Grove Academy in Watford, Hertfordshire has been reawarded the national award for inclusion.
The Inclusive Ethos at The Grove
During my 2017 Review day at Grove Academy I followed a full timetable of learning walks in and around the building and visited classroom lessons and small group activities. Everywhere children were happily engaged in learning and some were confident enough to tell me how very positive they felt about their school, the school staff, and the learning opportunities that are presented to them every day:
“I like organising events. Recently I’ve been organising Red Nose Day for the school. We had to do all of it – We had to work out how much it costs.”
Where Things Do Not Stand Still
On the day of my IQM visit I had both formal and informal conversations with a range of adults. During my conversations, I could see clearly that the inclusive ethos at The Grove Academy really does continue to come from the senior leaders, as what is perceived as being effective in terms of success for the individual is also seen as being effective in terms of a successful school. As a result of my observations and my discussions I could see that Grove Academy is certainly a busy place where things really just don’t stand still. The small mornings-only nurture class has three adults who can focus closely on tight targeting and really engage individual children with a range of difficulties:
“We have to strike the balance and still build in opportunities for individual independence.”
The 2017 intervention provision map allows for detailed evaluation of impact of every additional provision, in terms of financial cost and school attendance, but also in terms of a child’s progress toward measurable and individualised academic and social targets.
The Inclusion Values
The inclusion values of Grove Academy Primary School are forward looking:
“We have a holistic approach now … It’s improving conversation and relationships … It’s upping the game for SATs’ candidates … It’s enabling us to begin to ask, is there a way of pre-determining and preventing difficulties by supporting children early on.”
Inclusion, Analysis and Development
The group educational philosophy of the Grove Academy professionals was described to me as being one of ‘inclusion, analysis and development’. The practice of this philosophy extends much further than the boundaries of the school site and during the year since their last IQM assessment staff members from the school have been involved in several successful projects with other schools within the same management group:
“The set-up allows for an ‘exploring and trialling’ approach. It encourages staff to be responsible for the research aspect of our work – It’s the action research model.”
Made to Feel Welcome
As a returning IQM assessor at The Grove Academy in 2017 I felt welcomed and comfortable as soon as I arrived. Some members of the senior leadership team are new to the school since last year, but the Headteacher and others are established members of staff so there is a feeling of continuity and friendly teamwork.
I enjoyed my day at Grove Academy Primary School enormously. Thank you very much to the young person who told me that the best thing about their school is
“Learning new things with really nice teachers who help you and are there to support you when you’re stuck!”
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.
Want more information on the IQM Award? Click here to request your free IQM information pack.