Outwood Primary Academy Greystone in Ripon, North Yorkshire has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
An Inclusive Vision
Outwood Primary Academy Greystone is rightly proud of its commitment to providing the best possible education for every single child. Whilst standards and application for places are rising dramatically, it is the inclusive vision at the heart which has transformed both the school and its local community.
Reinspiring and Motivating
Outwood Primary Academy Greystone is situated within local deprivation indicator quintile 2, in a small area of deprivation in Ripon. Pupil Premium (PP) applies to 26% of the current cohort and 23% receive Free School Meals (FSM). Currently with 164 children on roll including nursery, the Academy has been on an incredible journey to reinspire and motivate the whole local community to engage with education and its resulting benefits. The school joined Outwood Grange Academies Trust in January 2018 following several years of falling numbers, declining results and a rise in pupil exclusions. The current Principal assumed leadership of the school in September 2016, promoted from Assistant Headteacher to Interim Head.
Committed to a Child-Centred Approach
The school is committed to a child-centred approach where children can flourish. Both disadvantaged children and those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) achieve well. The school is 93% White British but has over 12% of children speaking English as an additional language including Polish, Russian and Latvian. The school currently has 11% of children on the SEND register and 0.6% has an Education, Health and Care Plan. There has been a significant drop in persistent attendance of 2% although attendance rates remain a target area at 95.4%.
Engaging and Inspiring Children
There is no doubt that the Principal is responsible for engaging and inspiring children, families and the whole staff team in her commitment to ensuring that all children receive the best educational opportunities. Her positive energy shines through and her achievements are recognised and valued by the whole community. One parent commented on her “dynamic energy” and very high level of pastoral care. This passion and commitment are shared by all staff who spoke enthusiastically about the children’s success and the open access with parents to support them in all ways.
A Phenomenal Staff Team
The Principal described how the IQM award is the result of five years’ work to embed the inclusive ethos and practices. She is proud that the culture of inclusivity is shared by all members of her phenomenal staff team. The award will be used as a focus for celebration by the whole community and will demonstrate how far the school has come in its journey from being the school no one wanted to attend, to the school of choice which will admit 30 children into Reception in September 2021. The Nursery has also filled its 26 FTE places. As the Principal proudly explained,
“children and parents want to come to us”.
Commitment and Engagement
Becoming an Academy required significant faith in the judgement of the school leadership as the school would be the smallest within the Academy Trust and there were fears of losing the unique identity of the school. Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT) was chosen due to its ethos of ‘Children first, raising standards, transforming lives’ and the opportunity for the school to maintain ownership of a fifth of its direction. These fears have been overcome as the school has gone from strength to strength, maintaining its family ethos and contributing to Trust policy on curriculum and inclusion. Parents value the clear structures and staff appreciate the benefits from being part of a larger organisation with increased opportunities for curriculum and professional development. The stable staffing of the school reflects the commitment and engagement of the whole team. According to the Principal, the impact and ripple effect of the Trust has been huge –
“everyone has bought into the vision and has seen it through”.
A Vibrant Flavour
A noticeable part of my virtual visit was being introduced to every staff member of the school including the Site Supervisor and kitchen staff who are all regarded as an important part of the team. I also met children of all ages, abilities and groupings who provided me with a vibrant flavour of what they enjoy about their school.
Impact of Inclusive Approach has been Huge
I firmly believe that the school meets the standard required by the Inclusion Quality Mark’s Inclusive School Award. It may only be small, but the impact of its inclusive approach has been huge.
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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