Moving onwards and upwards - Norfolk complex needs school celebrates good report ahead of relocation
PUBLISHED: 08:03 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:31 08 December 2017
A complex needs school has marked the end of an era on a high, impressing inspectors ahead of its move to a new home.
Pupils and staff at Chapel Road School, in Attleborough, are savouring their last few weeks in their current school, before they move to a new, £13m site in nearby Old Buckenham early next year.
As the end of an era draws near, the school has celebrated its latest Ofsted report, which, after a visit at the start of November, saw inspectors rate them good – up on their last rating of requires improvement in 2015.
It had been a blow to the school, which had been rated outstanding for several years prior.
In the new report, inspectors said pupils’ personal development, behaviour and welfare was outstanding and recognised improvements across the board.
They said: “Teachers maintain excellent relationships with pupils and manage behaviour consistently well. This was seen in all lessons, and as a result pupils concentrate and focus on learning, trying their best.”
They said parent confidence, staff morale, curriculum and teaching had all improved over the last two years.
Headteacher Karin Heap, inset, thanked pupils, staff and families for their “committed, hard and dedicated work”, and support ahead of their move.
She said the team had been disappointed to be told they needed to improve in 2015, and said: “During the past 24 months we remained focused and retained our positive ethos, we worked very hard and made all necessary adjustments to sustain good and better learning.
“As a result, we are ready for the move and for our new pupils, when we grow in numbers next year.”
Terry Hickman Smith, chairman of governors, said: “Since the previous Ofsted inspection the staff and the pupils have all worked tirelessly and as a result the school has been rated good throughout but with an important part of the school’s practice rated outstanding.
“It is a great end to the Attleborough chapter in the life of Chapel Road School, now to be called Chapel Green School in our new home in Old Buckenham.”
The new two-storey school is due to be opened in January.
It will include 14 classrooms and tailor-made learning rooms, including a sensory space and hydrotherapy pool, as well as a computer suite, football pitches and multi-use games area.
A long time coming
The move to the new site has been 10 years in the making.
Campaigners have long said the school needed more space and upgraded facilities to better help its pupils.
But in 2013, funding – which has come from both Norfolk County Council and the Department for Education - was finalised, planning permission was given the following year and building work finally began in 2016.
Mr Hickman Smith said: “After all the hard and amazing work the staff, pupils and parents have put in over so many years in buildings not fit for purpose, it is with great excitement and relief that we are to move into our beautiful new school in January.
“The old school has many memories and we will be sad to leave our neighbours who have been so supportive over the last 50 or so years. We will not be leaving Attleborough behind and will keep a presence in town through our school shop. A big thank you to everyone who has made this new school a reality.”