‘Dreaming big’ at Dudley school after outstanding rating from Ofsted

The Wenlock School in Dudley has been awarded the highest possible rating by Ofsted after a recent report described the school as “exceptionally well-led”. Following an inspection in January this year, the Wrens Hill Road school has been rated outstanding in all areas, including quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.

The school had previously been rated ‘good’ in 2018 but received the upgrade after Ofsted officials said leaders ensured pupils who come to this school can “dream big.” The Wenlock School is an independent day school for pupils aged from seven to 18 years old. Pupils may have learning difficulties or emotional and mental health struggles.

Currently, pupils attend the school from Dudley, Sandwell, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Walsall and South Gloucestershire.

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Heather Phillips, lead inspector at Ofsted said: “Pupils are happy at this school. They enjoy learning and are motivated to achieve as well as they can.

“Highly skilled staff provide the right support for pupils who have a wide range of special educational needs and/or disabilities. Leaders have high expectations of what pupils can achieve.

“Leaders are determined to ensure that pupils who come to this school know that they can dream big, grow in confidence and achieve as well as they can.”

Officers also praised the curriculum. “The curriculum is well sequenced so that pupils can develop and practise specific sports and motor skills.

‘The wide range of activities on offer includes swimming, gymnastics and Thai boxing. Leaders have carefully organised the content of the personal, social and health education curriculum so that pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for the future.”

The previous report in 2018 called for an improvement in teaching and a focus on literacy skills. Officers have now described staff as “experts” in teaching reading.

Officers said: “Leaders prioritise reading, writing and mathematics. Pupils have frequent opportunities to apply their English and mathematical skills. Staff are experts in teaching reading and help pupils become more fluent readers who understand what they have read.”

The Wenlock School has now applied to increase capacity from 90 to 100 students – Ofsted agents agreed they have the facilities to do so.

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