Our most recent Ofsted inspection report was published in June 2023 and we were graded as Requires Improvement, although we retained our Good gradings for Personal Development and Behaviour and Attitudes.
Our Best Bits:
- Adults at Demeter House want the very best for the pupils in their care and will go the extra mile to help achieve this.
- Prior to attending Demeter House, most pupils have not had a successful school experience. Some pupils have spent extensive periods of time unable to access a formal school education. Leaders and staff at Demeter house are determined to change this so that pupils have a positive experience of school in their care.
- Pupils are proud of their school and what they can achieve here. They understand how adults help them to stay safe.
- Parents are extremely positive about the school.
- Parents welcome how leaders signpost them to helpful professionals.
- Almost all parents that inspectors spoke with, had a story to share of something special that school staff had provided and how this had supported them at a difficult time. This is testament to the commitment and care provided by the staff in this school.
- Staff have high expectations of pupils’ behaviour and conduct across school.
- Pupils say that while bullying does happen in their school, teachers deal with this promptly and they feel safe.
- Adults demonstrate caring relationship with pupils.
- Following Demeter House’s last standard inspection, leaders have completed detailed work to develop the school’s curriculum.
- Leaders have carefully considered pupils’ starting points as well as the ambitious outcomes they want all pupils to achieve.
- Reading is a priority in school. There are a small number of pupils who cannot read with accuracy and fluency. Despite this, pupils demonstrate an increasing love of reading, for example during conversations with inspectors.
- In core subjects such as mathematics and science, the curriculum is implemented well and pupils can talk articulately about what they know and remember.
- In history, the school has been awarded the status of ‘Beacon School for Holocaust Education’.
- Key workers and teachers work closely with the pupils in their care to support them to manage their behaviour. Leaders can demonstrate the positive impact of this targeted work through the significant increase in pupil attendance, as well as a continued reduction in incidents of poor behaviour over time.
- Pupils’ personal development is of the utmost importance to staff.
- The school has a sharp focus on each pupils’ quality of life. Key workers support each pupil and their wider family.
- Staff work closely with the pupils in their care, supporting them to develop their confidence in a range of different settings, helping them to grow into respectful young citizens.
- Staff morale is strong. Leaders recognise when staff have a lot to do and they take reasonable steps to support staff in this regard. Staff say that leaders are approachable and listen to any concerns or ideas that they may have.
- The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
- Leaders place a high priority on making sure that all staff understand their responsibility to keep pupils safe.
- Staff receive comprehensive training in the school’s systems before they begin working at the school. Safeguarding updates are provided at regular intervals and staff meet for a daily briefing before pupils arrive in school.
- Safer recruitment procedures are followed for all new appointments. All references are received and appropriate checks are undertaken before staff are allowed to commence work.
Room For Improvement:
- Some elements of the school’s new early reading programme are not taught using the school’s agreed phonics strategies. Leaders should ensure that all staff understand the importance of the school’s early reading strategies and ensure these are used consistently throughout school to support pupils to read with accuracy and fluency in all lessons.
- Leaders have recently introduced a new curriculum across all subjects. Staff have not received the necessary training to support them in following the new curriculum. Leaders must ensure all staff are trained and able to teach the new curriculum well so that pupils’ learning is supported effectively.
- Leaders have not monitored the effectiveness of the curriculum on a regular basis. They do not know when teachers require additional support with subject knowledge, pedagogy or the implementation of the curriculum. Leaders must ensure that a purposeful monitoring system is put in place to ensure the school’s curriculum is taught well and additional training or support can be provided for staff when this is needed.
Improvements Since the Inspection:
- We have purchased the Read, Write Inc. phonics scheme and all staff have received training for the Fresh Start reading intervention programme. This is now being delivered by a range of staff across the school.
- We have worked with subject teachers to produce standardised long term plans for all curriculum areas. These will eventually be available to view on the website for families and visitors. The teaching staff from all Key Stages have worked together on these to ensure that the curriculum is sequenced across all year groups and that appropriate focus is given to key study areas to enable students to achieve their potential at KS4. We have also included the key skills and knowledge that each of the areas will cover, so that we are able to identify any gaps in knowledge and support these appropriately.
- School leaders reviewed the aims and vision for the school and shared these with all staff.
- We appointed a Curriculum Manager on each site to help support staff in their planning and assessment, in order to help raise academic aspirations for all students.
- We have become part of the Quality of Life Network, a national group of schools that are committed to working to improve the quality of life for our students’ wider families as well as the student themselves.