Basic Skills award 2019

Visit Feedback Report


School name

St Orrets Meadow School

Visit date

16 July 2019


Mrs Duncan  



Telephone number

0151 678 8070


Stella Owen




A brief context of the School

Orrets Meadow School is a non-selective community special school for Autistic pupils between the ages of 5 and 11 years who have a range of learning difficulties, including moderate and specific learning difficulties. The school continues to sustain high standards and attracts full cohorts.


At its last Ofsted inspection, the school was outstanding in all areas.



Visit Type


Renewal visit (RV)


The Assessor spoke to the following people (delegate as appropriate):

Headteacher and/or Senior Leaders


English Subject Leader



Mathematics Subject Leader


Assessment Manager






Pupil representatives






Parent representative(s) 





Does the school meet the requirements of the Quality Mark? 


‘Learning Walk’ completed?



The previous development points have been implemented.


List any noteworthy evidence.

An array of well-planned and appropriate evidence and documentation was provided for the visit.

List of development points from the previous visit report and the resulting actions taken, if appropriate:




Suggested areas for development, in preparation for the next visit based upon the 10 Elements of the Quality Mark, with clear indication to which element(s) the development is referring.


  1. Continue to monitor the impact of mastery English strategies



Summary of ‘Good practice’ identified in relation to the 10 Elements of the Quality Mark:


Quality Mark Elements

  1.  Whole school strategy and planning to improve performance in English and mathematics
  • Senior leaders ensure that the outcomes of the school’s rigorous self-evaluation are thoroughly analysed, and any emerging issues addressed, and swift intervention agreed.
  • Effective school improvement planning is aligned to staff performance management and the outcomes of external review.
  • Orrets Meadow’s Mission Statement and School Values were written by the staff and represent the collective vision we have for our school. They frame and drive forward the decision making, teaching and policy that ensure equality and inclusion.
  • IEPs enable the school to have a greater evidence base for pupil progress and this is further raising standards of English and mathematics across the school
  • A cross school tracking and monitoring tool helps the headteacher and SLT to accurately predict English and mathematics outcomes.
  • The SDP is reviewed throughout the year and resources, success criteria and timescales listed next to actions. SDP and Cohort Plans are evaluated at the end of the academic year, describing the impact the actions have made on pupils.
  1. Analysis of the assessment of pupil performance in English and mathematics
  • Effective monitoring is undertaken at planned intervals by well-informed subject leaders (Heads of English and mathematics)
  • Class teachers use assessment data to inform IEP target setting for each pupil. The Deputy and Assistant use the assessment data to write Cohort Plans, which identify the needs of the year group.
  • On entry to the school, pupils receive a high quality bespoke diagnostic assessment which provides accurate information about their academic and pastoral abilities and needs. 
  • Pupil progress meetings very effectively and accurately rate a pupil for all aspects of their development and swift and appropriate intervention is agreed. Pupils make at least good progress from their individual starting points.


  1. Target setting for improvement of performance in English and mathematics
  • Assertive mentoring underpins the development of pupils’ performance in English and mathematics, providing clear targets for improvement
  • Appropriate targets are set and reflected in appraisal objectives and supported by effective action planning.
  • Teaching Assistants are very much valued, and they form a critical part of action planning for pupils.


  1. English and mathematics planning and intervention for all groups of pupils
  • The school uses very experienced staff to provide additional support and interventions for groups and individuals and outcomes are reviewed at regular monitoring meetings.
  • The SENCo uses excellent knowledge of each of the pupils to work very effectively with teachers and parents.
  • A cognitive behavioural therapist visits the school weekly to encourage mindfulness and build self-esteem with the pupils to ensure that pupils are in a positive frame of mind for learning.


  1. Review of the progress made by all groups of pupils in English and mathematics
  • Cohort Plans are written by the assistant and Deputy Head in liaison with class teachers. The Cohort Plans are shared with TA’s in the classroom to ensure all parties know who is and isn’t making progress.
  • Where there are differences in the performance of groups e.g. gender, then the school realigns support as necessary- making every effort for every pupil to make the best possible progress. At the time of the visit, all pupils were being well supported to make at least good progress from their individual starting points.
  • Outcomes of review and evaluation are regularly shared with well-informed Governors using a clear reporting format- this highlighting where the school is above average and where there are issues to be addressed.


  1. A commitment to improving the skills of all staff in the application of English and mathematics in the school
  • Senior leaders ensure that the school’s culture of strong collegiality continues to be sustained, effectively empowering staff to develop their practice within a climate of high expectations and this was evidenced by the involvement of staff in strategic planning. 
  • The school actively encourages its staff to share ideas and best practice and it nurtures a culture which is equitable, and value based. Staff articulated that they feel supported by senior leaders and that CPD has improved their confidence in developing their skills.
  • Staff meetings are themed – based on staff need. This helps to ‘upskill’ staff on a frequent basis.
  • English and Maths subject leaders attend regular cluster group meeting led by Specialist Maths and English leaders with mainstream schools.
  1. The use of a range of teaching approaches and learning styles to improve English and mathematics
  • Staff are very experienced and skilled at using a wide range of teaching methodologies that meet the needs of individual pupils, for example, probes and precision teaching.  
  • ICT is used very effectively by staff to engage pupils in learning and they enjoy using I pads.
  • All teachers use a wide range of teaching strategies to support learning in English and Maths. They actively seek new ideas and pedagogical development that enable pupils to secure understanding in all subjects.


  1. The use of appropriate teaching and learning resources to improve English and mathematics
  • The school ethos is well demonstrated in the quality of both the indoor and outdoor learning environments as well as the passionate staff.
  • Staff use imaginative resources, such as puppets to provide very good sensory experiences for pupils.
  1. The involvement of parents and / or carers in developing their child’s English and mathematics
  • Home-school liaison is well established, and parent satisfaction is very high.
  • Formal meetings with parents focus very well on the child’s targets and their respective progress in English and mathematics- this impacting positively on the additional support the child receives at home.


  1. An effective procedure for monitoring, planning and assessing performance in English and mathematics
  • The school’s high standards and pursuit of excellence validates the effectiveness of well-established monitoring procedures across the school year, highlighted in the school’s rigorous monitoring timetable and include data analyses; pupil premium impact monitoring; lesson observations; work scrutiny, learning walks; moderation of writing assessments; pupil and parents surveys and EHCP impact monitoring
  • Teachers work closely with governors through the ‘Adopt a Governor’ scheme. Governors visit their class each term with a different focus linked to the SIP. This allows them to see first-hand the current developments and improvements school is making.
  • Governors have a good oversight of the school’s performance and as a result can hold SLT to account.




 A brief summary of the strengths/ developments since the last visit:-

The school is continuing to successfully translate EHCP information into pupil and parent friendly IEP’s.


Additional Comments or action

The well-planned programme of events over the course of the visit provided opportunity for a thorough review of the work of the school linked to pupils learning and development in English and mathematics. Those interviewed; the discussions and the documentation provided detailed information that reflected the shared ambition to ensure all pupils can succeed and fulfil their potential. My time spent at Orrets Meadow was both enjoyable and uplifting.