School etc Great British

Colnbrook School

Colnbrook School
Hayling Road

020 84281281

Headteacher: Mr Richard Hill


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92 pupils aged 4—10y mixed gender

70 boys 76%


20 girls 22%


Last updated: June 19, 2014

— Community Special School

Establishment type
Community Special School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 511406, Northing: 193498
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.629, Longitude: -0.39186
Accepting pupils
4—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Oct. 23, 2013
Region › Const. › Ward
East of England › South West Hertfordshire › Hayling
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN priorities
SLCN - Speech, language and Communication
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Free school meals %

Rooms & flats to rent in Watford

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Warren Dell Primary School WD197UZ (218 pupils)
  2. 0.3 miles Oxhey Wood Primary School WD197SL (324 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles St Joseph Catholic Primary School WD197DW (236 pupils)
  4. 0.5 miles Little Furze Junior Mixed and Infant School WD197RE
  5. 0.5 miles Hangers Wood School WD16RF
  6. 0.6 miles St Meryl School WD195BT (234 pupils)
  7. 0.7 miles Woodhall Primary School WD196QX (224 pupils)
  8. 0.8 miles Greenfields Primary School WD196QH (210 pupils)
  9. 0.9 miles Oxhey Early Years Centre WD194RL (88 pupils)
  10. 0.9 miles Bromet Primary School WD194SG (281 pupils)
  11. 1.2 mile Eastbury Farm Primary School HA63DG (349 pupils)
  12. 1.3 mile St John's School HA63QY (350 pupils)
  13. 1.4 mile Grimsdyke School HA54QE (420 pupils)
  14. 1.4 mile Bushey and Oxhey Infant School WD232QH (180 pupils)
  15. 1.4 mile Field Junior School WD180AZ (235 pupils)
  16. 1.4 mile Watford Field School (Infant & Nursery) WD180WF (264 pupils)
  17. 1.4 mile Bushey Manor Junior School WD232QL (246 pupils)
  18. 1.4 mile Laurance Haines School WD180DD (536 pupils)
  19. 1.4 mile Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and Nursery WD231SU (310 pupils)
  20. 1.4 mile St Margaret's School WD231DT (445 pupils)
  21. 1.4 mile Merchant Taylors' School HA62HT (885 pupils)
  22. 1.5 mile Frithwood Primary School HA63NJ (463 pupils)
  23. 1.5 mile Holywell Primary School WD186LL (499 pupils)
  24. 1.5 mile Bushey Hall School WD233AA

List of schools in Watford

Ofsted report: Newer report is now available. Search "117670" on latest issued Oct. 23, 2013.

Colnbrook School

Inspection Report

Unique Reference Number117670
Local AuthorityHertfordshire
Inspection number326659
Inspection dates3–4 December 2008
Reporting inspectorAlan Lemon

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The registered childcare, managed by the governing body, was inspected under section 49 of the Childcare Act 2006.

Type of schoolSpecial
School categoryCommunity
Age range of pupils4–11
Gender of pupilsMixed
Number on roll
School (total)84
Government funded early education
provision for children aged 3 to the end
of the EYFS
Childcare provision for children
aged 0 to 3 years
Appropriate authorityThe governing body
ChairMr Bernard Bell
HeadteacherMr Richard Hill
Date of previous school inspection 5 October 2005
Date of previous funded early education
Not previously inspected
Date of previous childcare inspection Not previously inspected
School addressHayling Road
South Oxhey, Watford
Hertfordshire WD19 7UY
Telephone number02084281281
Fax number02084215359

Age group4–11
Inspection dates3–4 December 2008
Inspection number326659

Inspection report Colnbrook School, 3–4 December 2008

© Crown copyright 2008



The inspection was carried out by two Additional Inspectors.

Description of the school

Colnbrook School provides education for primary-aged pupils. In addition, there is a small number of children in their Reception year entitled to Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) provision. All pupils have learning difficulties and/or disabilities covered by statements of special educational need. Pupils with moderate learning difficulties (MLD) and those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) each account for approximately one third each of the school's population. A smaller number have severe learning difficulties (SLD) and a few have speech, language and communication difficulties. The range of learning difficulties means attainment on entry varies considerably and is very low compared to age related expectations. The school makes additional provision for pupils with the most complex needs. Jigsaw caters for those pupils who have pronounced difficulties with communication, language and literacy. The ASD base gives intensive support to severely autistic pupils in Key Stage 1 before they join their class group.

Colnbrook provides a substantial amount of support to mainstream schools with their pupils who have learning difficulties and/or disabilities. It also has links with mainstream schools promoting the arts and sports mainly, which has led to it achieving the Inclusion Mark in September 2008. The school has achieved many other awards in recognition of its educational and other provision such as the Basic Skills Quality Mark, ActiveMark and the Healthy School Quality Mark.

Key for inspection grades

Grade 1Outstanding
Grade 2Good
Grade 3Satisfactory
Grade 4Inadequate

Overall effectiveness of the school

Grade: 1

Colnbrook is an outstanding school. It was judged outstanding in its last inspection and has continued to improve, providing exceptionally good value for money. Every aspect of the school's work has benefited enormously from its leadership's knowledge, very clear direction, strong values and high expectations. The school has an excellent capacity to continue improving. Pupils' achievement is outstanding. They make excellent progress in developing communication, literacy and numeracy skills and in using information and communication technology (ICT). Pupils' outstanding personal development, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, strongly underpins their excellent achievement. It prepares them exceedingly well for secondary education. A great many parents have drawn attention to their children's achievements and superlatives such as 'wonderful progress', 'come on leaps and bounds', are typical of many.

Parents' comments recognise that this school is very special because it very effectively achieves unexpected transformations in their children which others had previously failed to accomplish. A very positive ethos of care, support and encouragement pervades every aspect of the school's work, which ensures all pupils are valued, nurtured and kept safe. The care, guidance and support for pupils is outstanding. With the considerable encouragement of the school, all pupils develop, and a great many appreciate, a healthy lifestyle. The emphasis on pupils' being independent and responsible means they contribute much to school life. Its numerous links with the community means pupils contribute in many ways, through sports and the choir in particular. This forms part of the school's overall excellent contribution to community cohesion.

The staff possess a considerable knowledge and understanding of pupils which they use exceptionally well in meeting their needs. For the school, staff development is the lynchpin of its success and training stays in constant focus. Out of the skills and expertise of staff is developed excellent provision for tackling pupils' learning difficulties and other needs. There is very little turnover of staff and they form very effective teams, especially in the classroom. Teaching and learning are outstanding, as a result. Staff use their knowledge of pupils to build a rapport that captures interest and attention. Their expectations are high; they keep pupils engaged in learning for the whole lesson and working at a fast pace. Teaching methods match pupils' learning needs well. The intensive work in the ASD base and in Jigsaw is excellent. Resources in lessons are very carefully chosen and ICT is used to very good effect. Communication is promoted by a wide variety of strategies using signs, symbols and good emphasis on pupils speaking and listening. The curriculum, including EYFS, provides an excellent range of learning opportunities, which are hugely enriched by many activities capturing pupils' interest and enthusiasm. However, the links between planned activities and the EYFS areas of learning are not made sufficiently explicit. Pupils enjoy school greatly and all of the activities they take part in at school and beyond contribute enormously to achievement, social skills and self-confidence. Clubs are very popular as are the huge number of sports pupils' play. Physical education is a real strength of the school, reflected in the many sporting awards it and pupils have gained.

Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage

Grade: 1

Children's personal development and well-being is outstanding. They learn suitable hygiene and social practices, and choose to eat a wider range of healthy foods. They accept routines and expectations and increasingly are willing to participate in activities. The children enjoy school, particularly physical and outdoor activities. Their improving personal development helps the children make sense of the world, understand and learn rapidly. As a result, they make outstanding progress which is clearly shown in their detailed assessments.

Leadership and management are outstanding and staff are very effective. They know each child very well and activities are very well planned in relation to their learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Children are kept safe and their physical, emotional and health needs are very well addressed. Additional assessment records are kept appropriate to the age group, and the managers have ensured that all EYFS welfare requirements are met. Partnerships with parents and professionals are excellent and parents are very happy with their children's progress.

The playground has been refurbished and now has a sheltered area for outside play and learning all year round. In meeting children's needs the curriculum covers EYFS requirements, although in planning it is not sufficiently clear how children's work and activities relate to the areas of learning in the EYFS.

What the school should do to improve further

  • Match the curriculum for Reception children to the requirements of EYFS and, where necessary, improve provision where any mismatch occurs.

Achievement and standards

Grade: 1

Pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2 make excellent progress as a result of the high quality of teaching, curriculum and support. These are all finely tuned to meeting the complexity and wide range of pupils' needs, whether MLD, SLD or ASD. In the majority of lessons seen, pupils made rapid progress particularly in relation to communication, independence and social interaction. Pupils develop in confidence, fit willingly into routines, communicate and happily take part with others in work and activities. The school has collected data on progress for many years and has been very effective in ensuring its validity and accuracy. Data shows by the measured increases in levels of attainment that the great majority of pupils are making excellent progress in English, mathematics and personal, social and health education. Whilst only relatively small amounts of data are collected for other subjects it is clear from pupils' work, particularly in history, art and physical education that they are achieving standards that are high in relation to their capabilities.

Personal development and well-being

Grade: 1

As pupils settle and benefit from the school's outstanding provision, so their confidence and self-esteem grow. They enjoy school very much, for example shooting up their hands and saying 'me, me!' when volunteering to answer a question. Their attendance, behaviour and relationships are outstanding. Pupils feel safe at school, and know they can turn to staff if in need. They are kind and considerate to one another, and polite and friendly to visitors. Incidents of bullying or harassment are rare and addressed quickly. The pupils understand many aspects of staying healthy. They know that exercise is beneficial, and often say their favourite activities are sports. Pupils enjoy their responsibilities and are very proud of their achievements. Colnbrook's strong community ethos provides a wealth of opportunities for pupils to participate in wider community events, particularly sporting and creative activities. They learn about other cultures and historical times, and to help those less fortunate than themselves. This supports pupils' social, moral and cultural development and community cohesion very effectively.

Quality of provision

Teaching and learning

Grade: 1

The school's strong commitment to the professional development of its staff has meant teachers and their assistants work very effectively as teams promoting learning. They are all expert in meeting the needs of pupils and they know them extremely well. This is most obvious in the excellent teaching of literacy in Jigsaw and, equally, the severely autistic pupils in Key Stage 1. The assessments of all pupils are thorough, and made more comprehensive by the very good contributions of specialists, such as speech and language therapists. Assessment is used very effectively to adapt work to each pupil's needs and to identify appropriate learning outcomes in each lesson. The very positive rapport built by classroom staff really engages pupils, encouraging them to communicate in the ways most appropriate to them. Pupils learn to work individually and in groups; they do so with growing independence and manage responsibilities for learning as a result of the encouragement from staff. Expectations are high and learning proceeds at a fast pace, all promoted effectively by the challenging targets set for each class.

Curriculum and other activities

Grade: 1

The whole curriculum has considerable breadth reflecting the national curriculum. Moreover, pupils' work and activities are also matched closely to their learning difficulties, capabilities and interests. This applies in particular to the few children in their Reception year, where there is a very good programme for dealing with all their learning difficulties. Planning in Key Stages 1 and 2 uses the national curriculum very imaginatively, especially by threading a topic or theme, such as World War II or the Christmas Story, through all the subjects studied by pupils. In addition to generating much interest in learning, topics focus exceptionally well on promoting basic skills in literacy, numeracy and personal, social and health education. Well-developed links with other schools enable pupils to work and play alongside their mainstream peers, helping their progress in many ways and social skills in particular.

The curriculum is enriched in a great many ways, through several popular club activities, the arts and sports. These all stand out as strengths in promoting learning and progress and, because they involve lots of links outside the school, contribute significantly towards community cohesion.

Care, guidance and support

Grade: 1

All the required procedures to safeguard pupils' welfare and safety are in place, rigorously applied and closely monitored by staff and the governing body. Staff know each pupil very well so that any change in behaviour or response is immediately noted and addressed suitably. Staff treat pupils with great respect, and the care and concern for each individual is very evident. Pupils and parents are given outstanding support when the time comes for pupils to transfer to secondary education. The outstanding teamwork between class staff and professionals such as speech and language therapists ensure that pupils receive consistent support and guidance to learn and develop. The outreach service provides high quality, very well received support for local schools and the Jigsaw group, in which extra communication and behaviour support is given to certain pupils, is an outstanding aspect of the school's provision. The school has well-established systems for assessing and tracking pupils' attainment and progress. The information gained is closely analysed and underpins the challenging targets set for each pupil, and the level of their work in lessons. Parents are happy with the information they receive on their children's progress and the annual reports are detailed and of high quality.

Leadership and management

Grade: 1

All of the school's work and its involvement and contribution to the community are inspired by the commitment and enthusiasm of the headteacher and his deputy. The contribution to community cohesion is excellent. Leaders are a particularly effective team generating extremely strong team work throughout the school. The school's many strengths, such as outreach support, provision for arts and sports, pupils' clubs, Jigsaw and ASD provision are all the products of teachers' and others' very effective leadership. There is a sharp focus on continuous improvement. Monitoring and evaluation is at the heart of this. The tracking of pupils' progress and observing teaching and learning are particular strengths, leading to identifying priorities for improving pupils' achievement and further staff training needs. Governors are very active in their work, with regular planned visits and receipt of detailed reports from staff. This keeps them fully abreast of developments and enables them to use their considerable experience to support the school.

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:

Annex A

Inspection judgements

Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.School Overall

Overall effectiveness

How effective,efficient and inclusive is the provision of education,integrated care and any extended services in meeting the needs of learners?1
Effective steps have been taken to promote improvement since the last inspectionYes
How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being?1
The capacity to make any necessary improvements1

Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage

How effective is the provision in meeting the needs of children in the EYFS?1
How well do children in the EYFS achieve?1
How good is the overall personal development and well-being of the children?1
How effectively are children in the EYFS helped to learn and develop?1
How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?1
How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?1

Achievement and standards

How well do learners achieve?1
The standards¹ reached by learners4
How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners1
How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress1

Personal development and well-being

How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?1
The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development1
The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles1
The extent to which learners adopt safe practices1
The extent to which learners enjoy their education1
The attendance of learners1
The behaviour of learners1
The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community1
How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being1

The quality of provision

How effective are teaching and learning in meeting the full range of learners' needs?1
How well do the curriculum and other activities meet the range of needs and interests of learners?1
How well are learners cared for, guided and supported?1

Leadership and management

How effective are leadership and management in raising achievement and supporting all learners?1
How effectively leaders and managers at all levels set clear direction leading to improvement and promote high quality of care and education1
How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards1
The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation1
How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated1
How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?1
How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money1
The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities1
Do procedures for safeguarding learners meet current government requirements?Yes
Does this school require special measures?No
Does this school require a notice to improve?No

1 Grade 1 - Exceptionally and consistently high; Grade 2 - Generally above average with none significantly below average; Grade 3 - Broadly average to below average; Grade 4 - Exceptionally low.

Annex B

Text from letter to pupils explaining the findings of the inspection

5 December 2008

Dear Pupils

Inspection of Colnbrook School Watford WD19 7UY

Many thanks for your warm welcome and friendliness during my visit to your school. I want to thank the members of the school council who gave their time to share their views. This was very helpful to me in making up my mind on what I should say about your school.

I am very pleased to report that your school is outstanding. It was outstanding when inspectors last visited, three years ago, and you are still getting top marks. This is because all of the staff work very hard and do their jobs really well. Your headteacher makes sure they have everything they need so you have the very best school.

You too have helped make your school as good as it is, especially by working so hard in lessons, behaving very well and being really helpful in every way you can. The progress you are making is outstanding. A healthy lifestyle, staying safe and contributing generously in school and beyond are all part and parcel of your great enthusiasm.

There is not much more I can ask your headteacher to do to improve your school. Since there have been changes to the way the youngest pupils in school are taught, I have asked your headteacher to make sure everything for them is as up-to-date as possible.

I wish you all the very best for the future.

Alan Lemon

Lead inspector

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