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Fax: 01306 731504
Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils
Administrator: Christine Hancock
Greygarth, Littleworth, Winchcombe, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 5BT
Tel/Fax: 01242 604852; Email: email@example.com
Registered Charity No. 1052103
Registration and Re-Registration Application Form
Please refer to the guidelines when completing this form
New Registration: No | Re-Registration: Yes | Category applied for: SP | Current category: SP
|1.||Date of visit: 22/1/10|
|2.||Name of Consultant(s): Mrs R A McCarthy|
Name and address of school:
Name and qualifications of Head/Principal, with title used:
Name: Pamela Loré
Title (eg Principal): Head Teacher
Qualifications: MA Education, BA Hons. Dev. Psychology, RSA Dip. SpLD., Dip. Inst. Linguists
Awarding body: Open University., Sussex University, RSA, Institute of Linguists
Mrs Lore is extremely well qualified and is a very capable and knowledgeable Head of Moon Hall .It is entirely appropriate in a school of this size and type that she should also fulfil the role of SENCO.
Name and qualifications of Head of Specialist Provision or Senior SpLD teacher:
Name: As above
Head/Principal’s telephone number if different from above:
Tel: As above
Unit/Senior SpLD teacher’s telephone number:
Tel: As above
Background and General Information
|4a.||Geographical location and position: Rural location between Dorking and Guildford, Surrey
Moon Hall is set in the commuter belt for London – but is astonishingly rural given its proximity to the City. Its hilltop position commands spectacular views across the countryside but certainly would have made access difficult during the recent heavy snowfalls! It is a school within a school and is set within the grounds of Belmont Preparatory School.
Moon Hall School was founded in 1985 by Berry Baker, who is also Principal of Moon Hall College near Reigate, to provide an appropriate and understanding education for pupils such as her own dyslexic son.
Recent inspections: OFSTED – 8-11 May 2006
Mrs. Lore is expecting to be visited again by OFSTED within the near future. The last inspection found that Moon Hall “provides a good and well-structured curriculum to meet the individual needs of both full and part-time pupils.” The Inspectorate also commented on the teaching of literacy as being “outstanding as a result of high expectations, careful planning and assessment”. Recommended “next steps” have been taken.
|4d.||Current membership: Corporate member of BDA, IAPS|
Numbers, sex and age of pupils: 63 registered pupils; 25 of whom are Belmont-based
Numbers are down quite significantly since the last CReSTeD visit .Whilst a great part of the strength of Moon Hall is its family atmosphere and the depth of knowledge that teachers have of their pupils, it would be good to see the school running at nearer its maximum. Current advertising and business development strategies should perhaps be reviewed.
Aims and philosophy of the whole school: Moon Hall’s aim is to enable dyslexic pupils to acquire basic literacy skills quickly in order to fulfil their potential and to be able to access the curriculum in mainstream schools; the school’s further aim is to re-build self-esteem and instil a sense of self-worth.
It is clear that Moon Hall pupils acquire self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities. Pupils are very polite and well-behaved and staff have a consistent approach to behaviour that ensures high standards. The Phono-Graphix programme used across the board is a good phonics structure which can move on pupils’ literacy skills quickly.
Description of buildings and grounds: We are a specialist school for dyslexic children with our own purpose-built school-house in the grounds of Belmont Prep School, which is set in 70 acres. The two schools are separate entities – each with a separate Board of Governors. We have a ‘symbiotic’ relationship with Belmont and aim to feed our pupils into Belmont after Year 5, although continuing to teach them English at Moon Hall, and Maths, if required. We share all Belmont’s extensive facilities: sports hall, sports field, theatre, dining hall, playground, swimming pool.
This is a unique system and the fact that pupils can transfer to Belmont – a mainstream school- whilst retaining some specialist lessons at Moon Hall is something that many of the parents contacted appreciated. Such a relationship also overcomes the drawbacks of some specialist schools with regard to games and team sports in particular. Inevitably, however, any sharing of facilities and students can create tensions. It appears that Belmont and Moon Hall work together to overcome these.
Pastoral care arrangements: Our Pastoral Care Officer is Mrs. Val Sutherland, (Deputy Head). She is also Child Protection Officer and liaises regularly with her opposite number at Belmont. Form Teachers provide pastoral care for full-time pupils. English Teachers (Personal Tutors) provide it for Belmont-based Moon Hall registered pupils. Pastoral issues are discussed at minuted staff meetings. Additionally, each child is given a House to support.
Mrs Sutherland is an experienced teacher who has a clear vision of the needs of pupils at Moon Hall. The difference between teasing and bullying is made clear through several initiatives and strategies are in place to allocate responsibilities in order to increase self esteem. Pastoral care is a clear strength, and pupils felt that –without exception- their teachers were approachable and supportive .It is very unusual to find such universal appreciation of staff and systems.
Material to be studied in advance of visit
Documents required as detailed on the check list. For completion by consultants only.
Prospectus, including staff list: The prospectus – like the school- has a pleasant “family” feel to it.
Special Needs Policy: Clear, informative, accurate.
Fees and compulsory extras for dyslexic pupils: Compared to other specialist schools, Moon Hall’s fees appear to be very reasonable.
Staff Handbook:. Comprehensive, clear, detailed.
Timetable: All lessons at Moon Hall are Specialist lessons and the focus of all teachers is on basic skills. Given that the timetable needs to dovetail with Belmont’s timetable, it is well conceived and effective.
School Development Plan: This is an honest and clear thinking document.
Consultants to comment generally on website content: The website is accurate, informative and easy to use. The school was experiencing some problems in updating information on it – it is perhaps an area that could be further developed as an advertising tool and as a vehicle for information to parents.
Staffing and Staff Development
Qualifications, awarding body and experience of all learning support staff: English and Topic teachers either have an additional qualification relating to the teaching of children with specific learning difficulties or have had in-house training. Qualifications include: RSA/OCR Diploma; OCR Certificate in SpLD, BDA Diploma, Hornsby Diploma; Phono-Graphix certification. One teacher is currently studying for the OCR Cert. SpLD
** = Phono-Graphix Teaching Certificate (5 day trained)
STAFF TEACHING ENGLISH:
Staff are appropriately qualified and work well together to support each other. The Phono-Graphix programme is an effective tool.
Class sizes – mainstream: None of our classes exceeds an absolute maximum of 14. Classes are always subdivided into smaller groups for both English and Maths. In Delta M and Delta W pupils are also taught in two groups for Science. The KS3 Y7 pupils are provided with a KS3 curriculum in a small group.
Classes observed ranged from 3 to 7. Attention was almost individual in lessons visited, given that the group of 7 also had a Teacher Assistant. Although it was not possible to visit a Science lesson, where groups are larger, books were scrutinised and the practical and multi-sensory nature of the work done was obvious, as was the pleasure of the teacher in teaching these pupils.
|6c.||Class sizes - special needs: As above – all pupils are special needs pupils|
Staff development and in-service training of learning support staff within last 18 months: Staff are encouraged to keep abreast of developments in dyslexia and teaching in general. There is a generous budget, enabling them to partake in InSet, both in school and outside. We frequently collaborate with researchers into aspects of dyslexia which enables cross-fertilization of ideas. Learning support staff partake of in-service training with our teachers where training is delivered in-house: see list of training courses attached.
Teachers have termly in school INSET with some members of staff visiting exhibitions such as BETT or the Rose Review. Much of the in school INSET has been on the use of particular computer packages to aid tracking of progress and all staff undertook Child Protection training in September.
Policy and Philosophy with Regard to Dyslexic Pupils
Policy statement with regard to dyslexic pupils: Our policy is to provide for the needs of dyslexic children both academic and social. We seek to boost self-esteem and to develop strengths whilst giving skills, strategies and remediation for weaknesses. Our SEN policy is attached.
These aims were clear in the lessons observed and in the comments of pupils and parents.
Prior to the child’s attendance at the school the parents or carers must complete and sign the:
This provides school with the following information, and informs the parents of the basic standards of behaviour and the attitude towards teaching and learning that the school expects and demands.
Parents or guardians will also be asked to provide the school with any further information which they feel will enable us to take that best possible care of their children.
The admission procedure for the School is as follows:
It is evident that records are carefully investigated before admission and thereafter carefully kept. Some tweaking of record keeping could make progress records easier to make sense of, but the information on each pupil is there and there is the sense that the welfare of the child is- quite rightly- the priority.
Give specific examples of the whole school response to dyslexia: As a specialist school for dyslexic children, every aspect of school life is designed around their needs whilst providing appropriate help and challenge. In particular we aim to deliver the KS2 National Curriculum whilst concentrating on basic skills to remediate literacy and numeracy difficulties. We ensure that teaching is structured, cumulative and explicit with built-in opportunities for overlearning. Non-dyslexic pupils in Belmont (with whom we have a unique relationship) are given understanding via cross-site Assemblies and staff input. Belmont staff who teach our part-time pupils are provided with in-service training and support by the Moon Hall Senco and specialist teachers.
There is a clearly holistic approach to education at Moon Hall. Teachers are aiming to enable their pupils in all sorts of ways, and although increased access to the curriculum through improved literacy and numeracy is a major target it is not the only one.
How is the week organised? School week: Monday-Friday 0820-1630
At the time of the visit, teachers were putting in “catch-up” lessons to attempt to recover time lost by snow closure. A demonstration of commitment!
Implementation of National Curriculum considerations: Our Schemes of Work follow the National Curriculum guidelines, excluding French. Our curriculum is adapted to our pupils’ special needs, and prepares for Belmont programmes of study – giving access to the Common Entrance course where this is appropriate. In general, we are focused on giving pupils the basic literacy and numeracy skills necessary to successfully access the whole of the curriculum when they go into Secondary or Senior schools whilst ensuring they have sufficient background in other NC subjects taught.
As has already been noted – this is the primary aim of the school.
Details of arrangements for dyslexic pupils, including prep / homework:
It is always useful for staff to be able to see how well pupils can work independently and to be on hand if help is needed.
Teaching and Learning
Lesson preparation and delivery: All Medium Term Plans are monitored and approved by the respective Heads of Department. The Senior Management Team has access to these as they are kept on the school’s computer network.
Lessons observed were all carefully planned and showed a common approach. All celebrated strengths and most were practical and multi-sensory. All were building on previous knowledge and celebrating success.
Use of IEP’s: We teach matched groups and are therefore able to provide group IEPs which have additional individual targets where appropriate. IEPs are reviewed bi-annually and are synchronised with standardised reading and spelling test results. (Two examples attached). We find many parents set store by IEPs.
Moon Hall’s use of small group IEPs is sensible and practical. Such mapping makes it possible for teachers to put information to use in their lesson planning and organisation.
Records and record keeping:
. Tracking of pupils is effective. The use of an improvement ratio makes progress clear to see. The Access Reading test is a valuable tool, testing as it does inference as well as literal comprehension. The School Development Plan points out that, “The quality of teaching is not always immediately reflected in the quality of learning due to the specific learning difficulties of pupils” a sizeable proportion of whom have multiple difficulties. There is no quick fix for these pupils, and the majority of teachers and parents are aware of this. An education such as that offered by Moon Hall is a long-term investment.
Examinations / test results (where applicable):
A-Level (GCE) and VCE
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 2
Note: Key Stage 2 & 3: A/D = percentage absent or disapplied
Any other information: Pupils who have to be disapplied are those who have come late to Moon Hall, having arrived with reading SS in the bottom 5% of the population in Year 5 or 6. There is usually insufficient time for them to have reached Level 3 standard, although some pupils falling into this category have been successful and are included in the statistics for science and or maths. One such pupil reached Level 4 in all subjects.
|Given the severity of the difficulties experienced by the pupils, these figures are pleasing.|
Details of special examination arrangements requested and made for dyslexic pupils: The school follows the QCA guidelines each year concerning the end of KS2 examinations. This year eight pupils met the stipulated requirements and were granted extra time. One pupil used a lap-top; one had an amanuensis and two had a transcription supplied for them. All dyslexic pupils are given 25% extra time in end of year school examinations and for Common Entrance examinations (with the approval of senior schools). They may also use laptops or have their work transcribed.
Consultant’s comments: The school applies for all the appropriate access arrangements for dyslexic students.
|9f.||For completion by consultants only: Dyslexic pupils’ responses regarding their school and teachers:
As mentioned previously, it is unusual for there to be no small complaints about particular teachers or even how well the chips are cooked! This cohort of 13 pupils – a mix of girls and boys – boarders and day pupils –full time and part timers at Moon Hall- were universally appreciative of teachers, school, systems, and even food. Boarders found boarding “fun” with plenty of activities provided, and a comment of, “They understand what I feel like”. They talked about their increased ability –particularly in reading “I couldn’t read anything when I came here – now I can”. “At my old school I was falling behind – now I can read better”. “At my old school I was bullied – no-one bullies me here”. “At my other school the teachers were mean. Here they’re all fine”.
No further comment necessary!
Facilities and Equipment for Access to Teaching of Dyslexic Pupils
General resources for teaching dyslexic pupils: Our greatest resource is staff expertise and experience and the facility to be able to teach in small matched groups – matched according to remedial needs. An additional facility of huge benefit is the presence of Belmont whose facilities our pupils are able to share. These include the gym, sports hall and games fields as well as access to after school clubs, whole school productions and joint assemblies and outings.
We are delighted that with the advent of an awareness of the importance of phonics, more texts are now published focused on reinforcement of phonics teaching. We have sets of bright new phonics texts from several publishers. We are particularly pleased to have stories which are appropriate for our older learners.
Rooms are well-equipped and appointed. Teaching materials are up –to –date and used appropriately. It was noticeable that those pupils who need footrests or wedges or cushions were provided with them and using them.
|10b,||Library: We have both fiction and non-fiction libraries for full-time and part-time pupils. Part-time pupils, who are Belmont based, also have full access to the Belmont library. We have a Librarian who uses the Cliff Moon system to categorise the books by reading age. We have a large variety of low reading age/high interest level books for newly admitted older children. Our librarian will always respond to a particular child’s interests or enthusiasms by buying books of interest to that child.|
|A good range of high interest/low reading age books was evident throughout the school.|
ICT: We have a networked Computer Room with one multimedia PC for every child in a teaching group. A CD Server allows each pupil to access site-licensed CD ROMs. There is a good range of software to support both topic, maths and English, and voice activated software is available for the use of very dyspraxic pupils. There is also a text reading facility for pupils to check their own composition. Access to the Internet is by Broadband and all computers have protected access to the Internet.
Promethean or Alpha Smart Inter-active white boards are installed in the computer room and all the main teaching rooms. Digital cameras are available for the use of pupils as required by the NC for ICT which we follow. In addition, pupils are taught a high standard of word processing by learning to touch-touch from an early age. They sit OCR text processing examinations in Year 8; these exams are designed for 16-year-olds. Many gain distinctions in a range of typing examinations.
|The IT suite is well equipped with up to date computers. All teaching rooms apart from one small room have interactive white boards .It is an impressive achievement that so many pupils in year 8 gain an OCR qualification for word-processing.|
|10d.||Learning Centre: N/a|
Statements of Special Educational Needs
School policy: We have not sought Approved status in the past although we are considering registration with CCRAG (Children’s Cross Regional Arrangements Group). We accept Statemented children if we are able to meet their needs.
|It is surprising that more Statemented pupils are not referred by Local Authorities.|
|11b.||Types of statemented needs accepted: Dyslexia and dyspraxia (dyspraxia where there is comorbidity) - rarely - ADD (depending on severity).|
|Consultant’s comments: The school follows the necessary procedures and processes for children with statements.|
|11c.||Number: 1 (3 following statementing process)|
Parents’ Feelings About the School and, in Particular, its Response to Dyslexic Pupils
Schools should provide with the documentation a list of the names of all known dyslexic pupils in the school. From this the consultant will select 12 names and schools will be asked to contact the parents (CReSTeD will provide an explanatory letter) for their permission to give their phone numbers to the consultant. The consultant will then contact 6 of these parents to discuss their feelings about the school.
Seven set of parents were contacted. All commented on how happy their children were and most were grateful for the progress their children had made, although two parents were disappointed by the lack of progress made in reading tests. As has been noted previously, it is not always possible to move reading scores on as quickly as everyone would wish – indeed that lack of progress is often a measure of the severity of a child’s dyslexia.
Five parents were delighted by progress, “A boy who had been left out has been enabled to access learning”. One parent was particularly appreciative of the opportunity to transfer to Belmont, whilst maintaining links with Moon Hall, “ He needed to be pushed and Belmont provided that challenge – we were part of the decision and know that there is no miracle cure. What they’ve done is get him into a position where he is achieving – great! He’s been enabled to come on in a way that no other school could have achieved. A better school I couldn’t imagine”.
Another parent said that she felt it was “the best thing we could have done for her. She was struggling hugely at her other school – but there was no pressure to move her.” She –like most of the parents contacted, mentioned the warm and loving atmosphere of the school and considered herself “lucky to be within driving difficulty of a school like that” and told me that before she had actually sent her daughter to the school one of the teachers from Moon Hall had given up an hour of her time on Saturday mornings to introduce her child to the Phono-Graphix programme, and it had made an almost immediate difference to her reading ability.
Head’s / Principal’s signature confirming accuracy of school’s information (pre-visit)
Date: 6 October, 2009
Head’s / Principal’s signature confirming agreement to consultant’s comments (post-visit):
|14.||Summary of Report; Moon Hall has a tremendous amount to offer. The access to specialisms such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Visual Therapy is a tremendous resource to be able to call on. The position of being a “school within a school”also offers pupils a wealth of opportunities not always available in a specialist setting. Teachers are genuinely caring and dedicated. They also enjoy working at Moon Hall and that is a source of the school’s warmth. Moon Hall is a school that knows what it is doing, and does it well.|