Brettenham Primary School, Enfield has achieved this award for the third time.
As an assessor for the Inclusion Quality Mark, I spent a very enjoyable two days at Brettenham Primary School. This was my first visit to the school and from the very start I felt there was a warm and caring atmosphere. When one teacher said to me:
“We do use the words ‘different’ and ‘unique’ because we celebrate, we look at those differences, cater for those differences, and embrace them”,
I could see that my first impression had not been wrong.
A Highly Inclusive School
Brettenham Primary School is a highly inclusive educational environment within a socially mixed area of the London Borough of Enfield. It is the only school in its local authority, currently holding the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award at Level 2 and this is quite rightly something that both pupils and teachers are very proud of. The human rights and inclusive ethos is immediately obvious the moment one begins to speak to the children, teaching body and senior leaders. The rights-respecting ethos is stated by UNICEF as being one where the organisation “works with schools in the UK to create safe and inspiring places to learn, where children are respected, their talents are nurtured and they are able to thrive”. The Brettenham Head Teacher explains that the ethos is nothing to do with a separate curriculum, but that it “follows on from our own inclusive ethos, and is just built into what we do”. The student body has a number of Ambassadors, children who have the opportunity to lead their peers in fundraising and other activities relating to human rights. On the day of her 2017 assessment, the IQM Assessor was privileged to spend time with a group of Ambassadors who were clear that their mission is to
“help children who don’t have things that we have; food, water, a roof over their heads. We are helping them to stay alive”.
These Ambassadors were representative of the rich spread of Brettenham families. All were born in the UK, but each spoke between two and five languages and represented cultures as diverse as those from Bangladesh, France, Somalia and Russia. As the Chair of the Governing Body stated:
“What I like about this school, is that it’s a world school, in every way, including the staff”.
Everyone’s Needs are Addressed
At Brettenham Primary, the senior leaders, teachers and assistants are committed to ensuring that the needs of children and families are addressed, so that each and every pupil has an equal opportunity to make their individual potential in terms of academic achievement and social development. There is a firm belief that a ‘creative curriculum’ is most likely to engage the largest number of children and school trips to the cinema, sports events and other activities open the children’s eyes to the host of available possibilities.
Makaton and Colourful Semantics
One learning support assistant told me, “We had the lovely opportunity to be trained in Makaton signing and Colourful Semantics”. These particular interventions are used to support the needs of children with language delay and the school also provides or buys in interventions related to other specific areas of learning, emotional or social difficulties. The leadership team and staff body of Brettenham Primary School see the relationship between school and home as paramount and they are committed to the inclusion of parents and carers in a shared responsibility for a child’s educational progress.
“From the age of three my daughter has been in good hands … I think they are fantastic … The amount of support we have had is fantastic!”
Very Enjoyable Visit
As an IQM assessor, I really enjoyed my visit to Brettenham Primary School. I am grateful to everyone who came to speak to me during my visit and especially to Andrea Lewis-Kennedy who co-ordinated my visit and who chaperoned me around the school building and site with such care. It is impossible to include a comment about every area observed and every intervention discussed, but I hope that the children, parents and professionals I met during my visit, will understand that each of them contributed to a very positive IQM assessment outcome.
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 (9.00am to 5.00pm) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
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