- School principal is "inspirational" driving force
- Quality of teaching is "outstanding"
- "Impeccable" attitudes to learning
Sketchley School in Burbage, has been rated "outstanding" in all categories by education inspectors.
In its latest report, Ofsted praised the principal’s “determination to provide the best education for pupils”, “the care and attention given to supporting pupils” and the sixth form which gives pupils access to “a highly personalised curriculum which meets their needs and prepares them well for life after school”.
The school offers support to young people aged between 8-19 with autism, Asperger Syndrome and associated conditions.
A pupil told Ofsted inspectors: “I don’t like school: I love it!” A parent said: “My child’s character, attitude to learning, confidence and self-esteem have been transformed since he attended this school. The school’s common sense and flexible approach to learning has enabled my child to grow individually. I am very happy.”
Ofsted said: “The quality of teaching is outstanding because it is highly personalised to meet the needs of pupils.”
Inspectors went on to say, “pupils demonstrate a desire to work hard because staff are skilled at making lessons fun and matching the abilities and interests of pupils to learning activities in lessons. In an English lesson, the teacher used props and a digital camera to engage pupils in learning the content of a story”.
The school made “clever use of every available space”: it recently erected a canopy to use as a space where pupils could develop DIY skills. The inspectors also commented on the school‘s partnerships with “highly skilled therapists”, whose expertise helped pupils to manage problems in their personal lives and develop life skills.
The inspectors reserved special praise for the school principal, “who is the inspirational driving force behind the school”, and the leadership team as a whole, which has an “excellent understanding of autism”. The school’s leaders were described as being “excellent role models for pupils”.
Ofsted said it was particularly impressed by how Sketchley School prepared pupils for life after school. They lauded the fact that pupils “are exceedingly well prepared for the next stages of education, employment or training because the support they receive is tailored to meet their individual needs”. Inspectors said that pupils who progressed to
School Principal Sarah-Jane Astbury said: “I am thrilled that our hard work has been recognised in this report and that children are thriving here. Staff and pupils work as a team and I am inspired every day by what I see happening here. There is lots more I want to do, and I am genuinely excited about the future and would like to thank teachers and pupils who try very hard and make the most of the opportunities that we help them to create.”the school’s sixth form “demonstrated impeccable attitudes to learning”.
Mark Underwood, CEO of Priory Education and Children’s Services, said: “Almost everything mentioned in this report is described as ‘outstanding’. I would simply like to thank the school principal, the staff team, pupils and their parents for making the school what it is. I am sure that it will keep up its ‘outstanding’ work.”
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