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  • Sunnydown School
    Portley House
    152 Whyteleafe Road
    CR3 5ED
  • Head: Mr Paul Jensen
  • T 01883 342281
  • F 01883 341342
  • E [email protected]
  • W
  • A special state school for boys aged from 11 to 16 with communication and interaction difficulties, including autism.
  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Surrey
  • Pupils: 76; 38 flexi-boarders
  • Religion: Non-denominational
  • Fees: State financed
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Good 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Good 1
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good 1
      • Personal development, behaviour and welfare Good 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Good 1
    • 1 Full inspection 13th July 2016
  • Previous Ofsted grade: Outstanding on 3rd May 2012
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

We were pleased to find here the head telling us that reducing anxieties was central to the school’s ethos, and parents reporting on how effectively this is done. He brings some of the Aussie outback to the school too (grew up in a community with fewer people than this school, he says). He takes the boys fishing, they ‘catch their own trout and kill it with a priest,’ he told us. You might be picturing, as we did, a dog-collared chap administering the last rites, however, we learned that a priest in angler lingo is a ceramic instrument...

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What the parents say...

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What The Good Schools Guide says

Head teacher

Since 2014, Paul Jensen. He’s dapper, in a blue suit, patterned socks, shoes with contrasting laces - a Paul Smith/Ted Baker sartorial style which doesn’t often grace a head’s office. But parents, boys, and Ofsted alike all appreciate his modern approach. The previous incumbent was head for 33 years, and Ofsted has heralded the team under Jensen’s leadership with successfully turning around a decline in standards which had been ‘masked by a lack of transparency’. It’s an approach defined by a whirligig of acronyms – he rattles out RICE and REST and SMSC, of which more later.

He was previously deputy head at Clarendon, a school for learning difficulties, and at Melrose (for social, emotional and mental health difficulties). But he began his career in mainstream, teaching science and maths...

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Special Education Needs

Sunnydown School is a community special school; all pupils have statements of special educational needs that identify specific learning difficulties and/or difficulties on the autistic spectrum. Pupils are taught in groups of 10 or less and follow the National Curriculum in a modified manner, to make it more accessible to the pupils. The school has an ethos of good relationships between pupils, staff and parents which Ofsted regard as outstanding.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory Y
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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