School etc

St Matthias Park Pupil Referral Service

St Matthias Park Pupil Referral Service
Alexandra Park

phone: 0117 9031320

headteacher: Mrs Valerie Neel

school holidays: via Bristol council

29 pupils aged 11—15y mixed gender

20 boys 69%


10 girls 34%


Last updated: June 20, 2014

— Pupil Referral Unit

Establishment type
Pupil Referral Unit
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 362833, Northing: 175630
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.478, Longitude: -2.5366
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Nov. 28, 2011
Region › Const. › Ward
South West › Bristol East › Eastville
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN Facilities
PRU Does have Provision for SEN
Pupils educated by others
PRU Does offer tuition by another provider
Pupils With EBD
PRU Does have EBD provision
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Bristol

Schools nearby

  1. 0.2 miles Dr Bells and St Matthia's CofE VA Junior School BS163UH
  2. 0.2 miles Bristol Metropolitan College BS162HD
  3. 0.2 miles St Matthias and Dr Bell's CofE VA Primary School BS163UH
  4. 0.2 miles Bristol Metropolitan Academy BS162HD (707 pupils)
  5. 0.2 miles Fishponds Church of England Academy BS163UH (437 pupils)
  6. 0.4 miles Chester Park Junior School BS163SY (235 pupils)
  7. 0.4 miles Chester Park Infant School BS163QG (214 pupils)
  8. 0.4 miles College of St Matthia's Infant School BS162JD
  9. 0.5 miles Steiner Academy Bristol BS162JP
  10. 0.6 miles Begbrook Primary School BS161HG
  11. 0.6 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School BS163QR (209 pupils)
  12. 0.6 miles Briarwood School BS164EA (85 pupils)
  13. 0.6 miles Begbrook Primary Academy BS161HG (501 pupils)
  14. 0.7 miles Mount Zion School BS161DN
  15. 0.8 miles Little Hayes Nursery School BS162LL (128 pupils)
  16. 0.8 miles Colston's School BS161BJ (745 pupils)
  17. 0.9 miles Speedwell Nursery School BS57SY (115 pupils)
  18. 0.9 miles Speedwell Technology College BS151NU
  19. 0.9 miles Gracefield School BS162RG (83 pupils)
  20. 0.9 miles Highwood Hospital School BS161BG
  21. 0.9 miles Mount Zion School BS56QE
  22. 0.9 miles Bristol Brunel Academy BS151NU (1071 pupils)
  23. 1 mile Hillfields Park Junior School BS164HA
  24. 1 mile Hillfields Park Infant School BS164HA

List of schools in Bristol

School report

St Matthias Park Pupil Referral


Alexandra Park, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 2BG

Inspection dates 20–21 November 2014
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous 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

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because

Leaders are well respected, take decisive action to
Teaching and achievement have improved since
The management committee provide challenge,
Students often come into the unit with a history of
improve the provision and have developed a very
positive ethos for learning in the unit.
the last inspection and students make good
progress. Some students make outstanding
progress. Students make very good progress in
support and expertise that require leaders to
account for actions taken.
very poor behaviour. They are supported well and,
as a result, their behaviour improves rapidly.
Applications for accreditation in English and
Students’ work is assessed well. They work towards
Support for students’ spiritual, moral, social and
The centre provides a safe learning environment
mathematics are rising and an increasing range of
courses are undertaken.
clear targets, benefiting from many new
opportunities that had previously been closed to
cultural development is effective. Students’ social
skills and their understanding of moral issues are
particularly well developed.
that re-engages many students and allows them to
build confidence and self-esteem very well.
The proportion of students making outstanding
The school does not define clearly enough
progress is not yet sufficient, as opportunities
provided in the classroom are not always taken
full advantage of.
outstanding progress. Individual targets and
challenges do not promote the highest aspirations,
particularly for the most able students.
Leadership is strong but is not yet firmly embedded
Students are not given enough encouragement to
at all levels.
respond to feedback and improve their work.

Information about this inspection

  • A tour of the school and a range of lesson observations were undertaken, some of which was
    carried out jointly with the acting headteacher.
  • Meetings were held with senior leaders, school staff, students, a parent of a student who had
    recently moved to another school, and members of the management committee.
  • There were no responses to Parent View, but the school’s own survey of parents was taken into
  • The views of staff were gathered from the 14 questionnaires returned and from meetings and
    conversations throughout the inspection.
  • Students’ work was looked at during visits to lessons. Case studies provided detailed progress
    information. The school’s own student progress-tracking information and results from public
    examinations were also considered.
  • The inspector observed the unit’s work and looked at a range of documents, including the school’s
    self-evaluation, attendance, behaviour analysis, alternative provision documents, policies and
    procedures, and safeguarding documents.
    Inspection team
Paul Scott, Lead inspector Additional inspector

Full report

Information about this school

  • St Matthias Park Pupil Referral Unit provides alternative provision for students who have been permanently
    excluded, were at risk of exclusion or are in need of specific support to help them to be more successful in
    mainstream education.
  • Some of the students attending are dual-registered. This means that both the unit and a mainstream
    school take joint responsibility for their progress, usually during a period of reintegration into a
    mainstream school setting. The period of time that students remain at the unit varies considerably. Almost
    all students have missed substantial periods of time in school.
  • The unit is currently being led by an acting headteacher, who was previously a member of the leadership
  • The majority of students who attend the unit have special educational needs. A number of students
    receive a statement of special educational needs when they are in the unit.
  • The proportion of pupils for whom the pupil premium provides support is above the national average. This
    is additional government funding provided to give extra support to pupils known to be eligible for free
    school meals and to children who are looked after.
  • The unit currently uses one alternative provider, The Empire Gym in Bristol.
  • The unit collaborates with a wide range of secondary schools in the area. This is primarily to facilitate
    students moving between mainstream schools where additional support is needed.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve teaching further by:
    fully implementing individual staff development plans.
    ensuring that students are provided with appropriate individually dedicated challenge so that
    more are enabled to make the outstanding progress of which they are capable.
  • Improve the progress that students make in their learning by:
    making sure that students respond more readily to teachers’ directions and guidance
    further refining the unit’s analysis of their tracking systems, so that outstanding and good
    progress is more clearly defined
    setting more precise targets in lessons
    ensuring that the most able students are provided with appropriate levels of challenge to reach
    their potential.
  • Further develop leadership capacity by broadening opportunities for all staff to take more leadership

Inspection judgements

The leadership and management are good
  • Senior leaders have clarity of purpose, high expectations and a clear focus on encouraging students to
    engage in learning. There is a positive atmosphere in the unit. Staff are supportive and fully committed to
    the school’s ethos. Morale is high and staff are proud of their contribution to the achievement of students.
  • There is an effective focus on improving the quality of teaching, particularly in English and mathematics,
    and developing the range of accredited courses offered. Arrangements are in place to link staff
    performance to pay progression. Staff have benefited from good training opportunities.
  • Senior leaders are developing a system of tracking the progress being made by students and the
    standards they reach. Targets are set for individuals, but are not precise enough. Analysis of students’
    performance gives evidence of good progress, but outstanding progress is less well defined.
  • Leaders involve parents and students in planning what will best suit their individual needs. The great
    efforts by the school to ensure effective communication with parents and students have helped to develop
    positive attitudes to learning. Parent surveys highlight the support and encouragement the unit gives to
    help students and their families.
  • The unit has a highly inclusive philosophy. Good relationships are fostered and equality of opportunity is
    strongly promoted. Students learn to understand how their behaviour impacts on others and how they can
    become positive contributors to the wider community. Students respond well to the positive role models
    that staff demonstrate.
  • Safeguarding arrangements promote good practice and help to minimise risk. They meet statutory
    requirements. Attendance, although below the national average, has improved considerably for most
    students. Staff make extensive efforts to make it easy for students to attend regularly. A small number of
    students miss out on the help provided by the unit because of poor attendance.
  • Middle leadership roles are not fully developed and so opportunities to move things forward more rapidly
    are missed.
  • The unit has a well-thought-out curriculum that allows students to get back into the habit of learning.
    Opportunities to develop mathematics and English, especially reading, are ranged across the curriculum.
    This engages learners and helps build confidence. The specific alternative provision, provided by a local
    gym programme, caters for a range of individual interests such as boxing. This also encourages students
    to work hard in all areas of schooling as it helps to improve their general attitudes to learning.
  • The school monitors the alternative provision very thoroughly. Its analysis of the impact is based on a
    range of indicators which demonstrate good progress by individuals who attend it.
  • Additional funding such as the pupil premium is used well to provide additional support. Disadvantaged
    students and those with specific learning issues are helped to make the same good progress as their
  • The local authority provides regular support, assisting leaders in developing the management of the unit,
    such as checking their self-evaluation.
  • The governance of the school:
    Members of the management committee offer a wide range of relevant experiences and professional
    knowledge. They understand the key priorities and are focused on improving teaching to ensure that
    students’ progress is further accelerated. They know the centre well, provide strong support and
    challenge leaders to account for their stewardship.
    Through visits and questioning they have developed a good understanding of the quality of teaching.
    They consider information on the unit’s performance and check its effectiveness in improving
    achievement. They are fully aware of the performance management arrangements and ensure that
    processes are in place to reward good teaching and tackle any under-performance.
    Governors have a good grasp of how funding is used, including how effectively the pupil premium is
    used to provide appropriate additional support.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
  • The behaviour of pupils is good. Most students enter the unit with a record of poor behaviour. Good use
    of individual behaviour plans and consistent approaches by staff to manage behaviour issues help instil a
    sense of responsibility. Students learn to control their own behaviour, developing much more positive
    attitudes to learning as a result. Some students make exceptional improvements in their behaviour.
  • Students demonstrate a commitment to their learning, as seen in the pride they take in their work.
    Generally, positive relationships have been established with staff and with their fellow students. This has
    helped students to enjoy learning, build their confidence quickly and take part in the full range of
    opportunities available.
  • On occasion a small number of students are not fully motivated to learn. Clear guidance and support is
    used effectively in developing positive attitudes, as well as raising self-esteem and a personal sense of
  • The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is good
  • Many parents, staff and students say that the school provides a safe environment for learning. Training in
    safeguarding is undertaken by all staff and processes and procedures to support vulnerable students are
    firmly in place.
  • Staff carefully record incidents of concern. This includes the use of physical interventions – in which staff
    have been fully trained – where needed for safety reasons. Analysis of incidents shows improvements in
    behaviour and helps to inform any further support the unit may consider necessary.
  • Students are aware of the different forms of bullying and are helped to understand how they can keep
    themselves safe. For example, they learn about potential dangers of the internet. Students said that they
    can speak to staff in the school if they have a problem.
  • Attendance is low overall compared to that usually found in secondary schools. Many students placed in
    the unit have a history of low attendance in their previous school. The work in the unit supports students
    and parents very well in this respect, improving attendance significantly and helping students re-engage in
    their learning. A small number of students are often absent despite a great deal of effort, persuasion and
    discussion. The unit is very proactive in encouraging attendance and in adapting provision to support the
    progress of individuals.
  • The alternative provision acts to further encourage students’ positive attendance routines, as they are very
    motivated to take full advantage of this popular initiative.
The quality of teaching is good
  • The quality of teaching and its impact over time is typically good. This is evident from lesson observations,
    students’ work, information on students’ performance, and discussions about learning.
  • The staff in the unit work hard to get to know students well. They build positive relationships that help
    individuals to enjoy attending the unit and learning a range of subjects. The positive ethos encourages
    and supports students to build their confidence and realise the importance of learning. The wide focus on
    achievement supports students’ good social development as well as their good academic progress.
  • The calm, deliberate and persistent approach of teachers means that there are consistent and clear
    boundaries in classrooms and students are able to fully participate in the variety of well-planned lessons.
  • Teachers use targets well to motivate students and monitor their progress over short periods of time.
    Literacy, in particular reading, and mathematics are developed well in some lessons. There is still some
    work needed to apply teaching methods consistently.
  • Good questioning and feedback to students help them to know what they have to do and thereby hasten
    their progress. Students do not always know what outstanding progress might look like for them, but are
    clear about the simple next steps they need to make. The opportunities to respond to feedback are not
    always given a high enough priority.
  • Teaching is individualised and groups are small. Teaching assistants contribute well to students’ progress
    and help them to build their confidence. The wider support team also focuses students on making good
    choices and often anticipates when students need additional support. This enables timely support to be
    given to individuals and minimises the impact that poorer approaches to learning might have on other
    students. Some teaching has an outstanding impact, but not enough is outstanding across the unit.
    Teachers’ extensive and precise understanding of individuals is not yet used fully to challenge all
    individuals to aspire to their potential.
The achievement of pupils is good
  • The vast majority of students joining the unit have very low starting points for their ages. They often
    have a history of missed or broken education. Students stay for varying lengths of time but make good
    progress in their learning during their time at the unit. Standards are still below those found nationally,
    but students in Year 11 make good progress in mathematics and English, and particularly in reading.
    Some make outstanding progress.
  • There is a wide variation in ability, and after an initial assessment period students quickly begin to fulfil
    their own potential. GCSE and entry-level certificates are pursued. This helps students to re-engage
    successfully and to familiarise themselves with mainstream school work.
  • The success in external accreditation, including GCSE, is increasing. Students are proud of their success
    and all but one of the students leaving in Year 11 in the last three years have gone on to training,
    education or employment.
  • Prior to their time in the unit many students had made very little progress since the end of Key Stage 2.
    The school’s performance-tracking information demonstrates very impressive improvements in English
    and mathematics for many students. The unit is particularly successful in promoting reading skills and
    many students who join the unit well below their chronological age for reading make outstanding
    progress in reading.
  • The school carefully tracks the progress of groups of students, such as those with special educational
    needs, vulnerable and disadvantaged students. Case studies indicate that variations in performance of
    different groups within the unit relate to the ability of individuals and that progress on an individual
    basis is good. Lack of challenge does not always allow the most able students to achieve as well as they
  • The pupil premium funding has been targeted in providing specific support for individual students
    including literacy and mentoring. The small number of students in Year 11 and the fact that students
    may also have special educational needs makes comparisons to national attainment measures difficult.
    Inspection evidence shows there are no notable differences between the performance in English or
    mathematics of disadvantaged students and that of other groups during their time in the unit.
  • The unit checks the success of its support work with its mainstream feeder schools. Many students
    return to mainstream education and are successful in holding their places.
  • Many students obtain a statement of special educational needs while in the unit. They achieve well and
    go on to college or to mainstream or special schools.
  • The alternative provision is monitored closely, showing that students are making good progress in their
    physical activities.

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
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 133160
Local authority City of Bristol
Inspection number 447981

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

Type of school Pupil referral unit
School category Pupil referral unit
Age range of pupils 11–16
Gender of pupils Mixed
Number of pupils on the school roll 45
Appropriate authority The local authority
Chair Susan Pearson
Acting Headteacher Aileen Morrison
Date of previous school inspection 28 November 2011
Telephone number 0117 903 1320
Fax number 0117 903 1321
Email address

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