Manchester T 0300 123 4234
M1 2WD www.gov.uk/ofsted
6 July 2018
Mrs Bridget Robson
Dear Mrs Robson
Short inspection of Fortuna School
Following my visit to the school on 26 June 2018 with Heather Hawkes, Ofsted
Inspector, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to report the inspection findings. The visit was the first short inspection carried out since the school was judged to be outstanding in December 2014.
This school continues to be outstanding.
The leadership team has maintained the outstanding quality of education in the school since the last inspection.
The school provides a secure environment for pupils to learn and thrive. There are very clear routines and expectations for pupils in the school. This is balanced with a nurturing approach, where staff focus on building pupils’ confidence and self-esteem. It also combines with an enriched curriculum which allows pupils to learn well and make very strong progress.
Pupils enjoy school and speak positively about their learning. As pupils said, ‘It helps me learn things I never thought I could do.’ Staff work hard to engage pupils in what are ‘immersive’ learning experiences that are motivating because they are part of a
wider topic often linked to pupils’ interests.
The school is organised to support the social, emotional and mental health needs of many of its pupils. At the start of each day, pupils are greeted by senior staff on arrival. Then, everyone eats breakfast together. In lessons, pupils are encouraged to socialise by sitting closely together. Inspectors observed a whole-school rehearsal when all pupils were in the hall. Pupils were respectful to each other, listening and watching each other’s performances. After lessons, all pupils attend after-school clubs.
Behaviour in the school is exemplary and expectations are high. This was particularly
noted at less structured times such as break and lunchtimes. There is a good range of play equipment for pupils to use at breaktimes and they are well supported by adults. This helps to ensure they are safe when playing football, for example. Adults also help to encourage cooperation and stimulate positive play activities. Pupils respond well to adults’ signals and instructions.
At the last inspection, inspectors asked you to ensure that the curriculum is embedded across the school and that assessment arrangements be fully implemented. The curriculum is now a key strength of the school. It is highly engaging and enriched through the provision of a stimulating learning environment. There are bright and colourful displays, which create a ‘wow’ factor, around school. Pupils’ writing and artwork is prominently displayed and celebrated, which encourages further efforts. Staff work successfully to provide meaningful learning experiences for pupils. As part of a recent literacy and mathematics week, the school entered and won a local radio competition. Teachers plan their lessons using topics, or mini-projects, which help to engage pupils and give a greater focus to their learning.
School leaders have further enhanced the curriculum by deploying a psychotherapist to support pupils’ social and emotional needs. She uses play, mindfulness, yoga and breathing exercises to help pupils to regulate their emotions, pay attention and stay focused on tasks. She also trains staff about child development and how to work with children who have experienced trauma.
School leaders and teachers carefully assess the progress pupils make in their learning and behaviour. Through this work and discussions with the local authority, it has been agreed that some pupils could return to mainstream schools at the start of the new academic year.
Safeguarding is effective.
The safety, well-being and care of pupils are a paramount concern of staff. Many of the children have significant social, emotional and mental health needs. Some have experienced trauma. The school is rigorous in its approach to child protection and safeguarding. The leadership team has ensured the safeguarding procedures are fit for purpose.
The child protection policy is detailed and comprehensive. It clearly explains how staff should look for signs of abuse or neglect and the procedure they should follow if they have any concerns.
All staff receive regular training in safeguarding and the ‘Prevent’ duty, and several senior leaders have received training in safer recruitment. Clear induction procedures are provided for new staff. Detailed records are kept secure. The school is confident in the way it escalates concerns to social care to ensure that children receive appropriate care and support.
Support for parents and carers is provided to ensure they are fully involved. An interpreter is present in ‘Team around the Child’ meetings to support parents who speak English as an additional language. Written plans are also translated for parents.
No racist or bullying incidents have been reported this year. Staff prioritise providing care for pupils from troubled backgrounds.
Next steps for the school
Leaders and those responsible for governance should ensure that:
n Staff consistently set work which challenges those pupils who currently make good progress to make even stronger progress.
I am copying this letter to the chair of the governing body, the regional schools commissioner and the director of children’s services for Lincolnshire. This letter will be published on the Ofsted website.
Information about the inspection
During the inspection we met with you, the head of school, the deputy headteacher and the assistant headteacher, the assessment coordinator, governors and a selection of school staff. Inspectors also spoke with the school improvement adviser and the school’s psychotherapist. We observed pupils on arrival, in the breakfast club, at breaktime and in a whole-school play/show/rehearsal, spoke with some parents, visited all of the classes, spoke with pupils and looked at pupils’ current work. We considered the one response from the Ofsted online questionnaire, Parent View.
Various school documents were scrutinised, including safeguarding records and assessment information about pupils’ progress. We studied the school improvement plan and self-evaluation summary. Inspectors also looked at information published on the school’s website.