Cambridge Road Community Primary and Nursery School in Ellesmere Port achieves the Inclusive School Award for the fourth time.
Cambridge Road Community Primary & Nursery School is a broadly average sized school situated in Ellesmere Port. There are currently 243 pupils in the school. The school is situated in an area of significant deprivation and has a range of social and economic challenges, with parts of the area ranked amongst the most deprived nationally.
Collaboration is Key
What stands out from the online review is the pride evident in the staff and in the superb way that they meet the needs of children and pupils in their care. They achieve this in partnership with families and carers, providing high levels of advice and support evidenced by the staff and Governors I spoke to and is seen as an absolute imperative to ensure that all children make rapid progress and are successful in school. Collaboration is key to everything that happens at the school as is liaising with external partners and agencies to ensure all aspects of wellbeing for their pupils’ lives are met. The school prides itself on superb pastoral care, actively promoting equality and diversity and is therefore an extremely welcoming, inclusive and caring school. This is reinforced by their values and ethos statement, ‘The children in our school strive to ‘Be the Best You Can Be’ and have a belief that to be kind is the most important thing in the world. The adults are passionate about doing everything they can to help the children in our care be the best they can be, and our mission statement is ‘Enriching lives, making a difference.’ These few sentences sum up the values and ethos of our school’. Allied with a strong belief that everyone pupils, staff, Governors and the community should work together for the best possible outcomes for all children. This is a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with from the evidence of this review. Everyone at the school is fully committed to maximising the achievement of every child no matter their starting point. The school and their community should be justifiably proud of their success in this respect, where no one is left out or behind.
Superb Care, Nurture and Support
In terms of inclusion Cambridge Road Community Primary & Nursery School is an outstanding school in every sense of the word. This is a setting where they are committed to superb care, nurture and support at the very core of its inclusive approach. It is a school that is in a constant state of review evolving its educational and inclusive practices for the benefit of everyone in the school community, children, staff, families and the community, that takes place in a happy, stimulating and vibrant learning environment that focusses on helping every pupil to develop their potential, whatever that might be and helping to ensure they will become positive members of their community and modern society. The school’s actions to care for its pupils, in my judgement, continues to be superb. This is supported by the evidence provided by the school and from discussions from this review. Everyone involved in whatever capacity buys into their superb inclusive ethos and works extremely hard to ensure no one is left out or behind. Inclusion occurs naturally due entirely to the efforts of all staff. This is a fact I can attest to from the evidence of this review, where everyone involved is committed to the inclusion of all, whatever it takes and no matter the difficulty.
Highly Invested in their Pupils
Discussions with key members of staff and Governors during the review were extremely useful in confirming that the school continues to successfully address all elements of the IQM Award, supported by documentary evidence both prior to, and during, the review to enhance and underpin discussions including evidence from their website and documents provided by the school. Staff actively engaged in meetings to discuss inclusion within the school and the Flagship Project, their part in it and to talk about successes and future developments. There were also a number of discussions about the Flagship Project for 2020-22. The meetings with staff and Governors demonstrated their professionalism, enthusiasm, inclusivity and passion for teaching and education shown by the way that they educate, care about and nurture their pupils. It is clear from these conversations that everyone involved with the school is highly invested in providing the best possible experience for their pupils and this has an enormously positive effect on their peers and their pupils and is something, they should be proud of.
Supporting During Lockdown
The initial discussion with the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher set the scene for the review and looked at how the school has moved forward since the last review in terms of inclusion, how they had successfully operated during lockdown, supporting not only their children but their families and the community as well. It was very clear that children and their families have been, and continue to be, a priority for the staff. All staff have worked hard to ensure everything that could be done both during lockdown and on the wider re-opening of the school was in place to ensure the safety of all children, highlighting in the process staff determination to ensure the children are supported, whatever it takes and they were very proud of the lengths they have gone to and will go to ensure the children in their care are making up for lost time in a safe and appropriate manner supporting the health and wellbeing of all children and their families. A fantastic achievement that says a lot about the calibre of staff at the school and their naturally inclusive nature. The staff should be congratulated for their efforts in this regard.
Nurturing Children and Families
This was followed by a number of meetings and discussions with a key focus on their roles, inclusion and support within the school and plans for the future ensuring that all children, families and staff are nurtured and cared for throughout the current pandemic. I met with Key Stage and Subject Leads, Learning Support Assistants who were Next Steps Practitioners, the Learning Mentor and ELSA and who also had responsibilities for TAFs, The Nurture Group, Social Stories and Art Therapy. I also met the Business Manager, two school Governors including one who is a volunteer WAVE 3 Teacher and the Lead Midday Assistant and After School Club Manager and colleague.
Better Parental Relationships and Engagement
All staff are proud of what they have achieved since March in identifying need and providing appropriate support given the challenges that they, children and families have faced. They were clear that from this difficult and chaotic time that better parental relationships and engagement has evolved and they are very proud to work in such a supportive school. The discussion with a number of LSAs demonstrated their high level of skill in making positive changes to children’s lives through such activities as Art Therapy, support from the Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) and the Learning Mentor who works with children and their families. There was a conversation about parental engagement and a desire to work even more closely with parents and possibly set up a Parent Support Group that would meet regularly in school and provide an opportunity for parents to support each other, their children and the school. What became very clear was that the LSAs love their jobs and the support they are given by the other staff in the school, enabling them to do such a superb job and this was given more credence by the conversation with the MDAs and After School Club Lead, who have been given training to ensure they can support children’s needs effectively at lunchtime and provide a further layer of inclusive support to children who feel safe in talking to them about issues. They feel valued and said,
‘We are all one team, where everyone respects each other’.
A powerful statement of inclusion.
Collaborative working was identified as a key driver by the staff spoken to during the review and has enabled staff to effectively support and care for each other as evidenced by numerous conversations during the review and has allowed the school to operate so successfully in such difficult times. This is perhaps best summed up in the meeting with Governors who were very knowledgeable about the school and who felt it is an extremely inclusive place and stated, ‘School is a family, everyone is part of the team and everyone is valued’. This is a statement that I wholeheartedly agree with from the evidence of this review.
Everyone is Nurtured and Included
It was a pleasure to visit Cambridge Road Community Primary & Nursery School for the first time, albeit through an online review. The review underlined their superb inclusive ethos, that is at the heart of their approach to the education and support of their pupils, staff and the community and was talked about and discussed openly with all stakeholders during the day. Everyone involved should be extremely proud of what they achieve with their pupils and the emphasis placed on ensuring everyone is nurtured and included.
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)
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