Huntcliff School in North Lincolnshire achieves Centre of Excellence status for the second time.
An Inclusive Approach
It was fascinating to hear of the work and outcomes of Huntcliff’s action plan for 2019- 2020. It was an enjoyable, ‘virtual day’, highlighting the continued efforts of the school team to be Inclusive in its approach. Unfortunately, a face to face visit to the school could not take place due to ‘lockdown’ issues associated with COVID-19. Nevertheless, the review was able to go ahead as we agreed that Zoom meetings and telephone calls would be held.
Emotional and Mental Well-Being
It was extremely pleasing to see how the team valued all families regularly keeping in contact with them during the current Covid 19 situation. Leaders are also very aware of ensuring that structures and processes are in place for September to address the emotional and mental well-being of all learners and their families. This is a key priority for the leaders and staff.
A Clear Sense of Purpose
A clear sense of purpose was apparent, evident from talking with a range of staff in a variety of roles. Everyone was ‘in tune’ with the importance of providing an inclusive and differentiated approach to meet the needs of youngsters in their care. This had become even more vital during the period of lockdown, during which the school had, in many ways gone beyond expectations. The team had seen that it was essential that regular contact was made with families especially those with vulnerable backgrounds. This reflects the school’s philosophy as shared on the school website: “As an aspirational community school, we seek to meet the needs of students of all abilities through a wide range of well thought out strategies and opportunities. All students are encouraged to maximise their academic potential through experiences that are both challenging and varied, incorporating higher order thinking skills and creative forms of differentiation.”
Inclusion is Extremely Important
During the IQM review, inclusion was seen as extremely important. The needs of SEND children are clearly recognised, “all of our students have access to a nurturing environment. This means that our students have points of access to support staff and SEND staff throughout the day to ensure that emotional needs are met and we are aware of any difficulties that may arise during the day.”
Welcoming and Responsive to Needs
From my discussions with the team I found that everyone ensured that they were responsive to and supported specific needs. This was evident in many ways but pleasing that they had addressed the needs of the Yr 6 children moving to Yr 7 in September. The Headteacher created a video tour of the school which provided the children with a view into the differing locations in the building and how they were used. Provision for children with particular support needs is well-considered. Gateway provides a nurturing base to enable children to feel confident and secure in their endeavours.
Fostering a Sense of Belonging
The new house system has gone from strength to strength. Overall a greater sense of belonging has been engendered as a result of the changes to the house system and thereby meeting the needs of the children at a pastoral level. This reinforces the whole notion of inclusion.
Ensuring Positive Attendance and Engagement
The Pastoral team has been extended and they work extremely closely with families to ensure positive attendance and engagement in school. The attendance officer’s role has been to maintain the attendance for Yr 10, supporting that attendance, asking families to bring the students in and to provide support for and check in on critical and key worker children.
Supporting Students Without Internet Access
The school is running online learning and is working to identify children who cannot access the learning via the internet and staff monitor attendance on online learning. If needed, work is sent home to those who do not have internet access.
Deepening Knowledge and Understanding
The Headteacher enhances opportunities for professional development of staff who work well together to embed the practice of Demonstrate and Connect, deepening knowledge and understanding of the curriculum for children is seen as important. Staff have a range of strengths already but always seek to ensure continuous improvement.
Enthusiasm from the Staff
Enthusiasm from the staff shone through and was evident in the design of the curriculum. The Step-up programme providing PSHE structure for the whole child was well planned and seen to be enabling for children.
This same enthusiasm was shown for developing careers pathways and the energy which has been shown in engaging students and providing opportunities for them is outstanding, resulting in local and national awards.
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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