phone: 01709 512088
headteacher: Mr Nick Whittaker
60 boys 61%
35 girls 36%
Last updated: June 18, 2014
— Community Special School
- Establishment type
- Community Special School
- Establishment #
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 440511, Northing: 392519
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 53.428, Longitude: -1.3918
- Accepting pupils
- 2—19 years old
- Special pupils
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- Sept. 22, 2011
- Region › Const. › Ward
- Yorkshire and the Humber › Rotherham › Rotherham West
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Main specialism
- SEN physical/sensory needs (Operational)
- SEN priorities
- SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Investor in People
- Committed IiP Status
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Learning provider ref #
- 0.3 miles Meadow View Primary School S612JD (268 pupils)
- 0.3 miles The Alternative Resource Centre S611HE
- 0.4 miles Kimberworth Community Primary School S611HE (231 pupils)
- 0.4 miles Kimberworth Comprehensive School S611HE
- 0.5 miles Winterhill School S612BD (1212 pupils)
- 0.6 miles The Masbrough Centre S611AJ
- 0.6 miles Ferham Primary School S611AP (230 pupils)
- 0.8 miles St Bede's Catholic Primary School S611PD
- 0.8 miles Abbey School S612RA (96 pupils)
- 0.8 miles St Bede's Catholic Primary School S611PD (330 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Thornhill Primary School S611TD (339 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Blackburn Primary School S612BU (346 pupils)
- 1.1 mile Tinsley Nursery Infant School S91UN (301 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Redscope Junior School S613JT
- 1.2 mile Redscope Primary School S613JT (394 pupils)
- 1.2 mile Tinsley Meadows Primary School S91WB (275 pupils)
- 1.3 mile Fenton Wood PRU S613EQ
- 1.4 mile Roughwood Junior School S613HL
- 1.4 mile Roughwood Primary School S613HL (277 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Wincobank Nursery and Infant School S91LU (219 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Park House School S91WD
- 1.4 mile Jamia Al Hudaa S91WD (38 pupils)
- 1.4 mile Wincobank Nursery and Infant School S91LU
- 1.5 mile Wingfield Business and Enterprise College S614AU
Oakdale Road, Kimberworth, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S61 2NU
|Inspection dates||3–4 December 2014|
|Overall effectiveness||This inspection:||Good||2|
|Leadership and management||Good||2|
|Behaviour and safety of pupils||Good||2|
|Quality of teaching||Good||2|
|Achievement of pupils||Good||2|
|Early years provision||Good||2|
|Sixth form provision||Good||2|
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| The large majority of pupils at each key stage |
Pupils start to learn at a quick pace in early years
Good early years provision ensures children make
The effective leadership and management of the
The good teaching over time plays a crucial role in
make good progress in communicating, reading,
writing and mathematics. A significant minority
make outstanding progress.
and continue this throughout their time in school.
They are always well motivated and constantly
improve their knowledge, understanding and
good progress in all areas of learning, most
particularly in communication, personal, social and
emotional development and physical development.
sixth form ensure all students benefit from the
wide range of carefully planned work and
activities. As a result, students make good
progress. Students are mature and independent
and well prepared for the future.
pupils’ good learning and progress.
| Pupils thoroughly enjoy school and value their |
Leaders and governors are rigorous in ensuring the
The headteacher sets very high standards and in
Leaders, managers and governors invest substantial
experiences. Parents are very pleased and greatly
reassured that their children are happy and behave
well at school. Pupils thrive on the excellent care
and support they receive from staff. This brings out
their best qualities and promotes spiritual, moral,
social and cultural development effectively.
arrangements for keeping pupils safe and teaching
pupils how to stay safe are effective.
doing so has gained parents’ strong support and a
high reputation for the school. Senior leaders have
developed an outstanding vision that is constantly
extending the boundaries of what the school can
achieve. A significant contribution is made to
supporting other schools and building strong
energy and skill into improving the school. They
check teaching and pupils’ progress carefully
ensuring they stay effective and improve.
| Leaders are not making sure that the planning of |
teaching is always clear about what pupils will
learn so they can make even better progress.
| A few opportunities are missed across the school |
day to promote pupils’ communication skills and
Information about this inspection
The inspectors observed teaching and learning across the school. The headteacher and head of school
joined inspectors in some of these observations.
Meetings were held with senior and middle leaders, representatives of the governing body and a
representative of the local authority.
An inspector listened to a small group of pupils reading and spoke to a group of pupils about their
experiences of school.
Inspectors looked at a range of the school’s documents including information on pupils’ progress, the
school development plan, the school’s own evaluation of its work and policies and procedures for child
protection and the safeguarding pupils.
The inspection team took account of the views of 10 parents who completed Ofsted’s online questionnaire
(Parent View). The school’s own recent survey of parents’ views was considered. The views of the 14 staff
who responded to the Ofsted questionnaire were examined.
|Alan Lemon, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Marilyn Massey||Additional Inspector|
Information about this school
All of the pupils have a statement of special educational needs.
The greatest proportion of pupils experience severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties which
adversely affect their physical abilities, speech, language and communication. Some pupils also have
additional health complications. In addition to their learning difficulties, about one-fifth of pupils have
autistic spectrum conditions.
Early years provision is provided full and part time for children in Nursery Year and Reception.
The proportion of pupils of minority ethnic heritage is above average, as is the proportion new to speaking
English as an additional language.
The proportion of disadvantaged pupils supported through the pupil premium is well-above average. The
pupil premium is additional funding for those pupils who are known to be eligible for free school meals
and those who are looked after by the local authority.
The school is in federation with Maltby Hilltop School; both special schools share the same executive
headteacher and the same governing body.
The headteacher is a local leader of education.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
Senior and middle leaders should further intensify their checks on teaching and eliminate the few
weaknesses in teaching and take advantage of every opportunity for pupils to make progress by:
- ensuring teachers always plan lesson activities with clear objectives that extend pupils’ learning by
building on what they already know and can do
- making sure in lessons and in the less structured parts of the school day full use is made of
opportunities to promote pupils’ communication skills and their independence.
|The leadership and management||are good|
Senior leaders are relentless in their pursuit of raising pupils’ achievement. They work with determination
to remove barriers to learning through giving substantial support for pupils and their families thus
ensuring all groups of pupils have equal opportunities to succeed. The local authority holds the school in
high esteem and needs only to provide it with light touch support.
Leaders reach out to local schools effectively supporting their endeavours to meet the needs of disabled
pupils and those with special educational needs. The large inclusion and outreach team use their
substantial experience and expertise to guide and support schools and families but also coordinate the
network of support in the community for parents and their children. Links with Maltby Hilltop School and
other special schools are used effectively to share good practice, especially to compare assessments and
develop new curriculum initiatives.
Middle leaders are driven by positive team spirit. They lead and manage their responsibilities well. Their
impact on improvement is developing alongside their increasing capacity to shoulder accountability for the
success of their work. Senior leaders have set the team high expectations and effectively encourage the
growth of their vision and ambition. They see the further development of middle leadership as key to
moving the school to outstanding.
Well-planned, systematic checks on all aspects of the school’s work provide a coherent picture of its
effectiveness and clear pathways to improvement. Leaders’ assessments of teaching carefully cross-
referenced to checks on pupils’ progress flow into teachers’ annual performance targets and the school’s
improvement planning. While this improves the quality of teaching, there are a few instances when checks
on teaching do not uncover weaker practice. Middle leaders’ contributions to checking the school’s work is
beginning to increase leaders’ overall capacity for improvement.
Safeguarding arrangements are thorough and meet requirements. Training for safeguarding and staff
alertness is of a high order. Procedures supporting safeguarding are rigorously checked by senior leaders
Leaders have made well-considered choices in spending the pupil premium and the physical education and
sports premium. Careful study of which areas of the curriculum can be developed for best impact has
meant disadvantaged pupils make good progress and there is no gap in their performance with other
pupils. The curriculum is further enriched with more opportunities for sport, outdoor and adventure
activities that widen pupils’ experiences and have raised participation in physical activities for all.
The curriculum is very well adapted to pupils’ different needs and very effectively promotes their interests
and talents. It is rich in cultural experiences through which pupils sing, play music and act. Pupils have
good opportunities to gain essential literacy, numeracy and information technology skills. Their personal,
social and emotional development is very effectively promoted so that by the time they leave they are well
prepared for the future in modern Britain.
The governance of the school:
- Governors are exceptionally effective in finding out about the school, checking the school’s work for
themselves and acting robustly in asking questions and holding leaders to account. They are as
visionary and ambitious as senior leaders and independent in spirit in pursuing all they hold dear for the
school and its future success. Governors are well organised and sharply focused in managing all of their
responsibilities. They keep up to date with training and do their work effectively, ensuring all aspects of
safeguarding pupils are being well managed. Governors collect comprehensive information from the
school about the quality of teaching and pupils’ progress in particular, analysing this rigorously and
challenging leaders where the need for improvement arises. They check carefully that teachers have
met their targets before advancing further and ensure they are properly rewarded for their successes.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
The behaviour of pupils is good. Parents’ comments are all positive and typical of them is, ‘He absolutely
loves Kelford and can’t wait to go back to school after the holidays.’
Pupils’ relationships with staff and with each other are very positive. Pupils listen carefully to staff and
cooperate, willingly following routines and obeying instructions.
The high expectations placed on pupils ensure they develop good attitudes to learning. They work hard,
are keen to complete tasks, achieve success and are pleased when they have done well. Pupils respond
very positively to expectations that they take as much responsibility and act as independently as possible
in tackling their work. Over time many pupils need less support, which prepares them well for the future.
Pupils develop considerable self-confidence and are keen to take part in many new experiences offered
through the wider curriculum. They thoroughly enjoy the opportunities to perform music and parts in plays
in front of audiences.
Behaviour at lunchtime and play time is good. Pupils are willing to try the good variety of healthy food
prepared for them. While eating, they remain quiet and sociable and do as much as possible for
themselves. However, the older pupils who finish eating early, rather than getting away to lunchtime
activities, are made to remain quietly seated and wait while others finish. This goes somewhat against the
grain of leaders’ aim of encouraging their responsibility and independence.
The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good. Safeguarding policies and procedures are fully
understood by all staff. Alongside their regular training in safeguarding, staff are well equipped and cope
effectively with their responsibilities for pupils’ health and safety.
Policies are available to parents and these offer much advice and guidance on keeping their children safe,
particularly if they are using the internet.
The school is very well resourced with the expertise and specialist staff to provide first aid, deal with the
moving and handling of disabled pupils and give support in relation to medical conditions and managing
The curriculum offers many opportunities for pupils to learn about and manage risks. In their visits to the
community pupils learn how to stay safe on roads and when they are doing work-related learning. Pupils
learn about the risks of using the internet and social media. However, what is taught is not yet as well
adapted to pupils’ needs, as leaders would like to ensure pupils gain as much knowledge and
understanding as possible of this technology.
Pupils get on well together and treat each other with respect. They understand regard for one another
and often form warm friendships. Pupils know there are good and bad ways of treating others and their
efforts to be good means there is no bullying in any of its forms. They know the difference between good
and bad behaviour and contribute effectively to ensuring everyone is happy at school.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
Teachers and their assistants are exceptionally caring and supportive of pupils. They get to know them
well and work hard to ensure each pupil feels safe, comfortable, valued and happy. The good relationships
with pupils makes them motivated learners.
Pupils’ behaviour is managed extremely well. Staff are expert at maintaining a calm, purposeful
atmosphere in classrooms and around the school. This makes a significant contribution to pupils’ capacity
to learn and make progress.
The expectations for the amount of progress pupils should make are ambitious and this gives most lessons
pace and a sharp focus on what knowledge and skills pupils should gain from their work.
The planning of pupils’ work is often very precise, particularly their individual tasks. Teachers and their
assistants are meticulous in noting when pupils make even the smallest breakthroughs. Assessment is
thorough and usually makes very effective use of accurate information about pupils’ learning and progress
in setting work which builds their knowledge and skills step by step. Planning is not always of this quality,
so learning is not extended fully.
Teaching promotes good progress in reading, writing and mathematics across the school. Pupils are
taught expertly to communicate by the most effective means possible. Whether using gesturing, signing,
symbols or speech, pupils are encouraged to engage with others and make choices.
Frequent repetition of work and regularly revisiting what has been learnt previously is effective in pupils
securing knowledge and skills. Pupils develop good learning habits, which ensure they manage as much of
their work as possible on their own.
When pupils learn as a whole group they greatly enjoy the musical introductions to some lessons and get
very involved in singing and movement, which helps them recall times tables. Occasionally, the pace of
the counting song is too quick for some pupils to keep up.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
Most pupils make the progress expected from their starting points and some do better than this. This also
applies to those pupils from a minority ethnic heritage. A small proportion of pupils make less progress
than expected although the reasons for this are varied and sometimes due to the complexity of their
Leaders are determined to understand and eliminate whatever causes they can tackle effectively and in
strengthening the capacity of middle leadership enable an ever closer check on the few who appear to fall
The large majority of pupils who are supported through the pupil premium benefit from extra support and
curriculum experiences. They achieve well like the other pupils and the close track leaders keep on their
progress shows that, when compared with the other pupils, there is no gap in their reading, writing and
Pupils achieve well in developing communication skills. From the moment they start school they are
constantly engaged in talking, signing and using symbols in classrooms and all around the school. Some
master the use of electronic communication aids, increasing the breadth of their vocabulary and the speed
at which they can respond. Pupils are able, often for the first time, to say what they like or dislike, make
choices and say how they feel. From an early stage pupils gain a good grasp of what adults are saying in
knowing signs and symbols and this stimulates rapid learning and progress. Some parents have learnt to
sign and use symbols so their children’s skills can continue to improve at home.
Pupils read symbols with increasing fluency over time. They look at pictures and gain their meaning, which
helps them experience and enjoy stories before they read words. Most pupils use the sounds letters make
to help them recognise words. The more able pupils apply this skill to reading independently to
understand and talk about what they have read.
Pupils who are not prevented by disabilities or the complexity of the learning difficulties learn at the outset
to hold a pen and control the marks they make. Many make good progress in writing their name and
composing simple sentences to record thoughts and their work.
Counting songs and rhymes help pupils count to 10 and beyond or counting in steps of 2 and 10 up to
100. The most able pupils check their work carefully. For example, one pupil matched solid shapes to
descriptions of their properties. He counted the sides, edges and angles of a cuboid to make sure his
choice was correct.
|The early years provision||is good|
The provision for children in Nursery Year and Reception is well led and managed. The teacher in charge
has a good understanding of all that should be provided in early years and drives improvement effectively.
All aspects of children’s welfare are managed effectively and they are kept safe.
As one of the school’s middle leaders the teacher in charge is managing to an increasing extent checking
teaching, children’s outcomes and improvement planning. This has resulted in a number of positive
changes to the way children are grouped, improving their access to all of the early years activities.
Children have good opportunities to choose their activities and move freely between the classroom and
outdoor area. They enjoy doing this and like the attention staff give them, which is always focused on
encouraging communication and other key skills. One child learnt to walk in the first few months and most
become increasingly independent in managing their needs.
The links with parents have been strengthened. What parents know about their children and what parents
would like from the early years are key parts of assessing children’s starting points and in agreeing their
targets. Parents visits and home visits made by staff strengthen the partnership ensuring expectations are
clear and realistic for all parties. Parents are encouraged to use the communication symbols children learn
Assessment of children’s learning is thorough as teachers and their assistants are constantly busy checking
and noting signs of progress. Records build up a comprehensive picture of progress across all areas of
learning, which is used to plan children’s next steps.
Teaching is good. Staff get to know children well and a positive relationship allows good behaviour and
communication to grow. Teachers and their assistants talk frequently to children and contribute
significantly to improving children’s speaking and listening skills. Occasionally, further opportunities for
children to use their communication skills are missed such as not signing when this is appropriate.
Children whose complex learning difficulties hinder their involvement get all the encouragement they need
to respond well and take an active part in play and other interactions.
|The sixth form provision||is good|
Leaders are effective in maintaining a culture of adult attitudes and expectations to which students
respond positively. It causes them to grow in maturity, responsibility and independence. They learn that
they are not only responsible for themselves but also others. Students make good contributions to raising
money for charitable causes and to fund some of their own enterprises. Their progress is kept under close
scrutiny. Teaching and the curriculum are rigorously checked so ensuring provision meets students’ needs.
Teaching is good and is consistent in promoting adult values. Teachers and their assistant set high
expectations for students to be personally responsible for their attitudes to learning and independent in
tackling their work. In this respect, adults are careful to talk to students and use language which is age-
appropriate and gives students the opportunities to make decisions and choose for themselves.
Good relationships reflect students’ growing maturity and independence. Staff know students extremely
well and use thorough assessments to plan work well matched to their needs, including the point they are
at in their learning.
The full range of work and activities planned for students prepares them well for the future and for
moving to college and other settings. The arrangements for students leaving the sixth form are extremely
well managed so that transfers are smooth and students are well equipped to get the best from colleges
and other settings.
Much of their learning takes place in the community where they can apply their knowledge and skills in
real-life situations such as using public transport, shops and leisure facilities.
Students, for whom it is appropriate, and with considerable success, take part in work experience with
local employers. However, all students experience work-related learning such as the upkeep of the school
garden or acquiring catering skills in food technology.
Students behave exceptionally well and rise effectively to teachers’ high expectations of them. Attitudes to
learning are extremely positive. Students listen carefully and respond well to instructions. They follow
routines religiously and are concerned to contribute to the sixth form’s calm and purposeful atmosphere.
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
|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
|Unique reference number||106968|
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||22|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||22 September 2011|
|Telephone number||01709 512088|
|Fax number||01709 512091|