Eldon Primary School in Preston has achieved IQM Flagship School status.
Context of the School
Eldon Primary School is slightly smaller than the average-sized primary school. The proportions of pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds and of pupils who are at the early stages of learning English as an additional language are higher than average. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils supported by the pupil premium funding is higher than average (51% FSM6). The proportion of pupils with support for special educational needs and/or disabilities is 24% and is almost twice the national average. The proportion of pupils supported with a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan is below the national average.
“The majority of pupils start at Eldon Primary school with skills and abilities that are below, and often well below, those typical for their age. Due to the outstanding teaching that they receive in key stage 1 and key stage 2, pupils leave the school with attainment that is in line with, or above, that seen nationally in reading, writing and mathematics. This demonstrates outstanding progress and, as a result, pupils are prepared exceptionally well for the next stages in their education.” Ofsted, September 2017
There has been a relentless drive to improve standards at Eldon over the past seven years and in September 2017, an Ofsted inspection judged the school as ‘outstanding in all areas.’ Leadership at all levels is determined and energetic and the Headteacher, ably supported by her senior leaders, is inspirational, astute and creative. There is ample evidence that supports the Ofsted observation that: “Leaders have developed a culture of extremely high expectations and a clear focus on putting the children first.”
Investing in the Learning Environment
Since the last review, the school have made two significant investments in the learning environment, resources and ICT. The first of those was a target to purchase immersive technology and create a state-of-the-art facility. During my tour of the school, I visited the 4D Immersive Room and witnessed ‘The Iron Man’ novel come to life. It is an impressive facility and it is clearly in full use giving the opportunity for a much broader means by which children can access the curriculum. The room is timetabled and unsurprisingly, it is fully booked!
A Forward-Thinking School
The second addition was merely the germ of an idea when I last visited this forward-thinking school last year. The school have since purchased Eldon House, a corner, terraced house just over the road from the school. I visited the house and saw how it is put to use to develop pupils’ life skills and provide courses for parents and a venue for CAF and TAF meetings. There is huge potential for this facility and it further demonstrates the strong commitment the school has to its local community.
Pupils are Excellent Ambassadors
The pupils are excellent ambassadors for their school. They are polite, courteous and confident and their behaviour is exemplary. They are delightful and friendly and eager to learn and improve. During my tour, I visited every class and I was impressed by the consistency of behaviour and attitude to learning. My tour guides, the Head Girl and the Deputy Head Boy, were superb! I enjoyed my time with them and learned a lot about this excellent school. It spoke volumes, I felt, that the pupils conducted the tour by themselves.
Leadership Opportunities for Pupils
There are ample leadership opportunities for pupils at Eldon including School Council, Head Boy and Head Girl, The Inclusive Exclusive Team (TIE Team), Play Leaders, Eco-Council, Prefects, Sports Council, Lunchtime Monitors, Salad Bar Assistants and Gem Ambassadors. In addition, the children lead Enterprise Week and run their own After School Clubs.
Senior leaders recognise the pivotal role that middle leaders play and, as a consequence, invest in their development. As the Ofsted team found;
“The Headteacher provides excellent support for staff but gives middle leaders the freedom to carry out their roles.”
“The Headteacher, senior leaders and governors lead and manage the school highly effectively. They are supported by a team of staff who lead their areas of responsibility extremely well.”
IQM Cluster Groups
The school is also an active member of one of the Inclusion Cluster groups and will be hosting the next meeting of their group.
Partnerships with Other Schools
The Inclusion Manager and pupils in the TIE Team have forged a partnership with Ashton Primary School, the only primary school in Preston to achieve the Level 2 Rights Respecting Schools Award and visited the school recently. Ideas from the walk around and a link with a member of staff at Ashton Primary School have seen a number of new initiatives introduced to enable Eldon to achieve the Rights Respecting Schools Award. Children are aware of the articles of the UN Charter via their Class Charter, displays and posters which were clearly displayed in corridors and all classrooms. Changes to key stage assemblies and the PSHE curriculum have been discussed. Once they are embedded, the TIE Team will conduct a Learning Walk of Eldon.
Forging Positive Partnerships with Parents
The school has decided to engage with the Leading Parent Partnership Award and are in dialogue with the awarding body and have drawn up their action plan. The school recognises the importance of forging strong, positive links with parents and has introduced a few, new initiatives this year to further this partnership. Eldon House has been used as a venue for Parent Gym and is to be used to host parents for Eldon’s version of ‘Come dine with me’ later this term. Every Friday afternoon, parents and their children are driven to the local library in the school’s minibus and share the experience of choosing books with their children. The school has also used their forest school to host family learning days.
The Friends of Eldon
The Friends of Eldon, an extremely active and successful group, host social mornings every week at the school as well as organise the social and fundraising efforts. Parents appreciate the effective means by which the school communicates with them and far from satisfied with what they already have in place, the school has introduced Class DoJo and a school App.
Governors are Skilled and Well Informed
As Ofsted found, “Governance is highly effective” and in my meeting with the current Chair, it was clear that governors are skilled and well informed. They appreciate the importance of their roles individually and collectively and recognise the outstanding leadership of the Head and her colleagues. The Governing Body are committed to achieving the Governor Mark and have submitted their application. Having secured an outstanding judgement in their recent inspection, the school’s leaders and governors are now considering how best to engage with system leadership such as teaching school and national leads.
In the afternoon of my visit, I attended a meeting with the TIE team including pupils, parents and staff. During this meeting it was evident that the inclusive values that this school holds were eloquently expressed particularly by the pupils in the meeting. It was also very telling from the adults in that meeting, that this school really does put children first.
Raising the Profile of Inclusion
The TIE Team has been created and have organised a number of events designed to raise the profile of inclusion throughout the school. The TIE Team consists of a range of stakeholders including members of the community, parents, teacher, governor and pupils that reflect the diverse nature of Eldon. The Friends of Eldon canvassed local businesses in the Plungington area with regards to joining the TIE Team. A number of local businesses contacted Eldon and indicated a willingness to support the school during forthcoming community events. The TIE team are actively involved in the Rights Respecting Schools Award and in supporting less fortunate children in other countries. Examples include the Shoebox Appeal and the work with the Noor Model School in North West Pakistan.
A Commitment and Belief in the Pupils
This outstanding school is driven by a strong, palpable and unwavering commitment to and belief in their pupils and their community. They provide an innovative and broad curriculum that motivates and inspires learners and at the same time helps them learn in the real world through the vehicles of Eldon House, Eldon Forest, 4D Immersive Room and Eldon FM Radio Station.
Dedicated and Committed Stakeholders
The school has dedicated and committed teams of staff, parents, children and governors who never fail to take on an idea and run with it to great effect and an inspirational leadership team who have, with the support of all stakeholders, brought Eldon into the twenty first century for the pure enjoyment of learning.
Promoting Continuing Outreach
The next review will look closely at how the school has interacted with its Inclusion Cluster and promoted continuing outreach. Evidence of Cluster working will underpin the capacity for the school to maintain its Flagship status.
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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