Birchills CE Academy in Walsall has achieved the Inclusive School Award for the third time.
Birchills CE Academy is a large primary Academy in Walsall with 436 pupils currently on roll. The Academy is part of St Chad’s Trust and in guidance with Lichfield Diocese. Birchills CE Academy is increasingly popular with the local community. Children attend full time in the reception class, but for morning or afternoon sessions only in the Nursery classes. The proportion of pupils who are disadvantaged and receive support from the pupil premium or who are looked after children is well above average. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is also above average. 39% of the Academy’s population are eligible for free school meals. Although this is a Church of England Academy its intake is multi-faith and all religions are welcomed and celebrated. The Birchills CE Academy vision statement makes this clear: “We hold hands with all faiths and those with no faith providing a vibrant respectful, friendly and safe community where all will know that all things are possible with God.”
Pupils Feel Loved and Secure
Birchills is a community Academy in every sense of the word, it is well regarded and popular with parents/carers and has a reputation for including pupils with a wide range of needs. They welcome all pupils no matter what their needs and pupils feel loved and secure here. Inclusive practice was evidenced throughout my two day visit and is integral to all Academy policy and practice. They value all of their pupils and their families and do everything they can to support their learning and their pastoral care. Governors invest resources and funds to make inclusion happen. As part of the St Chad’s Trust they have benefitted from being part of a very supportive community that offers both support and challenge and provides a strong network of schools to collaborate with. They have made good use the opportuities the Trust provides them.
Strong Relationships are Key
Strong relationships are key to the success of the Academy. Teachers and Teaching Assistants go to great lengths to support the children in their care. Good teaching is the cornerstone of this care and pupils benefit from having a stable and experienced workforce, who go above and beyond what might be normally expected to help pupils be the best they can be. They have high expectations of pupils and they rise to the challenge every day. Staff support each other and their wellbeing is of paramount importance. Collaboration with others is the way the Academy works and they are constantly learning and sharing with other schools and organisations for the benefit of the pupils.
The Heart of Its Community
The Academy has much to be proud of. I met a large number of people and saw the Academy at work during my virtual and on-site visit. I collected a great deal of information and data and heard a lot of voices. I am confident that the Academy is a very special place at the heart of its community. It is truly an inclusive Academy in every sense of the word.
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.
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