Bengeworth CE Academy in Evesham achieves Flagship School status.
Inclusion is at All Levels
Bengeworth CE Academy is a large Academy in Evesham, Worcestershire and part of the Bengeworth Multi-Academy Trust. There are currently 530 children on roll operating from two buildings and their ethos is ‘Dream. Believe. Achieve.’ Bengeworth CE Academy throughout the assessment discussed and showed evidence of how they provide a dynamic and vibrant environment where every child acquires a high-quality education and an unforgettable childhood experience. All children, staff, parents and wider stakeholders feel valued and excellence and enjoyment are embedded in all they do. Speaking to members of the community it was clear that all were contributing to ensure that inclusion is at all levels and that there was a desire from ‘all to learn and have a zest for life through aspiration, determination and fulfilment.’
Inclusive Practice Comes Naturally
Inclusive practice comes naturally within Bengeworth CE Academy and all learners access a high-quality education, professionals understand the Academy ethos and ensure all ‘achieve what they are capable of.’ Clear visions of the Academy are to be a caring school, one that is imaginative in their approach, pioneering in ambitions, inspirational to people, effective in their outcomes and challenging in aspirations. The strong commitment to this vision promotes inclusion for all learners. It was clear that the people make Bengeworth CE Academy special, they talk passionately about the inclusion journey they have been on. It is an Academy that quickly shares with you how they see everyone in their school as one of their huge inclusive family. They are a team who are recognised as being innovative, this has resulted in them being identified by external professionals, in particular ‘Challenge Partners’ (a network of 475 schools), as having inclusive practice within school and it being an ‘Area of Excellence’. As a result of this staff have been asked to present their work to the network schools and on a national level. The Academy’s inclusive education is a continuous process, transforming practice to support all learners. This has been achieved through engaging with an active and reflective ‘Inclusion Quality Mark’ action plan, involving the professionals creating strong partnerships with each other and other schools in the IQM cluster. Their work has spread to local schools that are identified in need of support and to a partnership with the University of Worcester.
Enjoyment and Achievement Walk Hand in Hand
A considerable strength of the Academy is how the professionals recognise that they have the permission to be creative in how they approach and lead their areas of responsibility. The Inclusion Lead has ensured that there was an attention to detail within the Inclusion Quality Mark action plan and has modelled a strong ‘capacity to listen’ to both children and adults. With the support of a well-established team she continues to drive the IQM action plan making it fun and interesting for all to be involved. Staff are relentless in setting clear success indicators from the outset, the whole team was able to share the way that they have co-operated to ensure that inclusion is ‘just what they do’, it was clear that they share the goal of achieving IQM Flagship status this year. The evidence presented and willingness of all to discuss their continuing learning and share their work showed a consistent approach to the ethos of being an Academy where all are valued for their individuality and how they continue to respond to the growing complexity of their community. They demonstrate a strong commitment and desire to continue on the journey with IQM to ensure all needs of their children are supported. Bengeworth CE Academy is a ‘special place where enjoyment and achievement walk hand in hand.’
A Rich and Engaging Curriculum
Governors and Senior Leaders understand how critical it is to create an inclusive environment at Bengeworth and they understand and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the unique community they serve. There are seventeen different languages spoken within the Academy so they have created a bespoke learning environment that supports all their children and the diverse range of abilities they have. There is a rich and engaging curriculum that provides innovation and challenge. Children enjoy memorable experiences enabling them to acquire a multitude of skills and allowing them to succeed as individuals. On the week of the assessment Year 5 were beginning Music lessons learning ‘Turntablism’, each child had an individual turntable and their own set of headphones and were learning the skills of manipulating sounds to create their own individual music. The concentration and enjoyment was evident on their faces in photos that are shared with parents on the Academy weekly newsletter.
Support Professionals within the school are highly valued and they are being developed to become a strong supportive team who work to ensure children have access to resources that support their learning. They provide them with explicit strategies, with examples to scaffold their learning and to integrate related concepts to aid their understanding. Children who face barriers to learning benefit from this growing team of excellent support professionals who tailor provision ensuring that children achieve their potential.
Safe and Welcoming Environment
This safe and welcoming environment supports the development of a lifelong love of learning, the children develop curiosity and inquisitiveness while being guided and encouraged to reflect and take the next steps in their learning. The curriculum is taught through active participation as equal members of the community and the results are well recorded through data that shows excellent academic standards over time (Ofsted reports). There is a strong ‘Pupil Parliament’, where they are encouraged to have their voices heard, they can take this opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas and feed into the supporting councils. This ensures that they are involved in decisions that impact upon them. Through this approach behaviour is exemplary and children work positively with each other and school management. One teacher commented ‘I like that everyone can get their opinions in and as an Academy we listen to make improvements.’
Practitioners Model Energy of Creative Thinking
Learning is well planned and time is never wasted. Children have access to appropriate materials and practitioners that model energy of creative thinking, drawing everyone on board. They encourage children to think and discover answers together. They have a skill in connecting learning to real live cultural experiences and this is a driving force as to why the Academy enjoys an excellent reputation within the local community. They regularly encourage visitors into school to enhance the curriculum. There is an impressive and extensive offer of extra-curriculum clubs and children have a choice about what they participate in. The focus is one of enjoyment and opportunity, which will allow children to excel and, with this in mind, they have renamed it as ‘Curriculum+.’ Choices range from gardening, mindfulness, collaborative art, multiplication tables, Karate, Rock band, yoga and dance to name just a few.
Supporting During COVID-19
Another important aspect of an inclusive environment is providing opportunities for parents, carers and guardians to be fully involved. The Academy employs a school-based Family Support Professional, whose role involves working with and supporting families. This role was crucial during partial lockdown in maintaining contact with families, providing remote support and advice. There was a realisation from parents that they needed the school and were grateful for the ‘inclusion’ email that was established during partial closure which was operated 24/7 to ensure Bengeworth CE Academy continued to support their community during a time of need. A parent willingly shared how “Teachers are outstanding. They create an exciting environment which encourages all the children to learn.” There was a discussion on the kindness and helpfulness of staff and how they work to connect with every child and adult.
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.