Ellistown Community Primary School in Leicestershire has achieved the Inclusive School Award again.
Ellistown Community Primary School is a one form entry primary school with 220 children on roll. The school is situated in a village with the proportion of pupils eligible for Pupil Premium just below average but where there is an increasingly larger proportion of children entering the school with specific need including autism and trauma.
An Inclusive School
Ellistown Primary School is an inclusive school and their school ethos of ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve – The Ellistown Way’ permeates through everything they do as a school. There is a determined but unassuming drive across the school, where all stakeholders strive to be inclusive and are willing to go the extra mile to meet the needs of children and their families. The school has numerous volunteers who are passionate about the school, and specifically Inclusion. ‘We are here for the children.’ The school is highly regarded by parents and the community. They are actively involved in school and community life. They said that they ‘can’t wait to sing next week at the Working Men’s Club’. The Pupil Welfare team including the Senco deliver a wide range of provision. From using research-based learning that resulted in using technology to break down barriers to writing for children with Dyslexia, to developing Lego and play therapy. They described the work we do as ‘making a difference to the whole child so that they can make progress.’ They are not wrong! The intelligence and discussion had by the HT, Senco and Pupil Welfare was inspirational. The school is determined, quite rightly, to extend and learn and continually strive to become research based in order to develop and enhance pupil provision for all.
Polite, Focused and Sociable
Children who attend this school are extremely polite, focused and sociable. Many begin Reception with levels well below those expected of their age group, particularly in communication, but in spite of this, the effective teaching and learning enables the children to progress well from their starting points. By the time they leave, children who have been with them throughout their education make at least good progress.
A Cohesive School Community
There is a strong cohesiveness in this school community and everybody supports each other. The Headteacher, and Inclusion teams are extremely driven, using research-based evidence to inform future school developments, such as marking and behaviour to name but a few. The teaching and support staff are extremely committed. The unreserved dedication of the pastoral/pupil welfare team is commendable. They have had a huge impact on the emotional resilience of children which has had a direct impact on the children’s progress. One of the priorities of the school is developing resilience and the staff work collectively to develop this strategy via the Characteristics of Learning. Pupils referred to this and expressed how helpful it was for them to support these in their learning. The well trained, dedicated and effervescent Teaching Assistants are committed and passionate that all children succeed. All staff are focused on the same objective, wanting the best for all children regardless of difference. Teachers and staff empower children to ‘Dream, Believe and Achieve.
Governors and Senior Leaders have driven forward improvements in all facets of the school’s work and they remain ambitious for all children. The disadvantaged and those with special needs are very well supported through careful analysis of need and well-planned intervention, focused support and monitoring of outcomes.
Children are Valued and Supported
Inclusion is an embedded feature of daily practice in Ellistown and the children are aware of how they and their peers are valued and supported. They all stated how much they enjoyed the HT saying ‘Good Morning’ to them in class every morning. One child stated, ‘It sets us up for the day’. All stakeholders are fully committed to improving the lives of the children in their care. Therefore, I am pleased to report that the evidence presented for the assessment suggests that the school meets the criteria for Inclusion Quality Mark. I therefore recommend that the school should be re-accredited with Inclusion Quality Mark status and be reassessed in 3 years’ time.
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