Behaviour ‘exemplary’ at Fred Nicholson school in Dereham

Fred Nicholson School, Dereham. PHOTO: IAN BURT

Fred Nicholson School, Dereham. PHOTO: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

The excellent care, guidance and support given to pupils at the Fred Nicholson School for children with complex needs in Dereham has been highlighted as an outstanding aspect of the setting in its latest Ofsted report.

The school in Westfield Road, which was given a good rating for overall effectiveness, was also highly praised for its residential provision which reflects the needs of all pupils through well trained and experienced staff.

'This ensures there is a highly individualised approach to care,' says the report. 'As a result routines run smoothly and residential pupils are fully supported by staff who know them well.'

Pupils' behaviour and safety was also rated outstanding in the school at which all pupils have a statement of special education need which range from moderate learning difficulties to autistic spectrum disorders, behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, speech and language communication difficulties, physical disability and sensory needs.

The report adds: 'Very dedicated staff spend time finding out what triggers inappropriate behaviour and find ways to help pupils control themselves and sort things out calmly. Behaviour in lessons and around school is exemplary. Low level disruption in lessons is rare. Pupils grow in confidence and become considerate young people.'

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The quality of teaching was deemed good with pupils making good progress in all areas of learning with teaching of reading highlighted as a 'real strength'.

Achievement is also rated as good and the report takes into account that pupils start at the school with levels of understanding which are well below average. But virtually all pupils in year 11 gain entry-level Functional Skills qualifications in life and living skills, mathematics, science and physical education with the most able pupils attaining GCSEs in mathematics, science and art.

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Leadership and management is good with leaders always looking for ways to improve the school.

To improve further the Ofsted inspector pointed to better marking and feedback of pupils' work, using targets more successfully so pupils have a better understanding of how to reach higher levels of skill and expanding its range of ICT qualifications.

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