The Garden SEN school receives its first 'Outstanding' Ofsted report

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble meets pupils at The Garden school

A special educational needs school in Hackney is celebrating after receiving its first 'outstanding' Ofsted report.

The Garden officially opened its doors in September 2013, bringing together Horizon and Downsview schools. The former schools were both judged 'good' following their last inspections.

In their report, inspectors noted a rapid improvement in teaching levels. The report states: "Teachers have an outstanding knowledge of their pupils' abilities and learning needs. They have high expectations of the pupils' progress..."

It went on to say: "Behaviour is outstanding. The school is a calm and welcoming place. Pupils enjoy school, attend well and feel safe and secure."

The new building was specially designed to meet pupils' needs, as part of the Council's Building Schools for the Future programme, which has seen every secondary and special educational needs school in the borough rebuilt or redesigned.

Pupils all have special educational needs including autism. Some are unable to communicate verbally and need a high level of care. The new school building includes specialist rooms for therapeutic sessions, an independent living area which helps older pupils get used to do every day tasks around the home, sensory rooms, play areas and teaching spaces which are designed with their specific needs in mind.

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Cabinet Member for Children's Services
I'd like to extend my congratulations to all the staff, pupils and parents who've all played a part in making The Garden such a great school. It's fantastic to have their achievements recognised by Ofsted. Having visited The Garden, I was initially really impressed by their fantastic new building, but as soon as I started looking around, it was the interaction between the staff and pupils is truly captivating.
Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Cabinet Member for Children's Services

Kt Khan, The Garden’s Executive Head said that she felt the key to the school's success was an "unrelenting drive to raise standards and practice through training support staff."

She said: “The Senior team is immensely proud of how far both schools have come since 2011 when our journey from good to great began. It is right and proper that parents and carers of such vulnerable young people have the best possible provision on their doorstep – a real Hackney treasure.”