What Ofsted said (June 2017)
In line with the Department of Education's commitment to inspect all free schools within the first 3 years, an Ofstead inspection team visited the Family School in June 2017. The Family School received an Outstanding grade for their work which highlighted key outcomes for pupils including:
Pupils’ behaviour improves rapidly when they join the school. Pupils were unfailingly respectful, friendly, polite and honest during the inspection. There were no incidents of poor behaviour. Pupils are confident that staff deal with any form of bullying effectively.
Teachers place great emphasis on teaching writing and mathematics. Work in books shows that pupils make good progress in all aspects of the mathematics curriculum. They produce high-quality work. Teachers’ discussions with pupils are motivational and help pupils to understand their next steps in learning.
Pupils’ writing skills improve dramatically once they are settled into school. Books show that many pupils who are currently in the school have make substantial progress. Pupils write about a range of interesting topics and themes. For example, pupils wrote their own election manifestos during the general election week. Pupils’ work is well presented because they learn to take pride in their work. For some pupils, this is the first time that they have experienced such pride.
Pupils and their families benefit from high-quality therapeutic care and teaching, within a nurturing, safe learning environment. Therapists and teaching staff are passionate about their work and the impact they have on pupils’ well-being and achievement.
Improving family lives
The school’s approach has been successful in helping families to improve their lives. As one parent put it, ‘The school has saved us. We were so isolated before coming here. Now we have friends.’
Staff are proud to work at the school and go above and beyond directed duties because they care so deeply about their pupils. Some staff choose to come into work early to join pupils for breakfast. As one member of staff said, ‘It just feels like a family.’