A special school in Nottingham received a ‘good’ rating for its ability to provide a “rich experience” for students following a visit from local Ofsted officers.
Foxwood Academy acquired the widely coveted rating today (May 2) for its work on several facets of schooling that provided students with a “high-quality” education.
The school received praise for going beyond a purely academic route, instead opting to promote wider development in its students to prepare them for adulthood.
“Pupils are given a range of opportunities to develop their character and nurture their talents and interests,” a report said.
“Staff provide these rich experiences in the curriculum and through extra-curricular activities.
“The personal development curriculum is high quality and coherently planned.”
Inspectors made a special note of the school’s lack of bullying, which they claimed left students feeling “happy and safe”.
“Pupils raised no concerns about bullying,” the report went on.
“They are confident that staff will quickly help them resolve any disputes that may arise.
“Pupils say there are members of staff they can talk to if they are worried about something, or if someone is being unkind.”
The school staff was noted as being well-trained and knowledgeable, with an ability to correctly identify the individual needs of its students.
The report went on: “Pupils study an ambitious curriculum through one of three pathways, according to their needs. Knowledgeable, dedicated and well-trained staff support pupils to access the full curriculum.
“Staff use assessment effectively to inform their teaching and help pupils to fill gaps in their knowledge.”
The school was also observed to prioritise reading, teaching its students phonics from a very early stage in order to develop a love of reading.
The report continued: “Confident readers are fluent and read with expression. Pupils at the early stages of learning to read use their phonics knowledge to decipher words.
“Pupils understand the importance of reading. They know that it helps them to learn and that they will read in their adult lives.”
Furthermore, the school’s curriculum was described as one designed to help its students reduce the risk of being harmed.
However, the report called for a stronger focus on all subjects and academic pathways, instead of just one.
“The curriculum in some subjects, and one pathway, is not yet of the highest quality,” the report finished.
“Pupils do not develop their understanding as well as they could in some areas. Leaders should ensure that pupils build their knowledge securely and deeply in all subjects and pathways.”
This was Foxwood Academy’s second “good” Ofsted rating, following its first in May 2013.