• Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

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Special school does a hop, skip and jump to ‘good’

A SCHOOL community has been left beaming with pride after inspectors lifted its status by two categories in one go to ‘good’.

Staff, governors and pupils at Beaumont Hill Academy, part of the Education Village Academy Trust, Darlington, have worked tirelessly since its last inspection, when it was deemed to be inadequate.

The result is a learning environment now considered better than ever before for almost 300 children with complex needs, aged two to 19.

Inspectors observed lessons, talked to senior leaders, teachers, governors, parents and pupils in a comprehensive review of  every aspect of life at Beaumont Hill special school.

It awarded the school ‘good’ status across the board, including for the effectiveness of its leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare and outcomes. Early years provision and the 16 to 19 study programmes also won high praise.

Inspectors highlighted that leaders and governors had worked closely together in order to bring about improvement across the academy.

Their report stated: “Leaders now have a clear vision for the future. They are focused and determined to build on recent successes, for example in improving pupils’ outcomes and the curriculum.”

They recognised the new curriculum in key stage 3 had “ignited pupils’ imagination and developed their thinking skills.

Inspectors said the quality of teaching and learning had improved. “Staff have high expectations of what pupils can achieve socially, emotionally and academically,” inspectors said.

“Comments such as ‘I love learning now’ and ‘lessons are never boring’ reflect pupils’ views of their current opportunities to learn,” the report said.

“School leaders are ambitious for pupils’ futures. Staff aim to ensure that pupils leave with as much accreditation as possible in order that they are well prepared for life in modern Britain.”

Inspectors praised the quality of governance noting governors were skilled and knowledgeable, visiting the school often and making a sizeable contribution to bringing about improvements.

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective, leaders and staff have high expectations of what each pupil could achieve allowing them to reach their potential. There was clear evidence that this achievement boosted pupils’ self-esteem.

“Despite often having high levels of need, pupils who attend the school are happy and positive about coming to school,” inspectors said. “This was reflected in the smiles given to staff at the start of the school day. Several pupils were bursting with pride at their achievement.”

Principal Caroline Green said: “Achieving ‘good’ reflects the unrelenting work of the entire school community to make Beaumont Hill the peerless learning environment it is today.”

By French