Elm Park Primary School has achieved Centre of Excellence status.
Inclusion is at the Heart
Inclusion is at the heart of everything that Elm Park school does. It is an innovative and very caring school that is held in very high regard by its pupils, parents and the Local Authority. As one parent stated during the Parent Forum discussion, “The school really looks after the whole child and teaches them respect for others and how to be interested in things out of school, not only academic achievements.” The school does not see behaviour needs as a barrier to full access to the stimulating and creative curriculum on offer.
Strength to Strength
The school was assessed one year ago and all the good practice that was mentioned in the previous report was apparent in this visit. The school has done a tremendous amount of work on Inclusion since the last assessment in July 2017 and goes from strength to strength in this area.
Approachable Senior Leadership
Parents describe the Senior Leadership team as being very approachable and focused on each child’s well-being e.g. the headteacher dressing up on Roald Dahl day and bringing her dog to school every day so that all children have the opportunity to stroke and play with the dog. The dog has been used as a valuable resource to help pupils who find it difficult to leave their parents in the morning as they are asked to walk the dog to their classroom. The Headteacher phones parents to give the Head’s award for outstanding achievement which is commended by parents. Parents also receive a photocopy of the work that has gained the commendation.
An Inclusive School
Pupils state that the school is very fair with teachers always listening to both sides of an argument. One year 6 pupil said, “They always include lots of fun in our learning.” The pupils are very polite and articulate, having an appreciation of how welcoming and inclusive the school is. They spoke about being given responsibilities, trusted to work independently and being encouraged to help other pupils who may not understand a particular piece of work. They talked passionately about the wide range of after-school clubs and residential visits that are offered to them, such as Coding, Ballet and a beginning of year trip to Wales.
Termly Learning Conferences
Pupils are given lots of responsibility and opportunities to develop their independence skills. Termly learning conferences for parents have replaced traditional parents’ evening. Now the pupils identify what they want to discuss and highlight the work of which they are most proud. This leads to drawing up a learning contract, signed by parent, child and teacher. This leads to a much more personalised approach. The meetings are very well attended by parents. Attendance is very good for class celebrations too, for example a recent Victorian tea party saw many parents enjoying the afternoon with their child.
Transition is Well Handled
Entry into the school for new starters is handled very well with staff making home visits and visits to the current provision to have discussions with pre-school staff and see the child in their natural setting.
A Successful Restorative System
The Restorative system has been very successful with all pupils appreciating the fact that the peer mentors aim to sort out initial problems without involving staff, unless needed. The selection process imitates applying for a job after school, so the children can see the importance of the role with the application form and interview system. 90% of parents feel it has improved behaviour. The positive impact that it has had in the playground is going to be further developed by introducing in-class mentors as part of next year’s action plan.
Reflective and Forward Thinking
The Senior Leadership team are very reflective and forward thinking about improving the overall offer for children with additional needs and have plans to recruit additional professionals with expertise in Mental Health needs. They will work in the school to help children and parents as well as developing additional skills in the school staff.
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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