It’s fitting that in Christmas week we saw eight amazing schools secure our Gold Flagship award. Receiving the Inclusive School Award with Flagship status this week were Camrose Primary School, St Patrick’s High School, Keady, Oasis Academy Ryelands, Deanesfield Primary School, All Saints’ Blackheath, Greenhill School, Julian’s Primary School and Ronald Openshaw Nursery Education Centre.
First up this week is the ‘absolutely fabulous’ Camrose Primary School.
Parents told our Assessor not only have their children been supported but they said they had been supported themselves during difficult times.
Staff offered a shoulder to cry on and parents know that they can pick up the phone if they need help.
The parents explained they are fully informed and if they have their own ideas or suggestions, these are listened to and appreciated.
There was a real feeling of warmth and support in the meeting with parents which was mirrored in the meetings held with staff.
The pupils are happy and enjoy their time in school. They said teachers were friendly and that learning was interesting.
Staff do as much as they can to engage them and they particularly liked the science experiments. They feel safe in school and know who to speak to if there is a problem.
Read more: Camrose Primary Achieves Flagship Status
Next it was over to Armagh, where we welcomed St Patrick’s High School in Keady. Our Assessor explained St Patrick’s is a truly inclusive school. The Gospel Values of the School are lived out in everyday school life which creates a caring, inclusive and nurturing environment for all students and staff.
As a Catholic School in partnership with parents and the community, St Patrick’s, Keady seeks to provide students of all abilities with a secure, caring, stimulating and happy environment where high values of work, personal integrity and learning can be achieved and where all students are encouraged to develop their talents and character and to contribute positively to home, school, church and society.
Down in Croydon it was Oasis Academy Ryelands which also secured Flagship status this week. Our Assessor was impressed by the really friendly school which greeted them.
They explained, “There is a very strong ethos of inclusivity amongst all of the staff. Staff want to work here and are happy in their work.
“Staff have opportunities for high
quality training and development.
“Teaching Assistants have Continuing Professional Development Training (CPD) every Monday morning based on need and suggestions from Teaching Assistants. The academy invests in its staff. The ethos of the Leadership Team is that every child has the opportunity to succeed. The academy is aspirational for its pupils.”
Articulate and Keen
Articulate and keen children welcomed our Assessor when they visited our next Flagship school. Deanesfield Primary is highly thought of by parents.
Our Assessor found that from a recent questionnaire, parents are overwhelmingly in support of the Ruislip’s school’s work.
One parent explained that she appreciated the consistency of response shown by staff across the school and that the same values are shared by all.
She praised the work the school is doing on Growth Mindset and how that had helped her child and she said that everything is always about the child.
Beacon of Inclusive Practice
Continuing to be a beacon of inclusive practice, our Assessor said All Saints’ Primary School is a joy to visit with its dedicated and hard-working staff, polite and welcoming children and a Governing Body who are very supportive and committed to the school community. Parents are incredibly appreciative of all the work that Blackheath school does with their children.
The highly experienced and stable staff team ensure that all pupils feel safe and secure in the school. As one parent said, “There is a family feel at All Saints’. The staff supports families, and all are included. It is a fantastic school.” And one we are delighted to welcome as an IQM Flagship school.
Because You’re Worth It
Next it was over to Cardiff where Greenhill School secured Flagship status.
Our Assessor was intrigued by the school’s barber’s room. They explained it was a place where the boys can get a haircut, learn about grooming, get a massage or a pedicure and learn about keeping skin healthy.
Our Assessor was left with the impression that only a school like Greenhill would attempt this and make it work with such a flourish of style.
To quote from a famous hair products’ advertising campaign: “because you’re worth it”! It sums up the school, concluded the Assessor. Staff believe that the students really are worth it. There are apparently no steps the school will not take in order to rebuild the self-esteem of their students and to equip them for whatever comes next in their lives.
Read more: Greenhill School Achieves Flagship Status
Live its Inclusive Values
Julian’s Primary School continues to be a great example of an inclusive school where the needs of all pupils are carefully considered and met.
Our Assessor explained, “The school continues to live its inclusive values and principles, pupils come first.
“Their needs are the priority and great lengths are gone to as a school to ensure they receive high quality teaching and can learn in a safe and secure environment. Staff at all levels are committed to this goal and will go above and beyond to ensure all pupils make progress.
“Pupils appreciate all that is done for them”, with one pupil telling our Assessor “It is a good place to learn. There will never be a time when teachers don’t support you.”
‘No Planning Approach’
Next it was over to Ronald Openshaw Nursery Education Centre. The Stratford facility is a large mainstream nursery education centre which has a number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as some with profound and multiple learning difficulties.
Our Assessor was particularly fascinated to hear staff at the centre do not plan lessons in the traditional sense.
The IQM Lead explained they used to do lots of planning and set up lots of activities but the children did not choose to engage and time was wasted.
Staff also found that they were not being as inclusive as they wanted to be since they were always thinking about the “average” child yet found that sticking rigidly to planned activities, “stunted learning and imagination”.
With the shift to the “no planning approach”, all children just go to the cupboards to get the resources they want and the teacher is then able to respond to them and encourages/stretches them at their pace.
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.
Want more information on the IQM Award? Click here to request your free IQM information pack