Hardy Mill Primary School in Bolton has achieved the Inclusive School Award.
Hardy Mill Primary School is a growing primary school with 348 pupils on roll. Since September 2010, Hardy Mill Primary School has been a one and a half form entry school from Reception with a curriculum that has been carefully developed to meet the needs of mixed age classes.
The proportion of pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities is below the national average at 6%. The number of pupils known to be eligible for Pupil Premium is also below the national average at 12 %. The majority of pupils (91%) are of White British heritage. However, as the school has grown the demographic has changed, and there has been a small increase in the number of children with English as an additional language.
The most recent Ofsted report (February 2015) judged the school to be good in all areas. The school continues to aim to maintain and improve on these high standards; progress is particularly strong in the EYFS. Ofsted felt the school to be a “happy, popular and successful school” where pupils flourish. “Pupils have extremely positive relationships with staff. This helps pupils to try their best and to develop mutual respect.”
An Inclusion Ethos
The Headteacher took up post in January 2014, succeeding a long standing Headteacher of 24 years. The Headteacher has made a number of new staff appointments to expand the team and develop the inclusion ethos.
A Passion for Inclusion
The SENDCo has been in post for 2 years. However, she had shadowed the previous SENDCo (the current Headteacher) before formally taking up the post and is currently completing the national SENDCo qualification. The SENDCo shows a clear passion for inclusion and, with the support and guidance of the Headteacher and wider leadership team, has driven the inclusion agenda forward within the school.
Inclusion is Central
Inclusion is central to the ethos and values of the school. This is articulated clearly in the Headteacher’s welcome message, the clear statement of inclusive ethos and values on the school website and is a central element of all school policies.
A Shared Commitment
Discussions with staff and governors reflected a shared commitment to the inclusion agenda and a drive to ensure that meeting the needs of the whole child are a priority. At Hardy Mill, everyone is working together in the best interests of the pupils to enable them to achieve their full potential in all areas and provide pupils with the best possible care.
Knowledge and Understanding
Staff throughout the school show clear knowledge and understanding of inclusive principles and ensure that these are carried out in practice. A clear programme of CPD is in place to ensure staff skills are developed appropriately.
The school is fully accessible to all students and additional adaptations and resources have been made available to meet individual needs as necessary. Classrooms are bright, attractive and well-resourced to reflect the needs of learners. Reading was a key focus for the school and all classrooms have attractive and inviting designated reading areas containing a wide range of books catering for all interests and abilities. The reception area is attractive and welcoming and office staff provide initial advice and support for parents. Corridors are very well cared for and contain a range of attractive displays and art work. Displays are used to interest and inform and also to celebrate achievement and recognise diversity.
Outdoor Learning Environment
The outdoor learning environment is spacious and well designed. A new summer house has been added to the front outdoor area which will be developed to provide a reading base and outdoor learning space. Further outdoor spaces are well planned and resourced and provide a range of opportunities for sport and outdoor learning. The school is developing a small planted space within the EYFS area to be used for nurture work.
Personal development and wellbeing is a strength of the school, and the curriculum is underpinned by the school’s core values of courage, cooperation, pride, responsibility, respect and independence. School values’ assemblies take place half termly, which ensure that the children have a clear understanding and were able to talk about what these values mean and how they help them to understand others and support their own behaviours. Teachers have excellent relationships with the children ensuring that classrooms are happy and supportive learning environments.
A Wellbeing Room
Hardy Mill has recently developed a wellbeing room for KS2 pupils. This is staffed during allocated lunch times; pupils can also leave slips in a box with any concerns. Staff meet with the pupils to discuss concerns and provide support strategies. If further additional support is needed this is done quickly and sensitively. Training around bereavement, attachment, and ASC has been undertaken to enable staff to better understand and support students’ emotional needs.
Healthy Emotional Development
Hardy Mill has invested in the “Emotion Works “programme to support healthy emotional development within the school. The programme helps children understand their emotions and how they impact on behaviour as well as providing self-regulation strategies. All staff have had Emotion Works training, and the programme was then showcased to parents to ensure a shared understanding and develop parental involvement.
Careful thought is given to modifying the curriculum and timetables to support medical, learning and social and emotional needs. Where necessary, pupils can have a phased integration into school. “Regulation boxes “have been developed to support specific behaviour needs and to allow “time out “and sensory breaks are used to support individual needs. Medical needs are carefully borne to ensure minimal disruption to a child’s education and full inclusion in all activities, wherever possible.
LSAs Make Important Contributions
Intervention timetables are judiciously planned to ensure that interventions are timely, appropriate and effective and that children are not excluded from activities such as sport and celebration assemblies. LSAs make important contributions; they know their children well and deliver a wide range of effective in-class and withdrawal support.
There is a wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer which extend the curriculum. Visitors are often invited into school to support topic work and inspirational speakers are also invited into school to raise aspirations.
Pupils with SEND are supported and monitored using Provision Maps and Learning Passports which are reviewed by the SENDCo. A programme of ongoing tracking is used to identify need and put in place carefully planned interventions.
During learning walks, the children were actively engaged in their learning and there was evidence of both challenge and support for differing needs. Pupils were well motivated, keen to be successful and very proud of their work. A recent Local Authority Teaching and Learning review identified teaching as good with an increased proportion of teaching that was outstanding. Throughout the day, the behaviour of the children was excellent. They were polite, friendly and considerate. They were clearly happy in school and felt well supported and cared for.
Mentor meetings are held between pupils and their teachers to ensure that they know and understand their learning targets, and rigorous data tracking and monitoring ensures that pupils make the progress which is expected of them.
Parents are Integral
Parents are an integral part of Hardy Mill Primary School; the school works very hard to develop good relationships with parents. Parents interviewed on the day were extremely positive about the school and its inclusive and supportive ethos and highlighted many examples of the outstanding care and support they and their children had received.
School governors show a high level of commitment to the school and are fully involved in all aspects of school life. Governors are well led and have a wide range of expertise and experience. Regular ongoing training ensures knowledge and skills are kept up to date and relevant. Governors are provided with detailed information about the work of the school and a recently introduced outcomes committee ensures that pupil progress is a key focus for the governing body.
The school has established good links within the local community and uses the skills and resources available to enhance the curriculum and develop wider opportunities for children and families.
Each Child is Valued
Hardy Mill is a school where inclusion is central to both policy and practice, where each child is valued as an individual and where everyone works to ensure children can achieve to their full potential whatever their starting point. Hardy Mill continues to strive for ways to improve and develop to ensure that each child’s needs are met.
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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