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  • The Castle School
    Love Lane
    RG14 2JG
  • Head: Mr Jon Hewitt
  • T 01635 42976
  • F 01635 551 725
  • E [email protected]
  • W www.thecastles…
  • A state special school for boys and girls aged from 2 to 19 with complex learning difficulties and communication and interaction needs.
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: West Berkshire
  • Pupils: 182 (133 boys; 49 girls)
  • Religion: Does not apply
  • Open days: Contact School
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • 16-19 study programmes Outstanding 2
      • Early years provision Outstanding 2
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 2
    • 1 Short inspection 15th January 2019
    • 2 Full inspection 7th October 2014

    Short inspection reports only give an overall grade; you have to read the report itself to gauge whether the detailed grading from the earlier full inspection still stands.

  • Previous Ofsted grade: Good on 11th July 2012
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

We witnessed a rounders match in full swing, as well as a kick-about in the playground, with spirited participation from the staff. The students run their own soup kitchen, and grow vegetables in raised beds and polytunnels – each class has a section. Parents praised the whole-family approach and spoke gratefully of the sibling courses their other children had attended in their mainstream schools. The courses were run discreetly, to help them meet friends with SEN siblings, and learn to…

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Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2011, Jon Hewitt BSc PGCE NPQH AMBDA. After taking a degree in geology at Cardiff University and a further PGCE at UEA, became interested in pastoral care during his first teaching post, at an Oxfordshire secondary school. This led to further mainstream secondary school posts and a specialist interest in learning difficulties, challenging behaviours and exclusion. A spell as EBD co-ordinator in Wiltshire and as SENCo in Swindon was followed by promotion to deputy at Rowdeford School, Devizes, before the move to The Castle School as head.

Fit and youthful in appearance, although more beard than hair, he is both a fast talker and fast walker, managing to combine efficiency with sympathetic listening. ‘The day he showed me round I was very emotional and he was virtually carrying a...

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Please note: Independent schools frequently offer IGCSEs or other qualifications alongside or as an alternative to GCSE. The DfE does not record performance data for these exams so independent school GCSE data is frequently misleading; parents should check the results with the schools.

Who came from where

Who goes where

Special Education Needs

The Castle School is a West Berkshire Education Authority Special School. It is a mixed day school which takes pupils, between the ages of two and nineteen, who have a wide range of educational needs. Our Nursery class is colocated to Victoria Park Nursery, spending time at The Castle School two afternoons per week to use the specialist facilities. The Castle School is resourced by the Local Education Authority to provide education for 15 pupils with ASD who need a higher staffing ratio and a more intensive programme than others. At the present time there are 21 pupils who have a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder recorded on their Statement of Special Educational Needs and 13 pupils are in the ‘Resourced classes‘.

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)
Genetic Y
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 Y
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 Y
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

Interpreting catchment maps

The maps show in colour where the pupils at a school came from*. Red = most pupils to Blue = fewest.

Where the map is not coloured we have no record in the previous three years of any pupils being admitted from that location based on the options chosen.

For help and explanation of our catchment maps see: Catchment maps explained

Further reading

If there are more applicants to a school than it has places for, who gets in is determined by which applicants best fulfil the admissions criteria.

Admissions criteria are often complicated, and may change from year to year. The best source of information is usually the relevant local authority website, but once you have set your sights on a school it is a good idea to ask them how they see things panning out for the year that you are interested in.

Many schools admit children based on distance from the school or a fixed catchment area. For such schools, the cut-off distance will vary from year to year, especially if the school give priority to siblings, and the pattern will be of a central core with outliers (who will mostly be siblings). Schools that admit on the basis of academic or religious selection will have a much more scattered pattern.

*The coloured areas outlined in black are Census Output Areas. These are made up of a group of neighbouring postcodes, which accounts for their odd shapes. These provide an indication, but not a precise map, of the school’s catchment: always refer to local authority and school websites for precise information.

The 'hotter' the colour the more children have been admitted.

Children get into the school from here:

most years
quite often
sometimes, but not in this year

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