Carshalton special school praised by Ofsted for ‘broad and ambitious’ curriculum which prepares pupils well

Pupils and staff at Wandle Valley Academy in Carshalton are celebrating a glowing Ofsted report, which found the school continues to be Good.
Pupils and staff at Wandle Valley Academy in Carshalton are celebrating a glowing Ofsted report, which found the school continues to be Good. Picture courtesy of GooglePupils and staff at Wandle Valley Academy in Carshalton are celebrating a glowing Ofsted report, which found the school continues to be Good. Picture courtesy of Google
Pupils and staff at Wandle Valley Academy in Carshalton are celebrating a glowing Ofsted report, which found the school continues to be Good. Picture courtesy of Google

In its first inspection since 2018, when it was also rated Good, Ofsted highlighted the success of Wandle Valley’s approach to providing pupils with tailored support that meets their needs.

Wandle Valley Academy is a special school for pupils aged five to 16 who have complex social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH) needs.

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Ofsted commended the school for fostering a welcoming environment by developing positive relationships with pupils and identifying and addressing their needs quickly, which helps them ‘settle well’.

The excellent report also highlighted that the school works hard to support pupils who have missed significant periods of learning and prepares pupils well for their next stage of education by providing a ‘broad and ambitious’ curriculum and a fantastic enrichment programme.

Further highlights from the report include:

The school ‘assesses pupils’ academic and social emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs’ quickly, which allows pupils to adjust well in our educational setting.

Leaders ensure pupils have access to a ‘broad enrichment offer’, including ‘art, cookery, coding, tennis and a range of sports’, which they find enjoyment and value in.

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Pupils have excellent relationships with staff, who they trust and view as positive ‘role models who understand them and their behavioural needs’.

‘Pupils are proud to receive rewards in weekly celebration assemblies. Staff recognise pupils’ good work, improved attendance and behaviour’.

The school prioritises having ‘positive’ weekly contact with parents, which pupils are appreciative of and helps to foster a positive learning atmosphere.

The curriculum is ‘broad and ambitious’ and there are ‘high expectations’ of pupils work and behaviour.

‘Pupils enjoy being in small classes’.

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Reading is a ‘high priority’ at Wandle Valley Academy, which has enabled pupils to ‘develop confidence’ in their reading skills and abilities.

Teachers provide pupils with the opportunity to study a ‘range’ of subjects which allows them to catch up on previous missed learning.

Staff are ‘are committed to helping every pupil at the school overcome their challenges so that they can thrive’.

Lynda Harris, the headteacher at Wandle Valley Academy, said: “I am so proud of this report from Ofsted – and the whole school community at Wandle Valley Academy, whether staff, pupils, parents or governors, should all take enormous credit in this success. It really has been a team effort.

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“The report contains so many highlights and we now want to build on this achievement to make the school even better.”

Angela Barry, interim chief executive officer at Parallel Learning Trust, which sponsors Wandle Valley Academy, said: “I want to say a huge congratulations to Wandle Valley Academy for this fantastic Ofsted report. Lynda and her team do a superb job and provide a first-class education to all pupils at the school.”

For more information on Wandle Valley Academy, please visit their website.

For more information on the Parallel Learning Trust, please visit their website.

To read the Ofsted report, please visit the Wandle Valley Academy website here.

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