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Pupil Progress

Progress at Dorothy Goodman School: 

We are a special school for pupils with learning difficulties, other than those who attend Cleveland House who have Autistic spectrum condition/disorder. We maintain high aspirations and ensure our pupils are challenged with their work. However, we recognise that in all our bases, other than Cleveland House, our pupils will not be reaching the expected standards across the curriculum for their chronological age. Therefore, the emphasis on individualised learning is at present best represented by the percentage of pupils achieving challenging targets. These are set by benchmarking their achievements with other pupils who start at the same level at a similar age. The proportions who achieve these targets in core subjects is high and reflects the continuing focus on pupils learning relevant skills to their starting points and taking qualifications relevant to their needs and interests.


We measure our pupils’ success by the progress they make from their very different starting points. For some pupils successfully learning to communicate a choice between two things is great progress, while for others gaining GCSE qualifications is an equivalent success. All these achievements are as important as each other. This year our pupils have made outstanding progress once again.


The breadth of curriculum on offer at Dorothy Goodman School has continued to support all pupils to make excellent progress and whilst some have been developing their communication skills, learning how to say no, request more or make choices, other pupils have achieved GCSEs or vocational qualifications. When organising access to the curriculum and analysing their progress we group our pupils into 4 bands, also taking into account the year group a pupil is currently part of chronologically. The four bands cover all our age groups: 

  • Life choices are pupils currently working at pre subject specific standards

  • Like skills are pupils who are currently achieving equivalent standards to those expected at Pre Key Stage 1

  • Vocational pupils are currently achieving equivalent standards to those expected at Key Stage 1 and above 

  • Academic pupils are working just below expected standards at Key Stage 2 and above. 


By using a trajectory approach we set expectations at the highest levels of challenge for our pupils in each of these bands.   


Due to the impact of Covid 19 the data for this report was taken from progress recorded up to April 2020. 


95.5% of pupils across the school were making positive progress towards achieving and exceeding their targets within priority areas this year. This indicated that outstanding progress had been maintained while pupils were fully attending school until the end of March. 


Across the seven areas assessed 89% were making expected or excellent progress, that is exceeding expectations in relation to previous learning. A further 7% of  pupils were demonstrating emerging skills across the curriculum which indicated an increasing pace within trajectory.


Those pupils eligible for pupil premium achieved extremely well up until the end of March with 92.2% (5.7% higher than those who were not eligible for pupil premium) on track to achieve expected or better progress and 85.4% of ths group (1% higher than those who were not eligible for pupil premium) achieving at the highest progress rates. 


The school has 10 children who are Looked After - 3 made good progress and 7 had exceeded levels of progress. Communication and Personal social development (PSD) were key strengths for the achievements of these pupils. 



Over the last year until March 2020, when there was a National Lockdown, all our pupils were making good progress in relation to their starting points and were demonstrating emerging skills across the learning areas when considering national expectations. As a school, all our pupils at this age have either cognition and learning or communication and interaction as their primary need. Some continued to attend school during lockdown and for those who did not, we sent work packs to help parents work at home with the children and ideas via Google. We also contacted all parents or carers by phone at least once per week to have a discussion about their child's welfare and to ensure we were offering as much help as possible for the pupils to access their provision as identified in their EHC Plans met.


Key Stage 1: (Ages 5 - 7)

By the end of March 2020 our school based assessment system TOPS (Tracking Our Pupils’ Skills) showed that all pupils had accelerated progress. 98% of pupils in this Key Stage made good or exceeded levels of progress with excellent outcomes for pupils in the Choices and Skills bands. Developments in Communication and PSD were key strengths for the key stage. Of the few pupils who were not on track, one had joined the school later than the start of the academic year and the others were receiving a change in approach and intervention. 


Key Stage 2: 

Up until the end of March 86% of pupils made good or exceeded progress expectations. 90% of pupils were making expected progress or above. One of the pupils not making expected levels of progress within this key stage has a regressive syndrome and another pupil has had significant medical needs this year. The senior team are working with newly qualified teachers to ensure all progress is captured so that the challenge remains high throughout the Key Stage. Achievement in Communication, Logic and PSD were key strengths for this key stage. 


Key Stage 3:  

While progress made by pupils in this Key Stage is lower we are still pleased with the outcomes as 78% of pupils making expected levels of progress or above. A further 17.5% of the cohort (7 pupils) were making emerging levels of progress by the end of March. Once again achievement in Communication and PSD were key strengths for the key stage. In this Key Stage we also help pupils with the change from a primary model to a more secondary model for learning.


Key Stage 4: 

75% of pupils made good or exceeded progress within the cohort and 78% made expected levels of progress or above. Much of the work in this Key Stage had focussed on preparing our pupils for meeting the requirements to sit accredited qualifications including entry levels, functional skills and GCSEs. Achievement in PSD was a clear strength for the key stage and this included starting to apply social skills to a wider range of situations. 


Key Stage 5: 

85% of pupils made good or exceeded levels of progress with 88% of pupils making expected levels of progress or above. Many of the Key Stage 5 students were working towards GCSEs having taken an additional year to study the subjects and their progress is demonstrated by the accreditation they achieved more than TOPS however it is evident that achievement in PSD, Communication and Logic were well embedded across the key stage. 



This was the first time that we have used trajectories to benchmark the outcomes of pupils. The trajectories were set during the course of this academic year. 


14 pupils took accredited courses within the school this academic year. 9 of these pupils accessed qualifications at levels which were in line with their trajectories. A further five pupils completed accreditation at a stage prior to their expected trajectory. This was to assist with them learning how to sit and access examinations/tests or how to improve their completion of coursework. We do not enter for examinations and accreditation in a single year group and therefore pupils will have the opportunity to build upon their experiences this year ready for accreditation at more challenging levels.


There were initially 26 entries for Entry Level qualifications but due to the impact of Covid 19 some pupils were unable to complete the required work to gain qualifications. Work with those pupils leaving school was prioritised with others having their entries deferred to the academic year 2020/21. Four pupils achieved seven Level 1 qualifications between them in English, Maths and Drama. At Entry Level nine qualifications were achieved in English and Maths. One pupil achieved Entry Level 1 English and Maths, three pupils achieved Entry Level 2 Maths, One pupil achieved Entry Level 2 English and one pupil achieved Entry Level 3 English. 


There are 4 interns awaiting results for BTEC qualifications which are still being queried linked to rules of combination due to some of the work not being completed because of Covid 19. The questioning has arisen as this was our first time delivering these qualifications at Level 2 and our intern programme had to be home working from March 2020. 


Accreditation - Cleveland House 

Year 11 - Year 14

Nine pupils at Cleveland House took 35 qualifications in 18 different subjects. 83% of the qualifications were achieved at the predicted level or above. Six of the qualifications were achieved above the level that the pupil was predicted. Six qualifications were achieved at a level below that which was predicted, Five of these lower grades were linked to one pupil who had significantly low attendance (he did however pass all of his qualifications). 


Year 9 - Year 10

Four pupils at Cleveland House accessed 29 inclusion subjects throughout the year. These pupils still have one further full year of study to complete their course.  In-house assessment showed that 24% of the pupils were working securely within their grade boundaries and on track to achieve at least their predicted grades if not higher (for many pupils these successes are in options choices where they are highly motivated). 14% of pupils are on track for developing learning within their identified areas. 62.% of pupils are below their predicted grades for learning. This is clearly linked to subject areas that pupils find more of a challenge (English and Maths) and it is important to remember that this cohort of pupils have been out of education for some time prior to attending Cleveland House as well as working from home during the Covid arrangements. Over the next year the focus will be on increasing their confidence with learning. 


Year 7 & 8 Pupils

There are six pupils accessing learning in Years 7 and 8. They are accessing a range of lessons (23 different sessions). 48% of the learning within subjects is showing a secure understanding, a further 30% are showing a developing understanding of learning (heading towards being secure within the subject area). There are 4 subjects (linked to only one pupil) where attainment is below the expected levels (it is important to note that this pupil does have additional needs identified in the area of cognition and learning and it is where learning requires high levels of literacy to enable access that learning is more of a challenge). 


Cleveland House

Progress within the Autism progression framework 

At Cleveland House one of the areas used to track progress is the Autism Education Trust (AET) Progression Framework. Over the course of the academic year 2019-20 progress was made by all students against their targets. Significant positive progress was made across 85% of the targets in the autumn term and 86% in Spring term. This shows a positive picture for the long term targets being achieved at a high standard excluding the Covid interruption.



There were 17 pupils from Dorothy Goodman School  (excluding Cleveland House) who moved on from the school this year. 9 pupils have moved on to study in four different colleges. The range of courses accessed include building and construction, art and design, IT and media, sport, foundation learning and  animal care. Five pupils moved to Specialist College providers within the locality. Three pupils chose not to name further educational provision, with aspirations for support through social care. 


This year our intern programme had to be suspended at the point of lockdown. Although disappointing for the students involved all continued on their work skills qualifications with the support of the job coach and lead teachers. 


Experiences and visits were also severely hampered this year following lockdown and our residential visits were unable to continue. There were some visits before lockdown including visits to museums and experiences with visiting art groups. We have also held special focus days and weeks: Creative week, a specialist ‘fun maths’ week and a Shakespeare in Schools Festival culminating in a performance at The Curve Theatre. During lockdown we held a virtual sports week festival. Unfortunately our “moving on week”, to give our primary aged pupils experiences of the world of work, had to be stopped due to the Covid 19 arrangements. We have also worked closely with local schools and the local authority to ensure a wide range of provision is available in our local area. 


For more information please contact the school