Burnley school is rated ‘outstanding’

Holly Grove outstanding Ofsted report
Holly Grove outstanding Ofsted report

Staff and pupils at a Burnley school are celebrating after it was given the highest possible rating by inspectors.

Ofsted upgraded Holly Grove School, in Barden Lane, which teaches children with a range of disabilities and special educational needs, from good to outstanding following a visit in May.

Inspectors praised the progress made by children, their learning environment, staff, support for parents, pupils’ behaviour, leadership and safety.

The report said: “Any barriers preventing pupils from learning and making progress are immediately and very expertly tackled by staff.”

The school’s Early Years Foundation stage was also highlighted in the report as giving pupils a good start for learning.

“Pupils develop knowledge, skills and understanding very effectively. With the positive encouragement, high expectations and excellent resources found in the Early Years Foundation Stage all children develop very quickly into active learners. They soon gain vital skills so they communicate very effectively, do much more on their own, and work increasingly well with others.”

Inspectors found the quality of teaching to be outstanding with precise planning and organisation leading to effective learning.

“Teachers’ expertise, and that of their assistants, is of very high quality, built upon a strong tradition of professional development and gaining higher qualifications. Staff keep up a constant dialogue checking that their teaching and planning is effective and improving.”

Pupils at Holly Grove were said to have outstanding behaviour and staff manage behaviour well. Parents reported their children love going to school.

“The school’s positive impact on pupils has a very good effect on life at home.”

“The school’s work to keep pupils safe and secure is outstanding. Work and activities are thoroughly planned and supervised so that risks are clearly understood and reduced.

“Staff very effectively ensure that pupils feel safe by clearly explaining everything to them so they always know what is happening. As pupils increase in independence, they learn to be aware of risks and how to stay safe, for example, by learning the rules of using the internet safely.”

Outstanding leadership was highlighted by inspectors as giving the school clear direction.

“A strong culture of professional development is firmly embedded. Many staff have developed a high level of expertise and gained extra qualifications, adding to their effectiveness. This has increased the school’s capacity to develop very successful strategies to meet the wide range of pupils’ disabilities and special educational needs.”

School governors are closely involved with the school and visit regularly to find out about work and the school’s improvement.