Hey with Zion Primary School, Oldham has achieved the Inclusion Quality Mark’s Inclusive School Award.
Hey with Zion Church of England Primary is a pleasure to visit, the environment is inviting, warm and friendly. Classrooms are well appointed and interesting. The school attaches equal importance to personal development, well-being and exceptional pupil outcomes for all groups. It is evident from everyone you speak to that any barriers to learning will be identified and addressed and that all achievement, in whatever form, will be celebrated. The achievement walls display a mixture of academic and non-academic success and are a strength. The school has 312 pupils on roll and has low levels of cultural diversity and religious diversity. The percentage of children classed as having special educational/need or disability is below the national average and the percentage of children who are considered disadvantaged is above national average.
The School Environment
The school environment is particularly welcoming and the School Improvement Partner confirmed that the consistency of the learning environment has been a priority for the school. Recently, there has been significant investment in resources such as, the outdoor area in the Early Years and the creation of an investment in the refurbishment of the school library, which is well stocked and attractive with examples of children’s artwork. There has also been investment in ICT resources with specific resources now available for all children and specifically for those children with special educational needs such as, voice box recognition technology and Clicker 5. During the learning walk, the use of technology was clearly evident.
Highly Inclusive Nature
The school recently received an ‘Outstanding’ judgement in its Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report. A particular point of note from the Inspection report is that “The school’s highly inclusive nature ensures that the needs of all pupils, including the vulnerable, disadvantaged and those with special needs and/or disabilities are met.” It was also noted that the effective use of Pupil Premium money leads to “remarkably high standards achieved.” The school is in the fourth quintile in terms of deprivation, although achievement and attainment for disadvantaged pupils has been above the national norm for the past 4 years. In recognition of this achievement, the Education Parliamentary Review in September 2019 stated that “Disadvantaged pupils make faster progress than the norm and outperform advantaged pupils elsewhere.” In 2016, the school was one of only three schools in their borough to receive a Pupil Premium award from their Member of Parliament.
Articulated Determination by the Headteacher
The school lives by its mission statement “Jesus said, I have come that they may have life and have it to the full (John,10:10). Within the love of God, we strive to do the best we can for ourselves and others.” There is a clearly articulated determination by the Headteacher, the Senior Team, all staff and Governors to achieve the very best for all the pupils. To constantly reflect on their practice, look for improvement together and to respond to particular need, for example, it has recently arranged for some children to be dropped in school early in the morning because of parental difficulties.
Strong Network Links Formed
The School has formed strong network links with both local founder schools and the Catholic Primary which is next to the school. Shared staff meetings are regularly held with four local schools and the School Improvement Partner is based in an Oldham school, she has facilitated appropriate links with Centres of Excellence schools to support the school such as, a support visit to an existing IQM school. The Governors and Senior staff articulated a clear desire to learn from effective practice in a range of contexts.
Parents and Carers Feel Supported
Parents and carers confirmed that they feel supported by the school, particularly the Headteacher, who is always approachable. One parent described how she had been supported through her anxiety regarding High School transition and another described how the Headteacher had effectively handled an issue with split classes. Parents found the newsletters, website and blog posts extremely helpful, they commented that they would be able to access the learning mentor if necessary. Safeguarding systems are robust and visible around the school.
Find out more about the IQM Inclusive School Award
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