Haverhill school praised in national Ofsted report

Churchill Special Free School's first Ofsted report s deemed it to be outstanding. 'Headteacher Georgina Ellis is pictured with deputy head Kirsty Richards and pupils.' Picture Mark Westley ANL-150809-170121009
Churchill Special Free School's first Ofsted report s deemed it to be outstanding. 'Headteacher Georgina Ellis is pictured with deputy head Kirsty Richards and pupils.' Picture Mark Westley ANL-150809-170121009

The achievements of a Haverhill school that only opened its doors two years ago has been recognised in the annual report of Ofsted.

Churchill Special Free School, which is adjacent to Samuel Ward Academy, was hailed as outstanding in its first ever Ofsted inspection in July.

Now there is more cause for celebration after the school was featured as a case study in the newly released national publication.

Georgina Ellis, headteacher of Churchill School, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and a real recognition of how incredibly hard everyone has worked – staff, parents and students who have to work hard to overcome the challenges and barriers they face.

“We have a very clear vision and clarity over what needs to be done. I see every day what a difference we are making to students and how we are helping them achieve in all areas of life.”

Churchill School is part of the Samuel Ward Academy Trust, made up of seven schools in the West Suffolk area, and Mrs Ellis added: “We work alongside Samuel Ward and integrate our pupils into the school.

“We also bring specialist staff from the academy to facilitate certain subjects. Working alongside the school in this way has clearly benefitted our students.”

After an Ofsted inspection in July, the school was declared outstanding in all four area of inspection: Leadership and management, Behaviour and safety of pupils, Quality of teaching and Achievement of pupils.

Ofsted’s case study said of the school: “Most pupils have speech, language and communication needs or autistic spectrum disorders.

“Leaders’ relentless pursuit of the best academic and personal achievement for all pupils was exemplary and ensured excellent outcomes. “Well managed and planned integration with the co-located secondary school played a large part in the school life of many of the pupils, with over two thirds accessing some lessons in the secondary school.

“With an unequivocal emphasis on inclusion, both schools followed a common timetable. As a result, pupils were able to access a diverse and individualised curriculum that extended their skills and knowledge.”