Christ Church Streatham CE Primary School achieves the Inclusive School Award for the second time.
Christ Church Streatham C.E. Primary School is situated in Streatham, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is a one-form entry primary school serving a diverse community, which includes high levels of deprivation. The school has higher than average numbers of pupils with EAL and pupils eligible for Pupil Premium, with the proportion of SEND pupils being broadly similar to the national average.
The school has been part of a soft Federation with another local one-form entry primary school since 2013 and in February 2017 the Federation was extended to support a third local primary school. Although the schools work together, they retain their own Governing Bodies. Staff work across the schools, sharing expertise and driving school improvement. The Inclusion Manager coordinates provision across the schools in the Federation.
In June 2018, Christ Church Streatham C.E. Primary School converted to Academy status and is now part of the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education Multi Academy Trust. The school also works closely with the Windmill Cluster of 10 schools. As the school does not have its own Nursery, children enter Reception from a variety of pre-school provisions, or having no pre-school experience. Attainment on entry is below national expectations, however, pupils make good progress throughout their time at the school and attainment is high. Christ Church Streatham C.E. Primary School is committed to inclusion. The school believes that, “Every child is a unique gift from God”. The Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) Report of 2017 reported, “this inclusive statement defines the work and mission of the school where Christian values and high expectations are at the heart of all aspects of school life”.
Celebrating Diversity and Inclusivity
The Executive Headteacher shared how Christ Church Streatham C.E. Primary School celebrates its diversity and inclusivity, with a great strength being the work that the school carries out with its families. She said that they,
“Go that extra mile to ensure that the right provision is there for every child”.
The school aims to inspire learners to become independent, resilient, lifelong learners, working together in partnership with parents, carers, the Church and the wider community.
Breaking Down Barriers to Learning
The Senior Leadership Team and staff share a clear passion for, and emphasis on, inclusion, which is a shared responsibility throughout the school. There is a focus on the whole child and staff work hard to identify and break down any barriers to learning that their pupils may have. All pupils are supported and encouraged to achieve their full potential, not only academically, but personally and emotionally as well. They work hard to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe and learning experiences offered to pupils takes account of their varied life experiences and needs. Throughout the assessment I gained a strong sense of the Christ Church Streatham C.E. Primary School ‘family’ and ‘team’ at all levels.
Supporting Pupils’ Learning and Wellbeing
Systems of identification and support for pupils are well embedded, with termly pupil progress meetings. A range of individualised interventions are in place for pupils such as Lego therapy, remote learning reading interviews and phonics groups. The school implements the National Curriculum, underpinned by the school’s own characteristics of learning and their curriculum drivers of spirituality, possibilities, excellence and diversity, together with their work as a Rights Respecting School. It considers the needs of the learners and community and complements it through visits and experiences. Remote learning during the pandemic has been working well with the school going ‘above and beyond’ to support pupils’ learning and wellbeing. Pupils are provided with challenge and extension activities and an Academic Mentor provides ‘catch up’ learning support for pupils.
Scaffolding Pupils’ Learning
During the assessment and through discussions and photographs, it is evident that classrooms are set up to support and scaffold pupils’ learning. Classrooms have visual timetables, Zones of Regulation, maths and English working walls, learning lines and well organised reading areas. Individual rights are displayed around the classroom and during a ‘Learn to Learn’ week held at the beginning of each academic year, pupils vote for appropriate rights and draw up a class charter. Pupil voice is an important aspect of the school and pupils are given a range of opportunities to take responsibility and present their views. These include the School Council, Wellbeing Group, Faith Group, Lunchtime Leaders and Rights Respecting Leaders. Pupils are very proud of their school and they say that they feel respected and valued. One pupil said,
“I enjoy going to school. Lessons are fun. We get to do lots of different things”.
Pupils talked about how they work as a team and about the things in the classroom that help them learn such as, learning mats and the growth mindset. They also talked about the wide range of clubs such as cooking, gardening, music and sports. The children spoke about the school trips, for example, to museums and the swimming pool, that the school offered prior to the pandemic and which they look forward to enjoying in the future.
Wellbeing is a Priority
The wellbeing of staff, pupils and their families is a priority for the school. Staff have received mental health and wellbeing training and there are ‘worry boxes’ for pupils to use in classrooms and these worries are then addressed by a member of staff. Pupils are clear about who to go to if they have a problem. During the pandemic, families have received a weekly wellbeing call from the school and pupils and parents interact with their teachers through the private section of the Class Dojo system.
Staff retention is high and staff are happy to be part of the CCS family. A recent staff mental health and wellbeing audit showed that staff feel very well supported. They enjoy working at the school and are committed to its inclusive ethos and building positive relationships with their pupils. One teacher talked about the,
“connectivity within the staff”
and that staff feel
“very well supported by the SLT”.
Support Staff are Deployed Effectively
Support staff are deployed effectively to work with all pupils, together with delivering more focused interventions. They currently carry out wellbeing and reading calls with families. A member of the support staff said,
“We support and help each other”.
Developing staff through CPD is highly valued and a strength of the school with regular training for all staff; many opportunities being afforded through being part of the school’s wider partnerships such as Subject Leader Groups and Forums. Joint INSET days enable the schools to fund high quality educational speakers through such economy of scale.
Parents Feel Very Well Supported
Parents feel very well supported and they are appreciative of the efforts that the school makes to support their children. One parent said,
“Teachers are aware of every child’s needs and are so flexible and so helpful”.
Communication between home and school is excellent, through the school app and other means. Christ Church Streatham C.E. Primary School produces a monthly newsletter for parents/carers. A Parents Association is led by the PSHE Subject Leader and the school offers a range of parent workshops and events.
Governors Undertake Regular Training
The Chair of Governors is also the SEND/Inclusion Governor and meets regularly with the Inclusion Manager. He reported that Governors are ‘always welcome’ in the school. Individual Governors are attached to different subject areas and in that capacity, they liaise with Subject Leaders. There is an annual Governors’ Day where Governors spend the day in school and undertake regular training to enable them to carry out their role most effectively.
The school has adopted an increasingly proactive approach to working with external agencies, for the benefit of its pupils. Throughout the pandemic the school has worked to enable professionals to move from in school to online support. Beyond the school there is excellent partnership working across the Federation, MAT and clusters for the benefit of all pupils and staff. The school has been accredited with Leadership Development status by NCSL and is currently a strategic partner of the Lambeth Teaching Schools’ Alliance. It has strong links with Christ Church and the Christian ethos underpins all policies and practice.
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