Selwyn Hall branded as 'safe haven' for pupils in first ever Ofsted inspection

Selwyn Hall is celebrating after receiving an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’ in all areas.

Our school, led by Headteacher Rebecca Pine, provides specialist education for 7-18-year-olds across Cambridgeshire with social, emotional and mental health difficulties including, but not limited to, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and anxiety.

This is the first Ofsted inspection Selwyn Hall has received since opening in September 2023. In the report, Selwyn Hall was described as a “safe haven” for pupils, thanks to staff prioritising building the trust and strong connections between pupils and adults. The report highlighted that pupils’ understanding of each subject is assessed at the start of a module and used to plan classwork with learning tailored to pupils’ interests.

We were also commended for our ability to keep students feeling safe and stable; it shined a spotlight on the techniques used to keep students calm or help them when they feel overwhelmed - such as encouraging pupils to carry items that help them feel reassured such as soft toys and allowing them to choose ‘safe spaces’ throughout the school should they feel emotional or overstimulated.

Rebecca Pine, Headteacher for Selwyn Hall School said: “Our excited hopefulness for what Selwyn could offer children with SEND was definitely recognised by Ofsted when they inspected. 

“The staff at Selwyn have worked tirelessly to ensure that children feel safe, heard and ready to learn. By doing this, our children have already made excellent progress, many having not been in school for several years. The children represented our school brilliantly and we couldn't have been more proud of them. It’s our vision to continue crafting Selwyn Hall into a haven for children.” 

Selwyn Hall’s extra-curricular activities and socialisation were also lauded by Ofsted, with the report stating that “the school creates opportunities for pupils to socialise and play together as some have not done this regularly in the past” with daily extracurricular activities that “enhance learning” and communal lunchtimes that “encourage discussion.”

Parents and carers also had the opportunity to feed back to Ofsted, praising Selwyn Hall for helping their children thrive with comments including “my child loves being part of the school community.”

Selwyn Hall is part of the Polaris Community's growing portfolio of schools. Polaris is one of the UK’s largest leading communities of children’s services providers and recognises the importance of specialist education and support for young people who need a tailored approach to learning. All of Polaris' current education provisions are rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted.

View the full Ofsted inspection report here.