Culverhill School celebrates anniversary with “outstanding” Ofsted report

South Gloucestershire CouncilCulverhill School in Yate is celebrating after receiving an “outstanding” Ofsted report in its tenth anniversary year.

Culverhill, a special school for pupils with learning difficulties, was inspected in November and inspectors identified many areas of outstanding achievement. Inspectors were particularly impressed about ‘the excellent levels of care and attention’ and the ‘real drive and commitment from the whole staff team to do its very best for each pupil’.

Also noted was ‘the highly effective support and guidance’ given to pupils which has led to ‘all groups of pupils making good progress and in some cases making outstanding achievements’.

The report praised the pupils’ excellent behaviour both in and out of school and the willingness that they show to engage in a wide range of activities. The pupils’ safety and well being is paramount with procedures described as ‘extremely rigorous’ including ‘excellent support programmes’ in reducing pupils’ vulnerability when using the internet.

The quality of the teaching is underpinned by the excellent relationships between staff and pupils which ‘ensure that each classroom is an exciting learning environment where pupils are eager to learn’. The inspectors found that this is complimented by a curriculum which gives all pupils equal opportunities to succeed, which results in ‘the many positive outcomes there are for all groups and ages of pupils’.

The inspectors praised the ‘strong senior leadership team’ and the ‘highly committed headteacher’ and also noted the very effective way that the school works with both parents and outside professionals to support each pupil. An example of this is the successful, integrated curriculum planning with speech and language therapists which has led to the school gaining status as a Specialist SEN College with particular expertise in Communication and Interaction.

The report is clear that ‘the leadership team will not allow the school to rest on its laurels’ and are constantly seeking ways to further improve its performance, stating that ‘the excellent, positive impact of leadership and management on provision has clearly demonstrated the excellent capacity the school has to sustain and develop even further its effectiveness’.

To ensure future improvement the report noted the ‘excellent self-evaluation systems in place to enable the school to identify areas in need of further development’. This in turn has led to the sustained improvement evident since the school’s previous inspection and the school demonstrating excellent value for money and capacity for further improvement.

Headteacher Nicola Jones, said: “Pupils, staff, parents and governors are all delighted about our “outstanding” inspection grade from Ofsted. This is a vindication of the hard work and determination shown by staff, governors and of course, the pupils themselves.

“It is particularly gratifying to receive such good news in the school’s tenth anniversary year. We will be planning a day in January 2010 to fully celebrate our wonderful school and its great achievements.”

Cllr Sheila Cook, executive member for children and young people, said: “I am very pleased that Ofsted has recognised the excellent achievements of the staff, governors and pupils of Culverhill School. The ‘outstanding’ inspection grade is well deserved and reflects the excellent work that the school does.

“Culverhill School joins both Bradley Stoke Community School and The Castle School in achieving ‘outstanding’ inspection grades this year – a clear indication of the high quality education provision available in South Gloucestershire.”

Related link: Culverhill School Ofsted Report 2009

Source: South Gloucestershir Council

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