Beech Hill School

Beech Hill School
Fairholme Drive
Mansfield
Nottinghamshire
NG196DX

Phone:01623 626008
Headteacher: Mrs Georgina Hunt

 

Schools nearby

  1. 0.2 miles Oakdale Support Centre NG197HB (40 pupils)
  2. 0.2 miles All Saints RC Comprehensive School NG196BW (1055 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Broomhill First School NG196AP
  4. 0.3 miles Ethel Wainwright First School NG196BE
  5. 0.3 miles Ethel Wainwright Middle School NG196BE
  6. 0.3 miles Ethel Wainwright Primary School NG196TF (398 pupils)
  7. 0.3 miles Wainwright Primary Academy NG196TF
  8. 0.4 miles The Queen Elizabeth's School NG197AP
  9. 0.4 miles The Queen Elizabeth's School NG197AP
  10. 0.4 miles The Queen Elizabeth's (1561) Endowed School NG197AP (931 pupils)
  11. 0.4 miles Queen Elizabeth's Academy NG197AP (862 pupils)
  12. 0.4 miles Oakdale Learning Centre NG196AH
  13. 0.5 miles St Philip Neri with St Bede Catholic Primary School NG196AA (483 pupils)
  14. 0.5 miles Bull Farm Middle School NG197LJ
  15. 0.5 miles Redgate School NG196EL (26 pupils)
  16. 0.6 miles Ladybrook First School and Nursery NG196EW
  17. 0.6 miles Bull Farm First School and Nursery NG197LF
  18. 0.6 miles Cumberlands Middle School NG196JN
  19. 0.6 miles New Rose Primary School NG196JN (232 pupils)
  20. 0.6 miles Ladybrook Primary School NG196EW (132 pupils)
  21. 0.6 miles Rosebrook Primary School NG196JN (315 pupils)
  22. 0.7 miles St John's CofE Middle School NG181QH
  23. 0.7 miles Crescent Primary School NG197LF (322 pupils)
  24. 0.8 miles Intake Farm First School and Nursery NG196JA

Schools in Mansfield
see also Rooms to Rent in Mansfield

62 pupils, Mixed

48 boys
age
number
4a4b4c567891012131415
14 girls
age
number
4a4b4c5678910

Ofsted report


Beech Hill School


Inspection report

Unique Reference Number122948
Local AuthorityNottinghamshire
Inspection number340239
Inspection dates20–21 April 2010
Reporting inspectorRuth McFarlane


This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Type of schoolSpecial
School categoryCommunity
Age range of pupils11–16
Gender of pupilsMixed
Number of pupils on the school roll63
Appropriate authorityThe governing body
ChairMrs Liz Owen
HeadteacherMr Martin Sutton
Date of previous school inspection 30 January 2007
School addressFairholme Drive
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
NG19 6DX
Telephone number01623 626008
Fax number01623 651459
Email addresshead@beechhill.botts.sch.uk







Age group11–16
Inspection dates20–21 April 2010
Inspection number340239



ofsted.gov.uk

© Crown copyright 2009



Introduction


This inspection was carried out by two additional inspectors. Eleven lessons or part lessons were observed and eleven teachers seen. Meetings were held with groups of pupils, the Chair of the Governing Body, school staff and an advice and guidance partner who works with the school. Inspectors observed the school's work, and looked at a range of documentation, for instance results from the school's monitoring activity and extensive information about pupils' progress, samples of pupils' current work in each year group, responses from the school's annual pupil review, a staff survey, and 22 parent and carer questionnaires.

The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:

    • how effectively the school ensures that each individual pupil achieves as well as she/he can
    • how well pupils respond to the school's work to develop their personal skills
    • the impact of the school's work to tackle discrimination and provide equality of opportunity
    • the impact of partnerships on pupils' preparation for their futures.

Information about the school


This is a very small school with 63 pupils on roll, all with statements of special educational needs. Three quarters are boys, a higher proportion than is usual. The statements are mostly for moderate or severe learning difficulties (MLD, SLD) or social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. An increasing number of pupils have additional difficulties, particularly autistic spectrum disorders. There are no pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds. The school has applied for a change in designation to extend its age range to 19 from September 2010. Since the last inspection it has formed a learning partnership with some other schools including a local comprehensive school to share facilities and expertise. Through this partnership, Beech Hill provides some post-16 courses, on Beech Hill premises, taught by Beech Hill staff, for pupils enrolled at this partner school. Most of these pupils were former pupils of Beech Hill. This provision was not a part of this inspection. The school holds several accolades for its provision including Lead Professional Status for its work on the development of progress data and assessment, and Healthy Schools Gold Status.



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

Inspection judgements


Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?

1


The school's capacity for sustained improvement

1


Main findings


Beech Hill is an outstanding school where pupils thrive in a happy working environment that prepares them exceptionally well for their futures. There has been continual improvement since the last inspection. This has been due to an unrelenting drive by the whole staff team, led by competent and experienced senior leaders, to provide the very best education for all the pupils. As a result pupils' outcomes are exceptional, including their achievement and personal skills.

Pupils' attainment on entry to the school is generally very low but they achieve exceptionally well, so that by Year 11 all gain nationally accredited qualifications, whatever their prior ability and sometimes challenging needs. Their outstanding progress is rooted in the detailed way staff assess and record every small step in the pupils' learning and predict what they could achieve. Teachers then use this information to make sure the pupils are learning as quickly as possible and to provide personalised support. This exemplary system of predicting, measuring and recording progress is recognised in the school's Lead Professional Status for this aspect in its local authority. It has led to a profile of excellent teaching across the school.

The curriculum is exceptionally vibrant and responsive, precisely adapted to individual need, and includes exciting work with schools in Norway and Sweden and highly effective learning partnerships with a group of local schools. The partnership work, initiated by the school, has been particularly successful in enabling pupils to continue to be taught at Beech Hill with their familiar teachers and environment whilst enrolled in another local school after they reach the age of 16. In this way the school ensures that discrimination and barriers to learning are eliminated and there is equal opportunity to learn for those of its pupils who might be unable to settle in a new environment at this stage of their lives.

Underpinning the school's ethos are robust arrangements for safeguarding children and very high quality care, guidance and support. The school's success in dealing with poor attendance is exceptional in a number of cases, but a very few recently-enrolled pupils find coming into any school a challenge. The vast majority attend regularly, thoroughly enjoy school and feel valued because of the high-quality relationships and care which pertain at all levels.

The headteacher and senior management team provide clear educational direction for the school. Governors are knowledgeable and supportive. The school promotes understanding of its community well but has not assessed its work in this area thoroughly enough to be sure that coverage is comprehensive.

There are several reasons why the school has outstanding capacity to sustain further improvement. Strong teamwork is evident throughout the staff. Monitoring processes are exceptionally good and take into account the views of pupils, staff, governors, parents and carers. The school's comprehensive evaluation of its own performance and its planning for development are focused and effective, and this has led to the significant improvements in its provision since the last inspection. As one pupil put it, 'Beech Hill just gets better and better.'


What does the school need to do to improve further?


  • Find ways of achieving the re-engagement of the very few pupils who are admitted to the school with a history of reluctance to attend and associated difficulties.
    • Make a more thorough assessment of the impact of the work to promote understanding of the community in order to fill any gaps.

Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils

1


The smiles of delight as pupils realise they have grasped the next small step in their learning and their joy and that of their teachers when this is shared with their peers are common features of lessons. This enjoyment and confidence assist pupils to make their often outstanding progress. All achieve some national accreditation for their learning, such as Entry Level, BTEC or GCSE. Inspection evidence shows that progress is consistent for boys and girls, and for all groups, including those with MLD, SLD, autism and those with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Pupils achieve very well, particularly in literacy, numeracy and communication. They make excellent progress in lessons so that they meet challenging targets which are sharply focused and precisely matched to their starting points and ability level. The high level of individual attention encourages pupils to attempt new work and to learn by their mistakes, confident in the positive support they receive. For instance, in a mapping skills lesson, Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils rapidly acquired new skills in finding directions using a compass and locating various objects in the outside area. They consistently used the terms 'left' and 'right' to locate different areas of the school and then converted these terms into compass directions, happy to make errors because they were confident of support. A group of Year 10 and 11 pupils showed great pride at each small gain in learning in their lesson using new technology to modify sound and creating individual musical arrangements. They made outstanding progress in an atmosphere of supportive encouragement to learn.

The school provides a happy, calm haven where pupils very much enjoy their learning. They demonstrate growing levels of empathy, tolerance and understanding. They cooperate happily together and are very supportive of each other. They gain a very thorough understanding of healthy lifestyles and how to keep themselves safe. Pupils feel very well cared for by staff and they state that there is little bullying or unpleasantness. Their behaviour is good because staff are consistent in their high expectations. Pupils demonstrate highly positive attitudes to their work. The quality of their spiritual, moral and social development is excellent. Pupils are superbly equipped for their transition to post-16 education or training by their outstanding progress in basic skills, in developing their self-confidence and through their excellent progress in learning about the world of work.


These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attainment¹
          The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
          The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
1
*
1
1
The extent to which pupils feel safe1
Pupils' behaviour2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles1
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community1
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attendance¹
1
2
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development1

1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low
* In some special schools inspectors do not make a judgement about attainment in relation to expectations of the pupils' age.


How effective is the provision?


The quality of all aspects of provision is reflected in the outstanding progress pupils make. The curriculum is individually matched and adapted to each pupil's learning needs. Through continual assessment, teachers adapt work to stretch learning and suit every pupil's attainment and achievement. They know their pupils very well. Enjoyment and care have high profiles. All this was demonstrated in a Year 11 group, where pupils made rapid progress evaluating each other's performance against a progressive set of criteria. They were carrying out an engaging task that ingeniously linked the mystery of the Marie Celeste with the mystery of identifying unseen objects described by pupils to each other. They were constantly encouraged to aim higher and achieve the next step in their learning. Staff have high expectations of the pupils and challenge them through the brisk pace of lessons and well-directed questions. Well-trained teaching assistants provide very good support. Every little step of progress is rewarded, often by numerous popular WAMs (Worth a Mention), celebrated in assembly. There are excellent opportunities for older pupils to learn vocational skills in the school, in the community, through work experience, and through the school's learning partnership with other schools. For instance, an area of the grounds forms an automotive repair centre complete with car and equipment. Work with other schools internationally, in Norway and Sweden for instance, enriches the curriculum further. SportsMark, Healthy Schools Status and football coaching from professional players are examples of the importance the school gives to promoting a healthy lifestyle. The outstanding programme of personal, health and social education has a strong impact on the pupils' personal skills. The school works exceptionally well with a range of external support agencies. As a result, pupils receive excellent support which enables them to get the best out of their learning. Transition arrangements, that include an option for pupils to join a local comprehensive school yet continue to be taught at Beech Hill with their usual teachers, are exemplary and have resulted in every pupil in the last three years going on to further education or training.


These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching
Taking into account:
          The use of assessment to support learning
1
1
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships1
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support1


How effective are leadership and management?


The senior team's work, and that of other managers and governors, has collectively driven up the quality of teaching, the curriculum and pupils' achievements since the previous inspection. This, and some visionary development planning which has led to its application to extend its age range to 19, confirms an outstanding capacity to improve. Staff feel fully consulted, involved and valued and, consequently, there is a clear common purpose which permeates the life of the school. A great strength of the school lies in the rigorous and effective way leaders and managers monitor, evaluate and improve on every aspect of the school's performance. Governors are involved in all aspects of school life and provide good challenge and support to the school. They are particularly robust in ensuring that child protection, risk assessment and safeguarding requirements meet current statutory requirements. The school works extremely well with parents and carers to engage them in their children's learning. It promotes cohesion with its community well overall. It has strong links with a wide variety of local partners, for instance through learning partnerships, and with international partner schools in Beijing and Cape Town. The school's work is exceptional in promoting the equal opportunities of all pupils and their families and in tackling discrimination, particularly in the way it reaches out to those who have left the school. It is outstandingly successful in removing barriers to learning for pupils, including those with complex learning needs, and thus improving their life chances.


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
1
1
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
2
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers1
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination1
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion2
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money1


Views of parents and carers


About a third of eligible parents and carers responded to the questionnaire. Responses were very positive about every aspect of the school's work and no disagreement at all was indicated for a large majority of the questions in the questionnaire. Parents and carers indicated strongest support for their child's enjoyment of school, the way the school keeps their child safe and healthy; the high quality of teaching and the way the school prepares their child for the future. Almost all of the written additional comments were positive, expressing high regard for the school and their child's experience there. Two of the responses commented adversely on behaviour. Behaviour observed in the school during the inspection was almost always good and sometimes exemplary, and records showed that any incidents of poor behaviour are dealt with effectively.



Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire


Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Beech Hill School 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 inspection team received 22 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 63 pupils registered at the school.


StatementsStrongly
agree
AgreeDisagreeStrongly
disagree
Total%Total%Total%Total%
My child enjoys school115011500000
The school keeps my child safe15687320000
My school informs me about my child's progress14647321500
My child is making enough progress at this school11509410000
The teaching is good at this school14648360000
The school helps me to support my child's learning115010450000
The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle15687320000
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)14648360000
The school meets my child's particular needs13598361500
The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour14646272900
The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns13599410000
The school is led and managed effectively12559410000
Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school13599410000

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%.



Glossary


What inspection judgements mean


GradeJudgementDescription
Grade 1OutstandingThese features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2GoodThese are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3SatisfactoryThese features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4InadequateThese 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 of schools


Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of schoolOutstandingGoodSatisfactoryInadequate
Nursery schools514504
Primary schools6414210
Secondary schools8344414
Sixth forms1037503
Special schools3238255
Pupil referral
units
12433114
All schools9404010

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.

The data in the table above is for the period 1 September to 31 December 2009 and is the most recently published data available (see ofsted.gov.uk). Please note that the sample of schools inspected during the autumn term 2009 was not representative of all schools nationally, as weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection judgements.



Common terminology used by inspectors


Achievement:

the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.

Attainment:

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.

Learning:

how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.

Overall effectiveness:

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 school's capacity for sustained improvement.
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs,  including, where relevant, through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and support.
Progress:

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.



This letter is provided for the school, parents and
carers to share with their children. It describes Ofsted's
main findings from the inspection of their school.


22 April 2010

Dear Pupils

Inspection of Beech Hill School, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire NG19 6DX

Not long ago my colleague and I came to your school to see how you were getting on and to suggest things to make your school even better. You made us very welcome and we enjoyed meeting you and chatting to you and seeing what you do in your classrooms, and at lunchtime in the dining room. Thank you. Please thank your parents and carers for me for all the helpful comments they made on the questionnaires.

You go to an outstanding school. You told us that you all enjoy school very much. We could see that you work hard and all make excellent progress in your work and in your personal development. You told us that the many different people at the school look after you very well and give you lots of interesting activities. We noticed that the activities prepared for you included those that help you to become independent, make choices and learn all about how to be a grown up. All the adults are very good at working out how well you are doing and then preparing work that is just right for each of you.

You've done some exciting work to get to understand pupils and lifestyles in other countries. To make the school even better, we have asked the governors and staff to make sure it checks how well they are helping you to understand what is happening in the local area as well as in the rest of the United Kingdom.

Almost all of you attend school very regularly but just a very few of you don't. The school could improve even further if every one of you came to school as often as possible. We have asked governors and staff to help with this because you miss all the fun when you are not there.

Do keep on enjoying school and working hard because that will mean you are doing your best to get ready for your future as adults.

Yours sincerely,

Ruth McFarlane

Lead inspector



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 enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk.