Teachers are the key to school’s success

This Is Wiltshire: Kathie Bryan, headteacher at the Chalet School Kathie Bryan, headteacher at the Chalet School

TEACHERS’ ability to unlock the potential of pupils with learning disabilities at the Chalet School has been highly praised in a glowing Ofsted report.

The school, which caters for 55 children with a variety of conditions including autism, was rated Good by the watchdog following a two-day inspection on April 1 and 2.

In his report, lead inspector Frank Price commended teachers’ excellent understanding of pupils and their talent in allowing children to develop their communication skills.

Leaders, including headteacher Kathie Bryan, were also singled out for their commitment to pupils’ education.

The Chalet School is a good school, with much to celebrate,” Mr Price said.

“Pupils make good improvements in their communication skills. They learn how to use symbols, signs and photographs to help both understand and develop their verbal skills where appropriate.

“Pupils are given plentiful opportunities to make choices and this provides effective motivation for communication.

“Signing has recently been introduced with pupils and this is proving particularly beneficial for some pupils.”

He added: “The excellent understanding of pupils by staff is the key to unlocking pupils’ potential.

“They know how to manage pupils’ behaviour skilfully and judge effectively when a pupil may need to work individually rather than in a group for a period of time.

“A strong focus on checking and improving the quality of teaching by leaders and managers has led to improvements in teaching, such as good use of outdoor learning for pupils, which they enjoy.”

Despite strong praise, the school fell short of Ofsted’s highest rating of Outstanding.

Inspectors blamed inconsistency in teaching and the still limited use of modern technologies into everyday lessons for their decision.

“Teaching is not yet consistently outstanding across the school,” Mr Price said.

“Signing is not yet embedded consistently in all classes. Modern technologies to support pupils’ learning and communication skills are not as well developed as they might be.

He added teachers should receive more coaching and training and be given more opportunities to observe outstanding teaching at other schools.

No-one at The Chalet School was available for comment.

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