Thomas Bewick School
Tyne and Wear
phone: 0191 2296020
headteacher: Mrs Diane Scott
169 pupils capacity: 85% full
120 boys 83%
25 girls 17%
Last updated: June 20, 2014
— Foundation Special School
- Establishment type
- Foundation Special School
- Establishment #
- Open date
- Sept. 1, 1999
- OSGB coordinates
- Easting: 419719, Northing: 566728
- GPS coordinates
- Latitude: 54.995, Longitude: -1.6933
- Accepting pupils
- 3—19 years old
- Census date
- Jan. 16, 2014
- Ofsted last inspection
- July 3, 2013
- Region › Const. › Ward
- North East › Newcastle upon Tyne North › Denton
- Urban > 10k - less sparse
- Main specialism
- SEN communication and interaction (Operational)
- SEN priorities
- ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Special classes
- Has Special Classes
- Private Finance Initiative
- Part of PFI
- Sixth form
- Has a sixth form
- Free school meals %
- Trust school
- Is supported by a Trust
- The Newcastle Special Schools Trust
- Learning provider ref #
- Denton Park Middle School NE52NW
- Linhope PRU NE52LW (199 pupils)
- 0.1 miles Beech Hill Primary School NE52LW (397 pupils)
- 0.2 miles West Denton High School NE52SZ
- 0.2 miles All Saints College NE52SZ (207 pupils)
- 0.2 miles Studio West NE52SZ
- 0.5 miles Farne Primary School NE54AP (251 pupils)
- 0.6 miles West Denton Primary School NE51DN (320 pupils)
- 0.6 miles Westerhope Primary School NE51NE (456 pupils)
- 0.6 miles St Mark's RC Primary School NE54BT (198 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Cheviot Primary School NE54EB (187 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Hilton Primary School NE53RN
- 0.7 miles St John Vianney RC Primary School NE51DN (251 pupils)
- 0.7 miles Chapel Park Middle School NE51SH
- 0.7 miles Chevyside Middle School NE54EB
- 0.7 miles Parkway School NE51DP
- 0.7 miles Redewood School NE52ST
- 0.7 miles St Aidan's School NE51DP
- 0.7 miles Hilton Primary Academy NE53RN (407 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Simonside Primary School NE54LG (199 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Thomas Walling Primary School NE53PL (414 pupils)
- 0.9 miles Lemington Middle School NE157LS
- 0.9 miles Thomas Walling Primary School NE53PL
- 1 mile Knop Law Primary School NE51LH (408 pupils)
School and residential report
Thomas Bewick School
Linthorpe Road, West Denton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE5 2LW
|Inspection dates||3–4 July 2013|
|Overall effectiveness||This 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|
|Overall effectiveness of the residential |
Summary of key findings for parents and pupils
This is a good school.
It is not yet an outstanding school because
| The majority of pupils make good progress in |
Children who are on roll here but attend the
The sixth form is outstanding. All students
The majority of teaching is good and some is
their learning in English and mathematics,
and particularly in communication. Some
pupils make outstanding progress.
Early Years Foundation Stage in settings
elsewhere make good progress.
leave school with a nationally accredited
| Consistent approaches help pupils to develop |
The revised leadership and management, led
Outcomes for residential pupils are
Provision, management and the overall
independence and they learn to manage their
own good behaviour.
by a new headteacher, are continuing to drive
improvements well in the school.
outstanding. Pupils enjoy, and are happy with,
their residential experience.
effectiveness of residential care are good. The
school meets the national minimum standards
for residential special schools.
| Teaching in a small number of lessons |
Middle leaders are not fully involved in
requires improvement because pupils do not
make fast enough progress in them.
improving the quality of teaching.
| The anti-bullying policy for the residential |
provision does not yet include information
about homophobic and cyber-bullying.
Information about this inspection
- This was an integrated inspection with one social care inspector who judged the quality of the
school’s residential provision. Joint working arrangements took place throughout between the
inspection teams and the school staff. The findings of the residential inspection are included in
- Inspectors observed 11 lessons, one of which was a joint observation with the headteacher.
Joint learning walks were made with a member of the senior leadership team to review the two
satellite locations for the Early Years Foundation Stage. Short visits to classrooms and other
learning activities also took place.
- Inspectors held discussions with senior and middle leaders, groups of students and members of
the governing body. The lead inspector held telephone calls with a representative of the local
authority and with the school’s improvement adviser.
- The social care inspector met with staff including the headteacher, the senior residential child-
care officer and care staff. He spent time with students in residence and held discussions with
parents, both face to face and on the telephone.
- A wide range of documents were scrutinised by inspectors, including care plans, behaviour logs,
pupil progress data, improvement planning and safeguarding documents.
- The inspectors took account of 23 responses to the online questionnaire (Parent View), and
those given by parents during an informal meeting held during the inspection. Inspectors also
considered the 33 responses to the staff questionnaire.
|Michele Crichton, Lead inspector||Additional Inspector|
|Janice Stephenson||Additional Inspector|
|Nicholas Murphy||Social Care Inspector|
Information about this school
- The school is a day and residential school for pupils aged from three to 19 years.
- All pupils are either undergoing a process of assessment for, or already have, a statement of
special educational needs.
- The school caters for pupils with autism and pervasive developmental disorder.
- Pupils attend the school from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the surrounding area.
- There are currently nine pupils in the residential provision.
- The school offers residential provision for pupils during term time only, ranging from one to two
nights per week.
- Approximately three quarters of the pupils are of White British heritage and the remaining pupils
are from a diverse range of minority ethnic backgrounds.
- Approximately one fifth of pupils are girls.
- The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for the pupil premium is much higher than the
national average. (The pupil premium is additional funding for pupils who are known to be
eligible for free school meals, children from service families and those who are looked after by
the local authority.)
- The school currently accesses additional provision from Newcastle College on a weekly basis for
a small number of students in Years 13 and 14.
- The school uses two satellite locations for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
One is Cruddas Park Early Years Centre where there are currently 6 children who are on roll at
Thomas Bewick but educated here. The other is Walkergate Early Years Centre where there are
currently 12 children who are on roll at Thomas Bewick but educated here.
- Since the last inspection a new headteacher and a new Chair of the Governing Body have been
- The school is an Autism Education Trust training hub for the north-east region.
- From September 2013 plans are advanced for the school to become part of a trust with three
other local special schools.
What does the school need to do to improve further?
- Ensure all teaching from the Early Years Foundation Stage to Key Stage 4 is at least consistently
good, and increase the amount that is outstanding, by ensuring that work is always well
matched to all pupils’ needs, regardless of their ability.
- Improve leadership and management by developing the role of middle leaders in accurately
checking the quality of teaching.
- Develop further the good practice in residential provision by:
- ensuring that all parts of the placement plan reflect each individual residential pupil’s assessed
- revising the anti-bullying policy to include homophobic and cyber-bullying
- considering the integration of staff supervision and appraisal so that the senior residential care
officer undertakes both.
|The achievement of pupils||is good|
- All pupils enter school with attainment levels that are significantly below those expected for their
age due to the nature of their special educational needs.
- From their individual starting points pupils’ progress in developing communication skills and in
personal development is particularly good, and it is outstanding in the sixth form. This is
because there is an emphasis on communication in every activity for pupils from the moment
they enter the school through using signs, symbols, electronic equipment or developing speaking
- Pupils’ progress in English and mathematics is good. Progress in reading is good because there is
a focus on reading throughout the school. Younger pupils are taught how to link letters and
sounds together and to read unknown words. Some older pupils combine their confidence and
love of reading by independently taking a bus ride into Newcastle to buy books for themselves.
- Children achieve well in all areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage as tasks are
tailored well to their individual needs. Outstanding achievement in the sixth form is a result of
the exceptional teaching and strong alternative provision. Students enjoy learning together and
working hard. This is shown by the fact that all students, regardless of ability, have acquired
some form of accreditation to prepare them for their next stage in life or learning when they
- There is no difference in the attainment of different groups of pupils, such as the small numbers
of girls and pupils from minority ethnic groups. Those who are known to be eligible for additional
funding through the pupil premium also make good and outstanding progress. This is due to the
good-quality teaching, care, and additional support and therapies given to these pupils, as well
as a strong commitment by staff to the promotion of equality of opportunity. Consequently, they
are catching up other pupils in reading, writing and mathematics.
|The quality of teaching||is good|
- Activities and strategies to encourage and improve communication are a key focus in all of the
learning that takes place. Staff are persistent in expecting and receiving an appropriate response
to questions or in discussions and they have high expectations of all pupils. Consequently, this
ensures that pupils throughout the school make at least good and often outstanding progress in
- Scrutiny of teachers’ planning shows learning is prepared for each individual pupil and,
consequently, staff know learners well. Teachers ensure that there is a supportive and friendly
atmosphere within lessons.
- Some staff in the Early Years Foundation Stage show exceptionally high levels of expertise in
teaching children with autism. For example, clearly established morning routines are cleverly
woven with questions to develop early reading and mathematical skills. The quality of provision
in the satellite locations as well as on the Thomas Bewick site is consistently sensitive to the
needs of the individual children.
- Support staff make a positive contribution to pupils' learning. They question pupils about their
answers, listen to their reading and record their responses. Their consistent approach to the
management of pupils’ behaviour helps learning time to run smoothly.
- Reading is taught well, and there is a good focus on improving writing skills, starting with the
youngest children who paint and match letter shapes. The teaching of mathematics is frequently
practical, which also makes it more meaningful. For example, pupils have to work out how much
it is going to cost them for their snacks at the Billy Buzz Café, whilst others learn about pattern
and sequence in drama lessons.
- A variety of teaching methods are used to enable each individual to make their own best
personal progress. For example, more-able pupils benefit from good levels of verbal challenge
from teachers and also from discussions that help them work out answers for themselves.
Teaching strategies to engage those pupils with challenging behaviour are also effective,
enabling them to stay in class, take turns with others and complete the work that is set.
- In the best lessons teachers plan enjoyable activities that develop a wide range of skills. There
are very good relationships with pupils, strong staff teamwork, and the expertise of all staff is
evident. In a small number of lessons teachers take too long to get to the actual point of the
lesson or activities are not well matched to pupils’ needs. When this happens, pupils’ behaviour
can deteriorate from its usually good standard.
|The behaviour and safety of pupils||are good|
- Each pupil is known as an individual and is cared for well by all the adults.
- There have never been any pupil exclusions in the history of the school.
- Comprehensive risk assessments, high staff supervision and consistent approaches ensure that
pupils are safe.
- Pupils in school say they feel safe and that they can turn to any member of staff for help. They
also say how much they enjoy school. This is shown in their attendance which is above average
when compared with other special schools.
- The school’s focus on developing independence is evident as pupils progress through the school.
For example, in the Early Years Foundation Stage children are expected to tidy up and return
things to their rightful place. The sixth-form students are expected to write and self-check
information before presenting it to staff. In the residential provision pupils are encouraged to
make their own beds, tidy up after themselves and attend to their own personal routines.
- Some pupils find it difficult to manage their own behaviour but this is helped by consistent
management of pupils’ behaviour by all members of staff. The impact of any less acceptable
behaviour on other pupils’ learning is kept to a minimum. Occasionally, learning activities are not
well matched to pupils’ needs. At these times, pupils are less engaged or become distracted
during their learning and this slows their rate of progress.
- Behaviour within the residential provision is very good. Staff are skilled at using their knowledge
of each residential pupil to manage difficult situations and promote good behaviour. As a result,
restraint is hardly ever used and sanctions are unnecessary.
- Residential pupils feel safe. There is no bullying and they know who to go to if they have any
worries or concerns, although there is no information about homophobic and cyber-bullying in
the anti-bullying policy for the residential provision.
|The leadership and management||are good|
- The new headteacher took up her post in January 2013. Her previous role as deputy
headteacher means that she knows the school well, which has enabled her to make perceptive
changes. For example, there is now a revised senior leadership team and greater accountability
for pupils’ progress expected from all staff. The headteacher has a strong and strategic view for
future school developments as the school becomes part of a trust in September 2013.
- The curriculum is a strength. It meets the needs of pupils well, provides them with interesting
experiences and makes learning meaningful. For example, a recent African arts’ week involved
pupils making African art patterns in the sand using materials found on the beach at Longsands,
Tynemouth. Writing and reading activities were also blended into activities and developed pupils’
academic skills alongside creative ones.
- Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is also good. For example, pupils welcome a
range of visitors into their school and enjoy trips, including short stays abroad, to Denmark, the
Netherlands and Finland. Vocational and academic partnerships prepare older students well for
their future life.
- The local authority provides light-touch support for this school. Leaders and managers ensure
there is equality of opportunity and no discrimination within the school because each pupil’s
achievements are tracked individually. Close working partnerships with a range of agencies,
including speech and language professionals and medical and social care agencies, ensure each
pupil’s personal needs are well met.
- Parents are very positive about the school. They speak highly of staff and the personal and
individual approach given to each child. Responses on Parent View also show their great support
for the school.
- Analysis of the school’s development plan shows that all senior leaders and managers are
accountable for improving learning and pupils’ progress. There is also frequent checking of
teaching and learning in order to raise the quality of teaching and any underperformance is met
with focused actions for improvement. However, middle leaders are not given enough
responsibility for also developing the quality of teaching in the school.
- The residential provision is very well managed. Roles and responsibilities are clear and the staff
work very well as a team. Checks by senior staff are thorough, shortfalls are identified, and
actions to rectify these are carried forward into the development plan. However, systems of staff
supervision and appraisal are not integrated to allow the senior residential care officer to
undertake both. Many, but not all, parts of the placement plan reflect each individual residential
pupil’s assessed needs. These areas for further improvement do not detract from the
outstanding outcomes that pupils achieve.
- The governance of the school:
- A new Chair of the Governing Body has been in post since January 2013. Governors are very
knowledgeable about the school. They are aware that a small amount of teaching requires
improvement and understand that there is a link between the performance management of
staff and the links to school improvement and pay progression. They ensure safeguarding is
secure, and monitor spending and the impact of the pupil premium. Their wide range of skills
means they are fully able to scrutinise data about pupils’ progress and to challenge senior
leaders. The governing body is fully supportive of the developments for September 2013 and
joint governor meetings with all the Chairs of the different parts of the new trust have already
|Outcomes for residential pupils||are outstanding|
|Quality of residential provision and care||is good|
|Residential pupils’ safety||is good|
|Leadership and management of the |
- The school meets all national minimum standards for residential special schools.
- The atmosphere within the residential provision is happy and harmonious. Pupils look forward to
their stays with relish, and love spending time with their friends and staff. Residential pupils feel
that they have a real voice in what happens when they come to stay.
- Staff have excellent relationships with residential pupils. They treat them with respect and are
sensitive to what makes each pupil different and unique.
- The impact of the residential provision upon the development of pupils is substantial. Residential
pupils make outstanding progress in acquiring the practical skills they need to become as
independent as possible. Consequently, residential pupils have made significant improvements in
their emotional resilience, confidence and self-esteem.
- The residential provision promotes healthy lifestyles. Staff are successful in encouraging
residential pupils to take more responsibility for their own well-being. There are good links with
health services, which ensure that more-complex health needs are addressed effectively and
- The induction process for pupils moving into the residential provision is very well planned. This
contributes to the successful outcomes that all residential pupils achieve. Similarly, staff are very
effective in managing the transition of residential pupils into adult services.
- Residential staff work closely with colleagues in the school, thus ensuring continuity of planning.
This aids the achievement of targets for each individual residential pupil and helps them achieve
to the maximum of their potential.
- Staff promote the welfare of residential pupils and ensure their progress through the use of very
detailed, comprehensive care plans. Staff involve residential pupils as far as possible in reviewing
and amending their plans. This helps residential pupils to understand and celebrate the progress
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 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.
|Grade 1||Outstanding||A school which provides an exceptional quality of care and |
significantly exceeds minimum requirements.
|Grade 2||Good||A school which provides a high quality of care that exceeds |
|Grade 3||Adequate||A school which meets minimum requirements but needs to |
improve the quality of care it provides.
|Grade 4||Inadequate||A school where minimum requirements are not met and the quality |
of care has serious weaknesses.
|Unique reference number||131988|
|Social care unique reference number||SC041902|
|Local authority||Newcastle Upon Tyne|
This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
The inspection of residential provision was carried out under the Children Act 1989, as amended by
the Care Standards Act 2000, having regard to the national minimum standards for residential
|Type of school||Special|
|School category||Community special|
|Age range of pupils||3–19|
|Gender of pupils||Mixed|
|Gender of pupils in the sixth form||Mixed|
|Number of pupils on the school roll||126|
|Of which, number on roll in sixth form||12|
|Number of boarders on roll||9|
|Appropriate authority||The governing body|
|Date of previous school inspection||2 December 2009|
|Telephone number||0191 2296020|
|Fax number||0191 2296021|
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will use the information parents and carers provide when deciding which schools to
inspect and when and as part of the inspection.
You can also use Parent View to find out what other parents and carers think about
schools in England. You can visit www.parentview.ofsted.gov.uk, or look for the link
on the main Ofsted website: www.ofsted.gov.uk