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Fortuna Fortuna

OFSTED Reports



Piccadilly Gate                             

Store Street                                

Manchester                                T 0300 123 4234

M1 2WD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


6 July 2018


Mrs Bridget Robson

Executive Headteacher      

Fortuna School

Kingsdown Road

Doddington Park





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. 


Inspection findings


  1. During the inspection, inspectors focused on the progress pupils make; teaching, learning and assessment; and the school’s leadership capacity.
  2. Pupils make very strong progress from their starting points, which is around two to three years below the level that is expected for their age. Teachers set targets that are both realistic and challenging. The school’s assessment coordinator regularly reviews the progress each pupil makes with teachers and subject leaders. Progress is measured using the ‘Classroom Monitor’ tool and then used to inform teachers’ own judgements. If pupils achieve their targets early, new targets are set to enable them to make even better progress. Sometimes, pupils do not achieve their yearly target. Yet, even for these pupils the overall progress that they are currently making across the key stage is still at least good.
  3. School staff strongly feel that for the pupils in the school progress with behaviour is as important as progress in learning. The school effectively analyses the causes of challenging behaviour. School leaders have worked with the University of Lincoln to develop a ‘behaviour log’, which is a tool that helps to analyse behaviour patterns in several areas. From this, strategies have been developed aimed at reducing behaviour incidents. Inspectors saw strong evidence of a positive link between a reduction in the number of physical restraints used with pupils and their stronger academic progress. 
  4. Pupils’ work in their books also shows clear evidence of the outstanding progress pupils make in writing and mathematics. In writing, books show that during this year pupils are improving their handwriting, punctuation and sentence construction. In mathematics in Year 4, strong progress is seen in the areas such as multiplication, division, word problems and fractions. Inspectors found that pupils were confident and wanted to talk about their work and show what they could do.
  5. Lessons are well planned and structured, and teachers and teaching assistants make clear to pupils the behaviour they expect from them. In line with the school’s policy teachers give regular feedback to pupils about the next learning steps they need to take to achieve their targets. Pupils enjoy reading and are happy to read to adults. They read with confidence and expression. Teaching assistants are purposefully deployed and work collaboratively with teachers. They have a positive impact by skilfully asking questions so that pupils check their answers. Teaching assistants judge carefully when to intervene if children are struggling. Pupils respond quickly to adult direction and listen carefully to teachers’ explanations. There are strong relationships between adults and children and a good use of praise by staff. This encourages children’s efforts and helps them to try harder.
  6. Occasionally, inspectors saw a lack of challenge in lessons or work that was not as well matched to the needs of pupils. This has been recognised by school leaders and governors, and there are actions to address this outlined in the school improvement plan.
  7. As executive headteacher, you have ensured that there is a strong leadership team in place when you are working at your partner secondary school. Senior and middle leaders have clearly defined roles and know their responsibilities. In addition, you have a group of effective middle leaders who are focused on further improving the school’s performance in areas like the curriculum and assessment.
  8. The governing body has good skills drawn from a broad and relevant range of experience. This strengthens the school’s leadership. Governors are proactive in holding school leaders to account by, for example, asking searching questions. They visit the school regularly and talk with pupils about their work. Governors say you have worked successfully to maintain high standards, at the same time as taking on the challenge of leading another school.


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.


Yours sincerely




Julian Scholefield

Ofsted Inspector


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.