An independent school in Briercliffe has impressed Ofsted inspectors after improving upon its previous rating.

Compass Community School, in Granville Street, has been rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted. At its previous inspection, in 2022, It was rated as requires improvement.

The school typically caters for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs. Pupils, aged 11 to 17, usually join the school with gaps in their learning and may have suffered from traumatic experiences in the past.

According to the most recent report, pupils feel “happy and valued” at the school and understand that staff have their best interests at heart.

Staff work as a “close-knit” team in order to cater for pupils’ needs, regardless of any special educational needs or disabilities.

The report said: “Staff are effective in addressing the significant barriers to learning that pupils face. As a result, pupils achieve well from their individual starting points.”

Pupils behave well, display positive attitudes to learning and have pride in their work.

The inspector said: “The school has high expectations for both pupils’ behaviour and academic attainment.

“Pupils’ self-esteem and engagement with learning improve considerably during their time at this school. Staff use a range of strategies to support pupils to successfully manage their own behaviour.”

The curriculum is said to be ambitious and pupils study a range of subjects and the school carries out careful checks when children arrive, to identify gaps in their learning.

The report said: “In many subjects, staff use effective assessment strategies to check what pupils know and can do.

“They use this information as well as pupils’ education, health and care (EHC) plans to inform learning activities. Staff break learning down into manageable steps. This helps pupils to achieve well in a wide range of subjects.”

Pupils are taught about healthy relationships. They also enjoy a wide range of physical activities such as climbing, boxing, dance and ice-skating.

Reading is encouraged at the school and the school provides a range of interesting texts for pupils to read – but there is still room for development.

Staff have not received appropriate training to identify the gaps that pupils have in their reading knowledge. As a result, staff are not well-equipped to support pupils to improve their reading.

At the school, children are taught to be prepared for adulthood and to become “caring citizens”.

The report said: “The school carefully considers the purpose and value of learning opportunities in this regard.

"This equips pupils well for their next steps. For example, pupils learn how to prepare healthy meals.

“By participating in volunteer roles, pupils develop a range of life skills in the local community.

"They support the work of several charities. Pupils develop as active and caring citizens during their time at the school.”

It is also said to be a good place to work as staff are said to be well supported.

The report said: “The school considers staff workload carefully. Staff have access to a range of resources to support their well-being.

“Staff appreciate the support they receive and are proud to work at the school. The school communicates effectively with commissioners, parents and carers. It ensures that they are kept well informed about pupils’ progress.”