Athelney Primary School in Lewisham achieves Flagship School status.
Background and Context
Athelney is a two-form entry primary school in the London Borough of Lewisham. It is federated with Elfrida Primary School to form the King Alfred Federation. It has been an IQM Centre of Excellence for three years and is seeking to gain Flagship status. During my review I followed a full timetable of activities; firstly, speaking with the Executive Headteacher, the Head of School and the Inclusion leader. I met with parents, children, various members of staff and representatives from external agencies. I was shown many classrooms and had lunch with the children. ‘Inclusion underpins everything we do’. The inclusive ethos has been in the school for many years. The ‘team around the child’ is a positive approach which means that if a concern is raised, a leader will be sought who will be the main contact and co-ordinate meetings etc. Everything that goes into supporting the child will be logged and solutions will be found. Outside agencies are invited to these meetings.
The Importance of Safeguarding
Safeguarding children is a high priority and the Safeguarding leader from the Local Authority visits twice a year and goes through all the files. All staff receive level 1 training annually. All concerns are logged on child protection pink forms, CPOMS will be introduced in the spring term to save time and ensure the systems are robust.
The staff at Athelney support local schools. Headteachers, SENCOs, Inclusion leaders, teachers and teaching assistants come to see their behaviour plans, share ideas and resources. Children arrive here who may have experienced failure elsewhere. Because of the positive approach at Athelney and the blindness to barriers, children often settle quickly and experience success, sometimes for the first time in their lives. ‘We are good at catering for the needs of children.’ Athelney has worked with the Lewisham Fair Access Panel and local schools to offer opportunities to children who have previously experienced difficulties. The vision statement of ‘Success for Today, Prepared for Tomorrow. ‘Nothing is Beyond our Reach’, is something which the children understand. They articulated this well when they explained ‘Inspire and Aspire Week’.
Rights Respecting School
Athelney is becoming a UN Rights Respecting School. It has already achieved the Bronze award and is working towards achieving Silver. It wants to embed the rights in everyday language. Staff want the children to understand their rights as well respecting the rights of other people.
A Resource Base
Athelney has a Resource Base for a number of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. It is recognised locally as being a Centre of Excellence. Children are registered in their own classes and may spend some of their day in the base depending on how they are able to access other areas of the curriculum. Staff believe that we are all special and that children’s individuality is what makes them special. They support the children to achieve their potential by respecting their differences. The ethos of the school determines how staff can support each child to access the curriculum or a particular event.
Initiatives to Support Children’s Learning
The school has implemented several initiatives to better support children’s learning. There is a Growth Mindset display in every classroom and the children were able to explain how they might achieve their goals by having a positive mindset and develop their value of resilience. Although in its infancy the school is trialling in Year 5 ‘Zones of Regulation’ and hope to roll it throughout the school by the summer of 2019. Children in the Resource Base are already using it successfully. Five years ago, the school introduced the Roots of Empathy programme which aims to build the capacity of the next generation to be responsible citizens. Children said there is less bullying in the school and this may be because they are learning to be more empathetic and respectful from having experienced this programme.
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:
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