A RESIDENTIAL school for boys near Chippenham has been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and praised for encouraging pupils to be ‘ambitious about their future’.

Notton House is an academy for boys, aged eight to 19, with 50 pupils on the roll, and supports a wide range of young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The new Ofsted report praised staff for meeting the pupils’ emotional, social and academic needs so they can work towards their aspirations.

The inspection, which took place on May 17 and 18, also revealed that ‘staff show empathy and have a calm and consistent approach to supporting pupils when they are struggling’.

Ofsted praised the quality of the curriculum at the school and noted that staff understood that pupils need to learn in a way that is individual to them.

The school, near Lacock, caters for boys with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH), Speech, Language and Communication needs (SLCN) and Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). 

Michelle Reysenn, Headteacher of Notton House Academy, which is part of the Learn@ Multi Academy Trust, said: “I’m so proud of the team and the pupils here at Notton House Academy.

“Our number one focus is to provide the highest quality education and care possible for the young people we support and it’s great that this has been recognised in this report.

“We will keep working hard in the year ahead and continue to develop our school as we strive to help the pupils achieve their ambitions and obtain a high-quality education.”

The provision for pupils beyond their academic learning was also highlighted in the new Ofsted report, particularly the strong offer of therapies and other targeted support to meet pupils’ social and emotional needs.

It was noted that project-based learning about the different continents, keeping up-to-date with current affairs and national and international events, helped pupils learn to be respectful and appreciate diversity, different religions and cultures.

The school was praised for its career education which gives pupils the opportunities to meet a range of employers and to inspire them and increase their knowledge of the world of work.

The Ofsted report added: “Although leaders use regular communication and pupil voice to monitor areas of responsibility, middle leaders do not have an in-depth knowledge of how well their actions and decisions are implemented.

“This means they are unable to evaluate the quality of provision accurately. Leaders need to make sure that middle leaders are fully monitoring the impact of their actions and decisions.

“Leaders have not precisely identified the important knowledge that they want pupils to know and remember in subjects other than reading and mathematics.

“As a result, at times, the implementation and sequencing of the intended curriculum in some subjects are not as effective as they could be.”