High Expectations and Aspirations
Outwood Primary Academy Newstead Green is a school where leaders, staff, parents and pupils have high expectations and aspirations. By rejecting the notion that there is a ‘glass ceiling’ for pupil outcomes, the pupils continue to achieve and progress into the next stage of their educational journey regardless of what barriers may stand in their way. The motto ‘students first’ ensures children are placed at the centre of everything, with a focus on creating a culture of success and a positive climate for learning. Through a relentless drive to raise standards and transform lives, staff are committed to ensuring an inclusive culture within the academy.
The school has focused on achieving external validation for their work around inclusion and mental health and wellbeing as leaders believe in the impact these areas have on a child being ‘ready’ to access opportunities for academic success. The whole school approach to developing, sustaining and celebrating positive mental health and well-being is evident across all aspects of the curriculum and the school day and the impact is seen in the children. Progress for all pupils demonstrates how effectively the school promotes equal opportunities. No child is left behind at Newstead Green. There is a real equity of provision for all children across all opportunities within the academy.
Committed to Pupils
From our Assessor’s first meeting with the Principal and SENDCo, it is evident that leaders at the academy are committed to pupils through their calm and responsive approach. They believe in the power of a quality education and what that can bring for social mobility. But most importantly, it is their understanding that without addressing a child’s ability to access that education, the academic curriculum offer will not have the desired impact to support pupils onto their next step. The Principal recognises the journey the academy has been on and the shift in focus to ensuring all children are included and that their pastoral needs are met to allow them to achieve in all other aspects of their education.
The morning begins with ensuring children are ready for the day ahead. High visibility from leaders and staff is important to ensure the day gets off to the best start. There is a strong relationship with parents, carers. This is purposeful to ensure that messages from home to school are communicated clearly allowing the best chance for success. This culture of care through communication is felt from the start. The pastoral lead recognises those who need time to regulate before accessing the curriculum and ensures targeted support and intervention is in place. ‘Students cannot learn if they’re not physically and emotionally ready to learn.’ This philosophy has transcended throughout the school and is very much an embedded approach to recognising how ready children are for learning.
The assessor found all staff to be very knowledgeable about the school, the children and the communities they come from. Newstead Green is very much the preferred choice, and it is easy to see why. Staff love the school and what it stands for – students first. This love for their school transpires through the tireless effort and commitment they apply to achieving the best for their students. When staff were asked about their commitment to the school, they talk with passion not only about the children but about each other.
Staff talk about how they all support one another and how they see themselves as a family. The leaders set the tone for this family feeling, where cooperation, acknowledgement and celebration of differences and happiness are truly valued.
Parents talk highly of the school and described their experiences of other education settings noting their lack of support and care compared to Newstead Green. Some parents told the assessor they felt lucky to have the staff at Newstead Green to care for their children because they take the time and have an abundance of patience to get to know their child and what works.
Needs of All Children
The staff invest heavily in ensuring their curriculum supports the needs of all children, enabling them to explore their own interests and demonstrate progress and apply their learning and understanding of the world around them in a range of contexts. Teachers, teaching assistants and pastoral support staff work closely to ensure planning and assessment is personalised with high expectations of what everyone can achieve.
There is no one size fits all model. Staff have bought in to the whole school culture of high expectations and how empowering this was for the children to have adults who championed and believed in them.
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: [email protected] for further details.
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