Dorin Park School & Specialist SEN College
phone: 01244 981191
headteacher: Ms Annie Hinchliffe Med Npqh
50 boys 51%
50 girls 51%
Last updated: July 21, 2014
— Community Special School
- Establishment type
- Community Special School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 340875, Northing: 368862
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.213, Longitude: -2.8868
- Accepting pupils
- 2—19 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- July 3, 2014
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North West › City of Chester › Upton
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Main specialism
- SEN cognition and learning (Operational)
- SEN priorities
- PD - Physical Disability
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.3 miles Mill View Primary School CH21HB (209 pupils)
- 0.3 miles St Mary's CofE Infant School CH21HX
- 0.4 miles Upton Manor County Junior School CH21ED
- 0.4 miles Upton Westlea Primary School CH21QJ (201 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Upton Heath CofE Primary School CH21ED (358 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Firs School CH22HJ (219 pupils)
- 0.5 miles Countess of Chester Hospital Education Unit CH21UL
- 0.6 miles Pine Lodge CH21AW
- 0.7 miles Newton Primary School CH22LA (369 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Kingsway High School CH22LB
- 0.7 miles Upton-by-Chester High School CH21NN (1510 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Merton House School CH14BD
- 0.8 miles Woodfield Junior School CH22QE
- 0.8 miles Woodfield County Infant School CH22QE
- 0.8 miles Woodfield Primary School CH22QE
- 0.9 miles Acresfield Community Primary School CH21LJ (202 pupils)
- 1 mile Holly Bank School CH21AB
- 1 mile St Martin's Academy Chester CH23NG (25 pupils)
- 1.1 mile University of Chester CH14BJ
- 1.2 mile Victoria Infant School CH14BR
- 1.2 mile St Thomas of Canterbury Blue Coat CofE Junior School CH14HG
- 1.2 mile Chester Blue Coat Church of England Primary School CH14HG (404 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Hoole All Saints' CofE Infant and Nursery School CH23HR
- 1.3 mile St Werburgh's and St Columba's Catholic Primary School CH23AD (331 pupils)
Dorin Park School &
Specialist SEN College
Wealstone Lane, Upton, Chester, Cheshire, CH2 1HD
|Inspection dates||3–4 July 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Outstanding||1|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| Behaviour and safety are outstanding. Pupils’ |
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage
Most pupils make good progress in reading,
Pupils make outstanding progress in their
The sixth form is good. Three distinct groups
Pupils eligible for support through the pupil
behaviour in lessons and around the school is
excellent. The sixth form students stay safe
when attending their off-site placements.
get off to a good start in the school and make
good progress in their learning.
writing and mathematics. They make
outstanding progress in information and
personal, social and health education.
are arranged to meet the students’ needs and
they all attain relevant accreditation.
premium make as much progress as their
peers in the school.
| The impact of teaching on pupils’ progress over |
The good promotion of pupils’ communication
The headteacher and deputy headteacher
Governors know the school well and provide an
time is good. Staff have excellent relationships
with the pupils and manage their behaviour
skills keeps them engaged in their learning.
Good subject expertise and high quality
resources help to promote good progress.
provide confident and clear leadership and
reinforce high expectations. Since the last
inspection, they have spent time developing
the skills of the middle leaders. The current
leadership team demonstrates the ability to
move the school forward.
effective blend of support and challenge to
hold the school fully to account for its work.
| Teaching is not outstanding. |
Some of the targets in class are too general
and do not measure sufficiently small steps in
| Occasionally, where verbal communication is |
the main approach, the language used in some
classes is pitched at a level too challenging for
many of the pupils to understand.
Information about this inspection
- Inspectors visited 14 part-lessons and most of the teachers were seen. All of the lessons visited
were joint observations with the headteacher and deputy headteacher.
- Inspectors heard pupils read and reviewed their previous work.
- Inspectors observed the pupils’ arrival at school, their breaks and lunchtime.
- Meetings were held with senior leaders, subject leaders, the sixth form leader, staff responsible
for behaviour and safety and the school’s counsellor. Inspectors also met governors, the school
improvement partner and a representative of the local authority. They had a telephone
conversation with a representative from the Bren Project.
- Inspectors considered 29 responses to a recent school survey of parents’ views and 17
responses to Parent View, Ofsted’s online survey. In addition, inspectors considered three
written responses from parents and spoke with two parents on the telephone.
- Inspectors took account of 43 inspection questionnaires completed by the staff.
- Inspectors looked at the school’s work and scrutinised a number of documents including: the
school’s summary self-evaluation; performance management documents; safeguarding policies
and procedures; risk assessment; records related to behaviour and attendance and records
about the pupils’ progress over time.
|David Smith, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Nell Banfield||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school provides for pupils with a wide range of learning difficulties and disabilities, including
severe to profound and multiple, moderate and physical. Some experience behavioural,
emotional and social difficulties and a small, but increasing, minority have autistic spectrum
conditions. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs. Two pupils are dual
registered with local mainstream schools.
- A small number of pupils are placed at the school from neighbouring authorities.
- The sixth-form students are able to access some after-school provision managed by the school.
- There are currently 12 children attending the school in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- There are roughly the same number of boys and girls on roll. Most of the pupils are White
British. Very few pupils do not speak English as their first language.
- The proportion of pupils in the school who are entitled to receive support through the pupil
premium funding is above average. The pupil premium is additional government funding
provided to give extra support to those pupils known to be eligible for free school meals and
those who are looked after by the local authority.
- Sixth-form students have the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award with staff
from the Conway Centre, to attend West Cheshire College part-time, and to take part in work
placements with the Bren Project and Changing Education.
- The school has many links with other schools in the local authority and beyond.
- The school has a wide range of national awards including Investors in People Gold, the Green
Flag Status Eco Award and the Artsmark Gold.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Eliminate the small number of remaining weaknesses in teaching so that its quality is
increasingly outstanding and boost achievement by ensuring that:
the language used in class is carefully considered to ensure that the pupils fully understand
what is expected of them
small steps in pupils’ progress are used to inform targets set and ensure that pupils are aware
of how they are progressing.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- The scrutiny of pupils’ previous work, progress seen in lessons and school data show that pupils
make good gains from their very low starting points at the school compared with those typical
for their age. Based on national criteria, they do better than the majority of pupils with similar
needs in other schools. Pupils make particularly good progress in English. Nearly all of the
parents are clear that their child makes good progress at the school.
- Children make consistently good progress in the Early Years Foundation Stage because learning
is skilfully matched to their needs. The quality and rigour of assessment are good and ensure
that most children are fully challenged. The great majority meet and some exceed challenging
- The school promotes well equality of opportunity and there is no difference in the progress of
different groups, including boys and girls. The most able pupils and those who are entitled to
receive support through the pupil premium are making good and sustained progress. One-to-one
or small group interventions and support for the pupils’ emotional well-being are examples of the
effective use of this additional funding and support.
- Year 7 pupils are catching up with their learning due to the effective use of Year 7 catch-up
funding with, for example, individual support for their reading.
- In the sixth form, progress is good. This is made possible by a strong focus on academic work
and preparation for later life. Most students stay to the end of Year 14 and go on to local or
specialist colleges. The vocational group of students spends three days per week making good
progress in a range of successful activities in the community. The practical skills’ group
participate in a wide range of activities, including enterprise and life skills. The sensory group
successfully engages in a mix of sensory and stimulating practical experiences.
- Teaching provides challenge for the higher achieving pupils and so good progress is evident in
their written work. They become more confident and read with increasing speed, accuracy and
- Good progress is made in the key skills of literacy, communication and numeracy, which are very
effectively reinforced in all lessons. Additional tuition which is used to boost pupils’ reading is
stimulating, challenging and particularly effective. Progress slows in subjects such as science
when the scientific terms are too challenging for most of the pupils to understand.
- The new primary school sports funding is having a positive impact on the pupils’ well-being in
activities such as Latin fitness dancing, Fit4Life and horse riding.
- There is a comprehensive range of on-site support services which makes it possible for the
pupils to have their emotional and medical needs met, with the least possible disruption to their
learning. This good team makes a major contribution to pupils’ good progress.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- The impact of teaching on pupils’ progress overtime is good. Scrutiny of pupils’ previous work
and progress data shows that teaching is sometimes outstanding or occasionally requires
- Teaching is enthusiastic and informed by strong subject expertise. The use of specialist rooms
for teaching older pupils helps to motivate them because they are able to use an exciting range
of equipment. There is an emphasis on practical activities and learning which is planned
carefully. For example, pupils displayed good design and making skills in their production of their
very individualistic bags.
- Teaching assistants are well deployed and make a positive impact on pupils’ progress and to
their excellent behaviour in class. The school’s grounds are used well and pupils enjoy, for
instance, collecting ingredients from the garden for their food technology lessons. A swimming
session provided excellent opportunities for pupils to improve their confidence and physical skills.
The generous way that they recognised their own and other’s achievements was memorable.
Pupils take great pride in their work and are proud of their achievements.
- Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage is good and the children are well prepared for
their move to Key Stage 1. Members of the staff team work well together and engage the
children in an exciting range of activities. For example, children enjoyed the opportunity to
investigate and experience different musical instruments in one of their lessons.
- Teaching in the sixth form is good and there is a successful focus on applying communication,
literacy and mathematical skills to real-life situations. This is helped by the effective use of a
range of provision in the local community. The students are effectively encouraged to work well
in groups and also make good progress in their ability to get on with their work without direct
adult support. For example, a group of students concentrated very hard when painting their own
clay model sunflower. They also selected an attractive range of colours to decorate their box to
house the model.
- Pupils’ communication skills develop well through signing, symbols, new technology and
interacting with real objects. This allows them to access and enjoy learning.
- The provision of homework has previously been an issue raised by parents but there have been
improvements in the use of new technology so that the pupils can now access more learning at
- Assessment is generally good and clear systems are in place to track pupils’ progress and agree
targets. However, some of the targets used in class are too broad and the pupils’ small steps of
progress are not given sufficient credit. This is frustrating for some pupils who are aware that
they are making good progress but are stuck on the same broad level.
- Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding, which helps to develop
their confidence and self-esteem. Pupils enjoy many opportunities to develop their
understanding of life in a culturally diverse society. This is particularly evident in their music, art
and religious education lessons.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are outstanding|
- The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Pupils’ respond very well to the consistent approach by
staff to rewards and sanctions. Pupils work very well in groups and take increased responsibility
for their own behaviour. The school site is well maintained and the improvements to the
buildings and grounds are impressive. These help to promote an attractive and stimulating
- The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Procedures to check visitors
before entering the school are particularly thorough. Opinions among a wide range of
professionals in the school and in the locality agreed with this, as did the overwhelming majority
of parents. Some sixth-form students would appreciate even more advice and guidance about
how to keep themselves safe when out in the community.
- Pupils are made very welcome in the morning and clearly enjoy attending the school. Excellent
standards of behaviour are evident in the dining room and on the playground. A wide range of
activities during the lunch break develop independence, pupil engagement and self-care skills
such as ‘pamper time’ where the girls have their nails manicured.
- The pupils with more challenging behaviour associated with autistic spectrum conditions make
progress in their self-control and make clear progress in their behaviour. Detailed records of
behaviour are kept and used to continually improve how staff manage pupils’ behaviour.
- The pupils are proud of their school and achievements and this positive view is shared by the
vast majority of parents. The pupils are a credit to the school and a pleasure to be with. They
take great pride in their surroundings and are quick to settle in lessons. A wealth of attractive
displays celebrates pupils’ achievements. In particular, their art work is of a very high quality.
- The children in Early Years Foundation Stage quickly find the boundaries of acceptable
behaviour. They thrive in the nurturing environment and respond exceptionally well to the
security of well-established routines.
- Sixth-form students respond very well to their senior status in the school. They cope well with
the demands of college and work placements, which prepare them very well for the next stage
in their learning.
- Pupils and students express very positive views about the school. They mention that any
disruption is managed effectively. They say that the best thing about the school is that they,
‘feel safe and very little could be improved’. Nearly all parents are confident that their child is
happy at school and feels safe.
- The promotion of pupils’ attendance is managed very well with, for example, regular and
supportive telephone calls to parents when a pupil is absent. Nearly all pupils, other than for
medical reasons, attend school whenever they can.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The headteacher and deputy headteacher work very effectively together with an open and
honest approach to their leadership. This is reflected in the school achieving Investors In People
Gold, which is also recognition of the contribution of the committed staff team to this good
- Senior leaders have also promoted the rapid development of subject leaders, who are now
making a significant contribution to school improvement and are becoming potential leaders for
the future This represents good progress since the last inspection.
- There is a shared approach to the ongoing evaluation of the school’s strengths and areas for
development. Plans are accurately focused on the areas for improvement and leaders are
determined to ensure that every effort is made to provide the very best for pupils. The full range
of professionals working in the school mesh well together to make positive improvements to
pupils’ achievement and personal development.
- Effective systems are in place to manage the performance of teachers and support staff. The
quality of teaching and learning are checked regularly and senior teachers continue to tackle
teaching issues when aspects of teaching are not good enough. Senior leaders are aware that
teaching does not have an outstanding effect on the progress that pupils make over time. Most
members of staff are positive about the opportunities provided for them to develop their skills.
Best practice is shared across the school and visits to other schools are helping to promote
- The curriculum is appropriate, relevant and challenging, with a clear focus on English and
mathematics. The work that teachers set helps most of the pupils to learn well and to make
good progress. The curriculum is enriched by the exciting opportunities provided in the school
and the locality.
- The Early Years Foundation is well led and managed and prepares children effectively for the
next stage in their learning.
- Leadership of the sixth form is good. A particular strength is the way that learning is focused on
the three distinct groups of students. Also, after-school activities allow the students to spend
some social time with their friends.
- The local authority has full confidence in the leadership of the school and, as a result, adopts a
- The governance of the school:
The governing body know the school’s strengths and areas for development well, because its
members play an active part in the life of the school. They hold the school to account for the
use and impact of pupil premium funding, Year 7 catch-up and primary sport funding.
Progress data is presented clearly to the governors and they use this information to check
whether the pupils are making good progress. The data also help inform their knowledge of
the quality of teaching. They are fully involved in the exciting programme to improve the
classrooms and outside areas. Governors also have innovative ideas to further develop aspect,
such as the use of technology across the school.
Governors effectively manage the headteacher’s performance and ensure that salary increases
for staff are linked to their performance. Governors make sure that safeguarding policies and
procedures are up to date and meet statutory requirements. They ensure that potential risks
are assessed and acted upon.
What inspection judgements mean
|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.
|Unique reference number||111511|
|Local authority||Cheshire West and Chester|
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||2–19|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||99|
|Of which, number on roll in sixth form||25|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||11 April 2011|
|Telephone number||01244 981191|
|Fax number||01244 390422|