School etc

Colnbrook School

Colnbrook School
Hayling Road

phone: 020 84281281

headteacher: Mr Richard Hill


school holidays: via Hertfordshire council

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 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

School report

Colnbrook School

Hayling Road, Watford, WD19 7UY

Inspection dates 23–24 October 2013
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Outstanding 1
Previous inspection: Outstanding 1
Achievement of pupils Outstanding 1
Quality of teaching Outstanding 1
Behaviour and safety of pupils Outstanding 1
Leadership and management Outstanding 1

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is an outstanding school.

The school meets fully its vision of ‘Working
Pupils make outstanding progress from their
Pupils’ make great strides in improving their
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Teaching is outstanding. Teachers are highly
together … achieving together’ and ensures
that all pupils are prepared particularly well
for the next stage of their education.
starting points to the end of Year 6,
particularly in English and mathematics, as
well as in other National Curriculum subjects.
communication skills, which supports their
outstanding progress in the personal and
social development.
make outstanding progress. This gets them
ready for learning and eases their move to
Year 1.
effective at planning their lessons. They make
sure the work is hard enough and always at
the right level of difficulty for each pupil. This
means that pupils make the best possible
progress towards their individual targets.
Pupils’ behaviour and attitudes to learning are
Pupils say they feel safe at school and get on
The headteacher and his deputy have made
The experienced Chair of the Governing Body
As a result of the high quality support offered
outstanding. This is because of interesting and
motivating lessons, together with highly
effective support from all adults.
well together. Older pupils appreciate the
internet safety lessons they have and say there
are always adults to help them, should help be
sure that there has been a continuous and
highly effective focus on maintaining and
improving further all aspects of the school’s
and his governors know the school very well,
work very closely with the headteacher and his
senior leaders, and are highly effective in their
by the outreach team, mainstream school staff
develop their confidence and expertise in
supporting their own pupils with learning

Information about this inspection

  • Inspectors observed 13 lessons, taught by 12 different teachers. Five of the lessons were
    observed jointly with a member of the senior leadership team.
  • A meeting was held with a group of older pupils. Meetings were also held with the headteacher
    and deputy headteacher, others with posts of responsibility and the Chair of the Governing
    Body. A telephone conversation was held with a representative of the local authority.
  • The lead inspector took account of 33 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View), the
    school’s own recent parent questionnaire and 26 responses to the staff questionnaire.
  • Inspectors observed the school’s practice and looked at a range of documentation, including the
    school’s checks on how well it is doing and its improvement planning, information on pupils’
    progress, documents used by senior leaders to check the school’s work, governing body
    documentation, and records relating to attendance, behaviour and safeguarding.

Inspection team

James Bowden, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Aileen Thomas Additional Inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • Previously a school for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, Colnbrook was re-designated as
    a school for pupils with learning difficulties, autism and speech and language impairment in
    2012. Pupils join the school at different times throughout their school career.
  • Currently the large majority of pupils are boys. The large majority are of White British
    background, with a few of Pakistani or Asian British background. A few are from families where
    English is not the home language. All pupils have a statement of their special educational needs.
  • The school is organised into three planning groups covering Reception to Year 2, Years 3 and 4,
    and Years 5 and 6. The Rainbow class in planning group 1 provides for younger children with
    complex autism and communication disorders, which supports their integration and inclusion into
    the main school. A few are children in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The Jigsaw room
    provides withdrawal support for older children with social and communication needs as well as
    their learning difficulty.
  • The proportion of pupils at Colnbrook eligible for the pupil premium, which provides additional
    government funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, children in local
    authority care and children from service families, is above the national average. Currently there
    are very few in local authority care.
  • The school’s outreach service provides advice, support and training to local mainstream schools,
    including training at the school itself.
  • The school does not use alternative off-site provision.
  • In September 2013, the school achieved Autism accreditation.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Develop all pupils’ independent communication skills through the use of new technologies to
    make learning even more exciting.

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is outstanding
  • Attainment on entry to the Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1 is low as a result of
    children’s complex needs. Attainment remains below average in all year groups. However, in
    relation to their starting points, pupils, including those from minority ethnic backgrounds, make
    outstanding progress and achieve particularly well in the main school, whatever their abilities.
  • At the end of Year 6, almost all pupils usually move to secondary special schools. However, in
    September 2013, four pupils returned to mainstream schools in Year 7 where they are
    maintaining their placements.
  • High quality support for all pupils means there are no differences in the rates of progress made
    by those with different levels of learning difficulties, boys and girls, the very few who speak
    English as an additional language or those supported by pupil premium funding. Students known
    to be eligible for free school meals and the few looked after by local authorities achieve as well
    as others. Extra support and resources helps these pupils make outstanding progress.
  • Rapid progress is made in the key skills of literacy and numeracy, which are reinforced
    successfully in all lessons. Consequently, great strides are made in reading, writing and
    communication skills and in the use of mathematical concepts. Older pupils know how to break
    down words into sounds to help them read successfully. In addition, pupils make outstanding
    progress in all other National Curriculum subjects. In physical education, for example, all make
    significant progress in swimming.
  • In the Early Years Foundation Stage, staff check carefully the needs and difficulties of children
    when they arrive. Individual targets are then set for learning and development, and the
    outstanding progress they make prepares them well for moving on to Year 1.
  • In all lessons, progress is consistently good and frequently outstanding. This confirms the
    school’s judgement, which is based on detailed and highly effective checking on how well pupils
    are doing. In an English lesson, for example, the teacher used visual communication symbols
    highly effectively to develop pupils’ use of adverbs in their writing when recounting Julia
    Donaldson’s ‘Tyrannosaurus Drip’.
The quality of teaching is outstanding
  • Teaching throughout the school promotes excellent learning for all pupils and prepares them
    well for the next stage of their education.
  • Lessons are planned highly effectively to build on previous learning and to provide challenges for
    the next steps in learning. In a Rainbow class lesson, pupils took turns in identifying number
    names. The less able were supported by signs by adults and the more able moved on to explore
    the concepts of one more and one less. The teacher used an interactive display connected to a
    computer very effectively to support pupils’ learning, including having pupils manipulate the
    images displayed to remove or add them.
  • Although teachers use interactive displays highly effectively to support learning, the school
    recognises that pupils’ independent communication skills could be improved further through the
    use of new ‘touch screen’ technologies that allow pupils to use and manipulate images on their
    own screens. This would, the school believes, make learning even more interesting.
  • A key strength is how highly effectively all teachers and adults in the room work together to
    make sure pupils make the best progress possible in relation to their learning needs and targets.
    This was evident in all lessons. Teaching assistants and other adults know their pupils’ needs
    very well and ensure that all stayed on task throughout. Pupils are asked questions to test their
    understanding and, most importantly, given time to think before responding. This calm and
    sensitive approach gives pupils confidence in their learning. The consistent support for
    developing communication skills, including that from speech and language assistants, supports
    pupils very well and underpins the outstanding progress they make.
  • In a lesson in one of the Jigsaw rooms, the teacher made sure that pupils used full sentences
    when asking one another if they wanted a piece of fruit or some water during snack time. Pupils
    were also making excellent progress in developing their personal and social skills.
  • A variety of activities also enlivens learning. In a religious education lesson, in preparation for
    the task of writing an invitation to a Sikh Gudwara ceremony, pupils watched a DVD
    presentation showing the first tying of the turban ceremony and the celebration that would
    follow this. In a role-play, pupils removed their shoes and sat on the classroom floor as if
    preparing to join the feast. There was an excellent focus throughout on improving pupils’
    speaking and listening skills.
  • Parents and carers are overwhelmingly pleased with the progress their children are making in
    lessons, as are the pupils who spoke with the lead inspector.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are outstanding
  • Behaviour is outstanding in lessons and around the school because it is a welcoming community
    with consistent routines. Staff respect pupils’ dignity, well-being and their developing
    independence. Underpinning this are the highly effective relationships between all adults and
    pupils which result in enjoyable, purposeful and safe learning throughout the whole school day.
  • Typically, behaviour over time has been outstanding. Since the last inspection, there have been
    no recorded instances of racism or homophobia and there have been no instances of bullying.
    Instances of unacceptable behaviour are extremely rare. There have been no permanent
    exclusions or instances where pupils are not allowed to go to school for a short time because of
    poor behaviour.
  • Pupils say there is no bullying and have an awareness of the potential dangers associated with
    the use of the internet. One pupil said that if bullying were to happen the headteacher would
    deal with it. In addition, pupils said that they really like the use of the school’s rewards,
    particularly the headteacher’s award stickers. In all lessons observed during the inspection, there
    was not one instance where learning was disrupted by poor behaviour. Pupils also clearly enjoy
    the structured time and planned activities provided at morning break and lunch times.
  • Persistent absences are very rare. Pupils arrive happily in the morning, remain happy throughout
    the day and leave happy and contented at the end of the day. Pupils’ attitudes to learning are
    highly positive. In lessons, pupils work alone or together in pairs or small groups. In a
    mathematics lesson, very effective organisation allowed pupils to work as individuals as well as
    having adult support in small groups.
  • Without exception, parents and carers who responded to Parent View and the school’s own
    recent parent questionnaire are happy with the school’s care for their children. This was also
    confirmed by the responses to the staff questionnaire and by the pupils who met with the lead
The leadership and management are outstanding
  • Leadership and management are outstanding because of the headteacher’s passionate drive and
    determined ambition. Supported by his senior leaders, this has led to continuing and sustained
    improvement since the last inspection. All staff are overwhelmingly committed to the school’s
    uncompromising focus on the quality of its provision and pupil progress. All planning groups,
    including Early Years Foundation Stage, are exceptionally well led.
  • Senior leaders check carefully the quality of teaching and learning and pupils’ progress. They set
    clear targets for teachers to improve the quality of their work. At the end of each year,
    recommendations are made regarding additional responsibilities and training opportunities.
  • As a result of the school’s unyielding commitment to equality, it ensures there is no
    discrimination of any kind. All pupils, regardless of circumstances or needs, make outstanding
    progress in relation to their starting points in their learning and personal development.
  • The subjects and topics students study mirror those in mainstream schools but have greater
    breadth. Because they are tailored to match fully the abilities and individual needs of all pupils,
    all have equal opportunity to succeed. The strong focus on preparing pupils for the next stage of
    their education through personal and social education and improvements in communication skills
    develops their independence. This contributes significantly to pupils’ strong all-round personal
    development, as well as their excellent spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • The school works highly effectively with other professionals both locally (including the outreach
    service) and across the local authority, as well as with its own team of therapists to support
    pupils’ wide ranging learning needs. It also works closely with parents and carers. This they
    appreciate, as is evident in their overwhelmingly positive responses to both Parent View and the
    school’s own latest survey.
  • Since the last inspection, the local authority has provided minimal support to this outstanding
  • The governance of the school:
    The highly experienced Chair and his Governing Body are supportive of the school, working
    closely with the headteacher to secure further improvements. Governors undertake specific
    training to support them in their delegated roles. They recognise the importance of high
    quality teaching and how this is supporting pupils’ outstanding achievements. Governors check
    the work of the headteacher and other staff, which is helping them to make decisions about
    how well they are working, any action that needs to be taken, training opportunities and pay.
    They take their safeguarding responsibilities seriously and they ensure that the school is a safe
    place in which to work and learn.
    Governors are particularly diligent in making sure that the school’s finances are balanced, and
    in overseeing the use and impact of the pupil premium funding. Current funding is being used
    to provide extra support to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their circumstances, make the
    best possible progress in English and mathematics and communication skills. Although the use
    and potential impact of the funding for the support of primary physical education and school
    sport has been considered, the school has not yet received its allocation.

What inspection judgements mean


Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding An outstanding school is highly effective in delivering outcomes
that provide exceptionally well for all its pupils’ needs. This ensures
that pupils are very well equipped for the next stage of their
education, training or employment.
Grade 2 Good A good school is effective in delivering outcomes that provide well
for all its pupils’ needs. Pupils are well prepared for the next stage
of their education, training or employment.
Grade 3 Requires
A school that requires improvement is not yet a good school, but it
is not inadequate. This school will receive a full inspection within
24 months from the date of this inspection.
Grade 4 Inadequate A school that requires special measures is one where the school is
failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and
the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not
demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary
improvement in the school. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and
requires significant improvement but leadership and management
are judged to be Grade 3 or better. This school will receive regular
monitoring by Ofsted inspectors.

School details

Unique reference number 117670
Local authority Hertfordshire
Inspection number 427150

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Special
School category Community special
Age range of pupils 4–11
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 92
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Bernard Bell
Headteacher Richard Hill
Date of previous school inspection 3 December 2008
Telephone number 020 8428 1281
Fax number 020 8428 1281
Email address reveal email: adm…


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