Where students get a second chance

Staff at Bristol’s Snowdon Village family of schools have been praised for their ‘dedication and expertise’ by Ofsted inspectors who have rated the school ‘good’ for the first time.

Snowdon Village – which includes The Nest, Engage, Bristol Futures Academy and City School – is an alternative provision for students who have been excluded from mainstream schools or whose learning needs which make it hard to cope in a mainstream setting.

But despite the difficulties many of these students have faced in previous schools, Ofsted says Snowdon Village’s skilled staff are proving adept at encouraging pupils to ‘re-engage with learning in a positive way’.

Inspectors say the school’s focus on students’ social and emotional needs has been a ‘great success’, while the personal development offering is an ‘impressive’ strength.

As a result, they rated Snowdon Village as ‘good’ – a signal of the substantial improvement made since they graded it as ‘requires improvement’ in their previous inspection.

The Ofsted report said: “Pupils come to Snowdon Village with previous negative experiences of education. They have often had significant periods of non-attendance.

“Pupils are keen to describe the impact that staff have on them. They value the commitment that staff have to securing the very best for them. Parents agree. They are greatly appreciative of the dedication, expertise and communication they have with staff to achieve goals that they never thought would be possible, for example pupils sitting GCSEs and attending school full time.

“Leaders provide a wealth of opportunities for pupils to experience success and increase their resilience. Pupils learn how to manage their emotions in response to demands placed on them. They are well prepared for their next steps and to become active members of their community.”

Snowdon Village – part of the Cabot Learning Federation – earned further praise in areas such as safeguarding, leadership and personal development.

Snowdon Village Principal Alex Davies said: “We are all thrilled with the outcome and have been working incredibly hard over the last four years to secure this – a judgement our children deserve. “