School etc

Starhurst School

Starhurst School
Chart Lane South

phone: 01306 883763

headteacher: Mr J Watson

school holidays: via Surrey council

45 pupils aged 11—15y boys gender

45 boys 100%


Last updated: Sept. 6, 2014

— Community Special School

Establishment type
Community Special School
Establishment #
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 517474, Northing: 148338
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.222, Longitude: -0.31919
Accepting pupils
11—16 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Oct. 3, 2013
Region › Const. › Ward
South East › Mole Valley › Holmwoods
Urban > 10k - less sparse
SEN priorities
BESD - Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulty
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Investor in People
Committed IiP Status
Free school meals %
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Dorking

Schools nearby

  1. 0.5 miles The Redlands Junior School RH42LR
  2. 0.5 miles St John's CofE Community School and Nursery RH42LR
  3. 0.5 miles The Redlands CofE Infant School RH42LR
  4. 0.5 miles St John's Church of England Primary School RH42LR (196 pupils)
  5. 0.6 miles St Paul's CofE (Aided) Primary School RH42HS (421 pupils)
  6. 0.8 miles Nower Lodge School RH43BT
  7. 0.9 miles St Joseph's Catholic Primary School RH43JA (189 pupils)
  8. 1 mile Dorking Nursery School RH41BY (71 pupils)
  9. 1 mile The Priory CofE Voluntary Aided School RH43DG (907 pupils)
  10. 1 mile Sondes Place School RH43DG
  11. 1.1 mile Powell Corderoy Primary School RH43DF (188 pupils)
  12. 1.2 mile The Ashcombe School RH41LY (1468 pupils)
  13. 1.3 mile St Martin's CofE Controlled Primary School, Dorking RH41HW (361 pupils)
  14. 1.5 mile New Lodge School RH41LR
  15. 1.6 mile North Downs Primary School RH37LA (393 pupils)
  16. 1.8 mile Westcott CofE First School RH43QF
  17. 1.8 mile Surrey Hills Primary School RH43QF (274 pupils)
  18. 2.3 miles South Holmwood CofE First School RH54LY
  19. 2.4 miles The Acorns Infant School RH37DJ
  20. 2.5 miles Betchworth County First School RH37DJ
  21. 3.1 miles Leigh County First School RH28NN
  22. 3.2 miles Box Hill School RH56EA (404 pupils)
  23. 3.3 miles St Michael's CofE Aided Infant School RH56EW (72 pupils)
  24. 3.3 miles The Weald CofE Voluntary Aided Primary School RH54QW (375 pupils)

List of schools in Dorking

Starhurst School

Chart Lane South, Dorking, RH5 4DB

Inspection dates 3– 4 October 2013
Overall effectiveness This inspection: Good 2
Previous inspection: Good 2
Achievement of pupils Good 2
Quality of teaching Good 2
Behaviour and safety of pupils Good 2
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:

Students at Starhurst achieve well from often
Students make good progress in
The quality of teaching is good. Teachers are
low starting points when they join the school.
All groups of students make equally good
communication and numeracy skills,
especially in reading, speaking and listening
and mathematics.
enthusiastic, have good subject knowledge
and use time very effectively to help motivate
Behaviour and safety are good. Adults build
Leaders and managers, including the governing
The interesting and varied curriculum gives
very good relationships with students over
time. The combination of care, consistent
behaviour management and support helps to
build students’ self-esteem and confidence.
body, have maintained the good achievement,
quality of teaching and behaviour since the
previous inspection.
students many opportunities to develop their
spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness.
Teachers are not given sufficient individual
Teachers do not always help teaching
They do not give the work that is planned for
Delete this bullet symbol
support and training from leaders and
managers in order to improve their teaching
to being consistently outstanding.
assistants to support students’ learning.
more able students early enough in lessons.
A small number of students do not attend
Inspection report: Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013 2 of 9

Information about this inspection

  • The inspector observed eight lessons, two of which were joint observations with the
  • The inspector took account of the online survey of parents’ and carers’ opinions (Parent View).
    She also looked at the school’s own surveys and read comments from annual reviews and letters
    to the school.
  • Meetings were held with various members of staff, representatives from the governing body and
    the local authority. The inspector spoke to many students, met with a small group and looked at
    behaviour in lessons and around the school.
  • She also looked at documentation about students’ progress, teaching and planning. The school’s
    documents on safeguarding were scrutinised together with records of attendance and students’
  • The inspector listened to students reading in lessons and looked at their work, both in lessons
    and in books from the previous year.

Inspection team

Helen Howard, Lead inspector Additional Inspector
Inspection report: Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013 3 of 9

Full report

Information about this school

  • Starhurst is a residential special school for up to 50 boys aged 11 to 16 who have behavioural,
    emotional and social difficulties. All have a statement of special educational needs. Many have
    additional needs such as autistic spectrum disorder or learning difficulties.
  • Twelve students currently choose to be residential for different amounts of time during the
    week. The residential provision was inspected separately in June 2013.
  • The majority of students are White British. Approximately two thirds of students are eligible for
    pupil premium funding (additional funding given by the government for students who are eligible
    for free school meals, students from service families and those in care), which is much higher
    than the national average.
  • Nearly two thirds of the students join or leave the school at different stages of their school
    career. This is much higher than the national average.
  • Some Key Stage 4 students attend college placements at Central Surrey and East Surrey
    Colleges. A few attend a range of local work experience placements or alternative provision at
    ‘STEPS’ run by The Surrey Care Trust.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Improve teaching so that more is outstanding by:
    making sure that teachers give work to the more-able students earlier in the lesson, so that
    they can make faster progress
    ensuring that leaders and managers consistently provide training and support for individual
    teachers, based on information gained from observations
    giving teaching assistants more opportunities to support students’ learning.
  • Improve overall attendance by planning individual, targeted support for a small number of
    students, in partnership with other agencies.
Inspection report: Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013 4 of 9

Inspection judgements

The achievement of pupils is good
  • Students join Starhurst with attainment that is below expected levels. Many have additional
    learning difficulties or have missed parts of their education. School records show that most have
    weak communication and numeracy skills. By the time they leave school they make good
    progress. All of them achieve basic qualifications in literacy and numeracy. Students who remain
    at the school from Year 7 to Year 11 and those who are residential make even better progress
    because they form very strong relationships with staff and get more support over time.
  • The school enters students early for examinations in literacy and numeracy and for geography
    entry level qualifications and this helps to boost students’ self-confidence. Adults are especially
    skilful in motivating students to take qualifications in Year 11. Each student has a carefully
    planned programme that matches their needs and increasing numbers of them gain six or more
    GCSEs, including English and mathematics. A few students achieve grade C for mathematics as a
    result of outstanding teaching. Combinations of work experience and college placements ensure
    that students are very well prepared for their next stage.
  • The school carefully monitors the progress of a few students who use alternative off-site
    placements to make sure that they also make good progress. Almost all students go on to
    college or work when they leave school.
  • In lessons, there is a strong emphasis on reading and writing. Students are encouraged to read
    aloud in class and complete reading logs, which record how much they have read each week. All
    teachers use key words which help students learn and use vocabulary that is linked to the topic
    being studied. For example, in a Year 9 food technology lesson, students were given a sheet
    with a choice of adjectives to help them describe different cheeses. They became increasingly
    confident in speaking and writing about the textures, colours and tastes and made good
    progress. Older students develop an enjoyment of literature, by reading for example, William
Lord of the Flies


  • Students make good progress in mathematics and some make outstanding progress over time.
    This is because teachers’ high expectations, subject knowledge and enthusiasm motivate the
    students to do well.
  • The school promotes equal opportunities well. All groups of students, including those who
    receive pupil premium funding, make the same good progress. The school has used pupil
    premium funding to provide outdoor education and to support college placements for individual
    students. As a result, many students gain qualifications, including climbing, mountain biking,
    kayaking and construction. The boost to their confidence means that, for many students, the
    success they experience leads to greater engagement with learning in lessons.
  • Many students join the school at different times, often in Key Stage 4. The school sets
    challenging targets for progress, based on starting points, and is successful in settling students
    over time so they can re-engage with learning and make good progress while at the school.
  • School records show that parents and carers think that their child is achieving well and students
    agree: as one said, ‘I have learnt so much more since coming here.’
  • Achievement is not outstanding because the more-able students are not always enabled to make
    the rapid progress they could.
The quality of teaching is good
  • Teachers and other adults have high expectations of what students can achieve. They use
    information about students’ progress to plan activities that match most students’ needs and
    adapt their teaching to make sure that students understand what they have to do. Students
    speak warmly of how much teachers help them to do well.
  • Teachers are given time to work together to plan lessons and this, together with regular
    meetings with care staff and teaching assistants, helps students to make good progress,
Inspection report: Starhurst School, 3– 4 October 2013 5 of 9

Headers ‘3–4’

academically and socially.

  • Teachers are enthusiastic and this helps motivate students. They use humour well and make
    tasks interesting. For example, a Year 11 mathematics lesson focused on reading questions
    properly for examinations. Students were given a set of problems that ended with, ‘Only do the
    first question!’ Students agreed that this was an effective and amusing way of making a serious
  • Lessons are well structured and very little time is wasted. Teachers give short, timed tasks that
    keep students focused. Lessons start very quickly and students respond well to this fast pace.
  • Students learn best when teaching is practical and memorable. They thoroughly enjoy outdoor
    lessons, art, gardening and sports. The quality of artwork is especially high throughout the
  • Teachers mark students’ books regularly and give comments about how to improve work.
    Mostly, they give precise information about how to improve work as lessons are happening, to
    support those students with weak reading skills.
  • Although teaching assistants support and manage behaviour well, they are not consistently
    involved in supporting learning and sometimes do not have enough to do when the teacher is
    talking. This means that students do not always make the rapid progress they could with the
    extra available help.
  • Teachers do not consistently give more-able students their higher-level work quickly enough in
    lessons. As a result, these students do not always make the fast progress they could.
The behaviour and safety of pupils are good
  • Students generally behave well during lessons and around the school despite their high level of
    social and behavioural needs. Students say that adults never give up on them: as one said,
    ‘They have the patience of saints.’
  • Students make good progress in their social skills. Adults model the behaviour they expect of
    students at all times and students learn over time how to relate to others. They are welcoming
    and polite towards visitors, for example, holding doors open for them. At lunchtime, staff and
    students eat together, creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere.
  • School records show that over time, behaviour improves for individuals. As one parent wrote,
    ‘You saw the potential in this lost and confused teenager and surrounded him with care,
    compassion, opportunities and choices. You gave a mum some hope.’
  • Staff, especially teaching assistants, who move with the class to every lesson, know the students
    very well and are skilful in managing behaviour.
  • As students move through the school, they are given increasing opportunities to become
    independent and take on responsibilities. The reward system allows students to earn grades and
    certificates for work, effort and behaviour, which link to a choice of Friday activities: as one said,
    ‘Some might pretend not to care but we all do really’. Older students spoke approvingly of the
    reading ‘bling’, a medal awarded by the school for reading progress.
  • The school tackles discrimination effectively. Students are very aware of what bullying is,
    including the different types. They say that it does sometimes happen but that they all have an
    adult they can trust and that the school deals with it seriously. They conduct themselves safely
    about the school and in lessons. Staff ensure that students behave equally well in college or
    work placements.
  • Although the proportion of fixed-term exclusions is high it has reduced significantly over three
    years, as has the number of students who are excluded. The school uses exclusion for a small
    number of days as a last resort for aggressive behaviour. Records show that this has the effect
    of improving behaviour over time for individuals and of keeping students and staff safe. This
    year, there have been very few serious incidents needing physical intervention and these have
    decreased over time. Students say they feel safe and parents and carers who responded to the
    school’s own survey agree.
  • Overall attendance has improved since the previous inspection but remains below average. This
Inspection report: Starhurst School, 3– 4 October 2013 6 of 9

Headers ‘3–4’

is because a small number of students do not attend regularly enough. In order to improve
attendance further, the school has recently begun to make home visits and provide a home tutor
course to engage these students. This has not yet had enough time to have an impact.

The leadership and management are good
  • Leaders and managers have maintained the students’ good achievement and good behaviour,
    and the overall quality of teaching since the previous inspection. This demonstrates that they
    have capacity for further improvements.
  • Subject and key stage leaders are developing their skills and becoming increasingly confident in
    monitoring and evaluating their areas of responsibility. They use data well to identify strengths
    and areas for development. They hold frequent meetings to discuss students’ progress and plan
    support for those who may be underperforming. They are well supported by governors, who
    hold them to account through regular meetings and presentations to the governing body.
  • There is an effective programme of whole-school training for all staff, including for behaviour
    management and teaching, which helps staff to reflect on their own teaching and to ensure that
    they all manage behaviour consistently. Teachers have the opportunity to work with local
    mainstream schools to ensure that they keep up to date with recent curriculum developments.
  • Although there is a whole-school programme to maintain good teaching overall, leaders and
    managers do not consistently provide support or training for individual teachers, based on
    information gained from their lesson observations in order to improve teaching to outstanding.
  • The local authority has very recently begun to offer more support to the school for leadership
    and to improve teaching further. So far, this has helped to check that leaders’ and managers’
    judgments about teaching are accurate and has enabled them to further develop their self-
    evaluation, which is used to inform planning for the future. External consultants now support
    individual teachers with subject content and improvements in teaching. There has not yet been
    enough time to show the impact of this.
  • An effective procedure for performance management gives individual teachers targets for
    improvement and links to the school development plan. This has been reviewed and a new
    system is in place this year. There has not been enough time to evaluate the impact of this on
    raising standards further.
  • The curriculum offers a wide range of academic and vocational subjects. It is broad and varied,
    with good opportunities for students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, including
    ‘diversity’ evenings, where students consider cultures from around the world, and many artistic
    and sporting opportunities.
  • Safeguarding arrangements are effectively in place in school and for off-site placements. The
    school works very well with other agencies to ensure students’ well-being, including those who
    may be vulnerable because of their learning difficulties.
  • The governance of the school:
    Members of the governing body have a good range of skills to hold senior leaders and
    managers to account. They regularly visit the school to monitor its work and make strong links
    with subject leaders. Their records show increasing levels of challenge and support. They are
    knowledgeable about students’ performance data and they know how pupil premium funding
    is spent, together with the resulting impact on how well students have done. They know the
    quality of teaching and check that teachers’ pay progression is linked to their performance.
    They tackle underperformance decisively. They ensure that resources are used effectively. The
    local authority is undertaking a review of governance as part of its support plan for the school.
Inspection report: Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013 7 of 9

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.

Inspection report: Starhurst School, 3–4 October 2013 8 of 9

School details

Unique reference number 125464
Local authority Surrey
Inspection number 426399
Type of school Special
School category Community special
Age range of pupils 11–16
Gender of pupils Boys
Number of pupils on the school roll 41
Number of boarders on roll 11
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Eileen Close
Headteacher John Watson
Date of previous school inspection 10–11 November 2010
Telephone number 01306 883763
Fax number 01306 889819
Email address reveal email: i…


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