Fourfields Community Primary School in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire achieves Flagship School status.
Fourfields Community Primary School achieved IQM Centre of Excellence status in 2017. Because of restrictions and constraints around Covid this review took place virtually. As well as the opportunity to speak to staff, parents and colleagues from other settings, the school shared evidence via documents and videos to demonstrate their progress over the last year.
During the last assessment visit in June 2020, it was shared that Fourfields School
‘intend to hit the ground running [after COVID] once government advice allowed,’ and this is certainly what they did!
Mutual Respect and Reciprocal Support
Despite further periods of school closure during the last academic year, the school has continued to provide high quality education and pastoral support for its pupils, as well as emotional and practical support for families. A wealth of information was shared to demonstrate the close ongoing links between families and school over the last year. Examples showed how staff supported children and families during the January lockdown through individual input, Facebook messages and videos. Potentially challenging times have been met with openness, a sense of community, and fun – including balloons and a large inflatable unicorn on the pupils’ arrival back to school on 8th March. Parents shared their gratitude for the way in which staff answered queries and concerns quickly and their appreciation of the regular letters and messages of support from the Headteacher. These were described as heartfelt by many parents and were highlighted as a key part of supporting their own emotional health and wellbeing during the last year.
Dedicated staff provide their pupils with the very best learning opportunities during their time at Fourfields. The Senior Leadership Team are acutely aware of this and actively support the team to build their knowledge and skills to ensure that pupils have access to effective learning from experts.
There are numerous areas where individual staff have used their enthusiasm to promote learning for pupils, and how these approaches and resources have then evolved to become an intrinsic part of Fourfields provision. An example was shared of a member of staff who is passionate about supporting pupils and acting as an advocate for those who find traditional schooling challenging. She has been instrumental in setting up enrichment sessions to develop signing and communication and runs a ‘Lunchtime Lounge’ for pupils who find these social times challenging, to provide a safe and secure environment where they can relax. She has also worked with colleagues to deliver in-school CPD, where the information and strategies shared are tailored to meet the needs of the pupils within school.
Speech and Language Summer Plans
Another example is the implementation of speech and language interventions which continued to run via online sessions during the lockdown. The results and demonstrable positive impact of this support has prompted the member of staff to request the opportunity to continue to offer sessions for pupils throughout the summer holiday.
Teachers Lead Bespoke Lessons
The school implemented a robust home learning package for their pupils during lockdown. It was discussed that, with a curriculum which is bespoke to their school, it was appropriate for online lessons to be taught by their own staff. This allowed them to use approaches and styles of teaching they knew were best suited to the individual pupils in their class. Where it was identified that some pupils were finding specific areas more challenging, live interventions were offered, either in small groups or in a 1:1 session. Families praised this individualised approach and pupils particularly enjoyed the voice recorded marking of their work.
Testimony was shared by the parent of a pupil with additional needs within the school, detailing how the work and the dedication of staff have supported their child in terms of overcoming school refusal, provided trusted adults who listen and work through anxieties and addressed gaps in learning, which has led to academic progress not previously thought possible. The support has not stopped here; however, the strategies and resources created and shared with parents have also positively impacted home and life outside of school.
Effective Two-Way Communication
The school is constantly reviewing and developing its inclusive practice. A staggered start was implemented for classes returning to school in September and the information around this was shared with parents by email, live online meetings, the school website, and social media pages. Despite this, there was a group of families identified as bringing the pupils in on the incorrect day. It was concluded that these families were not accessing the usual information routes and were potentially missing important messages. School liaised with these parents, and it was agreed that future contact would be made via phone conversations.
Critical and Supportive Friend
The governors continue to be supportive and play an integral part of the school community. The Headteacher and Chair of Governors meet weekly to review practice and discuss next steps. Regular meetings and monitoring visits have taken place online this year and effective communication is further supported by members of the governing body receiving the weekly email to all staff. The support offered by the governing body during the challenges over the last year has been hugely appreciated by staff.
Centre of Recognised Good Practice
Fourfields school is passionate about working collaboratively with other settings, not only to support colleagues in developing their practice but also to look for ideas and approaches to develop their own. This continues to be achieved through the Headteacher’s role as School Improvement Adviser, the partnership with Nottingham University and work within the local Cluster Group. The school also often receives requests from settings who share that Fourfields have been identified by their colleagues as a centre of good practice.
Fourfields parents have always been vocal in sharing their thanks and praise of the school and it is appropriate to share some of the comments which demonstrate this appreciation:
The Mary Poppins of schools “Practically Perfect in Every Way.”
Thank you for such a happy, colourful morning Fourfields. Your support to children and parents is endless.
Thank you for all that the Fourfields family is doing. We all do appreciate it and I am sure if people are complaining to you or crying to you, it is because you are our family and are safe people to come to. Thank you for being there and striving to make things better for us.
Thank you to you all. I can only imagine the work you all put into the videos, the after work of the videos, your usual day to day work and coping with the pandemic yourselves. The support you provide is touching and human, especially the email and videos. I am very proud our son is part of the Fourfields family.
The teachers and TA’s have been doing a fab job and the voice recorded marking of the work is great and really helps, especially when something’s not quite right and needs looking at again. Keep up the good work.
Every one of you is doing a brilliant job. Our children feel valued when they get their feedback (showing someone has looked at and read their work) and the work is always presented in a way they can understand. Life is strange and difficult at the moment and the staff at Fourfields are bringing familiarity, normality and friendly faces – thank you!
Thank you for such a heartfelt letter. It was so lovely to read and really helped me to feel better about the times when our child gets frustrated and emotional. Fourfields is such a fantastic school, and you are a fabulous Headteacher. We are so lucky and thankful for all the hard work that the Fourfields team does every day.
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