The popular therapy dog at a Derby special school has done its part to ensure that employees and students celebrate their “good” rating by the Ofsted inspectors.
Wilf has received special praise from government inspectors who referred to him as “an important contributor” to the Kingsmead School in Alvaston.
Therapy dog Wilf was named in the inspector’s report for supporting vulnerable teenagers, sitting with reluctant readers to encourage them to fetch a book, and motivating children who were poor visitors to show up.
A team from the Office for Standards in Education visited the school on Brighton Road for two days at the end of September, spoke to staff and students, observed the class and also took note of the responses to a parent survey.
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The inspection team praised the special school’s vision of “Good Today, Better Tomorrow” so students know they always have a second chance to get everything right.
Parents told inspectors that the school understands and takes into account their children’s diverse needs, while students said they feel safe and enjoy going to school.
(Image: Pinguin PR)
The staff informed the inspectors that the school was well run and administered, while the assurance of education was described as “high quality”.
The school has also been described as a positive and safe environment in which students can learn and where they “know the staff will not give them up”.
Kingsmead School is an expanding special school that is part of a larger integrated offering for students with social, emotional and mental health problems. The school has 93 students, up from 62 when it was last inspected in 2016.
Almost all students have an education, health, and care plan. An increasing proportion have learning needs in addition to their social, emotional and mental health problems. These include moderate learning disabilities, a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.
The vast majority of students are boys. Some have been permanently banned from mainstream schools. Most had interrupted education and missed significant schooling. Students can enter at any point during their secondary education.
(Image: Pinguin PR)
Executive Principal Mike Pride said, “The past few years have been a tumultuous time in education for any school.
“However, in addition to the global pandemic, we implemented a restructuring program and the decoupling of our locations, which was very successful. This enabled children with special educational needs to be taught together at their own location.
With that in mind, we can be proud of every single employee and all of our students who work incredibly hard to ensure that every child who visits our school receives the best education and support possible to help them achieve their potential.
“Of course, Wilf has always considered hiring someone here at Kingsmead, so it is especially gratifying to have him mentioned by the inspection team. Children with emotional difficulties benefit greatly from spending time with Wilf, and there are many benefits.” for our employees who work in a sometimes charged and stressful environment.
“I think Wilf will definitely get some extra goodies once the news of the report gets out.”
The school is one of a number of locations that make up the Kingsmead School, which also has a key post for Grade 2 students.
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