09:00AM, Monday 30 March 2020
An independent special school has been rated as ‘Excellent’ and ‘Good’ in two key outcomes following an inspection from The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).
Beech Lodge School caters for children aged seven to 18 who have dyslexia, dyscalculia, developmental trauma, anxiety, school refusal, autism or ADHD.
The ISI is the body approved by the Department for Education for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to Independent Schools Council Associations.
ISI inspectors visited the school in Stubbings Lane from Tuesday, February 11 to Friday, February 14 and found the quality of the pupils’ personal development to be excellent – equivalent to an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating.
The report states that ‘pupils’ self-esteem and self-confidence grow through their time in the school’ and ‘they respond well to the excellent role models presented to them by the staff’.
The ‘excellent quality of pastoral care’ is said to be one element which is ‘instrumental in embedding pupils’ ability to make positive relationships and adapt to different social conditions’.
Parents are said to have commented that ‘the school has been transformational on their children’s mental health and confidence, causing anxiety levels to drop and resilience to grow’.
The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements was deemed to be ‘good’ and describes the school’s staff as ‘committed to ensuring that pupils have a positive and stimulating educational experience’.
Pupils make good progress in their core curriculum over time but they ‘do not have a depth of knowledge, skills and understanding in a wide range of subjects’, the report said.
It is recommended that the school improves by ensuring ‘pupils develop a broad educational experience, especially in science and humanities, as they grow through the school’.
The report said ‘the leadership recognises the need to gradually introduce more subjects for pupils to achieve in’.
Headteacher Dan Gillespie, who took up the post in September last year, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the findings in the report.
“We are extremely proud of our school community who work hard always in the best interests of our pupils.
“This report validates the work that we do for those children who are unable to thrive in a mainstream environment.”
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