Cannon Lane Primary School, Pinner, London, has achieved Flagship School status again.
Excellent Example of Inclusion
Cannon Lane Primary School is an excellent example of inclusion. In February 2018 Ofsted stated, ‘Leaders, supported by the Governors, provide clear direction for all staff. They have worked tirelessly to maintain good standards of education for all pupils……. The curriculum is well planned to motivate and engage pupils.’
Supportive, Happy and Aspirational Environment
The atmosphere in the school during the IQM visit was an absolute joy to experience. The school is a welcoming and an inclusive place to learn. There is a true sense of drive, determination and ambition amongst the leaders which ensures all staff and learners are engaged and focussed encouraging a strong sense of belief and instilling trust and collaboration throughout the school amongst its community. Structures and processes ensure positive outcomes for all pupils in terms of their academic and personal development within an environment that can only be described as supportive, happy and aspirational for both staff and pupils.
Passion, Purpose and Excitement
In discussion with all staff, there was a sense of passion, purpose and excitement that drove developments forward. Each member of staff pursued ambitious and aspirational outcomes within their own area of expertise. They worked collaboratively together to ensure the aims of the school were met for each pupil to be ‘happy, safe and successful.’ Appropriate sequencing of learning through an exciting topic-based curriculum and a focus upon positive outcomes in reading, writing and maths has resulted in pupils’ attainment being higher than the national average in both key stages.
All Pupils are Included
Quality first teaching, the use of a range of resources, the focus on art, music and sport as well as an array of extra-curricular activities ensure all pupils are included in the day to day life of the school. Pupils interviewed reinforced their love of coming to school explaining that they really enjoyed learning. They stated that:
“Teachers made learning challenging but also fun.”
“They make you believe you can do well if you have a positive view towards your learning through growth mindset.”
Two Year 6 pupils who conducted the tour of the school, stated that they loved the fact they had all studied World War 2 but had been encouraged to choose how they presented their home learning. This was reflected in the wonderful displays on the walls to show the impact of their learning. They also stated that they appreciated the fact that their:
“learning was brought to life by a visit to the Hendon RAF museum.”
All school visits support pupils to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding more fully in topic areas. Fun days such as dressing up as World War 2 evacuees or Ancient Egyptians enhances progress in subjects so that their learning is deeply embedded into their long-term memory.
Well Thought out Learning Environment
During the learning walk, it was impressive to witness the calm and well thought out learning environment. It was clear that in every classroom work was planned to ensure that pupils can access the curriculum and achieve at the appropriate levels. Throughout the year groups, ‘chilli or spicy challenges’ supported pupils to aspire to the next level.
Inclusivity is at the Root of the School
Classrooms supported learning with well thought out resources including learning walls. One online resource (Kahoot) being used in Year 5 to consolidate learning was received with enthusiasm by all the pupils in the class. Through the expertise of the teacher, the classroom was ‘buzzing’ with learning. It was a joy to see every single pupil having fun and achieving in maths. In one of the EYFS classes, reading was effectively being taught through differentiation. One group was reading independently, whilst another was exploring phonic sounds using the outdoors. Guided reading with a trainee teacher was also taking place in a small group. In the art room, a KS1 class were learning about Picasso’s style and were constructing a collage of their face. Year 2 were all out of class practising with enthusiasm their singing for their end of term performance. The music teacher was passionately guiding the pupils through the actions of the crocodile as well as supporting them with the intonation in their singing. All the Year 2 staff were joining in to support the pupils’ progress in their confidence to perform. All pupils perform in an end of year concert within their own year groups. This is just one example of how inclusivity is at the root of the school. The pupils explained that as well as art, music is a very important part of school life along with sport. During the visit, the Head went to watch the school football team play at a local event. This is just one example of the sense of purpose amongst all staff and leaders and how everyone is willing to give up their time to ensure positive outcomes are at the heart of the school and that all pupils feel valued.
Colourful displays showed the high standard of work across all areas of the school. The pupils were very proud of the fact that they had a specialist art room. One wonderful display showed life size animal models created through Modroc, padding and paint. The eye-catching display brought to life the extreme habitats of animals such as the polar bear and the giraffe. Other excellent displays included the Ancient Greeks, the Anglo Saxons and the Vikings, Aboriginal Art, Black History Month, Odd Socks Day, Amazing Attendance’ to name but a few. A PSHE display titled ‘Change Starts with Us’ consisted of every pupils’ coloured in outline of their hand to reflect their thoughts on what makes a better world with words such as ’helpful, kind, respect, smile.’
Positive Impact on Well-Being
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an important and integral part of school life. The school is a ‘Rights Respecting School’ (RRS). Each class develops a class charter. The pupils choose five articles to adhere to. All pupils within the class design and sign the charter. Through discussion with the pupils and the learning walk, the positive impact of the class charter along with the displays on growth mindset and zones of regulation was clear to see addressing every pupils’ participation, well-being, relationships and self-esteem. Throughout, pupils and staff were courteous and polite. Everyone took pride in their school and clearly enjoyed their experience of learning and being part of the school community.
There are 9 Year 6 RRS ambassadors who ensure that both adults and pupils respect the ethos developed through the RRS articles and aims of the school. They ensure all pupils and staff are included in a happy educational experience that enables everyone to develop their ‘talents, personalities and abilities’ to the full. Two of the ambassadors explained that the pupils chose articles that are ‘important to their class’. It also ensures that everyone not only follows the school aims but also the golden rules in order to promote values such as kindness, co-operation, resilience, respect and excellence. During the visit, the pupils explained that the value of the month was ‘Appreciation’.
Efforts are Celebrated
Assemblies throughout the week such as Values, Phase, Singing and Class Assemblies ensure that pupils continually come together and efforts are celebrated. Pupils are awarded certificates in ‘Friday Achievement Assembly’ for respecting the rights and for attendance with certificates. The pupils explained that you can receive certificates for excellent work in reading, music art, English and maths as well as other key areas reflecting the importance of ethos of the school. The RRS ambassadors were about to judge and award prizes from the UNICEF shop for the most effort put into the charter from one class in each year group. They took their role extremely seriously. They also shared the content of their weekly meetings and how they were in the process of developing a plan for the year to include a bake sale, visit to set up links with a care home for the elderly within the community. This would also contribute to their understanding of different cohorts of people within society and would also bring diverse communities together.
The pupils felt that the benefits of being a ‘Rights Respecting School’ meant that pupils were kind to each other and that no one felt ‘unhappy’. If they
“did feel unhappy, there was always someone to talk to.”
It was a tribute to the staff and leaders that all the pupils spoken to stated that they:
“loved school” and that there “are so many opportunities to learn in and out of class including extra clubs for ‘art, sport, music, languages, coding, maths, yoga, sewing.”
They also stated that the cooking room was a “bonus” where they get to “cook food related to our topic.”
Through the high aspirations of leaders and staff the school is in a continual cycle of evaluation and development. The sense of purpose amongst the whole school community was observed throughout which meant that all pupils were happy and all pupils had the opportunity be successful in a safe environment.
The outdoor environment supports outdoor learning with structured play areas including separate playgrounds and trim trails for KS1 and KS2. The pupils stated that the areas have been designed to interlink so that playground buddies from older year groups support with the lower year groups as well as a “Friendship Stop” in the KS1 playground. The pupils also enjoyed the games suggested and explained on the wall in the KS2 playground as well as organised games such as “dodge ball.” One pupil described the refurbished EYFS outdoor area as
with a story telling area, stage, mud kitchen, outdoor classroom and garden area. The large outdoors enhanced learning across the curriculum. Opportunities to learn outside were not only on the two large playgrounds and field but also in two courtyards for those who wanted a quieter space as well as an area for gardening.
Strong Positive Role Models
The focus upon social and emotional well-being for all is a major focus and covers a range of areas within the school. The leaders are committed to personal development ensuring pupils, staff and parents feel listened to and supported in order to overcome any personal issues as well as developing amongst its community strong positive role models to inspire everyone.
Empowered, Self-Motivated and Resilient Pupils
Through pupils participating in clubs, teams and activities, as well as roles within the classroom, the School Council, the RRS ambassador programme means that opportunities are in abundance for all pupils to develop leadership skills. They are encouraged to take on responsibility and to experience making a difference within school, the wider community as well as globally. Visits out of school such as the School Council to the Houses of Parliament reinforce such global issues as democracy and what this means in accordance with British Values. The outcome is that the pupils are empowered, self-motivated and develop resilience as well as the determination to aspire to reach their goals through understanding what is important to them and their community. The process of developing leadership skills is carefully thought out and structured so that it is taken seriously and is highly sustainable leading to confident and aspirational learners whatever their starting points.
The learning mentor plays a key role within the school supporting pupils. She liaises closely with the welfare team for any pupil who may have sought help for any injury or has become unwell at school. In addition, she works closely with Rainbows, drama therapist, counsellors who visit the school to support pupils. Pupils from Reception to Year 6 are identified through the class teacher and leaders. The ‘Wonder Room’ has been created as a safe and comforting space for pupils. Interventions are tailored to suit the needs of each pupil. This could be a bespoke 1:1 intervention, group sessions or specific drop in sessions such as Wednesday lunch for Year 6 and Thursday lunch for all pupils. Resources used vary according to the situation. These could be conversation openers, worry box, learning to be kind to yourself, a 12-week carousel of activities for certain groups of pupils to include Forest schools, cooking, art and sport as well as speech and language targets. Support can also take place in class. The learning mentor’s expertise ensure that the interventions have a positive impact on every pupil. The assess, plan, do review cycle means that monitoring and tracking of interventions is rigorous. The leaders recognised the importance of ensuring that all pupils are ready emotionally and are in a safe and happy place to learn.
Equally pupil premium pupils (PP) make good progress. PP pupils are mapped out across the school so that each pupil receives a bespoke action plan written by their class teacher to ensure their lives are enriched with opportunities so that they personally develop and have equal access to the curriculum as their peers. Enrichment activities include extra support in maths and English, access to learning a musical instrument, access to clubs such as street dance and any other club they would enjoy. Each PP pupils has a PP mentor who checks in regularly with their mentee. This is to ensure if there is a change of circumstance or the pupil is unhappy or struggling, it comes to the attention of the staff and support can be put in place. The Leuven’s scales of emotional well-being and involvement have been used to measure the impact of the action plans and interventions for PP pupils. The leaders are developing a bespoke scale to suit the needs of their pupils with a target for this new scale to be rolled out by spring 2020.
The support for identified groups or individuals reflects the whole inclusive ethos of the school. Pupils, whatever their starting points, can achieve due to the rigorous monitoring of their emotional well-being and their academic progress. This means that any gaps or misconceptions are immediately addressed and that learning is appropriately sequenced.
In February 2018 Ofsted stated, ‘Pupil premium funding is used well. External data shows that the few disadvantaged pupils and the pupils who have SEN and/or disabilities make good progress. This is because adults provide tailored activities that meet the needs of most pupils.’
Progress Surpasses Expectation
Learning outside the classroom environment is equally valued with an array of opportunities both within school and in the wider community to support social and emotional well-being. Beginning with EYFS, the curriculum structure has been re-evaluated to ensure there is sustained enjoyment, creativity, exploration and curiosity amongst all pupils. The outside area has been seamlessly joined to the inside area so that there is free flow access to the outdoors. The mud kitchen, the stage area, outside den, the canopy area means that through less adult led activities, pupils are rising to the ‘Beehive Challenges’, this includes phonics learning outdoors as well. The impact is that more pupils are making more than expected progress than in previous years.
Good Staff Well-Being
The personal and emotional well-being of the staff is equally important. It has been recognised by the leaders that staff well-being as well as their expertise in teaching leads to quality first teaching. Mental Health courses have been attended by one of the staff. A team overseeing mental health and well-being has been developed. This recognises as one staff member said that
“mental health and well-being involves everyone.”
It was stated that there has been a “drastic change” in support for all. Three key areas consisting of pupil, staff and community needs have been cited and an action plan has been implemented for 2019-2020. This includes yoga classes once a week for staff, a social committee being formed to organise staff events, a welcome pack for new staff including information on the local community as well as a new initiative of each staff having anonymous ‘guardian angel’ who leaves notes or small gifts of appreciation. The team felt that leaders were approachable and supportive in ensuring the well-being of all staff.
Parent groups and parents who have been identified have also been supported to ensure positive mental well-being. This has been achieved in liaison with LA partners such as MASH and Early Years Support Team. Transition arrangements demonstrate excellent practice with transition checks carried out for all incoming Reception pupils. This has been in conjunction with staff from the Children Centre and Early Years Support Team. Pupils with EHCPs or additional needs have visited the sensory room prior to beginning school in Reception. In Year 6, vulnerable pupils were accompanied by staff to visit their prospective secondary schools so that successful transitions take place the following term.
The leaders share their expertise in the community within the local ‘Learning Hub.’ They are also the co-ordinating ‘Learning Hub’ school in the borough and lead in key areas of training to support the CPD of others. They share their expertise to support other schools. This includes running workshops in phonics and parental engagement. Support to individual schools is also available.
There is Phonics courses for support staff new to phonics as well as teaching phonics in Reception, KS1 and KS2. It also includes multi-sensory strategies to teach phonics effectively and how to assess phonics. In class support is also available to support groups, individuals or whole classes as well as CPD sessions for staff.
Support for Parents
Parental engagement courses include practical strategies and toolkits to support parenting strategies at home as well as parental engagement and provision for their child’s well-being and emotional health. It also supports managing challenging conversations and building the expertise and confidence of staff in interpersonal relationships.
Leaders of the Future
The Harrow Teaching School Alliance offer school to school support through the Specialist Leaders in Education (SLEs) programme. The EYFS leader at the Cannon Lane co-ordinates the SLE programme. Due to her expertise, she has designed the structure and process for the Harrow Teaching School Alliance. This enhances the programme to have the drive and strategic direction to create leaders of the future. She herself is the SLE for EYFS.
Everyone Rises to the Challenge
The effortless smooth running of the school is a credit to the Head and the leaders. The staff and pupils naturally display mutual respect. There is an overriding sense that everyone knows and rises to the challenge of the expectations upon them and with the excellent support system, each pupil can achieve their very best. Along with the pupils, the inclusivity of the environment ensures the well-being of the staff is at the forefront of the leaders’ vision so that they feel confident to deliver quality first teaching. The larger community is not forgotten and through the expertise developed within school, this can be shared with the wider community including parents, external agencies and other schools.
Inspired Pupils and Staff
It is true to say that Cannon Lane Primary School is a Flagship School for inclusive practice. It provides a positive, caring environment where mutually respectful relationships lie at the heart of the school’s ethos. The environment blends itself to achieve and aspire to great things. The well thought out structures and processes inspire any pupil or member of staff to be aspirational and to be able to develop the confidence and resilience to move onto the next steps in their learning journey.
An Inclusive Environment
The Head and senior leaders’ positive and growth mindsets towards their leadership roles means that there is true sense of purpose, passion and drive to continue to improve. They have successfully created an inclusive environment with the deepest regard for all.
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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