School etc

Dorin Park School & Specialist SEN College

Dorin Park School & Specialist SEN College
Wealstone Lane

phone: 01244 981191

headteacher: Ms Annie Hinchliffe Med Npqh


school holidays: via Cheshire West and Chester council

98 pupils aged 2—18y mixed gender

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 #

rooms to rent in Chester

Schools nearby

  1. 0.3 miles Mill View Primary School CH21HB (209 pupils)
  2. 0.3 miles St Mary's CofE Infant School CH21HX
  3. 0.4 miles Upton Manor County Junior School CH21ED
  4. 0.4 miles Upton Westlea Primary School CH21QJ (201 pupils)
  5. 0.4 miles Upton Heath CofE Primary School CH21ED (358 pupils)
  6. 0.5 miles Firs School CH22HJ (219 pupils)
  7. 0.5 miles Countess of Chester Hospital Education Unit CH21UL
  8. 0.6 miles Pine Lodge CH21AW
  9. 0.7 miles Newton Primary School CH22LA (369 pupils)
  10. 0.7 miles Kingsway High School CH22LB
  11. 0.7 miles Upton-by-Chester High School CH21NN (1510 pupils)
  12. 0.7 miles Merton House School CH14BD
  13. 0.8 miles Woodfield Junior School CH22QE
  14. 0.8 miles Woodfield County Infant School CH22QE
  15. 0.8 miles Woodfield Primary School CH22QE
  16. 0.9 miles Acresfield Community Primary School CH21LJ (202 pupils)
  17. 1 mile Holly Bank School CH21AB
  18. 1 mile St Martin's Academy Chester CH23NG (25 pupils)
  19. 1.1 mile University of Chester CH14BJ
  20. 1.2 mile Victoria Infant School CH14BR
  21. 1.2 mile St Thomas of Canterbury Blue Coat CofE Junior School CH14HG
  22. 1.2 mile Chester Blue Coat Church of England Primary School CH14HG (404 pupils)
  23. 1.3 mile Hoole All Saints' CofE Infant and Nursery School CH23HR
  24. 1.3 mile St Werburgh's and St Columba's Catholic Primary School CH23AD (331 pupils)

List of schools in Chester

School report

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
Previous inspection: Outstanding 1
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
communications technology.
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
very well.
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.

Inspection team

David Smith, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Nell Banfield Additional Inspector

Full report

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.

Inspection judgements

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
    learning environment.
  • 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
    continual improvement.
  • 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
    light-touch approach.
  • 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 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 111511
Local authority Cheshire West and Chester
Inspection number 439646

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
Chair Angela Black
Headteacher Annie Hinchliffe
Date of previous school inspection 11 April 2011
Telephone number 01244 981191
Fax number 01244 390422
Email address reveal email: h…


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