Rhodes Avenue is a larger than average primary school in the Borough of Haringey which has been reassessed recently.
Developmental Work at Rhodes Avenue
A lot of developmental work has taken place in the last year. This has included the new INCO meeting half-termly with the inclusion team to share good practice and to provide training on a range of issues and interventions. She has also introduced weekly planning meetings between support staff and teachers. A member of support staff spoken to highlighted the positive nature of both these meetings, which provide support staff with interesting training on a range of issues, such as the role of the TA in enabling the children they support to become more independent, behaviour management strategies, computer skills and new resources to share. The planning meetings with class teachers enable them to be more prepared and proactive in terms of the work they do with their individual children. This work will continue to develop in the coming year with teachers taking the lead in SEN support meetings.
The deputy head teacher explained the school’s thorough approach to the support of pupils on the pupil premium. All the children have detailed case studies, which track the interventions they have received as well as details of their strengths and progress made. This means that strategies put in place for these children are very personalised and flexible to ensure their very diverse needs are met. The budget is used to provide smaller classes, psychotherapy, art therapy and a range of interventions. The school is also very careful to ensure that families who may not qualify for the funding, but who have difficulties in affording certain trips or clubs, are helped by the school to ensure no child misses out on any opportunities.
The Role of Pupil Leaders
The school has also further developed the role of pupil leaders. Such roles include school council and junior sports’ leaders. Pupils continue to have an important say on issues such as school lunches, play areas, reading books and equipment. Year 6 pupils play a leading role in the school in various ways, especially post SATs. Play leaders help younger children with reading and with play activities at lunch times and, as a result, the year 6 pupils further develop their leadership skills.
Helping to Develop Self-Confidence
Pupils spoken to described their interactive learning, curricular related trips, treats and rewards they are given for good work, the ‘no pens days’ and the rich opportunities the school provides for them. Pupils are helped to develop their self-confidence in many ways in this school. Pupils spoken to were enthusiastic, happy, motivated, insightful and self-confident, expressed their opinions clearly and gave very positive views of their school.
Comments from pupils included,
“This school is fun and it’s very safe”, “If we don’t understand something in class, we can ask our teacher and she will explain in a different way and give us suggestions until we understand”.
They also explained in detail how they are helped to do extended writing through success criteria, model paragraphs and planning sheets. Pupils were keen to describe the many exciting opportunities they have at this school, for example the excellent clubs, school journeys and school sports’ events.
Assessing Bilingual Children
The school has very thorough tracking systems and this year a new system has been introduced for assessing bilingual children. Approximately 28% of children are bilingual learners with 25 different languages spoken. The INCO initially ensured that all the records of EAL children were up-to-date and accurate and contacted parents to find out about the language spoken at home. She then introduced the DFE stages A-E for assessing children with EAL and all staff have been provided with training on their use. This included sharing resources with staff that helped them to further understand the assessment grades and how to help children to move from one stage to the next, for example, through work on modal verbs for children with a narrow linguistic range.
The INCO undertakes termly learning walks to look at SEN, EAL, PP and more able children, which shows that teachers are taking the suggested strategies on board. The INCO will consider different ways of highlighting the positive aspects of bilingualism in the coming year, for example, through assemblies, possibly introducing a ‘young interpreters’ scheme and/or a language of the month celebration.
Teaching and support staff are valued for their skills and expertise with support staff playing a vital role in the school, leading interventions, supporting in class and providing crucial support for pupils with varying needs. There have been some very successful interventions that have made a big difference to pupils’ progress and self-confidence.
These have included the TRUGS and Talkboost, which have proved to be very motivating and engaging for a range of pupils. The INCO ensures that all interventions are on a 10-week rolling programme and are reviewed to ensure effectiveness. Pupil voice is an important part of the monitoring process and action is taken to amend interventions where appropriate.
The EY SENCO has undertaken very interesting work to improve the progress of all children in maths through an emphasis on all children meeting targets, rather than on support for those who are struggling. She works very closely with the INCO to ensure that all pupils’ needs are well known on transition into year 1. Staff are proactive, flexible and motivated and their ideas and expertise are valued. It is also a reflective community where very interesting developmental work takes place to ensure strategies meet the needs of pupils.
Sharing Good Practice
On a wider level, the school works closely with other schools in the borough of Haringey on various aspects of CPD and sharing good practice. The governing body works very closely with the school and governors play an important ‘critical friend’ role in both supporting and challenging the school.
The inclusion governor explained the excellent interventions that she has seen on learning walks with the INCO across the school. Governors attend events and parents’ evenings and are very involved in the life of the school. They offer very useful skills, which are put to very positive effect.
Exceptional Features of the School
Exceptional features of this school include the overall ethos of including, listening to, challenging and supporting all children; the excellent behaviour, self-confidence and positive attitudes of pupils; the thorough approach, high standards and reflective practice of teaching and support staff show the wonderful opportunities provided for pupils.
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