Breckon Hill Primary School in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
Breckon Hill Primary School is a larger than average primary school, with a Nursery provision, for children aged 2-11 in the centre of Middlesbrough. It is part of the Middlesbrough Co-operative Learning Trust. The school serves a neighbourhood identified in the highest 5% in England for multiple deprivation factors. Currently, there are 562 pupils on roll, of which 22.4% have a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND), 60.9% of pupils speak English as an Additional Language (EAL), with forty-eight ethnic groups represented, and 37.3% of pupils are in receipt of Pupil Premium catch-up funding. Baseline assessment shows that, on entry to the school, children have low levels of literacy and related skills. There are high mobility levels amongst the school population. The percentage of children who start at the school in Nursery and complete their schooling with them until Year 6 is much lower than the national average. The school caters for children with a wide range of needs and vulnerabilities.
Committed to Inclusion
At Breckon Hill Primary School, there is a genuine, unwavering commitment to inclusive practice, woven into the fabric of the school and informs all systems and approaches. The school is a genuinely happy place to be. The Headteacher, and wider team, accept and welcome all children into the school, regardless of need or background. The Leadership Team described how they want all children to feel a sense of belonging, that the school is, “their place.” This is achieved in the gentle welcoming way in which pupils are individually welcomed when they begin school, being provided with their own uniform and given a special welcome certificate within the assembly. Families recognise the respect and care they are shown and quickly feel part of the school family.
The School is Continually Improving
The Headteacher and Inclusion Lead have accurately evaluated the provision and are aware of the areas which need to be developed to keep moving the school forward. The whole school community are deeply passionate about and committed to, the inclusion agenda. The Leadership Team regard inclusion as the driving force behind the successful education of pupils. There are four Team Leaders in school, each being responsible for the implementation of inclusive classroom practice within their area of the school, achieved through ongoing reflection, conversation and sharing of ideas and best practices. All Leaders know the staff well and deploy them effectively to ensure a positive impact on pupils. They recognise the importance of continually improving the quality of teaching and learning as they want the pupils to leave with the best outcomes academically, as well as develop the wider skills they acquire through the holistic curriculum. They want to make a difference to all the children and improve their life chances. The Headteacher explained that she wants to provide children with “the Marks and Spencer’s school experience – showcasing to pupils the high standard they should expect to and can achieve.”
Every Day Counts
There is a collective responsibility, amongst the staff, to look after the children and give them the best school experience possible. The school aim of “making every day count” was continually referred to by staff who use this as their mantra for all children explaining that “no matter how long a child attends the school our ultimate aim is to make their time meaningful.” All adults who work in the school are welcoming and kind. This thoughtful and inclusive ethos permeates all staff, across all roles; all staff are valued and respected. Teachers have a good understanding of the factors which influence pupils’ mindsets and their ability to learn. They recognise that behaviour is not who that child is, they seek to identify the causes behind the behaviours and there is a strong and purposeful focus on children’s emotional wellbeing. Staff also appreciate the importance of building positive relationships and listening to the children, giving them a voice. The Headteacher believes that with the appropriate staff and personalities, you can build, and maintain, the desired ethos. You can upskill and train staff in different areas, but it is imperative that their beliefs fit into the school’s shared vision, as such she has been proactive in training up a number of staff who have shared this ethos to take more prominent roles within the school. The Headteacher feels fully supported by her staff and they feel fully supported in return.
Pupils are Happy
The school’s environment lends itself well to the inclusive ethos through its range of facilities, spaces, and equipment to enhance the learning and daily experience. Inclusion is part of the very fabric of the school, and it extends to the actual building design and layout. Pupils appear happy at school, socialise well and are confident to express their ideas and opinions. They are very friendly, and all behaviour observed during the assessment days was excellent. The school’s graduate approach in supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing has had a significant, far-reaching impact on their feelings of security and resultant ability to learn.
Diversity Is Celebrated
Diversity is celebrated across the school through displays, the curriculum, the representations in books and resources, and across the general culture. The school provides a safe, nurturing environment where staff and pupils show tolerance and understanding of others, supported adeptly by the Philosophy for Children (P4C) work, school of the sanctuary, rights-respecting, and pupil parliament work. All the excellent inclusive practice is not an add-on or gimmick, it is a fully embedded way of working, interacting and simply being.
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