Booker Park Community School
Stoke Leys Close
Principal: Mrs Annette Parkin
195 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||110588|
|Inspection dates||17–18 May 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Stuart Charlton|
|Type of school||Special|
|School category||Community special|
|Age range of pupils||3–11|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||161|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||5 July 2007|
|School address||Stoke Leys Close|
|Buckinghamshire HP21 9ET|
|Telephone number||01296 427221|
|Fax number||01296 433700|
|Inspection dates||17–18 May 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by three additional inspectors. The inspectors observed 18 lessons and all teachers. They held meetings with the chair of the governing body and vice-chair, the school improvement partner, staff and pupils. The work of the school was observed and the inspectors scrutinised the improvement plan, the minutes of the leadership team and governing body meetings, a range of other documentation and 69 questionnaires from parents and carers. The majority of pupils completed their questionnaires.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the following:
Booker Park is the primary school in a federation of two schools for pupils and young people with special educational needs. The partner school is Stocklake Park and the two schools make up the Vale Federation with one governing body. Booker Park has two Halls, Bernwode and Whiteleaf. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs and about three quarters of the pupils are based in Whiteleaf Hall. The primary need of pupils in Bernwode Hall is emotional, social and behavioural with a minority who are at the relatively higher attaining end of the autistic spectrum. Pupils at Whiteleaf Hall have a wide range of needs covering moderate and severe learning difficulties, profound multiple learning difficulties and autism. Many have additional speech, language and communication difficulties. The vast majority of pupils come from Buckinghamshire and there are a few who come from out of county. Most pupils are from White British backgrounds, with a small minority from Asian backgrounds. Since the last inspection, a class for pupils with sensory processing needs has been established for pupils requiring additional teaching and therapeutic support. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are taught in the early years class. The school holds the Healthy Schools, Investors in Families, and Activemark 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
Booker Park school provides outstanding education for all its pupils. The care, guidance and support which all staff provide are exemplary, ensuring that pupils gain excellent personal, social and learning skills. All pupils make excellent progress in their academic learning, regardless of ethnicity, gender, special educational needs or communication needs. This progress is based on high-quality teaching and learning. There are rigorous and robust systems in place to set challenging targets and monitor pupils' progress. These systems are used very well by teachers in their planning. The school is beginning to use its data to make comparisons with similar schools, but this does not yet give a sufficiently clear picture as to whether it is performing as well as it can.
Safeguarding procedures are exemplary and pupils indicate that they feel safe and secure in Booker Park. Relationships between staff and pupils are excellent and are a crucial factor in the school's success. Pupils enjoy school thoroughly and say that lessons are fun. Attendance is good, even though a substantial proportion of pupils have medical needs which require regular treatment. Behaviour is exemplary and parents and carers speak highly about the school and the positive effect it has on their children. The curriculum is very carefully tailored to match pupils' needs and the school quickly adapts its provision to meets the changing needs of its population. An excellent example is the curriculum that is now in place for a group of pupils with specific sensory needs. Through the focused development of their literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology (ICT) skills and their personal skills, pupils are extremely well prepared for the next stage of their education.
Parents and carers are actively involved in their children's learning. The learning is made more relevant to pupils because their academic targets, their individual action plans and the topics they will study are made available to parents and carers on a regular basis. The school's work with parents and carers to help them to understand and meet their children's needs is of very high quality and they are very positive about its effectiveness.
The headteacher provides the vision, commitment and determination to lead the school forward. She is well supported by the school's business director and, together with the senior leadership team, she has established very effective teamwork between the teachers and support staff at Booker Park. The place of Booker Park in the structure of the federation is presently under review as the federation moves into the next stage of its development to improve its provision. The commitment of staff and governors to getting the best for all pupils ensures that Booker Park is extremely well placed to improve in future. Staff development is given high priority and the input of staff is highly valued and acted upon so that all strive to improve the school even further. Partnerships with other professionals are used extremely well to promote the learning and well-being of pupils. The federation governors provide excellent challenge to the school and ensure that all statutory requirements are met. An audit of the school's contribution to community cohesion has been completed, which shows that links at local and national level are strong, but that there is more to do in developing its commitments in the international context.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Across the school, all pupils, regardless of their needs, make excellent progress and enjoy learning. By the end of Year 6, although pupils' attainment in reading, writing and mathematics is below that expected, it represents excellent progress from pupils' well-below-average starting points on entry. This is brought about by consistently very high-quality teaching and learning across the school. Excellent learning was seen in all areas of the school and the consistent use of a wide range of communication techniques and behaviour management strategies enabled all pupils to make rapid progress in developing their communication skills. In an excellent literacy lesson with Years 1 and 2 pupils, the teacher and the learning support assistants switched seamlessly between signing, pictorial and oral support to enable pupils to develop familiarity with the letter S'. There are very effective systems to determine the attainment of all pupils when they enter the school.
All aspects of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are excellent. Through the school council, pupils are closely involved in helping to contribute towards the school community; a good example of this is the way in which older pupils 'buddy' younger ones. Pupils contribute extremely well to the wider world and all are very willing to express their views on a range of issues. They show excellent understanding of the need for a healthy lifestyle. They appreciate the importance of the wide opportunities for physical development and the benefits of the healthy lunches. This is reflected in the award of the Healthy Schools status and the Activemark. Pupils have the confidence and skills which prepare them extremely well for the next stage of their education.
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||1|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||1|
|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||1|
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.
The school has particular strengths in teaching communication skills. Staff use a wide range of specialist techniques, including signing, pictorial systems and oral language, depending on pupils' needs. Teachers and support staff work together extremely well as a team and have a seamless approach to behaviour management. Planning is very effective, enabling support staff to make an important contribution to pupils' learning by clearly identifying the needs of individuals and how these will be met.
The curriculum is a strength of the school. It provides an excellent balance between pupils' needs and more practical and creative activities. An excellent example was the 'Horsewyse' session, which the school has introduced as part of its creative curriculum. This has been so successful that further opportunities of this nature are planned as part of a move towards a more topic-based approach across the school. A wide range of therapies, particularly speech and language, occupational and physiotherapy, enhances the provision and ensures that the range and complexity of pupils' needs are met very well. Enrichment activities, such as the sports clubs, visits to the theatre, museums and a local farm, add to pupils' enjoyment of school and link their learning to real-life experiences.
Staff make sure that all pupils, including those who arrive at different times, settle quickly and happily into school life. Transition arrangements for those who move to other schools are excellent and contribute extremely well to reducing pupils' anxieties.
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||1|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||1|
The present federation arrangements have been highly successful in bringing together the different schools. As it moves into the next stage of its development, the governors, the headteacher and the business director are reviewing the structures across the federation to ensure that these maintain the present impetus. The headteacher leads by example and gives a clear sense of direction across the school. The federation governing body is highly active in promoting the school and its aims. It has worked tirelessly to ensure that the quality of provision is such that the school is recognised as a leader in the local and national community. Through its work, the school fully meets its commitments to the promotion of equality of opportunity for pupils with special educational needs and tirelessly campaigns to eliminate discrimination. The school's self-evaluation is accurate and everyone is clear about what needs to be done for the school to improve further. Staff approach key developments very enthusiastically. Safeguarding and child protection are high on everyone's agenda and fully meet national requirements and guidelines. There are excellent links at local and national level through which the school promotes community cohesion. The school has clear plans in place for developments at international level to provide pupils with opportunities to learn more about life for those who live in other countries.
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||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||1|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||1|
The Early Years Foundation Stage is excellent. Very high-quality provision ensures that children make an extremely good start to their school life. The imaginative way in which staff organise children's learning, with very close attention to detail, means that children are exceptionally well motivated by a wide range of purposeful activities. By the time the children start Year 1, all attain the challenging targets that have been set for them and the majority exceed these in most areas of learning and notably in their personal development. The extensive outdoor facilities are used extremely well to develop pupils' physical and motor skills particularly for those with limited mobility. Leadership is highly effective and the introduction of a more focused programme for teaching letters and sounds is helping to make sure that teaching fully challenges children of all abilities.
These are the grades for the Early Years Foundation Stage
|Overall effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The quality of provision in the Early Years Foundation Stage
The effectiveness of leadership and management of the Early Years Foundation
Nearly half of the parents and carers returned the questionnaire. The views expressed have been supplemented by using information derived from the school's own surveys. Parents and carers are overwhelmingly positive in their view that Booker Park is an outstanding school: as one said, 'My daughter's time at school is a beacon in her day'; another stated that 'Classroom teachers and support assistants are fantastic and dedicated to helping pupils to flourish in spite of their difficulties.' The inspection shows that such comments are well founded.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Booker Park 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 69 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 161 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||50||72||18||26||0||0||1||1|
|The school keeps my child safe||51||74||16||23||1||1||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||41||59||26||38||1||1||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||36||52||28||41||3||4||1||1|
|The teaching is good at this school||44||64||23||33||1||1||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||36||52||28||41||2||3||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||32||46||36||52||1||1||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)||37||54||22||32||3||4||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||43||62||21||30||1||1||1||1|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||35||51||29||42||3||4||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||33||48||31||45||3||4||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||41||59||23||33||3||4||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||49||71||17||25||1||1||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.
20 May 2010
Inspection of Booker Park School, Aylesbury, HP21 9ET
We really enjoyed coming to visit you. You helped us by letting us see your lessons and look at your work.
We found Booker Park to be a brilliant school. You showed us how happy you are at school and your parents told us how you look forward to coming every day. The school keeps you safe and there is always someone to help and look after you. We could see that you really enjoyed horse riding, rebound and football. You all behave extremely well.
To make things even better we want staff to make sure you have more chances to find out how children live in other countries. We have also asked them to use the information about the progress you make to make sure that everyone knows that Booker Park is an excellent school.
We hope you will help staff by doing your best all the time you are in school.
Lead inspector (on behalf of the inspection team)
|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.|