Alder Brook Primary Partnership Centre
Headteacher: Ms Michele Cowperthwaite
4 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||133678|
|Inspection dates||19–20 May 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Linda Clare|
|Type of school||Pupil referral unit|
|School category||Pupil referral unit|
|Age range of pupils||4–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||28|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Cllr Margaret Morris|
|Headteacher||Ms Michele Cowperthwaite|
|Date of previous school inspection||25 January 2007|
|School address||Walnut Road|
|Lancashire M30 8LE|
|Telephone number||0161 7867904|
|Fax number||0161 7867905|
|Inspection dates||19–20 May 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by one additional inspector. Ten lessons or parts of lessons were observed. Three teachers and sessions led by teaching assistants were seen. Meetings were held with members of the management committee, local authority, staff and less formally, with pupils. The inspector observed the school's work, and looked at a wide range of documents including data on pupils' progress, teachers' planning, curricular documents, pupils' files and the school's self-evaluation. Questionnaires were received from nine parents and the inspector also reviewed questionnaire responses from pupils and from the school's staff.
The inspector reviewed many aspects of the school's work and looked in detail at the following:
Alder Brook is a short stay centre which provides for pupils who have either been, or are at risk of being, excluded from their mainstream schools. All pupils have behavioural, social and emotional difficulties and over half have additional learning needs. The centre serves Salford and the surrounding area. Pupils remain at the school for about three terms. Twenty-one pupils are dual registered with mainstream schools and one pupil is awaiting a suitable placement. Nine pupils have a statement of special educational needs. Of the 22 pupils on roll, the majority are boys. Most pupils are of White British origin. There is a very small number of looked after pupils. The proportion of pupils known to be entitled to free school meals is higher than the national average.
The centre's outreach programme, Jigsaw, supports pupils at risk of exclusion from mainstream schools. Since September 2009, 34 pupils have attended the centre on short-term placements. The centre has delivered training to 130 mainstream teaching and support staff. The centre has achieved Activemark, Eco School Bronze l and Healthy Schools Awards.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
Alder Brook Centre provides a good quality of education and outstanding care for its pupils. Safeguarding procedures are excellent. The total commitment given by all staff to creating a warm and supportive environment is much valued. One parent commented, 'Alder Brook staff have helped our son to believe in himself again and this has had a positive influence at home and socially, as well as in school'.
An effective nurturing ethos of peer support is encouraged throughout the centre and is the key to the rapid progress that pupils make in their personal development. Pupils learn to overcome social, emotional and other difficulties as a result of the trust and quality relationships they develop. The centre is a calm, happy place and pupils gain confidence, self-esteem and much enjoyment from all that is offered. This helps them to make good progress in their learning. Consequently, many overcome previous difficulties and leave school having broadly reached the level expected for their age and ability. Themed work and information and communication technology (ICT) are particular strengths of a good, flexible curriculum. Good teaching, positive reinforcement and well structured lessons capture pupils' interest. Sometimes teaching is less effective because work does not build successfully on pupils' knowledge and is not sufficiently challenging, particularly for pupils of higher ability. Meticulous attention is paid to removing social and emotional barriers to learning. Pupils know their behaviour targets very well and seek to achieve their goals. They feel extremely safe and secure in the centre. Their behaviour is good and they have total confidence that staff will resolve any problems. Pupils make good contribution to the centre and to the local community. The centre is extending its links with the wider community and plans to sponsor a cow in Africa indicate a move to more global learning.
The confident headteacher is well respected in the community. She is ably supported by the senior management team. Close teamwork has ensured good progress since the last inspection. Outstanding relationships with parents and carers and effective links with external agencies are firmly established. The Jigsaw programme has gone from strength to strength and provides the local authority with a valuable and proven resource which effectively supports pupils in mainstream schools in danger of exclusion. The centre is accurate in its self-evaluation. New systems to secure good teaching and learning are embedding well. Work to further develop the use of assessment information to track pupils' progress has started, demonstrating the centre's awareness of what it needs to accomplish for future improvement. As a result, the centre has a good capacity to improve further.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils arrive at Alder Brook with many barriers to their learning and often are angry and challenging. They have negative attitudes to learning, but respond very quickly to an ethos which encourages them to share feelings and think about their behaviour. Pupils enjoy practical tasks that reinforce their learning. Their emerging self-belief and a more settled, responsive approach to learning enables good progress to be made. This is reflected in the rate of their progress, which accelerates after the first term of admission.
Pupils in both key stages generally achieve well. Overall, from their individual starting points they make good progress in English, mathematics and science. A significant number of pupils entering with attainment levels below the national expectation leave with standards that are broadly average. Last year, in response to an identified need, a centre-wide focus on reading was implemented. Current tracking and observations indicate that progress in reading has improved as a result, with some pupils making very significant gains. Writing is to be similarly targeted this year. The centre makes good provision for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities, and as a result, they make good progress. Pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds and the small number of pupils looked after by the local authority make gains similar to their peers.
Parents and carers say that their children love coming to the centre and pupils agree. This reflects their above average attendance. Pupils engage with enthusiasm in a limited range of artistic, cultural and sporting opportunities. Almost all pupils choose outdoor and sporting activities to improve their health at lunchtime. They learn about keeping safe in their personal, social and health education lessons and are confident bullying does not happen in school. Pupils show positive attitudes towards each other and feel they can contribute to school meetings freely, to express their opinions. They have a good understanding of right and wrong. The centre's impressive community garden is a fantastic achievement and the produce grown is sold by pupils to fund their residential trip. Wider community links are developing through sporting cluster groups and the school hosts a range of visitors to broaden pupils' spiritual and cultural awareness. Pupils adhere to routines well, are cooperative and follow instructions to the best of their ability. They make good progress in developing their self-confidence become independent and are well prepared for their return to mainstream schools or other appropriate provision.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||1|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||2|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||2|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||3|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
The good progress that pupils make is a reflection of generally good teaching.
In the best lessons, planning is precise, builds effectively on what pupils have learned and all pupils are actively engaged in challenging work towards individual targets. Imaginative use of topical resources, such as the World Cup, featured in the good teaching observed. In a poetry lesson, a pupil discovered a piece about a footballer's foot, whilst in another lesson, pupils researched life in South Africa - this focal point contributed well to pupils' interest and their enjoyment. Learning objectives are emphasised and checked at the end of most lessons. Occasionally, teaching is less effective because the work set does not always closely match pupils' needs and fails to stretch pupils sufficiently to make as much progress as they could. Staff manage behaviour calmly and efficiently, and pupils' behavioral targets are clear and unambiguous. Pupils respond quickly to show that they are ready to work and listen, and all understand how consequences apply to their actions.
The curriculum is well-managed and carefully planned. A variety of practical, multi-sensory and investigative play experiences, such as the role play toy shop, promote learning effectively for younger pupils. Older pupils acquire knowledge about their role in society, such as in conservation and recycling. Support for pupils when they enter and leave the centre is a major strength of the exceptional care provided. Support staff are valued highly, work closely with class teachers, and take the lead in the nurture groups and the highly enjoyable 'Freddy Fit' sessions. The family liaison officer supports parents and carers effectively, and efficiently signposts links for them to the appropriate services. Transport arrangements and care for pupils on arrival and departure are outstanding.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||2|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||1|
The headteacher's enthusiasm for driving the centre forward promotes equally positive responses from staff. Morale is high. Teachers feel encouraged to extend their professional knowledge. Subject leaders are developing their skills to become more involved in the management of teaching and learning, and teamwork is especially strong.
The centre knows itself well. Senior managers have clearly defined roles and provide good direction for development. Development planning focuses on improving a small number of the centre's key aspects and developing its outstanding provision of additional services through the Jigsaw team. Improvement in the use of assessment is already highlighted for further improvement. Direct lines of management have been revitalised through new appointments to head of pupil referral unit services and links to the management committee. Contact with line managers is regular, and both provide the centre with good support and challenge.
The centre tackles equality of opportunity well and is proactive in ensuring that there is no discrimination or harassment. As a result, it is now turning its attention to the needs of the more able pupils. Safeguarding procedures, including risk assessments are outstanding and there is a high level of trust in the centre and its staff. Detailed checks are in place to ensure the suitability of all staff and child protection procedures are very thorough. The centre plans carefully to promote community cohesion. It values all as individuals. Through the curriculum, it has established close local involvement and is developing a range of extended links. Alder Brook Primary Partnership Centre provides good value for money.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||1|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||2|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||3|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||2|
Parents and carers are very positive about Alder Brook Centre. The centre maintains close contact with parents and actively seeks their views at all stages of the pupil's placement. Under half of the parents and carers responded to the questionnaire. There were no negative responses. A number contained appreciative comments which recognise and value the high level of care and support provided by the centre. One parent commented 'If I contact the school I am always listened to and I feel the school values us as parents as well as our child.' The inspection evidence also supports this view as many of the pupils' outcomes were found to be good and the centre's partnership work with parents and carers is excellent.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Alder Brook Primary Partnership Centre to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.
The inspector received 9 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 22 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||7||78||2||22||0||0||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||5||56||4||44||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||6||67||3||33||0||0||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||5||56||4||44||0||0||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||8||89||1||11||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||6||67||3||33||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||7||78||2||22||0||0||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||3||33||5||56||0||0||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||6||67||3||33||0||0||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||8||89||1||11||0||0||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||5||56||4||44||0||0||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||7||78||1||11||0||0||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||8||89||1||11||0||0||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
|Leadership and management:|
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.
21 May 2010
Inspection of Alder Brook Primary Partnership Centre, Salford, M30 8LE
Thank you for talking with me and making me feel so welcome when I visited your school recently. I really enjoyed my visit and now I am writing to tell you what I found out.
Alder Brook is a good school and I could see why so many of your parents and carers are pleased with how much it helps you. All the teachers and other adults care about every one of you and look after you really well. Your personal development is a strength of the school and your behaviour is good. I was very impressed by how keen you are to learn, your good attendance and how much you enjoy your lessons. The teaching in your school is good and there are many different activities for you to do. You make good progress in your work because your teachers and support staff know how to help you to do your best and they make learning interesting and fun. I really enjoyed the Freddy Fit lesson that everyone did together. Well done for keeping so healthy!
Your school is good because your headteacher and the other managers are good leaders and they are always trying to make the school better for you. I have asked them to check that each lesson you go to improves how much you know, and to make sure that your work is not too hard or too easy for you. I have also asked them to make sure that they check regularly how different groups are getting on.
I am delighted that you have such a good school to go to which you enjoy so much. I hope that you continue to take pride in your school and that you will keep helping your teachers by trying hard.
Mrs Linda Clare
|Any complaints about the inspection or the report should be made following the procedures set out in the guidance 'Complaining about inspections', which is available from Ofsted's website: ofsted.gov.uk. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|