Welcome to our School
In March 2012 and January 2015 OFSTED inspected our school. We were delighted by the outcome of both inspections, which concluded that “Priestley Smith is an outstanding school”.
We are an all age specialist centre for pupils with severe sight loss. All of our teaching staff are experienced and qualified teachers of the Visually Impaired. Our support staff are also all trained to a very high standard.
We are committed to providing an exciting, stimulating and highly differentiated learning programme for all of our students and to ensuring that each child is supported to reach his or her potential. We provide both a mainstream curriculum, personalised to meet each child’s visual and learning needs, and the additional specialist subjects of braille, mobility, perceptual development and Independent Living Skills. Every student leaves the school with a range of accreditation and qualifications to help them make their way in the world.
Priestley Smith School caters for children between the ages of 2 and 19 years, delivering nursery education, Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
To find out more about what we do, please read our school offer.
Where Are We?
Priestley Smith School is located in new accommodation on the site of Perry Beeches mainstream schools in Great Barr, Birmingham. The campus includes Perry Beeches Nursery, Infant, Junior and Secondary schools. Our buildings are purpose-built for visually impaired students and are very well resourced to meet their needs, providing the specialist equipment they require to access the curriculum.
Priestley Smith School is a city-wide provision. Students attend our school from all areas of Birmingham and also from surrounding Local Authorities, including Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
Have a look at our contact us page for more information on our location.
Our Ofsted Report
The school was inspected by Ofsted in January 2015 and was judged to be outstanding in all categories.
Here are some extracts from the report:
“Pupils achieve extremely well because staff have expert knowledge in their subjects. They know how to promote the learning of pupils who have visual impairment extremely well. The most able achieve as well, and sometimes better, in their GCSEs and A levels as all other pupils nationally.”
“Pupils’ behaviour is excellent. They thrive from early years to sixth form in an environment that nurtures their confidence and teaches them to value and respect everyone’s different talents and backgrounds. This means that their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is outstanding”.
“Teaching is outstanding because staff are so skilled at promoting each pupil’s learning. Staff have a detailed understanding of the pupils they teach and of how to promote the learning of pupils who have a visual impairment. They also convey a love of their subjects that inspires pupils to learn.”
“Attitudes to learning are exceptional. Pupils say this is because they ‘want to learn’ and ‘do things for ourselves’. They also say they know their teachers value and respect them… Pupils take great pride in their work and achievements.”
“Outstanding skills programmes ensure pupils are extremely well prepared for their next steps in education as well as for life in modern Britain. These include courses in personal and social understanding, mobility and independent living. Pupils hugely value the independence they gain from them.”
“An exceptional headteacher, ably supported by a strong leadership team, has created an ethos in which all are determined that every child matters and will succeed. Leaders and managers at all levels, including governors, have the highest expectations of themselves and of pupils.”
“Excellent technological support ensures pupils have ready access to the specialist equipment that they need to learn. Pupils become highly skilled in using it.”
“All pupils feel extremely safe in the school. Leaders are meticulous in carrying out all the checks they should to ensure this.”
“The governance of the school is outstanding. The governing body is hugely committed to the work of the school and very involved in monitoring its work and evaluating its outcomes.”
Read the full report below: