Kirkby school praised by education inspectors

A Kirkby school has been hailed as a ‘good’ one after education chiefs paid a visit.

Friday, 28th January 2022, 8:21 am

Bracken Hill School was described as ‘welcoming’ in its newly published report by education watchdog Ofsted, following its latest two-day inspection.

The special school caters for pupils aged four-19 with a range of special educational needs/and or disabilities, including learning difficulties, multiple learning, speech, language and communication needs; autism spectrum disorder; multi-sensory impairment; physical disability; visual and hearing impairment.

The Ofsted report found relationships between staff and pupils were ‘very positive’ and the school had a ‘family atmosphere’.

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Bracken Hill is a 'good' school say Ofsted inspectors

Staff were said to be ‘very skilled’ in meeting the pupils’ complex needs.

The school’s ‘good’ rating comes after it was also rated good at its last full school inspection, in 2016.

Catherine Askham, headteacher at the Chartwell Road school said everyone connected with the school was ‘delighted’ with the report.

She said: “We’re absolutely delighted that we continue to be a ‘good’ school, especially given how hard it has been over the past 18 months.

Bracken Hill School pupils enjoy horse riding session

“The result reflects the hard work by staff and pupils. Bracken Hill continues to be a happy place for children to learn and develop.”

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Considerate

In the latest report, inspectors noted pupils’ behaviour was ‘good’, saying they were ‘considerate of each other’, ‘engaged very well’ with learning and were ‘enjoying English and mathematics’.

Their report said curriculums for these subjects were ‘well structured’, although some subjects, were ‘not always planned as well as they could be’.

It concluded the curriculum was ‘not yet sufficiently well planned and sequenced” in some subjects, but inspectors noted that leaders had taken action for next year’s curriculum “to resolve these concerns” and more staff training was planned.

Staff ‘responded quickly’ when pupils become anxious. They were ‘skilled’ at improving pupils language and communication, and promoted ‘a love of reading’.

The report did criticise some of the pupils’ books, finding some ‘did not match their knowledge of phonics closely enough’.

Staff were proud to work at the school and school leaders were ‘appreciated’ by parents and staff.

Pupils enjoyed ‘high-quality personal development’, with activities such as swimming, horse-riding and woodland learning, and received ‘good-quality’ careers advice and guidance, learned teamwork, while older pupils benefited from lessons preparing them ‘for the world of work and adult life’.

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