Harris Primary Academy Merton has achieved IQM Centre of Excellence status.
Sources of Evidence
The 2 day assessment involved a learning walk throughout Harris Primary Academy Merton (*HPAM from this point forward) with lesson observation across a range of classes including in mainstream classes and ARP, observation of playtimes, an interview with members of the Governing Body, a meeting with a group of parents, meetings with key members of staff, a meeting with a group of pupils, professional dialogue with a group of teaching staff, conversations with various members of the senior leadership team and scrutiny of supporting evidence which comprised a range of inclusion documentation and the self-audit file.
Additional Resource Base
The Additional Resource Base (ARP) is a magical aspect to this school. It is magical because of the extremely positive impact is has on (a) the children accessing the ARP; (b) the mainstream provision and the way it links in and out of this facility with a seamless quality; and (c) the wider school community – just about everybody spoken to during the assessment from governors to parents chose to highlight the ARP as a shining beacon of inclusive practice and a living example of HPAM’s inclusive ethos. The time spent in the ARP during the assessment was inspirational – the quality of the staff in everything from their patience, dedication and subject knowledge through to their commitment was nothing short of first rate. Given the size of the school, the complexity of the needs within the ARP and the “disruption” caused by having to accommodate a visiting IQM Assessor it is to the staff and children’s credit that everything seemed calm, controlled and measured. I’m sure that behind the scenes there was plenty of hard work going on to make it appear this way to a visiting outsider. That is a huge compliment to the staff team and leadership of the ARP.
Relentless Focus on the Individual
Beyond all of that, one cannot help but be bowled over by the range of evidence to show how successful the ARP is for the children for which it caters: high expectations and a relentless focus on the individual and bespoke packages/responses has led to some truly outstanding learning and examples of work in books. Aiming high is often a key indicator of the inclusive feel to a school, and by gosh does HPAM do just that!
A Wealth of Inclusive Practice
There is a wealth of inclusive practice that touches all aspects of the school community – pupils, staff, parents and partners. These examples include – but are by no means limited to – the following:-
Fully integrated ARP.
Forest and Acorn classes developed within the school.
Superb links with other agencies and professionals.
Highly experienced SLT in terms of SEN, safeguarding and inclusion.
Supportive Federation and supportive Governing Body.
High expectations of all learners at all ages and stages.
Quality learning environment.
Honest leadership at all levels and a desire to improve all the time.
The inclusive feel and ethos that permeates the school – a real “family” feel. The staff know the children and readily share and celebrate their successes.
A Supportive, Community Ethos
The Head of Academy, the Assistant Principal and the Senior Leadership Team set the tone for the supportive, community ethos where cooperation, acknowledgement and celebration of different cultures, aspiration and happiness are truly valued. The school has appropriately high ambitions for its pupils – as enshrined in its maxim “Show Respect, Take Responsibility and Always Make the Right Choice!” – and aims to ensure maximum progress for all through a combination of quality first teaching and carefully considered interventions.
External Agencies and Professionals
Outside agencies and professionals were all highly complimentary of the school when speaking to the assessor. The independent EBD expert enthused that HPAM was a shining example of how schools could be proactive in seeking out strategies that work in mainstream just as much as in areas of particular need and intervention; attendance and student welfare is looked after in-house superbly by the student welfare lead who has shown that by honing and tweaking the management of this vital area of work, attendance can be good with the right mechanisms, structures and approach in place: in HPAM’s case above local and national averages; and the designated safeguarding lead described excellent working relationships and links with pertinent outside agencies such as MASH.
The Inclusion Journey
The Inclusion Quality Mark Co-ordinator been instrumental in coordinating the IQM self-audit process and must be praised for the professional way in which she has led on this programme throughout the school, acknowledging at all times the team effort and collaboration with teachers and SLT in doing so. The documentation was extremely thorough and articulated the school’s inclusion journey accurately, fairly and clearly. The Co-ordinator had built a lot into the itinerary which was a clear sign of how much HPAM had of which it was proud! Somehow, we managed to get through everything on the schedule, even with an internal Federation Audit announced during the IQM assessment! This was, in no small part, down to the fact that the assessment days were well planned and well managed, a further example, should it have been required, of the diligent and professional approach that Adriana brings.
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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