Lancaster specialist school rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for second time

Leighton Gibson takes part in the chalk competition.
Leighton Gibson takes part in the chalk competition.
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2019 has been a successful and exciting year so far for all at Stepping Stones School.

This has culminated in the Lancaster school being rated by Ofsted inspectors as ‘outstanding’ for the second time.

Marley Taylor and Jensen Tyson signing and decorating umbrellas.

Marley Taylor and Jensen Tyson signing and decorating umbrellas.

Stepping Stones School provides educational placements to support children who have been permanently excluded from mainstream school or have been at significant risk of exclusion.

The children attending the school have social, emotional and mental health difficulties and have found education in their mainstream setting a huge challenge. Many of the children have diagnosed ADHD, autistic spectrum conditions, anxiety, low self-esteem and attachment difficulties.

The school provides a broad, enriching curriculum which develops the pupils’ strengths and interests.

The inspection found that all of the work the school carries out has a significant impact on improving pupil outcomes.

Orchard class takes part in the chalk competition.

Orchard class takes part in the chalk competition.

Ofsted commented on how “pupils have extremely positive attitudes and engage well in lessons.”

The school is proud to be acknowledged for its excellent work carried out both in the school and the outreach service.

Ofsted said: “As a result of the strong leadership of this team, extremely helpful support is offered for pupils at risk of permanent exclusion.

“The team also provides a range of invaluable, professional support programmes for mainstream teachers, teaching assistants and the local authority behaviour mentors.”

The Umbrella Project Installation, sponsored by local businesses, Yololets Properties, Tony Smith Builder, Asda, Lancaster Teaching Agency, Thorntons and Lancaster Printing and Carefoot.

The Umbrella Project Installation, sponsored by local businesses, Yololets Properties, Tony Smith Builder, Asda, Lancaster Teaching Agency, Thorntons and Lancaster Printing and Carefoot.

The school’s good work has contionued with a project in partnership with the ADHD Foundation based in Liverpool, the largest ‘user led’ ADHD agency in Europe, to raise awareness of neurodiversity.

Stepping Stones raised money to take part in a National Umbrella Project, where hundreds of brightly coloured umbrellas suspended above public spaces across the country are signed and decorated by neurodiverse children, stating their gifts, talents and abilities – their ‘super power’.

The children at Stepping Stones had fun taking part in a sponsored silence, judging a staff ‘Bake Off’, baking 365 fairy cakes to sell at the neighbouring Moorside Primary School, raffles and a playground chalk competition.

Headteacher Alison Dodd said: “The school is teaching the children and their families to have a “Can Do” attitude, which is the motto of the school. Regardless of any conditions, children should always be encouraged to have high aspirations to achieve in all areas.”