Who the school is for

Students at this school have complex and inter-related special educational needs to the extent that their ability to learn, thrive and develop in a secondary mainstream setting is significantly affected. The vast majority of students arrive on secondary transfer from mainstream primary schools.

The majority of students will have significant needs in one or more of the following areas

  • Moderate learning difficulties with additional significant speech & language difficulties and/or social/emotional difficulties
  • Speech, language and communication needs along with significant emotional or social communication difficulties
  • A diagnosis of high functioning autism, atypical autism or Asperger’s Syndrome with underlying difficulties in social communication and flexible thinking
  • Specific learning difficulties, often compounded by significant emotional issues
  • Significant emotional vulnerability and/or mental health needs
  • Severe and persistent attendance issues in association with significant emotional  well-being and/or school phobia factors

Although students’ social communication, emotional and social development needs may impact on their behaviour at times, the school is not appropriate for conduct disorder or other social, emotional and behavioural / mental health difficulties that present an ongoing significant risk to others.

What ‘levels’ are the students working at when they arrive?

At the time of consultation for secondary transfer, i.e. based on assessments at the end of Year 5, students will be working within National Curriculum expectations rather than Early Learning Goals[1] or p-levels

  • Students’ unsupported learning will meet all of the statements in Standard 5 of the Pre-Key Stage 2 Standards (working towards the KS1 expected standard) or above in Reading, Writing and Maths   
  • Most students will be working at the Year 1 or 2 expectations for Reading, Writing and Maths, with a minority above this (usually with Asperger Syndrome).

Students generally have a ‘spiky’ attainment profile; having the greatest difficulties with their literacy and numeracy, with some other identified areas being stronger

  • We are not a suitable placement to meet the special educational needs of a student who
  • has very severe learning difficulties e.g. has been formally assessed to be in the ‘extremely low’ range (less than 1st Centile) in any area of cognition and learning
  • requires additional adult support to read, write or calculate above p-levels at the end of Year 5
  • has not achieved the Early Learning Goals by Year 5
  • should achieve 5 or more higher grade GCSE grades including English and Maths at age 16
[1] Early Learning Goals ELG09-ELG12 (pages 30 and 31)

Do students follow the National Curriculum?

Yes, we offer a broad, balanced and rich curriculum that includes the National Curriculum, differentiated to match the students’ starting points, which are usually much lower than average.  Our curriculum also includes residential school journeys for all students in Years 7, 8, 9 & 10, Duke of Edinburgh in Year 12, a wide range of sporting activities (including competitive events against other schools/ boroughs), work experience and opportunities to develop talents through expressive arts and other creativity programmes.

How well do students progress?

The proportion of our students passing GCSEs, Entry Level or Level 1 vocational qualifications depends on their individual starting points. Our ambition for every student is for them to make better progress here than they would do elsewhere.  Most students achieve Level 1 passes (GCSE 1-3 or equivalent) in some subjects; others are mainly working at Entry Level 2 or 3.

‘Pupils’ outcomes are excellent. They make strong progress from their starting points across a wide range of subjects because of highly effective teaching’. (Ofsted 2018)

What’s the class size?

All students within the school are generally taught in classes of 11 by a teacher and a teaching assistant.  This may be augmented for particular lessons by a specialist teacher, speech & language therapist, creative partner, sports coach or similar. Some students have additional adult support due to medical or particular transitional needs.

What about wider Multi-Disciplinary Provision?

The School Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) presently provides speech & language therapy; counselling; art therapy (all based within the school). There is additional provision from occupational therapy; physiotherapy; Local Authority Specialist Teachers; Young Hackney and the School Nursing Service. The MDT also works closely with, and makes referrals to, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services.

At what age do students leave?

The age range of the school is 11-17 (Years 7-12). In September 2014 we opened a Sixth Form with a difference: This is a one-year programme up to age 17 that includes 2 days per week at a college or other provider following an accredited vocational course and school-based English; Maths; Computing; Personal & Social Development; an Enterprise Project; Duke of Edinburgh Award and work experience. If a student is ready to join an appropriate full-time course elsewhere at age 16, we also celebrate that.

‘Leaders’ partnership and quality-assurance work with other sixth-form providers is exceptional.’ (Ofsted 2018)

How do students get a place?

Referrals come from the relevant Local Authority, often in accordance with parental preference. The more heads and SENCos have a clear idea of our role, the fairer this process will be, as they can encourage parents to visit in advance of decisions being made. If your school or service has concerns about vulnerability on secondary transfer, it is important that the SEN team at the authority have received this in writing, preferably as part of the Education, Health & Care Plan Annual Review in Year 5

What about Ofsted?

  • Most recent inspection (July 2018): Outstanding in all areas, including the Sixth Form
  • Previous outstanding inspections March 2014, November 2008, July 2005 (the first Outstanding school in Hackney)

Further information:

More details are on our website https://www.stormonthouse.hackney.sch.uk and visits can be arranged by telephoning the School Office on (020) 8985 4245.