Ayresome Primary School has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
Golden Thread Running Throughout It
Ayresome Primary School has inclusion as a golden thread running throughout it.
The inclusive vision for the school is one which enables all of the community to achieve, enjoy and know success. The school promotes key values of: Support, Togetherness, Achieve, Respect, Success (STARS). These values enable the school mission statement ‘It’s awesome at Ayresome’ to be a reality.
The inclusive nature of the school is evident as soon as you enter the grounds. Pupils and staff are smiley and welcoming. Staff from across the school greet families on the vibrant school yards.
Inside, this warmth and inclusivity continues with each and every member playing their part to ensure a sense of belonging in the calm, purposeful spaces. In the entrance, a TV showcases inclusive aspects of life at Ayresome with information given on mental health support, online safety, Rights Respecting Schools, Headstart and how the school offers child centred inclusion. Relationships are positive and genuine. Throughout the assessment days, many members of the school community talked about the love they have for the school. It is evident that here is warmth and love throughout the whole school.
To Achieve and Be Happy
The Headteacher discussed how their inclusive vision for the school is one which enables all of the school community to achieve and be happy. She stated that their values and school ethos mean that the community work together with pupils, families, staff and stakeholders to ensure that children in the school reach their full potential, whatever their starting points may be.
In January 2019 the school became part of the Ad Astra Academy Trust. The Ad Astra principles are embedded throughout the school and the strong guidance of the Trust has supported the school in its journey of success.
Communication is a key strength of the school and parents/carers are complimentary about how effective communication is between home and school. From the open-door-policy of the Headteacher, the pupil voice opportunities and the parental engagement and support strategy, someone is always available to speak with. This is a listening school. One parent stated, ‘The Headteacher ensures things get done. There is strong communication and regular updates.’
Driving Forces Behind the School’s Success
Leaders are relentless in pursuing their aim to move pupils from a position of vulnerability to one of achievement, strength and success. Staff speak highly of the leadership team and the shared vision they have created. This vision is underpinned by research, hard work and a relentless determination from all staff. Systems, procedures and strategies are dynamic processes that facilitate learning and change.
Leaders regularly communicate the vision and moral purpose to all, ensuring the whole school community is clear about where they are now and where they are going in the future. Staff have a thorough understanding of the challenges their pupils and families face and are committed to seeking the right support to provide the most effective impact. One staff member said, ‘Every child can achieve, regardless of ability. We scaffold support for those who need it.’ Senior leaders provide a compass so that all stakeholders understand not just what this strategy will provide for pupils, but also for the organisation as a whole.
Leadership of the Trust and the Senior Leadership Team are driving forces behind the school’s success within inclusion and they have worked hard to build up a strong, effective and dynamic team over recent years, strengthening provision through recent key appointments whose understanding of their individual roles allows them to be autonomous and highly successful at finding pathways to success. Staff have developed their roles to challenge pupils whilst meeting their needs and interests in the classroom.
Talents are nurtured
The broad curriculum, both in the classroom and beyond, ensures that pupils are empowered though the progressively planned teaching of knowledge and skills, to prepare them well for their futures. The curriculum has been developed to be aspirational, progressive and engaging. Leaders are clear that the curriculum needs to be right for their school, their children. As one leader stated, ‘We are not afraid to make big decisions if we know they are right for our community.’
Beyond the classroom the school offers children the opportunity to take part in a broad range of educational visits and through visitors on site, they utilise the wonderful green space that they have available. The wide and varied offer of after school clubs ensures that all talents are nurtured so that all children can achieve well.
Staff are consulted so that they feel informed, comfortable and ready to embrace change. Roles and responsibilities across the school are clear and concise and staff are knowledgeable and passionate about their areas. One member of support staff said, ‘I absolutely adore working at this school. We all have the best interests of the child at the centre of all we do.’ Another staff member went on to say, ‘We get to know the children and their needs and work hard to meet them. Children want to be in school and are pleased to work with us.’
Well-being is Promoted
Well-being is promoted across school for both staff and pupils, drop-in sessions are available for all and an open-door policy is promoted so that everyone can share ideas, successes and concerns. The SENDCo reported, ‘We have a supportive Senior Leadership Team (SLT) who listen and act.’
A real strength of the school is the work with parents. Parents and carers value the package of support for their children, and them, and speak highly of the school. One parent talked with passion about how ‘Staff are approachable. They offer excellent support and are there for the children.’ Another parent talked about how the school is ‘like a family.’ She articulated how staff across the school get to know children and use their interests to engage them and ensure they make progress.
The work with families is having a positive impact at home and at school. Parents are pleased that staff know their children and use their interests to engage them.
At Ayresome, leaders are clear about the vision and next steps for the school. They are a reflective team and have a clear focus and drive to continue to develop the school further.
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.
Want more information on the IQM Award? Click here to request your free IQM information pack.