“Ofsted agrees with our Pupils – The Valley School is a Good School.”
- The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. You lead the school with passion, resilience and an unswerving vision to improve the lives of all your pupils. This is a school where everyone plays their part in supporting the pupils as they learn to believe in themselves. ‘To see real transformation in our pupils’ is at the heart of the school’s approach. Your determination and relentless pursuit of improvement have earned the admiration and the confidence of the community.
- Pupils are very proud of their school. They speak positively about their relationships with members of staff and each other. For example, one pupil spoke vividly about the staff when he described them as ‘always being there for you every minute of the day, no matter what’. Pupils’ conduct around the school is exemplary. They are courteous young people who happily welcome visitors and take good care of their environment.
- Parents also value the school’s work. They say how delighted they are that their children attend the school and the vast majority would recommend it to other parents. One parent expressed the views of many, commenting, ‘This school and everyone in it is giving my child a future.’
- Governors are fully involved in the life of the school. They are knowledgeable, skilled and determined for the school to be the best it can be. They know the school’s strengths and weaknesses well. They provide effective challenge and support for you and other leaders. My scrutiny of the minutes of their meetings demonstrates that they are making effective use of their skills and knowledge to ask pertinent questions relating to the progress that pupils make.
- Safeguarding is given a very high priority by leaders, staff and governors. The leadership team has ensured that all safeguarding arrangements are fit for purpose.
- Systems for signing in are rigorous and the use of photographic identification badges for visitors minimises the possibility of unauthorised people accessing the school site.
- Leaders and governors ensure that the single central record is kept up to date and all relevant checks are made when employing new staff. All safeguarding-related policies and procedures are in place and meticulously followed. Staff receive regular training to ensure that they understand the signs that pupils may be at risk, and report and record concerns appropriately. Partnerships with local agencies are well established.
- Staff understand pupils’ vulnerabilities very well. They know how outings need to be assessed for any risk they may pose. They are vigilant to pupils’ needs and their well-being is considered in all aspects of school life.
“The Valley School is a good school” Ofsted October 2013 – On Our Way to Outstanding
We are very proud of our school, so it was good to be able to “show off” all the progress we have made when we had our inspection in October 2013. The inspectors judged our school to be “good” in all areas. Here are a few quotes from the inspection report.
- All groups of students achieve well at school. Their achievement in language and communication, reading, English, mathematics and in their personal and social development is good.
- Students enjoy books, whether it is to recognise pictures, simple text or to read at length. They demonstrate knowledge of letters and the sounds they make (phonics) and this allows them to spell and write simple sentences. As they progress through the school their reading skills improve to the extent that some reach skills in line with their ages and peers in mainstream schools.
- Students at The Valley School make good and at times outstanding progress with their speech, language and communication skills.
- Teaching is good, resulting in most students making at least expected progress. Where teaching is at its best, students are challenged and therefore extend their skills.
- Attendance is above that seen for similar schools and has continued to improve.
- Students who have social and behavioural difficulties make progress in line with their peers, due to the caring, thoughtful and considered approach all staff use to help them overcome their difficulties.
- The school utilises its new sensory room effectively to provide a wide range of visual and sensory stimuli for students who find it difficult to communicate and engage with their surroundings.
- There are examples of outstanding progress for some individual students who are making particularly rapid gains in communication and reading skills.
- Teachers know their students well and relationships are extremely positive.
- Staff provide good-quality, verbal feedback which helps students to know what they need to do next and how to build on their skills. This was well explained by one student who said, ‘I like the way they treat you here. They give you help and support, they reward you. Teachers help you much more here than in mainstream.’
- The school’s effective behaviour policy and procedures are well implemented by all staff, which in turn allows students to be able to change their behaviour and become successful learners over time.
- The Headteacher, with the support of the senior leadership team and the governing body, has made many improvements since the last inspection and has high aspirations for the future of the school.
We are delighted at the findings of the inspection, but very aware that there is still a lot to do and that we have a further journey to travel before we can become the outstanding school we aspire to be. We are looking forward to the next steps, where all pupils are enabled to take on tough challenges, where they learn to believe in themselves and to achieve beyond all of our expectations.