West Rainton Primary School is a smaller than average primary situated in Durham.
Context of the School
West Rainton Primary School is a smaller than average primary situated on the outskirts of Durham. The school now provides education for pupils aged two, having recently taken over from a private provider. The headteacher and deputy head work tirelessly to ensure that the school provides the best possible opportunities for its diverse community, starting with early breakfast club until pupils leave after attending extra-curricular activities. There is a welcome at every door.
An Inclusive and Stimulating Learning Environment
The school was built in 1927, but has been extended and refurbished imaginatively over recent years with a view to giving children and their families an inclusive and stimulating learning environment. The space is bright, colourful and airy, designed to give pupils independence and access to well-resourced classrooms, a well-stocked library, computer suite and exciting learning spaces indoors and out.
Imaginative Outdoors Area
The outdoors area invite you in to play, imagine, create, get physical or just chill and it is clear that children take great pride in their vibrant environment, whether two years old or eleven. Older children help younger ones to make the most of what is there and every adult looks towards ways of making their experiences even better. The SENDCo acknowledges,
“It just has to be right for them”.
A Cohesive Team
Listening to senior leaders, governors, community and staff, it is clear that they work together as a cohesive whole for the single purpose of ensuring that every child is included, trusted and treated as a valued individual. Governors remarked on the changes since the last inspection, summing up the school leadership team as being “professional and diligent when it comes to learning, but they also look out for the well-being of every child, even those who are with us for just a short time”. The school has made excellent links with people who have a genuine interest in supporting them to build community relationships. This has impacted positively on attendance and a sharing of values.
The school has excellent relationships with its parents and wider community. Parents were unequivocal in their support of the school because of the welcome they receive, the individual support provided and the quality and quantity of involvement with their child’s learning and progress. As one parent said,
“The reputation of this school was good before, but it’s even more so now”.
Hard to reach parents, whose own experience of education was less than favourable, had nothing but praise for how their own children had settled within school. One parent was keen to tell me how different this school was,
“I get to know what my children are learning every step of the way, but I can’t believe how much fun they also pack in to the school day!”
The School Council representatives were a delight to talk to and were brimming with pride for their school. The older pupils spoke articulately about what they do to help ‘the little ones’ learn and they understand and accept that this responsibility extends to modelling good behaviour. “We’re like brothers and sisters.” They were proud of the fact that Travellers’ heritage was respected and valued and that they had their own display board to demonstrate this. They were keen to let me know that it doesn’t matter whether you had been at the school for many years or a few weeks, you were important and welcome. They spoke confidently about quality texts which helped them to accept and tolerate differences, providing opportunities to foster inclusive values. They eagerly anticipated the arrival of a hearing-impaired pupil and were busy learning sign language to ensure there was a proper welcome. They showed photographs of the many performances and celebrations in which they had been involved and through which they developed confidence. The book scrutiny showed impressive pace, high aspiration and a depth of curriculum coverage which pupils took as a challenge. They know they will be always be helped to achieve their best and so do their best for teachers. They believe what they hear from teachers, which is,
“We’re worth it”.
First IQM Assessment
This is the first assessment of the school and was conducted over one day during which time I met with:-
• Head Teacher.
• IQM Co-ordinator and SENDCo.
• School governor and EMTAS representative.
• Community Police representative.
• Parent representatives.
• School Governors (Chair and community governor).
• Pupils, including attending a meeting of the School Council.
• Representatives from the wider staff team.
The evidence presented to me during my visit to the school and information contained within the Self Evaluation Report clearly demonstrates the outstanding practice in place within the school and the on-going commitment to Inclusion. The school has identified realistic future plans across elements of the “SER” and is ready to meet its next challenges, I am confident that it has the capacity to sustain and develop inclusive practice.
It was a pleasure to visit the school, to feel the warmth and welcome and to observe inclusive practice within such a vibrant, engaging and motivational environment.
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: email@example.com for further details.
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