Discovery New School Closed


Name Discovery New School Closed
Website http://www.discoverynewschool.org
Ofsted Inspection Rating Inadequate
Inspection Date 01 May 2013
Address Broadfield House, Brighton Road, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9RZ
Phone Number 01293 649320
Type Academy
Age Range 4-11
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 65

Information about this school

Discovery New School is a small Montessori primary school. Montessori is a method of teaching that is based upon the principle that children have innate curiosity and interest in learning, and that by presenting the child with the right environment and materials, children should make progress and learn to be self-motivated and independent. The school opened in September 2011 as one of the first free schools in the country and the first Montessori free school. The school started with pupils from Reception to Year 3. Currently, the oldest pupils are in Year 4. The school will, in time, grow to the full primary age range, catering for pupils up to Year 6. The proportion of pupils who receive extra help in class (school action) is well below average. The proportion who need more help than this (school action plus) or who have a statement of special educational needs is well above average. The proportion of pupils known to be eligible for support through the pupil premium (additional government funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, those in the care of the local authority and those with a parent serving in the armed forces) is well below average. This school does not have any pupils who are in the care of the local authority or whose parents are in the armed forces. Just under half of the pupils come from White British backgrounds, with most of the remaining pupils coming from other White or mixed ethnic groups. The school’s senior leadership team comprises the headteacher, the business director and the special educational needs coordinator.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires special measures. Too many pupils are in danger of leaving the school without being able to read and write properly. Unless this is put right quickly, pupils are unlikely to flourish in their secondary schools and future lives. Arrangements for assessing pupils’ progress in reading, writing and mathematics are inadequate. The headteacher lacks the skills and knowledge to improve teaching. Too much teaching is inadequate, and the headteacher has an over-optimistic view of its quality. Provision for pupils who have special educational needs is inadequate. Too many pupils are assessed as having special educational needs when this should not be the case. Some of them simply need better teaching. Senior leaders believe the school is far better than it is. They describe at length what the school is doing but do not check, systematically, whether or not the school gives its pupils a good enough education. Senior leaders are not giving the school a clear sense of direction. They have been far too slow to act on essential recommendations from a visit by the Department for Education’s advisor, which took place over seven months ago. Governance is inadequate. Governors are not knowledgeable enough about the school’s serious shortcomings. They do not have a clear view of the quality of teaching and pupils’ achievement. Governors do not challenge senior leaders to help the school improve. The school has the following strengths Pupils like their school and talk readily about their work. They think for themselves, make choices and develop independence. Teaching staff relate to pupils well.