Odyssey House School


Name Odyssey House School
Website www.odysseyeducation.org.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 10 December 2019
Address 2c Northwood Road, Haringey, London, N6 5TN
Phone Number 02083488009
Type Independent
Age Range 7-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Haringey
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Leaders of this new school have a clear vision and the skills to deliver a good education. They have high expectations for themselves, the staff and pupils alike. Most pupils join this school after being out of full-time education for long periods. Staff build up strong working relationships with the pupils. They motivate them to do their best.

Pupils told us that they enjoy coming to school. They see school as a safe and stable place. They know that staff will support them to overcome their anxieties and build their self-confidence. Everyone is respectful, and pupils look out for each other. Pupils said that there is no bullying. This was confirmed in the school’s records, and by parents. They are confident that, should bullying occur, leaders would take swift action.

The curriculum is well balanced. It supports pupils’ social and emotional development, as well as their academic achievement. Staff help pupils to manage their own feelings and behaviour. Consequently, they behave well throughout the day and contribute positively in lessons. They achieve well across the subjects. Older pupils are working toward recognised qualifications, including GCSEs and vocational accreditations.

Pupils appreciate the experiences and educational visits that they have outside the classroom. These experiences prepare them well for life in modern Britain.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Leaders and staff have high aspirations for pupils’ future success. They work together as a team, alongside parents, in the best interests of the pupils. They have a joint sense of purpose and morale is high.

Since the school opened, leaders have done much to develop the curriculum. All pupils study a broad range of subjects in line with the requirements of theindependent school standards. Leaders plan the curriculum in a logical way. They have a clear overview, across the subjects, of what pupils will study and when. Pupils join the school with gaps in their knowledge. This is down to pupils’ irregular attendance at previous schools. With small classes allowing for personal attention, staff help pupils catch up quickly. Teachers have expertise in their subjects. They use assessment well to adapt their teaching to pupils’ needs. They plan topics in ways that tap into pupils’ interests. This inspires pupils to gain new knowledge and develop a range of skills.

Teachers plan lessons that help pupils make links across subjects and understand how to apply their learning to everyday life. For example, in a history lesson, pupils learned about medieval Britain. They considered the complex issues of privileges, taxation and moral codes. They then compared their findings on these issues to life in modern Britain.When they join the school, pupils are often reluctant readers. Staff use a range of strategies to develop pupils’ reading skills. They model enthusiasm for reading, and encourage pupils to read and appreciate a range of texts. As a result, pupils extend their vocabulary and develop their comprehension skills. Some are now avid readers for pleasure. However, a few pupils still have difficulties in reading with accuracy.

Typically, pupils join the school with poor previous educational experiences, often resulting in anxiety and long absences from full-time education. Most come with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They arrive feeling anxious about joining a new school. They worry about attending lessons and meeting new people. Specialist staff teach pupils various strategies to overcome their anxieties. This enables pupils to make new friends and build their self-confidence. Pupils’ attendance is high, and they demonstrate positive attitudes to learning. They become happy and successful learners.

Pupils’ personal development is good. They prepare for adult life through a range of experiences both in and out of school. Leaders encourage pupils to suggest topics for debate at weekly assemblies. For example, pupils asked to discuss the question of Holocaust deniers. Pupils visited an inclusive theatre, with a cast of disabled actors. In school, they explored excerpts from the manifestos of different political parties. Pupils held a mock vote during the general election. Recently, they held a climate change demonstration along a very polluted street. Leaders give pupils some careers advice as part of the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education programme. They have plans to extend and improve this.

The proprietor is an experienced educational leader. She has expertise in supporting pupils with SEND. She works in unison with the leadership team and curriculum consultant. Together, they ensure that the school meets the requirements of the independent school standards. Leaders maintain the building to a good standard. Leaders also check that the school complies with schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Leaders make sure that staff undertake training and keep up to date with the latest guidance. The proprietor appoints staff in line with statutory guidance. All requirements about health and safety are met. Staff carry out appropriate risk assessments, such as for visits.

Staff know all the pupils well. They have established trusting working relationships with them. They know pupils may be particularly vulnerable owing to their anxieties. There is a strong culture of vigilance. Staff are alert to any changes in pupil behaviour and share their concerns with leaders.

Assemblies and bespoke lessons help pupils to understand risks. They learn how tokeep safe, such as when using the internet.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and proprietor)

Leaders and staff have put considerable effort into improving pupils’ love of reading. Pupils are developing their comprehension skills well and learning new vocabulary. A few pupils, however, do not read with enough fluency. This affects their ability to read with accuracy. Leaders should ensure that they help those pupils to catch up quickly with their peers.