School etc

Waterside School

Waterside School
Robert Street

020 83177659

Headteacher: Miss Susan Vernoit

School holidays for Waterside School via Greenwich council

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27 pupils aged 6—10y mixed gender

20 boys 74%


5 girls 19%


Last updated: June 20, 2014

— Community Special School

Establishment type
Community Special School
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 1, 2001
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 544602, Northing: 178478
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 51.487, Longitude: 0.081266
Accepting pupils
5—11 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Oct. 23, 2012
Region › Const. › Ward
London › Greenwich and Woolwich › Glyndon
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Special classes
Has Special Classes
Free school meals %

Rooms & flats to rent in Greenwich

Schools nearby

  1. South Rise Junior School SE187PX
  2. South Rise Infant School SE187PX
  3. Nine Acres School SE187NB
  4. 0.1 miles South Rise Primary School SE187PX (662 pupils)
  5. 0.2 miles St Patrick's Catholic Primary School SE187QG (360 pupils)
  6. 0.2 miles Mulgrave Junior School SE187QA
  7. 0.3 miles Conway Infant School SE181QY
  8. 0.3 miles Foxfield Primary School SE187EX (625 pupils)
  9. 0.3 miles St Margaret's Church of England Primary School SE187RL (295 pupils)
  10. 0.3 miles Plumstead Manor School SE181QF (1455 pupils)
  11. 0.3 miles Foxfield Infant School SE187EX
  12. 0.3 miles Greenwich Community College at Plumstead Centre SE187DQ
  13. 0.3 miles Conway Primary School SE181QY (435 pupils)
  14. 0.3 miles Negus Sixth Form Centre SE181QF
  15. 0.4 miles Conway Junior School SE181QY
  16. 0.5 miles Foxhill Centre SE183AT
  17. 0.5 miles Heronsgate Primary School SE280EA (795 pupils)
  18. 0.5 miles Nightingale Primary School SE187JJ (238 pupils)
  19. 0.5 miles Greenslade Primary School SE182QQ (241 pupils)
  20. 0.5 miles St Peter's Catholic Primary School SE187BN (210 pupils)
  21. 0.5 miles ASD Learning Centre - Woolwich SE186SW
  22. 0.6 miles Bannockburn Primary School SE181HE (664 pupils)
  23. 0.6 miles Right Choice Project SE186BB (23 pupils)
  24. 0.7 miles Plumcroft Primary School SE183HW (661 pupils)

List of schools in Greenwich

Waterside School

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number133401
Local AuthorityGreenwich
Inspection number341386
Inspection dates4–5 November 2009
Reporting inspectorHeather Yaxley HMI

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.
Type of schoolSpecial
School categoryCommunity special
Age range of pupils5–11
Gender of pupilsMixed
Number of pupils on the school roll28
Appropriate authorityThe governing body
ChairMargaret Offerman
HeadteacherSusan Vernoit
Date of previous school inspection 17 January 2007
School addressPlumstead
London SE18 7NB
Telephone number020 8317 7659
Fax number020 8317 2315
Email addresssao1.waterside.

Age group5–11
Inspection dates4–5 November 2009
Inspection number341386

© Crown copyright 2009


This inspection was carried out by one of Her Majesty's Inspectors. The inspector visited eight lessons, and held meetings with the chair of governors, staff, groups of pupils and a local authority adviser. She observed the school's work and looked at a range of documentation, including pupils' files and previous class work, evaluations and examples of work from the outreach service, policies and other information relating to safeguarding, school policies and action plans, and minutes of meetings. Questionnaires from staff, pupils and 16 parents and carers were scrutinised.

The inspector reviewed many aspects of the school's work and looked in detail at three areas.

  • How effective is the school's assessment and tracking procedure and what does it tell the school about pupils' academic and personal outcomes?
  • Is the curriculum sufficiently broad, balanced and enhanced to meet the pupils' complex needs?
  • How involved are governors, senior leaders and subject leaders in monitoring and evaluating the quality of provision?

Information about the school

Waterside School provides for boys and girls who have behavioural, emotional and social needs. Of the 28 pupils currently on roll, 20 attend full time; the part-time pupils are dually registered, attending their local mainstream schools for three days each week and at Waterside for two days. New pupils are admitted to the school throughout the year and others move on at different times. At any one time the majority of pupils are boys. Pupils come from all over the borough and represent a range of different social and cultural backgrounds. The school does not currently provide education for children in the Early Years Foundation Stage, although it is considering the possibility for the future.

The school runs and manages an outreach service on behalf of the local authority. This service is funded for all primary schools within the borough and involves 17 of the school's staff. For the past year, the school has also been responsible for running a new off-site facility at a Charlton Manor Primary School to provide full-time education for any primary-aged pupil within the borough who has been excluded from school for more than five days. This facility is currently under review and has no pupils at this time.

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

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school?


The school's capacity for sustained improvement


Main findings

Waterside School is a good school where all members of the school community are as firmly focused on pupils' learning as they are on improving their behaviour. The pupils respond very well to the positive management of their behaviour and the good attention given to their general emotional well-being by staff. Since the last inspection, staff and governors have improved the provision, ensuring greater consistency in the quality of teaching and a sharper focus on raising standards of attainment alongside improving pupils' behaviour. In addition, the school's outreach role is now better integrated into its overall work and has grown in strength and influence within the borough. The development of the roles and responsibilities of senior staff and subject coordinators has focused the school's attention on the management of teaching, learning and the curriculum successfully, thus enabling the pupils to make good progress in their academic and social skills. Expectations and aspirations for pupils, as well as for their own day-to-day professional work, have remained very high amongst staff. As a result, many important aspects of their work, including teaching and the curriculum, are good and have a significant impact on pupils' achievements.

However, the school's recent improvement plans lack attention to detail and the monitoring of pupils' progress and the quality of teaching has been too informal. As a result, strategic planning for aspects such as promoting community cohesion and reducing rates of absence and exclusion is currently no better than satisfactory. The attendance of a significant proportion of pupils is inadequate and this has not been given sufficient priority, and the limited opportunities for pupils to contribute to the school and wider communities are constraining their independence. This recent lack of rigour has adversely affected the way that senior staff and the governing body are able to provide evidence to support the evaluations that they make of their work, or to show how their actions are linked to what they know about how well the pupils are achieving. This does not mean that the pupils have suffered, because staff and governors have good ongoing debates about how to improve their work and they take the appropriate actions. This, together with outstanding partnerships with others, has ensured that pupils continue to do well. Senior staff have a clear awareness of what needs to be done to get improvements back on track, and have satisfactory capacity to do so.

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Inject more rigour into the monitoring and evaluation of the school's work by:
  • targeting strategic improvements more specifically so that aims are clear and measurable
  • collecting and collating sufficient and suitable evidence against the success indicators to prove whether or not the improvements are good enough.
  • Improve assessment so that:
  • the tracking of pupils' attainment and personal development clearly shows the amount of progress that they make over time
  • specific targets are set for the amount of progress that each pupil will make during each academic year
  • teachers use tracking information to inform their lesson plans
  • subject leaders monitor and analyse the tracking information to evaluate the quality of the curriculum and inform their improvement plans.
  • Improve pupils' attendance by:
  • interrogating the data more thoroughly
  • setting challenging targets for pupils' attendance.
  • Develop the contribution that pupils make to their own and wider communities by:
  • providing more opportunities for them to take responsibility and demonstrate their skills independently
  • providing sharper plans to promote community cohesion.

Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils


Pupils of all ages are polite, proud of the work that they produce, keen to complete the tasks set in lessons and take good care of property and resources. In all classes, pupils were seen to be reading and writing with confidence even when they struggled with the skills required. For example, pupils in Years 3 and 4 were very pleased with their powerful verbs about dogs and in the Key Stage 1 class pupils were keen to read what they had found out from books about different animals. In both instances, the writing was very well presented and showed good progress in the short time during which they have attended the school.

As a result of their disruptive behaviour and fragmented school experiences, pupils often start at the school having underachieved academically. For some, this is compounded by additional learning difficulties. Accordingly, the range of attainment across the school is wide. However, the longer the pupils are there and the more they develop strategies to manage their behaviour, the more this variation narrows. As a result, by the time they either leave the school to return to their local mainstream schools or reach the end of Year 6, pupils attain broadly average standards in English, mathematics and science. This represents good progress and prepares them well for their next school.

Although it wavers from time to time, pupils' generally good behaviour in school enables them not only to focus on learning and do well, but also to hold their own socially with one another and with their mainstream peer groups. They know and respect that staff work in their best interests to help manage their behaviour. This helps pupils to keep themselves and others safe and also ensures that they can take part confidently and actively in the full range of play and curricular opportunities on offer. For example, resources and equipment are used properly, pupils patiently take their turn and stay out of trouble when their friends are having problems. Outbursts of inappropriate behaviour are generally isolated incidents and pupils respond quickly and positively to prompts from adults. Pupils report that bullying does occur. They say that it is often by the same few pupils and acknowledge that those who used to be bullies and badly behaved are now very good. They know that the adults will listen to them and help to sort things out. Pupils who attend part-time and those supported by the outreach service respond similarly well to the help and guidance offered and this makes a significant contribution to their ability to stay successfully within mainstream education. Exclusion rates are relatively low overall but are a significant issue for a minority of pupils, and the school has not sufficiently thought through the links between its management of the most challenging outbursts when they do occur and its policy on exclusion. This applies equally to pupils' attendance, which for some is well below national averages.

The work of school councillors is well organised to represent the views of others in their classes and they believe that they have made a difference to the condition of the toilets, the quality of food at lunchtimes and the things that they have to play with at break times. Opportunities for pupils to take responsibilities more widely are limited and this reduces the contribution that they can make to the school community and the wider local and global communities.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attainment¹
          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 safe2
Pupils' behaviour2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifestyles2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community3
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
          Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development2

1 The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4 is low

How effective is the provision?

Most of the teaching observed during the inspection was of good quality and all lessons had good elements to them. Characteristically, behaviour management, subject knowledge and the use of information and communication technology to enliven learning are good. The work in pupils' books and on display shows that opportunities to improve their literacy and numeracy skills are successfully raising standards in English and mathematics. The use of assessment by adults to promote pupils' progress is satisfactory. While marking and oral feedback are used well in helping pupils to know how well they are doing and how to improve their work, tracking information is not used well enough to assess and target their attainments in teachers' plans.

The curriculum is good because it provides a robust framework with flexibility to satisfy different purposes for different groups of pupils. For outreach workers, this framework supports their role as hands-on practitioners. For teachers of part-time pupils it enables a personalised approach to provide programmes in tandem with those at the home school. For pupils who attend full time, the curriculum provides a broad range of subjects, with age-appropriate content, while also giving priority to literacy, numeracy and extended programmes for personal and social development. Pupils like their lessons and enjoy the work but say that they would like more physical education and clubs.

The ratio of staff to pupils in class is high, particularly at this time of year before numbers on roll steadily increase. This enables staff to know and understand their pupils well, manage their behaviour successfully and ensure a strong focus on learning. On some occasions there is a tendency to control pupils' behaviour to an extent that overcompensates for their difficulties and reduces opportunities for autonomy, independence or taking risks to learn from the consequences of their mistakes. In other respects, staff are very good role models to the pupils and this helps to shape their behaviour, as seen, for example, when pupils readily and genuinely celebrate the good behaviour of others. Pupils respond very well to the behaviour management reward system because staff implement it fairly and consistently. This is very effective in allowing pupils to acknowledge their successes and mistakes, to maintain good relationships with adults and friends, to move on successfully to the next thing and to make reparation for any inappropriate behaviour.

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 partnerships2
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support2

How effective are leadership and management?

Many aspects of the school's work are clearly at least good and pupils are well prepared, academically and socially, when they move on to their next school. On the other hand, the school's inability to substantiate its judgements about the quality of provision and its impact on the outcomes for the pupils was a dilemma for senior staff and the governing body during this inspection. This is because over the past year there has been a lack of attention to detail and an over-reliance on informal monitoring and evaluation. Equally, the senior staff and the governing body have not kept up to speed with current developments and guidelines for what good quality provision looks like. They have ensured that government requirements for safeguarding, equal opportunities and the promotion of community cohesion are adequately met, but these areas have not been sufficiently planned and reviewed in relation to the school's particular context. The way that the school monitors teaching and learning lacks rigour and has been too informal. The monitoring of pupils' achievement relies on tracking attainment rather than measuring and targeting it. The tracking of attainment in subjects other than English and mathematics is not well developed and the tracking of personal skills is at an early stage.

Despite these weaknesses, sound building blocks have been put in place to promote further improvement. For example, a revised assessment framework has been implemented and a new system to track attainment is about to be put in place. In addition, the roles and responsibilities of the senior leadership team have been reorganised and the outreach service is now more fully integrated into the work of the school. Furthermore, as a very close-knit team, the staff have ensured the smooth day-to-day running of the school, successfully maintaining good development for pupils. The needs of the pupils are very much at the centre of the school's daily work for staff and governors alike. They are all very clear that the difference that they can make to pupils' life chances depends on the quality of what goes on in the classroom, and by this they mean the ongoing quality of teaching and relationships between, and amongst, adults and pupils.

Partnerships with others, as evidenced by many comments from other schools and the local authority, are outstanding. The school has strong partnerships with other special schools and its local mainstream schools and leads the way in organising and providing specialised training. In addition, the outreach service also runs the local authority's social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) programme for primary schools, already training staff in approximately half of the schools in the borough. The service also runs a short programme for newly qualified teachers on behaviour management. The outreach service monitors its activities well and gets very good feedback on its work.

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 carers2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles discrimination3
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures3
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion3
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money2

Views of parents and carers

The majority of parents and carers are pleased with the work of the school. Several wrote about how their children's behaviour has been turned around by the dedication of staff. Some did not agree that the school takes account of their views, prepares their children well for the future or manages behaviour well. This was not substantiated by the evidence collected during the inspection. Opportunities to take account of parents' and carers' views include regular written contact, coffee mornings and invitations to school events. There are times when pupils' behaviour continues to be unacceptable. Nevertheless, the management of pupils' behaviour is good, ensuring that it improves over time and does not stop other pupils from getting on with their learning. Many pupils move on to their next school well prepared to succeed because their behaviour has improved and their learning accelerated.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Waterside School 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 inspector received 16 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site inspection. In total, there are 28 pupils registered at the school.

My child enjoys school63885501616
The school keeps my child safe8508500000
My school informs me about my child's progress95642521300
My child is making enough progress at this school85042521316
The teaching is good at this school95653121300
The school helps me to support my child's learning85063821300
The school helps my child to have a healthy lifestyle63810630000
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)63863831900
The school meets my child's particular needs74463821300
The school deals effectively with unacceptable behaviour106331931900
The school takes account of my suggestions and concerns53185031900
The school is led and managed effectively10635311600
Overall, I am happy with my child's experience at this school85063821300

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%.


What inspection judgements mean

Grade 1OutstandingThese features are highly effective. An oustanding school provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2GoodThese are very positive features of a school. A school that is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3SatisfactoryThese features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4InadequateThese 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 of schools inspected between September 2007 and July 2008

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of schoolOutstandingGoodSatisfactoryInadequate
Nursery schools395830
Primary schools1350334
Secondary schools1740349
Sixth forms1843372
Special schools2654182
Pupil referral
All schools1549325

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now make some additional judgements that were not made previously.

The data in the table above were reported in the Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills 2007/08.

Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection judgements.

Common terminology used by inspectors


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.

Overall effectiveness:

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 school's capacity for sustained improvement.
  • Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
  • The quality of teaching.
  • The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs,  including, where relevant, through partnerships.
  • The effectiveness of care, guidance and support.

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.

This letter is provided for the school, parents and
carers to share with their children. It describes Ofsted's
main findings from the inspection of their school.

5 November 2009

Dear Pupils

Inspection of Waterside School, Plumstead SE18 7NB

It was a pleasure to come and inspect your school recently. I saw as many of you as I could in class and I spent some time looking at your work in books and on display. I know that some of you were not in school on the days that I came because you were at your other schools. I looked at your work too to see how well you are doing when you come to Waterside. I also spoke to some of the school councillors and others during my two days with you.

First of all I want to say thank you because you made me and the other inspector very welcome. I want to tell you what we learned about your school.

Waterside is a good school because it helps you to change your behaviour and do well in your work so that you can move on to your next school and do well there. I know that you work really hard to manage your own behaviour and that you do this very well most of the time, especially when you remember all the things that help you to stay calm and talk about it.

Miss Vernoit, the rest of the staff and the governors work very hard to make sure that you do your best. I have asked them to look at some things that will help you to do even better. They need to check out the work that they do more carefully so that they can see more clearly how it is helping you to succeed. They also need to track and measure the progress that you make from one year to the next in more detail. Finally, I have asked them to ensure that your attendance improves because some of you are absent from school too often. It is very important that you come to school every day, and you can help the school to improve by making sure that you do.

I know that all of the hard work that you put in to changing your behaviour and doing well in your lessons is helping you to learn lots of new things and to grow into sensible children. My best wishes to you all for all that you wish for yourselves in the future.

Yours sincerely

Heather Yaxley

Her Majesty's Inspector

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: If you would like Ofsted to send you a copy of the guidance, please telephone 08456 404045, or email

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