Ofsted Says Hollybank School is ‘Outstanding’ and feels like a Strong Family Unit

Hollybank School are delighted to announce that it has retained it’s Outstanding status in their latest inspection. This is largely due to the school’s efforts in adapting their communication methods and curriculum delivery for each individual pupil and involving family members in their child’s learning.

It has been an incredible achievement to retain being recognised as an Outstanding provider especially as the school has grown significantly since the last inspection and faced huge challenges that they overcame during the global pandemic.

The School have also invested heavily in digital transformation, whilst never losing that personal touch with the pupils and families.

The inspectors from Ofsted met with representatives from the School and stopped by to meet pupils whilst carrying out a deep dive on prevalent topics such as communication and early reading, mathematics and personal and sensory education.

Ofsted commented: “The level of attention that staff show towards pupils is exceptional. They provide highly tailored provision to meet pupils’ complex individual needs, special education needs and/or disabilities. Adults have an expert understanding of how to develop and support the earliest stage of pupils’ communication and interaction with others.”

They also spoke with family members of the children who attend Hollybank School and the parents spoke highly of the networking events hosted by the school, expressing that it allows them to form connections with other parents and support one another. Parents can experience a high degree of immersion with their child’s learning, interacting with their day-to-day curriculum through various online platforms. This means that parents stay up to date with their little one’s progress and get to know about the exciting activities that have been getting involved in.

Ofsted observed that: “The school provide opportunities such as horse riding, cooking and swimming to broaden the pupils’ range of experiences. Pupils also have regular opportunities to go out into the local area. They visit the library, shops and cafes to practice communicating with people outside of the school. A member of staff assists parents in taking pupils out and about. This helps parents build confidence to take their children out at other times.”

Staff from Hollybank School spending time with parents encourages useful conversations amongst parents and staff, which means that no question a parent has about how their child is being supported goes unanswered. This contributes to the overall family feel that Ofsted praised staff, pupils, parents, and all those connected to the School for.

Ofsted commented that: “The staff know their pupils extremely well and there is a clear interconnectedness between the subject, curriculum and meeting physical and/or medical needs. Staff manage pupil behaviour exceptionally well and they succeed in helping pupils regulate their emotions.”

Ofsted were impressed by the range of sensory equipment and assistive learning aids available to use at the School, and they were perceptive of the fact that staff adopt and maintain a thorough approach to learning and understanding the differing educational and physical capabilities of the children.

Ofsted commented on the above: “Pupils have ample opportunities to change their body position during the school day. Some pupils spend time standing using assistance equipment. Leaders are relentless their drive and determination to ensure that pupils receive the highest quality of education. This leads to exemplary educational provision for all pupils in school.”

The factors discussed above contribute to Hollybank School being a happy place for children and for parents to visit, returning home from each visit feeling confident, reassured and inspired by how vigilant, responsive and attuned to the needs of the pupils staff are.

Cara Broadbent, Headteacher at Hollybank School, commented: “I am so very proud of our outstanding result from this Ofsted Inspection, it was great to share the wonderful school community with the inspectors and for them to see the amazing work everyone does daily. I look forward to continuing the journey with our pupils and families and I feel so privileged to be a part of the school. Thank you to everyone involved.”