Outstanding Thornbury school gets high praise from Ofsted

December 19 2017

NEW Siblands School has been given the highest rating by Ofsted, which said it provided an outstanding education.

NEW Siblands School has been given the highest rating by Ofsted, which said it provided an outstanding education.

The regulator said the special school, in Thornbury’s Easton Hill Road, was also outstanding in all key areas.

Ofsted’s report said: “New Siblands School provides education for pupils who have severe and profound multiple learning difficulties. There are also an increasing number of pupils who have autism.” 

Lead inspector Tonwen Empson said headteacher Andrew Buckton, “ably supported by an experienced and ambitious governing body”, led a school that provided a safe, secure and very successful learning environment.

She said: “His enthusiasm to promote the highest aspirations for both pupils and staff alike is infectious. Due to the investment in high-quality professional development, staff are highly motivated to continue to improve their work. 

“The headteacher, his leadership team and the governing body work with steely determination to achieve the best possible outcomes for pupils. 

“Teamwork across the school is exemplary. Leaders invest in staff and help them to develop their skills. Morale is very high.”

She also said teaching, learning and assessment were consistently outstanding and staff were well-informed, having a good understanding of the needs of pupils.

Teaching in early years, together with the personal development and welfare of pupils, was  outstanding and behaviour across the school was “exemplary”.

Ms Empson said: “It is a calm and positive place. Skilled and thoughtful staff help pupils to feel secure and to have a strong sense of belonging. 

“Teaching, learning and assessment in the sixth form are exceptionally well personalised. The range of work experience, enterprise and practical learning offered to students prepares them very well for their future lives.

“Pupils make very good and often outstanding progress from their starting points.

“Partnerships with parents are particularly strong. As parents said, ‘This school is a dream’ and ‘Nothing is too much trouble’.”