Pinderfields Hospital School
Headteacher: Mrs Helen Ferguson
40 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||108310|
|Inspection date||29 April 2009|
|Reporting inspector||Kath Halifax|
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 school||Special|
|School category||Community special|
|Age range of pupils||2–19|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Number on roll|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Mr P Elliott|
|Headteacher||Mrs H Ferguson|
|Date of previous school inspection||9 February 2006|
Date of previous funded early education|
|Not previously inspected|
|Date of previous childcare inspection||Not previously inspected|
|School address||Wrenthorpe Centre|
|Imperial Avenue, Wrenthorpe|
|Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF2 0LW|
|Telephone number||01924 303695|
|Fax number||01924 303695|
|Inspection date||29 April 2009|
© Crown copyright 2009
The inspection was carried out by two additional inspectors.
This school is for pupils drawn from across the whole of the Wakefield Metropolitan Authority who have medical needs. It provides education to groups and individuals in a number of ways.
All pupils remain on the roll of their home school. Numbers fluctuate daily, but currently, in addition to the 36 on roll, the school supports another 24 pupils. At the time of the inspection, there were no pupils in Years 1 to 8 and no sixth form students. The school has achieved Investors in Pupils, the Artsmark Gold, the Activemark, and the Healthy Schools Award.
Overall effectiveness of the school
This is an outstanding school that provides excellent value for money. It provides excellent support not just for the pupils on its roll, but also for a considerable number of pupils and staff in mainstream schools. It has built on its previously outstanding performance and has exceptional capacity to continue to improve.
The continued high quality of provision is due to outstanding leadership and management in all areas of the school. The leadership is determined not to stand still and to always provide the best available for vulnerable pupils. The school has gone from strength to strength, constantly moving to new territory, for example, in the well-advanced plans for the provision for pupils in Key Stage 3. The school's contribution to community cohesion is excellent. Pupils have a sensitive awareness of all aspects of diversity, and recognise their role in the school and wider community.
Achievement is outstanding because of high quality teaching and a rich, relevant curriculum that is carefully matched to individual needs. The attainment of children entering the EYAC is exceptionally low. Nevertheless, they make very good progress overall, and outstanding progress in their personal development and in communication. Teaching is very good, but targets in individual education plans are not sufficiently focused. This makes progress slightly more difficult to track. Pupils' attainment on entry to the other areas of the school is broadly average. Pupils make remarkable progress because of personalised learning plans which take account of their academic ability, interests and medical conditions.
Pupils make amazing gains in their personal growth because of the outstanding provision for their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Attendance is good for a school of this type with almost all absences being for illness. Pupils receive excellent care, support and guidance. Staff are especially successful in restoring a sense of normality at a difficult time in pupils' lives, and in helping them come to terms with life-limiting conditions. Leaders are particularly skilful in maintaining the fine balance between education and therapy. Pupils in all areas of the school benefit exceptionally well from excellent links with mainstream schools, colleges, health and other professionals. Equally, education and health practitioners profit from the expertise of school staff who, for example, provide training locally and regionally on mental health issues.
Parents are full of praise for all that is on offer. Comments such as, 'this school has given me back my son', and, 'staff never give up – they have helped my child overcome physical obstacles and he is now much stronger emotionally', are representative of their unanimously high regard for the school.
Effectiveness of the Early Years Foundation Stage
Achievement in the EYAC is outstanding because of the exceptionally good learning environment. Excellent planning and organisation promote children's personal, social and emotional development and their communication extremely well. Children profit enormously from being taught alongside mainstream children. For example, they make much better than expected progress in communication because they have good role models to watch and copy. Children's welfare is of the highest priority and promoted exceptionally well. Children benefit considerably from the linked community opportunities of being part of a children's centre. Behaviour is managed very effectively, and children and their families receive expert and sensitive support. Teachers are conscientious and plan their work well, but individual education plans are not sufficiently sharp. While they identify the areas children need to work on, the targets are too broad and there is no clear plan on how they will be met or how their success will be decided. The EYAC is led and managed extremely well. Mainstream and unit staff meet regularly to plan for the needs of all children, and leaders are highly effective in bringing staff and children together to create a happy and very successful provision. Very effective communication with parents ensures children make a strong start and settle into school quickly. It also helps parents be involved in their child's learning.
Achievement and standards
Pupils of all capabilities, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, make excellent gains in the knowledge and skills they acquire. As a result of small group and individual work, and a much more positive attitude to learning, pupils at the Wrenthorpe Centre make accelerated progress, often far more than twice that expected in two terms. Those who were timid and apprehensive in large classes are not afraid to 'have a go'. They say they make far better progress because it does not matter if they make a mistake, no one will make fun of them. This has enabled them to achieve standards higher than they expected. Pupils who are in-patients are helped to keep abreast of topics. This reduces the risk of gaps in learning. The achievement of pupils who have experienced radical surgery or who have life- threatening illnesses is inspirational. Their perseverance and determination in, for example, acquiring computer skills or learning to walk is remarkable. While a return to mainstream education presents considerable challenges for many pupils, they say their time at the school has made them better equipped to tackle all that is on offer, and more confident of their abilities. Pupils who stay until the end of Year 11 leave with a wide range of nationally recognised awards, including GCSE, vocational awards, and the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) Certificate of Personal Effectiveness. All of those at school leaving age in 2008 successfully transferred to further education.
Personal development and well-being
The outstanding gains pupils make in their personal development is shown in the way they take control of their lives, gain confidence and join in everyday activities. A major step forward for most is travelling independently and facing new situations such as college or residential experiences. This, alongside pupils' academic achievement, makes a significant contribution to their lives out of school and their future. Pupils visibly relax in the school commenting, 'I can be myself here'. They show care and concern for each other and many establish lasting friendships. With the excellent support of staff, pupils are determined that chronic and life-limiting conditions will not affect their aspirations. They have an outstanding awareness of the need to keep safe and healthy. Though most pupils have considerable difficulties, they are generous fund-raisers, making substantial contributions to a number of charities. Practically, they have improved the environment and are eagerly waiting to harvest the produce in their 'food for life' garden. Discussions and work on topics as diverse as racism and the plight of child soldiers in Africa increase their understanding of local and global issues. Pupils are very conscious of their role as citizens, reporting to the governing body, and making contributions to the local authority audit on inclusion, by raising disability awareness.
Quality of provision
Teaching and learning
Pupils of all capabilities make outstanding progress because of high quality teaching. Skilled support staff work very effectively alongside teachers to accelerate learning. Teachers in all areas of the school have very good knowledge of their subjects. Furthermore, they have outstanding knowledge of a very wide range of physical and mental health conditions. This allows them to provide tasks that are challenging, that increase concentration, and that give pupils confidence in their capabilities. Teachers' plans are meticulous. They describe the knowledge and skills each pupil will acquire in each lesson. Planned activities ensure pupils enjoy learning and that they build on knowledge gained in other subjects. Lessons promote the development of skills which will improve pupils' chances of employment. For example, opportunities to promote confident speaking and listening are excellent. In a science lesson on the survival and adaptation of organisms, pupils used their knowledge to create an organism and explain its characteristics to their classmates. Those who only a few months ago would have mumbled and hung their heads, confidently and humorously addressed their audience.
Curriculum and other activities
The outstanding curriculum provides an excellent range of high quality activities. This is seen in the external awards the school has received. Personalised learning programmes are extremely well matched to the individual and diverse needs of pupils in all parts of the school. In addition, excellent links with pupils' home schools provide continuity in learning. The curriculum for pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4 has been remodelled to reflect the revised secondary curriculum. 'Catch up' sessions allow pupils who have considerable gaps in their learning, especially literacy, to make very good progress in reading and comprehension. The daily 'fun fit' sessions at the Wrenthorpe Centre provide huge hilarity as well as encouraging pupils to work as a team and solve problems.
Care, guidance and support
All adults provide outstanding care, guidance and support. Pupils know they are listened to, cared for, and valued as individuals. A strong team of teachers, assistants, nursing, health and other support staff work closely together to help pupils overcome their barriers to learning. Very effective links with numerous agencies and organisations such as Barnados further contribute to the excellent support of all pupils, especially pupils who are part of Jigsaw, and pupils who are pregnant or school-age mothers. Child protection procedures are understood by all staff and are regularly reviewed. Safeguarding meets current government requirements. The arrangements for health and safety are robust, and take account of pupils' medical conditions. Pupils feel safe in school. They know if they have a problem they can go to any adult, or raise it at the daily meeting with their key worker. Pupils' progress is checked scrupulously. They particularly appreciate their half-termly breakfast meeting with the headteacher and assistant headteacher when open and frank discussions are held regarding academic and personal progress, and new targets are set. Pupils are proud of their progress files, drawing inspectors' attention to certificates for outdoor and adventurous activities, something which many thought they could never achieve.
Leadership and management
The headteacher and assistant headteacher provide excellent leadership for the work of the school. They have a wealth of knowledge about all phases of education and an outstanding understanding of the needs of pupils with medical conditions. A number of staff changes have led to a revised staffing structure and changed responsibilities. This is working well, and very effective communication between the different aspects of the school ensure a common approach, allowing students to move from one part of the provision to another at a moment's notice. Leaders do everything within their power to eliminate discrimination. This very successful school is committed to equality of opportunity and determined to do its best for all pupils. Rigorous tracking systems have been introduced since the last inspection and are used effectively to keep a check on the progress of groups and individuals. Governors provide excellent support for the school and rigorously hold it to account. They discuss and analyse pupils' achievement and personal development. Together with the local authority they have developed clear admissions criteria and ensured that this complex school is appropriately funded.
|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: ofsted.gov.uk.|
|Key to judgements: grade 1 is outstanding, grade 2 good, grade 3 satisfactory, and grade 4 inadequate.||School Overall|
|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 inspection||Yes|
|How well does the school work in partnership with others to promote learners' well-being?||1|
|The capacity to make any necessary improvements||1|
|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?||2|
|How effectively is the welfare of children in the EYFS promoted?||1|
|How effectively is provision in the EYFS led and managed?||1|
|How well do learners achieve?||1|
|The standards¹ reached by learners||3|
|How well learners make progress, taking account of any significant variations between groups of learners||1|
|How well learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities make progress||1|
|How good are the overall personal development and well-being of the learners?||1|
|The extent of learners' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||1|
|The extent to which learners adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|The extent to which learners adopt safe practices||1|
|The extent to which learners enjoy their education||1|
|The attendance of learners||2|
|The behaviour of learners||1|
|The extent to which learners make a positive contribution to the community||1|
|How well learners develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being||1|
|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|
|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 education||1|
|How effectively leaders and managers use challenging targets to raise standards||1|
|The effectiveness of the school's self-evaluation||1|
|How well equality of opportunity is promoted and discrimination eliminated||1|
|How well does the school contribute to community cohesion?||1|
|How effectively and efficiently resources, including staff, are deployed to achieve value for money||1|
|The extent to which governors and other supervisory boards discharge their responsibilities||1|
|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|
First, may I say how much my colleague and I enjoyed our inspection of your school. Thank you for talking to us and showing us your work. We especially enjoyed our meals with you, and talking about the garden with pupils at the Wrenthorpe Centre. It was very clear from our chats and the questionnaire replies we received from your parents that you enjoy school and think that you are safe and very well cared for.
You are fortunate to attend a school that is providing you with an outstanding education. As a result, your achievement is excellent and, despite your medical needs, you make exceptional progress in your personal development. You are very well behaved, work very hard and care for each other. This happens because your school is exceptionally well led and has a first-class staff. Teaching is of a high quality, so you learn at a remarkable rate. The curriculum is imaginative and meets your individual needs. The range of clubs and residential opportunities is far greater than is usual for a hospital school. We were particularly impressed by the way young children at the EYAC joined in with those from the main part of the primary school.
There is just one area that would make it even better. I have asked your headteacher to ensure that the targets set in individual education plans for those of you who are in the EYAC are made clearer so your progress can more easily be tracked.
We know you will do all you can to help your teachers and wish you every success in your future.