Estyn Report 2019
Want to know what Estyn think of us from our July 2019 visit...
Directors and staff are thrilled to know that Estyn has recognised the work of the team and the outcomes for the children In the report published on 10th September. Estyn stated that the proprietors, headteacher and senior leaders provided ‘strong leadership and focused direction for the school’. They also noted that staff ‘at all levels are highly committed to providing pupils with the best possible learning opportunities’.
Under the new framework, schools no longer have an overall judgement but are inspected on five key areas. Bettws Lifehouse has received an ‘Excellent’ judgement in Care, Support and Guidance and an ‘Excellent’ judgement in Wellbeing and Attitudes to Learning. The remaining 3 areas received ‘Good’ with highly positive comments in all 5 inspection areas.
A particular strength was that pupils at Bettws Lifehouse ‘respond extremely well to the consistent and highly effective therapeutic approach at the school.’ Inspectors that pupils make excellent progress in their well being and that this is particularly impressive as many students have had difficulties in communicating their emotions, managing their behaviour and experienced trauma in their past. They note how many of the pupils are now able to ‘thrive and achieve’.
The Lifehouse has always set out to provide a child centred curriculum making use of nature, the countryside and animals alongside the more class based subjects. The report comments that they ‘provide a broad and exciting curriculum with enhanced learning experiences to enrich and extend pupils’ motivation and learning’.
Staff were highlighted for promoting a positive learning environment having high expectations for behaviour, establishing valuable relationships. Inspectors commented that they demonstrated ‘an exceptional understanding of the pupils emotional and behavioural needs, adapting their teaching expertly to encourage pupils in their learning’.
Since 2007 the proprietors and headteacher have developed an ethos of care and nurture where planning and provision is child centred. They successfully achieve the school aim for pupils to feel safe and supported to become confident, happy and enthusiastic members of society. Estyn noted that they ‘understand the strengths and areas in need of development and take suitable action to sustain improvement’.
Nearly all pupils who have passed through The Lifehouse doors go on to successful further education destinations. 2019 is a year of great excitement as the school expands both its Key Stage 2 and Post 16 provisions. Headteacher Meg Jones says ‘ It’s great to receive such a fabulous report that validates our work and everything we do, just as we are expanding in our drive to meet the needs of more children and families.’
You can see the full report on the Estyn website.