All Saints CE Primary School in Dovercourt has achieved the Inclusive School Award again.
All Saints C of E Primary School is an excellent example of inclusive practice. Inclusion permeates all aspects of the school’s work and there are good links with the community to offer support for families. The Headteacher has a strong vision of inclusion and he works effectively with his leadership team and the Governing Body to ensure that all staff have similar aspirations for children at the school. There is a commitment and high expectation of all staff to ensure that children have a positive learning experience.
All Saints’ is a single form entry 4-11 primary school in Harwich and is smaller than the average-sized primary school. The majority of children (97%) are from a white British heritage. In 2017 pupils with SEND support was 6% against the national figure of 12.2%. In 2018 this has risen to 10.7% due to closer monitoring. 3% of children have a SEN statement or ECHP which is above the national figure of 1.3%. There are 2% of children whose first language is not English which is lower than the national figure.
Sources of Evidence
Evidence for the assessment was gathered from a variety of sources. The range of evidence was extremely useful presenting a full picture of life in the school. Interviews on the day of assessment were carried out with the Chair of Governors, the Pastoral Support Coordinator, the Headteacher, the Admin Assistant, TAs, MDAs, Teachers and pupils. A tour of the school, a whole school assembly, informal observations and lunch with the children also informed the evidence base.
There is a consistency of display in classrooms and shared areas which shows a balance between celebrating children’s work and providing a focus for learning. The displays in Y5 and Y6 are of particularly high quality. The outdoor learning environment includes opportunities for children to develop aspects of sport and learning through play. The well set out EYFS outdoor environment encourages free flow and teacher directed and child-initiated activities, whilst the playground and field have a range of apparatus to encourage children to play creatively. The playground and field are spacious, and the tyre park is well used as is a climbing frame used by classes on a rota basis. The school has a wide range of resources that are easily accessible. These include extensive digital resources such as recently purchased sets of ipads and laptops available to improve children’s computer skills. The newly refurbished library now provides an inviting and exciting space for individuals and groups of children to enjoy reading. “The street” which was a particularly active area during the last assessment is now being remodelled to ensure a more moderate and ‘even temperatured’ environment. The building work being undertaken did not interfere with the children’s access to the curriculum and children and adults alike seemed to be coping well with the disruption at the time of the assessment. The school’s Christian values of Persevere, Forgive and Respect are displayed around the school constantly reinforcing positive messages.
The impact of Growth Mindset on children’s learning is beginning to improve outcomes. The C3B4ME strategy is displayed prominently around the school and children were able to articulate the message behind the slogan. Attendance has also been a focus of the Pastoral Support Coordinator in conjunction with the Office staff. Home visits and a determination to reduce persistent absences have now ensured that absence is at national averages. A lunchtime club supports children with additional learning needs. At the time of the assessment they were playing a life skills game which helped them broaden their view, through discussion, of significant everyday issues. The breakfast club provides a good start to the day for a number of children with good use of pupil premium funding ensuring disadvantaged children receive a discount. There is good provision mapping and the effective targeting of the pupil premium funding ensures children with disabilities and special needs are given every opportunity to succeed. The school is still working on ways to improve provision and outcomes for disadvantaged children.
Constantly Reviewing Provision
The traffic light system of sanctions is understood by children and provides an expectation of behaviour. Good tracking procedures and related Pupil Progress Meetings constantly review provision for individual pupils. There has also been a concerted effort to improve marking, feedback and presentation and children’s books are beginning to reflect this effort. Children feel that learning is fun and are well motivated. They make good progress to Y2 from low starting points. Attainment is good at the end of Y2 and at the end of KS2. Progress from KS1 to KS2 is, however, not sufficiently high, but there are good systems in place to improve the quality of children’s learning and the school continues to make every effort to improve progress outcomes in KS2. The use of individual tutoring this year in Y6 is one example of the efforts being made to improve progress. The outcomes in the Y1 phonic screening test this year have also been particularly noteworthy.
Children are Engaged
The work ethic of the children, their good behaviour, friendliness and politeness impacts greatly on their engagement with their school work. Pupils are clear on what they need to do to extend their learning and this is supported by improved feedback marking. Talk for writing is having a growing impact on reading and writing levels. Children are often involved in the decision making process when matters relating to their school environment and learning are concerned. The prefect system and learning council empowers children to take responsibility for their own actions and for activities around the school. The aspiration work carried out with children raises the expectations of children and lets them see beyond their present home circumstances.
Lessons are Challenging and Consistent
Monitoring procedures, including regular ‘drop-ins’, book scrutinies and coaching by the Headteacher are ensuring that lessons are sufficiently challenging and consistent in approach. Partnership work with other local schools is also being more productive and providing a range of different opportunities to look at the curriculum in different ways. In addition, visitors to the school and visits connected to topic work make the curriculum more relevant to the children. The school provides a wide range of extracurricular activities which enhance the curriculum. Netball, football, gardening, hockey, choir, athletics, cricket and book clubs are just some of the clubs mentioned by the children. The residential visit in Y6 challenges children in a variety of ways and allows them to experience different environments taking them out of their comfort zones.
Importance of Support Staff
The role of the additional adults in supporting learning and supporting individual children is clear to see. They are totally involved in the learning process. There is a highly supportive relationship between staff and pupils. One of the support staff mentioned that with the new Headteacher ‘Things are clearer – the door is always open.’ During the assessment the assessor saw good examples of the use of talk partners, differentiated work, use of time constraints, good questioning, self-assessment, praise and encouragement used to good effect, good behaviour management, TAs involved in the learning, some good reflective marking and presentation and an interactive use of the smartboard. There is generally good teaching throughout the school with some that is outstanding.
The strong leadership of the Headteacher, his accessibility and his commitment to inclusion and improving the opportunities for all children and the leadership of the Pastoral Support Coordinator in ensuring that the IQM process is articulated by everyone are strengths of the school. Good performance management systems have been effective in focussing teachers and TAs on pupil progress and moving the school forward. These systems ensure there are common themes related to the school improvement plan and personal development opportunities which relate to whole school improvement. The Governors’ growing involvement in school life and their understanding of the key issues relating to school improvement are also beginning to impact on outcomes for children. The Chair of Governors is relatively new to the role but works well with the Headteacher in improving governor monitoring and visibility around the school. An assembly she led was enjoyed by everyone and cleverly gave a religious slant to a World Cup theme.
Strong Links with Parents
There are strong links with parents and the school works tirelessly with vulnerable families to improve the chances of all children. The presence of staff on the playground at the beginning and end of the school day acts as a first line of contact with parents. There are good communication systems which give parents and carers confidence in the school and in its support for their child’s needs. Parents can attend a celebration assembly each week and are invited in for lunches on the weeks leading up to Fathers’ and Mothers’ Days. Texting, as well as weekly newsletters ensure that everyone is kept abreast of school matters. The school continues to try to engage parents in order that they are better able to support their children at home, particularly those that are hard to reach. The most recent parental questionnaire reflects well on all aspects of school life.
Links with the Local Community
The children are involved throughout the year in various fundraising activities for charities such as Children in Need, Comic Relief and other national and local charities and this supports them in understanding the needs of children less fortunate than themselves. There are good links with the local community which includes visits to a local elderly residential home. The church is closely involved in school life and the local vicar leads assemblies and is in school on a regular basis. The school also visits the church for services and has strong Christian values which underpin all the work that is carried out in school.
High Profile in the Local Community
Visitors from the police, fire service, road safety and local services attend the school and provide feedback to pupils on the importance of these services to community wellbeing. There were also examples on a whole school year board outside the Headteacher’s office of the school’s high profile in the local community.
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