Information about the school:
Ifield is a much larger than average special school that is designated to admit pupils
with severe, profound and complex needs. All pupils have a statement of special
educational needs, almost three quarters for autism or severe learning difficulties.
Approximately three quarters of pupils are boys. All post-16 students are based at North West Kent College, taught by Ifield staff.
The school runs the SMILE centre (Supporting Multi-Professional Inclusive Learning
and Education), providing outreach support, staff training and specialist resources for
38 schools in the Gravesham area. It also owns and manages the school woodland,
for which it has received a National Forestry Commission award. This six acre site
provides an outdoor classroom for many learning activities. Since the previous
inspection, Ifield has had its specialist school status for communication and
interaction reaffirmed, and it has acquired an International School Award from the
Ifield is an outstanding school. It is ambitious and outward looking, constantly
seeking out innovative practices and additional opportunities to improve the
quality and depth of education that it offers.
Very reflective, perceptive and highly skilled leaders provide a clear sense of
purpose and direction. Staff and the governing body provide a closely unified
team approach to school improvement.
Teaching is good overall. In general, lessons are exceptionally well planned and
focused on individuals’ learning needs.
Pupils’ achievements are outstanding. The good progress that they make in
lessons is supplemented exceptionally well by the very high quality learning that
takes place throughout the whole school day and beyond. Excellent use is made
of the spacious and inspiring accommodation to enrich pupils’ learning and
The school takes exceptional care of its pupils. Very secure safeguarding
arrangements support their safety and well-being.
Pupils’ behaviour is excellent. They mature into respectful, courteous, confident
and rounded young people. They are outstanding ambassadors for the school.
Outstanding partnerships have been forged with schools and other agencies.
The school makes excellent use of its specialist status and the SMILE centre to
support the learning of Ifield pupils and those in local and partner schools.
Excellent links with parents and carers encourage them to be fully involved in
supporting their children’s education.
The relentless pursuit of removing barriers to learning ensures that all pupils
have the same opportunity to benefit from what the school offers. Learning and
personal development are promoted exceptionally well because support and guidance are finely tuned to every pupil’s needs, learning style and communication requirements.