Newark Orchard School is a split site, area special school which opened in 1996. It caters for 109 students from age 3 -18 who present with an extremely diverse range of needs, PMLD, SLD, MLD, ASD & SEMH. The Lower site is based in Newark town centre whilst the Upper site is based in Balderton. Also situated on the town site is the specialist ASD hub which offers limited places to pupils with ASD. This was originally opened in April 2015. All students have an Education, Health Care Plan (EHCP) and are placed at the school via an admissions procedure administered by the local authority. As Nottinghamshire is an inclusive authority, this means that the students have increasingly complex needs. The number of pupils presenting with additional mental health issues and challenging behaviour is increasing. This means that careful consideration needs to be given to class groups in order that all students’ needs are met appropriately and safely.
The curriculum offer is diverse, catering for the needs of students from low P Levels through to GCSEs.
The school’s mission statement ‘Individual Growth, Individual People’ is at the heart of everything. The mission of the school is to meet the very individual needs of the students and enable them to reach their full potential. The school works closely with families and other agencies to ensure that all aspects of the students’ needs are being met as far as possible. The school continues to work with other schools across Newark town and it also works closely with the other 10 special schools which enables collaboration and problem solving of common issues which are important for SEND students.
- 33% of students claim free school meals
- 8% are looked after children and 10% have previously been in care or are living with relatives on a care order.
- There is a large travelling community in the Newark area
- There is also a large population of Eastern European families and the school has admitted several pupils where English is a second language.
- Although the buildings are not new there is now a definite re-build on one site planned for April 2020
- Strong partnerships are in place with the mainstream schools in Newark in order to support best practice for all the pupils with SEND.
- In January 2017 the school was judged to be ‘requires improvement’ by Ofsted following a period of 21 years of being judged to be good.
- In July 2017 HMI carried out a monitoring visit and stated that, ‘Leaders have taken decisive action in response to the areas for improvement identified in the previous inspection report’
In November 2018 the School Improvement Partner reported that ‘The HT and deputies together are a strong team. They are committed to making the school as good as it can be and have made determined and well-targeted efforts to do this.’