Millennium Integrated Primary School, Saintfield, N. Ireland has been awarded the Inclusive School Award.
Comprehensive Self Evaluation Document
The IQM Self Evaluation Report submitted by the school, is extremely comprehensive and gives an accurate description of the truly inclusive ethos evident throughout the school. The school opened under intense difficulties as an Integrated Primary School in 2000. The foundation of the school was driven by parent requests and pressure. Over the past 17 years the school has grown from a 2 staff 10 children provision, into a large primary school of 350 children, exhibiting a wide range of needs. As detailed in the SER document, the number of children on the SEN register totals 43.9%, including those with identified needs, ASD, Dyslexia, AHD, SEBD and anxiety. Numbers on roll have and are increasing rapidly and next year will see P1 with an entry cohort of two classes of 32 children.
Sources of Evidence
This is the first IQM assessment of Millennium Integrated Primary School and my visit to the school was supplemented by a range of evidence:-
• The Inclusion Quality Mark Self Evaluation Report.
• The School Website.
• Electronic documentation provided on the day of my visit.
• School Development Plan 2016-19.
• NSPCC Project “Keeping Safe”.
• Roots of Empathy: project and intervention notes.
• SENCO File: Policy/development plan.
• Additional Needs’ Register.
• Annual Reviews.
• Therapy input details.
• Example IEs.
• IQM Co-Ordinator file.
• Staff Training.
• Target setting/tracking and evaluation.
• Safeguarding policy and procedures.
• Pupil Attitude to Self and School (PASS) analysis details.
My tour of the school included “drop-ins” to teaching areas, outside communal areas and I met with:-
• IQM Co-ordinator.
• SEN Teacher.
• Representatives of the PALS’ support group.
• Education Authority teacher with responsibility for ASD.
• Classroom assistants.
• Parent and drama specialist who has been directly involved with the collaborative performance work with Tor Bank Special School.
• Representatives from the Junior Board of Governors.
The school has changed sites in its development and the current provision is housed in both a relatively new building, consisting of classrooms, meeting rooms and offices, plus a range of temporary classrooms. The Senior Leadership Team have done a superb job on the internal design of these classroom areas and the outside spaces have been enhanced by play areas, covered spaces and play equipment. One major difficulty of the current provision is in order to move around the school, children and staff need to go outside and brave the elements. However, on a positive note, the children interact well with each other and behave responsibly. The behaviour of all the children I met during my visit was exemplary.
A New Build is Planned
There is a new build planned for the site over the next 12 months, plus the retirement of the current Headteacher/Principal. The current deputy will be taking the post as substantive head and is already involved in the planning and design process for the new build. Visits to other school sites and discussions with headteachers are taking place to assist in this transition. The plans currently being discussed will focus on a “through flow” to the school intending to bring “the outside into the building.” If the same attention to detail and design is given to the new build, as has been done to the newer parts of the existing provision, then the final result will be impressive and more importantly, will meet the needs of the increasingly complex cohort of children.
Recent ETI Report
The most recent Education and Training Inspectorate report (2011), judged the pastoral care within the school, including the nursery unit, to be outstanding, together with English and Literacy. Mathematics, numeracy and child protection were seen as very good, with special mention being made to the engagement of youngsters in their learning activities and effective plenary sessions. Whilst this is the most recent inspection, subsequent visits have been delayed due to the current industrial action being taken by teaching staff in the area. The staff, teaching and support and senior leadership team are very confident that the school has not only maintained the high standards set at the last inspection, but have, in all areas surpassed and developed their practice. I can confirm that from the documentary evidence, my discussions and first-hand observations, their evaluations are accurate.
Enthusiastic Senior Leadership Team
The staff team is led by an incredibly enthusiastic Senior Leadership Team, who in turn, are highly motivated by a dynamic and passionate head teacher. This dynamism and commitment to providing the very best possible provision to meet the needs of all children is totally embedded in the mindset of the staff team. Teaching and support staff have in-depth knowledge of all pupils based on rigorous assessment and sharing of information. The school, through its own rigorous appraisal and performance management systems, supports the professional development and skills of the staff team. There is a sound understanding of the Inclusion agenda by all teaching and support staff and pupils feel motivated, safe and involved in all aspects of school life.
The School’s Mission Statement
There is a strong evidence base to demonstrate that the Mission Statement is uppermost in all aspects of school life: “Together we strive to create and nurture a child-centred environment where our teaching and learning celebrates individuality and inspires all children to reach their potential as lifelong learners.” (school website). Indeed, the student representatives from the Junior Board of Governors, demonstrated the practical outcomes of such a Mission Statement. Without exception, they presented as confident, thoughtful students with aspirations to succeed and with an admirable level of maturity which recognised the tireless efforts and high levels of expertise of their teachers and support staff. They were excellent ambassadors of the school.
Ongoing Commitment to Inclusion
The evidence presented to me during my visit to the school and information contained within the SER, clearly demonstrates the outstanding practice in place and the on-going commitment to Inclusion. The school has identified realistic future plans across all elements of the SER and has set some challenging areas of development for the coming 12 months. I am confident that it has the capacity to sustain, share and develop inclusive practice.
Increasing Popularity Amongst Families
The school has already come through some very testing times, both in terms of location, rapid rise in numbers linked to their popularity amongst families and it continues to face challenges, not least in the exciting prospect of the new build. The school should receive recognition in the fact that it is prepared to take on and succeed in providing an exceptional learning opportunity for all children, many of whom in other circumstances would be placed in special educational provision. This point is recognised by both parents, some of whom have moved into the area specifically to access the school and also the outside agency representatives who spoke highly of the school’s ability to provide such an inclusive and exciting learning environment for all children. The determination and meticulous action to the individual child is reflected in the progress and achievement made by their students.
Find out more about the IQM Inclusive School Award
If your school is interested in obtaining the IQM Inclusive School Award or you wish to talk to a member of the IQM team please telephone:
028 7127 7857 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
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