A special needs school in Sudbury is rejoicing this week, after it received the highest possible grade from the regulatory body Ofsted for its fourth consecutive inspection.
Hillside Special School, an all-age community facility for students with severe learning difficulties, retained its outstanding rating following a short inspection last year, with praise given to the school’s effectiveness of teaching, learning and assessment.
The pupils planted fruit trees in their new orchard on Monday to celebrate the achievement.
The Hitchcock Place-based school was judged as outstanding in 2006 and maintained this ranking after subsequent inspections in 2009 and 2014.
In the latest inspection, inspectors hailed the work of the new headteacher Michelle Kelly and deputy headteacher Shelley Jackson, for their work to develop links with pupils, governors and families.
“I would like to recognise the efforts and hard work of all the governors and staff at Hillside. This truly is a team effort,” said Ms Kelly, who was appointed a year ago.
“The key to retaining outstanding is down to the collective view, shared by everyone who works at Hillside, that the pupils are the reason behind everything we do.
“They are the priority and striving to provide the absolute best for them is the key.
“We are all very proud of the outcome, and excited to move forward with further developments, as we continue to strive for excellence at Hillside.
“We will continuously strive for even better outcomes for our pupils, preparing them for their future lives in our society and the community.”
Ofsted also highlighted the strong collaboration between the school and health teams, which ensure the children and their families are well supported.