Sowerby Bridge school rated good in first ever Ofsted inspection

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A school in Sowerby Bridge has been rated good in its first ever Ofsted inspection.

Compass Community School in Sowerby Bridge was only registered in January 2021 and was set up to meet the needs of pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs and other associated special educational needs and/or disabilities.

It has been rated good overall by Ofsted, who found that pupils speak highly of the school and of staff, and inspectors say the relationship between pupils and staff is strong.

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Several pupils commented to inspectors that this school was ‘the best’ they had ever attended, and one said the school was ‘utopia, the place where I can be myself’.

Christopher Hughes and Sarah Thornton, pleased with a Good Ofsted report at Compass Community School Willow Park, Willow St, Sowerby BridgeChristopher Hughes and Sarah Thornton, pleased with a Good Ofsted report at Compass Community School Willow Park, Willow St, Sowerby Bridge
Christopher Hughes and Sarah Thornton, pleased with a Good Ofsted report at Compass Community School Willow Park, Willow St, Sowerby Bridge

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective, the school’s safeguarding policy meets requirements and inspectors say that examples of bullying at the school are rare, with pupils’ behaviour inside and outside the classroom rated as good.

Planning and monitoring of pupils' learning are praised in the report, as are the efforts of school leaders in making sure pupils have as many opportunities as possible to experience the world outside school

Inspectors found that support is put in place for pupils who have gaps in their knowledge, while the vast majority of the subject areas in the school curriculum are well planned and staff are clear about what they are to teach

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The report says that governors are knowledgeable and committed to continuing to improve the school.

Compass Community School in Sowerby BridgeCompass Community School in Sowerby Bridge
Compass Community School in Sowerby Bridge

They hold leaders to account successfully, while also supporting the ethos and values of the school.

School leaders and staff have formed a strong bond with parents, says the report, while leaders work hard to engage parents. School staff commented that leaders always listen to what they have to say and take into account their needs, including their work-life balance.However, the ICT curriculum is not planned out effectively and staff are not confident at delivering the curriculum, the report says.

Inspectors found that some pupils’ levels of skills and understanding of ICT are lower than they should be, and said leaders need to develop a sequential scheme of work and ensure that staff receive the training to deliver it.

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Christopher Hughes, Regional Headteacher and Designated Safeguarding Lead, said: "Since opening Willow Park in 2020 we wanted to create an environment where some of the more vulnerable children across the authorities of Halifax and Bradford could attend and work towards fulfilling their potential in a safe and welcoming environment.

Compass Community School in Sowerby BridgeCompass Community School in Sowerby Bridge
Compass Community School in Sowerby Bridge

"I’m really proud to work alongside the authorities and our parents and carers and am really delighted that Ofsted recognised some of the excellent work that’s been started at the school.

"It was lovely to see that our dedicated and hard-working staff were recognised for their devotion to helping our students make the progress that they are capable of.

"We feel that this is the start of our journey and are always striving to give our students a world class education and will continue to look at all ways we can develop and improve and welcomed the feedback given."