Fullbrook Nursery School in Walsall, West Midlands has achieved the Inclusion Quality Mark’s Inclusive School Award.
Fullbrook Nursery School is a large nursery school providing early education for up to 215 children aged from 2-4 years. Over the past eight years, the nursery school has increased its capacity substantially in order to deliver government initiatives and meet parental demand, offering only 80 places for 3-4-year-olds in 2013. The vast majority of children live locally, within 2 miles of the school and transfer to five local primary schools each September. The school is currently undergoing building work to further increase capacity to better meet local needs. In the last academic year, thirteen pupils received EHCP’s.
The leaders at Fullbrook Nursery School are dedicated to ensuring that inclusion is at the heart of all they do. They acknowledge that needs are becoming ever more complex, exacerbated by the pandemic. Nevertheless, they see each child and family as deserving the very best and relentlessly search for the key to unlock potential in everyone. This includes not only children and parents but also staff who are engaged in additional external training such as a Masters and through Apprenticeship Levy funding.
A Clear Direction
Consequently, the school has a universal, targeted, and bespoke offer that remains fluid to ensure stakeholders get the right support at the right time. Clear structures and processes are well embedded and help create routines that promote consistency. This means that all staff have a clear direction and understand the high expectations, making Fullbrook Nursery School a creative and inspiring place for pupils and creates the conditions necessary for them to thrive. There is a collaborative feel with everyone contributing to the vision and strategic direction of the school.
Wellbeing Is Priority
The leaders are clear about the direction of travel for the school and regularly support other schools and the Local Authority. Staff wellbeing is given high priority with one INSET day a year allocated to practical wellbeing strategies that help support them. This puts them in the best possible position to support their pupils and allows them to remain highly engaged with pupils at all times.
The Therapy Dog
The success of the recently introduced nurture groups has allowed greater focus on the needs of individuals resulting in the ability to meet highly complex needs in a mainstream setting. This provision is now oversubscribed, with pupils making rapid and sustained progress. The school has a dog called Toby which is used therapeutically by pupils, some of whom have engaged with tasks that previously they lacked the ability to access. This includes writing about the dog and modifying their behaviour to avoid causing the dog any upset.
A Learning Culture
The staff body is stable with many staff having worked at Fullbrook Nursery School for some time. This includes the Head and Senior Leaders. Much time and effort has been invested in the professional development of the staff which is evident in their practice, enthusiasm, and knowledge with which they discuss their pupils. There is a strong learning culture exemplified by one member of staff who explained “there is a no-blame culture here, which creates a deep reflection on our practice, but it took a long time to move away from our old ways. Co-regulation is really important to help us understand the pupils. If we are uncertain about something we ask each other and solve problems like that.”
A Diverse Community
The staff clearly feel empowered to think for themselves and are given the autonomy to get extremely good at what they do which no doubt contributes to stability. The environment is well-ordered without excess clutter and designed to respond to needs proactively. The school is a very ethnically, culturally, socially, and neurologically diverse community. Children and parents are supported to understand and accept differences through policies, practices, and curricula.
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: [email protected] for further details.
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