Horton Park Primary School in Bradford has achieved Flagship School status.
Meeting the Needs of All Students
It was pleasing to hear of the work and outcomes of Horton Park’s action plan for 2020-21. It was a well-organised, ‘virtual day’, highlighting the continued efforts of the school team to be inclusive in its approach and meet the needs of all students. Unfortunately, a face-to-face visit to the school could not take place due to the lockdown issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the assessment was able to go ahead via Microsoft Team meetings.
Valuing All Families
It was extremely pleasing to see how the team valued all families, regularly keeping in contact with them during the current COVID-19 situation. This was endorsed by parents who gave up their time to be interviewed during the review day. Leaders are also very aware of ensuring that structures and processes are in place for staff, families and children to address the emotional and mental well-being of all learners and their families. This is one of the priority areas for the leaders and staff
The Impact of Inclusive Practice
The school team has worked tremendously hard to maintain links with the families to ensure support is offered. The school currently has 425 children on roll. The majority are home schooled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and now only 75 children remain in school. These are children of key workers or vulnerable families.
Adjusting Policy and Procedures
There has been an ever-changing climate in which to work and there has been a need to change and adjust policy and procedures, often on a daily basis to accommodate developments and changes. Risk assessment has been ongoing in order to make reasonable adjustments to ensure the safety of children and staff. Lateral flow testing has commenced and a secure environment for this has been enabled.
A Steep Learning Curve
It has been recognised that families need support as the new journey into home-schooling has been a steep learning curve. At the heart of the staff’s endeavours has been the desire that children’s wellbeing, especially for those vulnerable children, has been made as secure as possible.
The Inclusion Values and Practice of the School
It has been recognised that families need support as the new journey into home-schooling has been a steep learning curve. At the heart of the staff’s endeavours has been the desire that children’s wellbeing, especially for those vulnerable children has been made as secure as possible.
Wellbeing of Children Remains a Priority
Staff have carefully thought about how they can ensure the wellbeing of children remains a priority. The team has ensured welfare calls have been undertaken, Learning Mentors have held 1:1 mentor sessions, particularly during times of bereavement. This ongoing communication has been valued and recognised by parents. In addition, wellbeing days have been well considered in order to ensure the need for sensitivity to the needs of all.
The Learning Environment, Resources and ICT
To see the photographic evidence in the KS1 resource base was a highlight of the visit. It is clear that energy and passion has gone into ensuring that provision for the children who use this are well considered and valued. Good use has been made of IT. The IT Lead has worked with the team to guide the staff in the use of platforms to support learning. Devices have been made available for children to use at home and it was pleasing to have one child communicating with me from home, also others using devices to talk with me from within school. This reflects an ongoing confidence in the ability of the children in the use of IT and communication by digital means. In addition, 125 devices have been made available.
Tracking Progress and Engagement
Staff members have also been well-organised into Teams servicing the needs of in school teaching and Team B leading on ‘home learning’. SEESAW and Google Classroom work has been set and marked and then returned. This is recorded on spreadsheets enabling tracking of progress and engagement. If children are not joining in, then families are called and staff members will speak to the child if necessary. If there is an online issue, paper packs of work will be sent home. If there is still no contact and still no work being presented, then a doorstop visit is made.
Reducing Barriers to Learning
Specific support is given to families who are new to English, reducing barriers to learning and children are offered a place in school. Bespoke input is made available for the children at home. Learning boxes are created for families with multiple children. Throughout their endeavours, the school has been creative and resourceful. The team has moved to a Google platform over time and work has been delivered and is ongoing with step-by-step guides for parents, including videos. This is something to retain post-COVID.
Effective Work Online
Statistics show a growth in families using online learning over a 3-week period; week 3 shows 65% engagement. The homework delivered by school will continue post-COVID using digital means and newsletters. There is the potential of a parent evening being delivered again in this way. The team created a virtual tour for children starting school in September to support current and new families at Horton Park Primary School. This could be used for working parents too in the future. SCITT mentoring has looked at how to deliver the sessions and has used breakout rooms. In addition, CPD has been provided for staff including NQTs.
Learner Attitudes, Values and Personal Development
From the outset of this review, it was clear that the team at Horton Park Primary School care deeply about all learners in the school, they talk with enthusiasm about the experiences they offer children. They endeavour to meet youngsters’ needs throughout the age groups with whom they work whether in school or working from home. Personalised opportunities offered by the staff considers children’s interests and strengths as highlighted by the Assistant Heads and the Learning Mentor. Personal development is considered important, children are encouraged to make choices and understand their feelings and emotions. They continue to tailor the curriculum and to offer challenge and support to enable youngsters to be the best they can be.
Pastoral Support is Strong
Pastoral support is a clear strength of the school. The Learning Mentors and teaching staff understand the children well. This is key to ensuring that personal attitudes and personal development become positive in all instances. This is at the heart of the philosophy of the school. Based on the school policy the Headteacher and staff implement the whole-school approach to positive behaviour. The children are encouraged at all times to uphold the qualities of friendship, compassion, generosity, responsibility and respect.
Positive Learning Environments
Referring to the school website, there are a wide range of policies, student outcomes, newsletters, and examples of work going on across the school. It is clear the school team are creating positive learning environments for the children. In photographic evidence the learning environment in school is engaging and relevant. The work shown is engaging children, the imagery reflects the school’s aims, encouraging children to be independent, cooperative and focussed. This can be seen in photos from the enhanced provision.
Fully Committed to Inclusive Practice
During my conversations with the team, it was clear that everyone at Horton Park Primary School is fully committed to inclusive practice. The way in which the roles and responsibilities of staff are reviewed is good practice, enabling the strengths of staff to be identified and valued enabling the needs of youngsters to be addressed. The support for parents is caring and well-considered.
Learner Progress and the Impact on Learning
Staff talk positively about the way in which the curriculum has been organised and delivered. They have been creative in that delivery and embraced the differing blended approaches. The staff have worked hard to secure learner progress and the interventions they have in place at all levels are enabling the children to have success and maintain momentum. This was further supported by the SLT, who indicate that review of needs and provision of online learning at home and home school packs containing work for children is enabling engagement. They recognise the need for social interactions and try to maintain links with all families through the work they provide. Children speak positively about the way in which they are learning.
Teaching and Learning
Approaches to the delivery of the curriculum have been evolving over the year and these will be maintained where appropriate. Measures of involvement and tracking are undertaken to ensure children are engaging and learning.
Engagement and Pupil Progress
The setting’s remote education approach aims to ensure consistency for all pupils and support effective communication. Staff use a range of approaches including: making use of a number of ready-prepared high quality online materials; Setting work through the online programmes purchased such as Seesaw, Purple Mash, Mathletics, Oxford Reading Buddy, TT Rockstars, Language Nut, Oddizzi, Kahoot etc. These provide feedback for teachers and learners, allowing staff to measure levels of engagement and pupil progress as well as reducing staff workload.
Parents, Carers and Guardians
Parents recognise the good work of the school and mention the way in which the staff have continued to engage. I had the opportunity to speak with parents, this was an opportunity for me to hear about their perspective on the support given by the school. One parent described how supportive the school had been, specifically to support the needs of the child. There was clear evidence of partnership working and enabling success.
Staff are Approachable
Parents appreciate it when teachers are at the gate as it provides an opportunity to informally chat and allows them to mention things quietly, which can impact considerably on the smooth running of the day for the child. Parents feel they can approach the school team. Even though there has been lockdown, the ongoing engagement with parents has been maintained.
Governing Body and Management
The school works in tandem with Governors and the Exceed Trust. The team actively involve LA support including Early Intervention professionals, in order to meet the needs of the children.
The School in the Community
Parents speak highly of the work of the school, their children have been really well supported, staff have fostered good working relationships and enabled their children to deal with emotional issues. The Community Team work industriously to support the local community and the school is a central hub for support and advice. This has been maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Enthusiasm from the staff shone through in discussions. Staff care for the students both academically and pastorally and are keen to support the needs of children. My thanks for an excellent and accommodating virtual review.
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