Fitzwaryn School is highly regarded as an outstanding provision for pupils with SEN within Oxfordshire.
The school has received four ‘outstanding’ OFSTED reports following the last four inspections, the most recent being in May 2022:
Fitzwaryn School is a joyful place to learn. From when they join as young children, right through to when they leave as young adults, staff make sure that pupils are known, understood, nurtured and kept very safe.
The school currently caters for 122 children and young adults aged 3 – 19 years whose special needs range from Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) to Severe (SLD) and Profound Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). All pupils admitted to the school have an Education, Health and Care Plan.
The school is situated in Wantage, a growing market town in the south of Oxfordshire. The pupils come from a large catchment area and many are brought by taxi. The majority of pupils come from Wantage and Grove, Didcot and Abingdon, but there are also pupils on roll from West Berkshire and Swindon.
A major building programme was undertaken in 2008 that saw outdated 1970s accommodation being refurbished and new build added to enhance provision. These works resulted in a total transformation of the school. Further building work was completed in September 2018 to provide increased accommodation.
February 2013 saw the conversion of Fitzwaryn School (sponsor status) to a Multi Academy Trust within the Propeller Academy Trust (PAT).
The school follows the EYFS curriculum for Foundation Stage pupils and National Curriculum subjects for Key Stages 1 – 4. Year 10 and 11 pupils work towards accreditation in Functional Skills in English, Maths in addition to their ASDAN qualifications (Bronze, Silver and Gold awards). At Key Stage 5, the school follows the National Open College Network ‘Pathways to Adulthood Programme’. We have recently introduced the Duke of Edinburgh Award into the Key Stage 5 curriculum. Students from the Student Centre also attend a weekly PE session run by sixth form students and teachers at the local Secondary School. Students are enabled to participate in regular work experience opportunities in addition to Enterprise initiatives and Horticulture.
At the end of Year 11, it is appropriate for some pupils to go on to access Further Education; others will join Fitzwaryn’s Student Centre (sixth form) and have the opportunity to stay until they are 19. The school prides itself on the diverse and individual curriculum offer.
Off-site activities are an integral part of the curriculum e.g. swimming, hydrotherapy, RDA. The innovation of a polytunnel on site has enabled a horticulture strand to be added which is accessed by all pupils. Pupils have access to specialist teaching areas such as a music room, Art room, D and T room, cookery room, a jacuzzi and a Sensory Theatre. All pupils take part in yoga each week. The pupils are encouraged to take part in many sporting events at different locations competing against their mainstream and special school peers. Fitzwaryn works hard in the community to enable pupils to access society and there are regular community projects that facilitate this.
The school has offered an Outreach and Inreach facility since 2009 providing advice, guidance and training to our mainstream partners. The school works effectively within a local partnership of schools; Springline Partnership of Schools comprising of 7 primaries and Fitzwaryn.
Fitzwaryn is also a member of OASSH (Oxfordshire Association of Special Schools) Membership allows access to a Heads group, a Deputies/Senior Leadership group and a Data Users Group. The Senior Leadership Team provides SEN training for NQTs via the Oxfordshire Teaching School Alliance (OTSA) as we are a Strategic Partner within the organisation.
After school clubs are provided by school staff (e.g. multi sports). The school provides 20 days of holiday activities a year under a contract agreement with the LA, this proves to be extremely popular with children and families. Lunchtime clubs are provided by staff including a choir, football and dance club. Our Out of School Liaison Officer works with children and families to find appropriate out of school clubs; Yellow Submarine, the 14 Club, FAAAZE and Beatbox to name a few. There is a ‘Friends Association’ (Friends of Fitzwaryn) that has a focus on fundraising.
Therapists are allocated to the school via a Service Level Agreement agreed with the LA. There is special school nursing provision on site for 4 days a week. All agencies work together to provide the highest quality provision for all the pupils.
Through learning to learn, pupils will access society
‘To give each pupil the richest and most appropriate education through which we aim to enhance positive attributes, minimise difficulties and encourage pupil independence’
Our intention is to provide:
Highly specialised staff who work together to contribute to the delivery of excellent and creative teaching and learning opportunities for all of our pupils.
A secure and supportive learning environment in which pupils can gain self-confidence through their own personal, emotional and social development and make exceptional progress.
A broad and balanced curriculum, based on the National Curriculum allowing for the Social, Spiritual, Moral and Cultural Development of each child.
A programme of first rate professional development that enables staff to enhance their skills to meet the individual needs of all our pupils.
Opportunities for pupils to develop their understanding of 21st Century Britain through the teaching of British Values.
Flexible teaching groups to facilitate the implementation of individual programmes of work to enable pupils to reach the objectives set out in their Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP).
Community activities that will enhance the curriculum offer and enable the pupils to achieve their individual goals.
Opportunities for close cooperation with parents, families, governors and other stakeholders.
A positive working relationship between school staff and other professional agencies to ensure each child receives outstanding provision.
Close collaboration with our partners, both within The Propeller Academy Trust and across our Partnerships; OASSH (Oxfordshire Association of Special School Heads) and SPS (Springline Partnership of Schools) to further enhance our provision. Through our Outreach Service offer high quality and relevant SEN advice, guidance and training, for professionals, colleagues and parents.
Friendship, Respect, Perseverance, Co-operation, Fairness and Peace