St Piers School (Young Epilepsy)
St Pier's Lane
Head of School: Mrs June Atkins
68 pupils, Mixed
|Unique Reference Number||125453|
|Inspection dates||6–7 May 2010|
|Reporting inspector||Denise Morris|
|Type of school||Special|
|Age range of pupils||5–19|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||157|
|Of which, number on roll in the sixth form||41|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Chair||Ann Wilks CBE|
|Date of previous school inspection||28 February 2007|
|School address||St Piers Lane|
|Lingfield RH7 6PW|
|Telephone number||01342 832243|
|Fax number||01342 834639|
|Inspection dates||6–7 May 2010|
© Crown copyright 2009
This inspection was carried out by two additional inspectors. Eight lessons and eight teachers were observed. Meetings were held with senior leaders, subject leaders, governors and two groups of pupils. Inspectors observed the school�s work and looked at planning documents, assessment and tracking information, pupils� files, samples of pupils� work and the minutes of governors� meetings. Fourteen parents responded to the inspection questionnaires.
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school�s work. It looked in detail at the following:
St Piers School, part of the National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE), provides education for both day and residential pupils with epilepsy and a range of other disorders. Most pupils are White British although a few are from minority ethnic backgrounds. All pupils have a statement of special educational needs for their medical conditions. The majority of pupils have additional needs, including profound and multiple learning difficulties, sensory impairments, or autism. There are close links with its on-site partners the NCYPE Further Education College and the newly opened Sure Start Community Children�s Centre. A medical and assessment centre, linked to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, provides 24-hour support. Residential provision for pupils is provided within the extensive grounds. A children�s home provides 52-week care for a small number of pupils. The school has its own governing body that reports to the charitable trust which supports the school.
Boarding provision was inspected in March 2010 and the report can be found on the Ofsted website. It was inspected under the Care Standards Act 2000 and judgements were made in relation to the outcomes for children set out in the Children Act 2004 and the relevant National Minimum Standards.
|Inspection grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is satisfactory, and 4 is inadequate|
|Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms|
Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?
The school's capacity for sustained improvement
This is a good school. Pupils thrive in its happy working environment. It provides outstanding care, support and guidance for all its pupils resulting in their excellent behaviour and high quality personal development. Pupils enjoy school very much and attend regularly. They have positive attitudes and take part in all that the school has to offer with enthusiasm. The extensive indoor and outdoor activities ensure that pupils develop high levels of confidence and self-esteem as they move through the school. For example, one pupil was observed trying to achieve different jumps on the trampoline. He was very keen to stand up from a sitting position as he jumped. The excellent support and guidance that he received resulted in success and extreme pride in his achievement.
Pupils� attainment on entry to the school is generally very low and some pupils may have been out of school for a long time. Pupils achieve well during their time at the school so that by the time they leave many go on to the college. Their good progress is a result of the high levels of attention that each pupil receives and the wide range of specialists who ensure that a multi-disciplinary approach caters for individual medical and learning needs. Teachers assess pupils� work well on a daily basis. Assessment information is gathered regularly to ensure that pupils are doing well. However, the use of assessment data to track pupils� progress as they move through the school is less successful. This is because the school lacks a clear system to show how much progress pupils make over time. Leaders are aware of this and are taking steps to improve it.
The school curriculum is vibrant and responsive to pupils� individual needs. It is adapted well to meet requirements. However, the accommodation and resources in some areas are limited. Pupils do not always have sufficient access to information and communication technology (ICT) or technological communication aids to improve their skills. Some pupils, particularly the least mobile pupils, do not have access to the cookery room; as a result, these pupils have to cook in their classrooms.
Partnership work is strong, underpinning the work of the school and ensuring good local links. Relationships with parents are outstanding and they are fully supportive of the school�s work. The headteacher and senior leaders provide clear educational and personal direction for all pupils. Governors are knowledgeable and supportive and the trust supports the work of the school very well. Middle managers, particularly subject leaders, have clear plans for the future and are fully involved in development planning. The school has a good capacity to improve because of accurate self-evaluation, strong teamwork, rigorous attention to safety, regular monitoring and very extensive partnerships, which promote learning, health and personal development of all pupils.
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils
Pupils of all abilities, including those with additional needs, make good progress in their academic studies and excellent progress in their personal development during their time at the school.
Pupils arrive at school regularly each morning eager to start work and keen to take part in the wide range of activities on offer. These is because handover practices between the residences, school staff and transport personal are thorough and focus carefully on any difficulties. A key feature of pupils� good learning is the calm and harmonious atmosphere in lessons where pupils listen attentively to adults and to each other. This was evident in a lesson where some older pupils were reviewing their achievements. Each pupil was appraised by the teacher and by the other pupils. Comments were very supportive and helpful so that pupils� social skills improved. In one of the younger classes, where three pupils were being encouraged to interact with each other and with the teacher, effective use of praise and good role modelling helped them to respond politely and improve their confidence. They were able to say �hello� in English and Polish. Similarly, in Years 9 and 10, three pupils were able to make choices because they benefited from individual support. This enabled them to count footballs and they were able, with support, to push the footballs into a tub as they counted them. Pupils communicate well.
Pupils say they feel safe at school because there is always someone to help them. They know about healthy eating and regularly choose fruit and take lots of exercise. Pupils like working together and most are polite and friendly. Many have simple jobs. They clear up after their work and help to keep the classrooms tidy. Work experience for the older pupils is encouraged through helping younger ones. Pupils� spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding. Pupils make each other laugh, share jokes and they play ball together. They are well prepared for the future.
These are the grades for pupils' outcomes
|Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning|
Taking into account:
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and their progress
|The extent to which pupils feel safe||1|
|The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles||1|
|The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community||1|
|The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being|
Taking into account:
|The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development||1|
1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average;
and 4 is low
* In some special schools inspectors do not make a judgement about attainment in relation to expectations of the pupils' age.
Teachers make effective use of resources to help keep pupils interested and ensure that they enjoy their learning. For example, some of the older pupils in the school were enraptured by a session in the creative arts area as they searched for answers to questions in an imaginary jungle. Most teaching is good across the school and some is outstanding. Teachers plan individually to meet pupils� needs and provide them with highly stimulating experiences. Relationships are very strong. Learning support assistants and support workers play a valuable role in mentoring and enabling pupils to achieve their goals.
Planned opportunities for pupils to develop their personal skills through social interaction and visits are a strength and have a very positive impact on pupils� behaviour and attitudes. For example, they have excellent opportunities to visit a range of different churches in their local community. Sports clubs are among the additional activities offered by the school. Information from out-of-hours learning is used well in planning. However, access to food technology and ICT is limited for some pupils.
The care, guidance and support provided by the school are all exceptionally good and have a very positive impact on pupils� behaviour, attitudes and enjoyment of learning. The school�s policies and procedures for safeguarding are successfully implemented. Behaviour is very well managed and pupils are helped to take control of their own feelings and worries. Support for pupils who are new to the school and for their parents is excellent. Risk assessments are rigorous especially for school trips and visits.
These are the grades for the quality of provision
|The quality of teaching|
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
|The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant, through partnerships||3|
|The effectiveness of care, guidance and support||1|
The headteacher and other senior leaders have a clear vision for the future of the school. The headteacher�s vision is shared by the whole school community and is focused on removing barriers to learning for all the pupils and enabling them to achieve their potential. Teaching and learning are regularly and accurately monitored and leaders have a clear understanding of where improvements are needed to accelerate learning. They have sought many procedures to track and monitor progress as pupils move through the school but none have been completely successful. As a result, pupils� progress over time is not always clear. Subject leaders are fully involved in monitoring and regularly evaluate the outcomes of their own subjects. Robust arrangements for child protection and safeguarding ensure that pupils are safe and secure at school. Governors are helpful and supportive, visit regularly and fully meet their statutory duties. They regularly challenge leaders about their decisions but do not always monitor outcomes for pupils as rigorously as they could.
The school places an impressive emphasis on equality of opportunity and tackling discrimination. Partnerships with local businesses and schools enhance learning and provide support for staff. For example, the recent acquisition of the Sure Start Children�s Centre on site has improved community relations and provided learning opportunities for pupils. The school has made a good start in developing its strategy for community cohesion and links are developing with schools in other parts of Britain and with a school in Africa.
These are the grades for leadership and management
|The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambition and driving improvement|
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
|The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and supporting the|
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
|The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers||1|
|The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination||1|
|The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures||1|
|The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion||2|
|The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money||2|
Students achieve well and make good progress in the sixth form. They learn to take responsibility, develop independence and enjoy their leisure time. For example, they learn about leading healthy lives as they cook for themselves from their community garden. They use their common room to play music or to relax and make friends. The strong focus on vocational activities is supported by effective links with local schools ensuring that students regularly have contact with their peers from mainstream colleges. Students take on many simple responsibilities around the school. They organised an assembly themselves, putting out all the chairs and playing their own recorded music to the rest of the school. Provision is flexible, especially for transition, and is tailored to meet each student�s needs. Support for those with challenging behaviour is good and high levels of support and guidance enable all pupils to access learning.
The leadership and management of the sixth form are satisfactory, although the provision has expanded rapidly in the past two years and there is no overall development plan. This has meant that facilities have not kept up with demand. Progression pathways are beginning to be established and are currently under review to ensure that they meet individual needs as well as possible. There is some external accreditation, which is moderated with other similar schools, but leaders are aware of the need to increase these options in order to extend opportunities for all groups of students. The curriculum is vibrant and often exciting but resources do not always match the ages of the students. The progress of each student is monitored daily although procedures to track progress over time are limited.
These are the grades for the sixth form
|Overall effectiveness of the sixth form|
Taking into account:
Outcomes for students in the sixth form
The quality of provision in the sixth form
Leadership and management of the sixth form
Parents and carers are extremely supportive of the school; many feel that they cannot praise it highly enough. All who responded to the inspection questionnaires said that their children enjoy school and that the school keeps pupils safe and secure. �I couldn�t wish for a better placement for my child who has made excellent progress,� wrote one parent. Others commented: �The activities are exciting and the staff allow my child to have different experiences outside of school,� and �My child is very happy. For the first time my child is enjoying learning and being at school.�
Inspection evidence supports these comments. Pupils are very happy at school. They have lots of exciting things to do and staff take very good care of them.
Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at St Piers School, National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy to complete a questionnaire about their views of the school. In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements about the school.
The inspection team received 14 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 82 pupils registered at the school.
|My child enjoys school||12||86||2||14||0||0||0||0|
|The school keeps my child safe||13||93||1||7||0||0||0||0|
|My school informs me about my child's progress||10||71||4||29||0||0||0||0|
|My child is making enough progress at this school||9||64||5||36||0||0||0||0|
|The teaching is good at this school||9||64||4||29||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps me to support my child's learning||10||71||3||21||0||0||0||0|
|The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle||10||71||4||29||0||0||0||0|
|The school makes sure that my child is well prepared for the future (for example changing year group, changing school, and for children who are finishing school, entering further or higher education, or entering employment)||11||79||3||21||0||0||0||0|
|The school meets my child's particular needs||13||79||3||21||0||0||0||0|
|The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour||11||79||2||14||0||0||0||0|
|The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns||11||79||2||14||0||0||0||0|
|The school is led and managed effectively||10||71||4||29||0||0||0||0|
|Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school||14||100||0||0||0||0||0||0|
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question, the percentages will not add up to 100%.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||These features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.|
|Grade 2||Good||These are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.|
|Grade 3||Satisfactory||These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.|
|Grade 4||Inadequate||These features are not of an acceptable standard. An inadequate school needs to make significant improvement in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors will make further visits until it improves.|
|Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)|
|Type of school||Outstanding||Good||Satisfactory||Inadequate|
|Pupil referral |
the progress and success of a pupil in their learning, development or training.
the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and examination results and in lessons.
|Capacity to improve:|
the proven ability of the school to continue improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what the school has accomplished so far and on the quality of its systems to maintain improvement.
|Leadership and management:|
the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities, not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities, directing and motivating staff and running the school.
how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their understanding, learn and practise skills and are developing their competence as learners.
inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall effectiveness based on the findings from their inspection of the school. The following judgements, in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness judgement will be.
the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and over longer periods of time. It is often measured by comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key stage with their attainment when they started.
10 May 2010
Inspection of St Piers School, National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy, Lingfield RH7 6PW
Thank you for your help in our recent visit to your school. We enjoyed talking to you. This letter is to tell you about some of the things we found out about your school.
We are asking your school to do two things to make it even better.
Thank you again for your help.
|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. If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.|