am especially proud of the quality of relationships between students and staff, and how well supported students feel. I am now very excited for the opportunity to continue to lead Smallbrook School as we aspire to be Outstanding in all areas.”


CAPTION: A science lesson at Smallbrook School.


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