Hythe Community Primary School in Surrey has achieved the Inclusive School Award for the fifth time.
An Excellent Example of Inclusive Practice
The Hythe Community Primary School is an excellent example of inclusive practice. The school has identified its values as “Include, Inspire and Invest” and throughout the day the Assessor was able to see evidence of how they wove through all aspects of school life.
Include – All pupils accessing learning and understanding about each other with the amazing inclusion of the children from the Harbour Centre in all aspects of school life.
Inspire – Children having a curriculum that inspires them alongside a range of clubs, visitors including a Chef, an Audiologist and Author and even the opportunity to be the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher for a day.
Invest – Children seeing themselves as citizens of the future looking after their environment as one pupil described
“caring about our river and the environment, looking at plastic pollution.”
Fifth Time Receiving the IQM Award
The value that the school places on inclusive practice is evident from the moment you enter the school. Staff and children welcome you into the school environment and the enthusiasm of the children to attend the school could be seen as they skipped and ran into the school building with smiles and chatter in abundance. Parents were very appreciative of the Senior leaders welcoming children and parents into the school each day by standing at the gate. The Acting Headteacher and IQM Lead’s enthusiasm for their school and effective working practices were apparent throughout the day from the initial warm welcome to the wide range of people I met and self-review form that they had undertaken in preparation for the assessment. The school is proud of its achievements and although having previously gained the Inclusion Quality Mark’s Inclusive School Award on four previous occasions has made the decision to be re-assessed again to celebrate its continued development as an inclusive school. Staff describe the school as a special place because of the amazing teamwork and support for both each other and the children. No problem is too big to solve. The school has also completed a successful SEND and Pupil Premium Audit earlier this year which further reflects that ability to constantly evaluate and review practice to ensure it is continuing to improve.
A high proportion of children enter the school below age related expectations. The Early Years’ provision encourages the development of skills with adults modelling play and learning and responding to the children’s interests within their continuous provision. The outside environment encouraged children to problem solve and develop their creativity, an example being a caravan that had been created out of blocks and wheels in the morning that the children had been able to come back to in the afternoon. Children had opportunities to apply their writing, reading and mathematical skills within the environment. In Key Stages 1 and 2 there has been an upward trend in outcomes over the last three years. Projected outcomes for 2019 are also expected to reflect that continued trend.
The school has focused on Growth Mindset and throughout the school in classrooms and corridors displays challenged children’s thinking and encouraged them to develop their resilience through learning from their mistakes. Children were confidently able to describe the 3 Before Me approach that they used in the classroom before they went to the teacher for help. Staff described the impact the approach had had both on the children and themselves and the new language that they had developed as a team. The understanding of the Magpie walls that children could use and that it was alright to learn from each other.
The school has introduced the Cornerstones curriculum to engage the children in Key Stages 1 and 2 and the varied displays across the school reflected the range of learning opportunities that the new curriculum had provided. Opportunities for cross curricular writing was evident in classrooms alongside English and Maths learning walls. Prior to the visit Year 2’s topic Muck, Mess and Mixture had involved potion making enabling the children to practice their measuring skills in Maths as well as develop recipes. Parents are encouraged to be involved with the learning through the termly Curriculum sheets. These identify the different skills and knowledge that will be covered during the term. Teachers have also included learning activities that parents could try at home to support the learning. An example from Year 2 was developing and trying recipes including making different fruit drinks as part of a Science investigation. Parents commented that these are helpful, they prefer them to the previous weekly homework that had been in place.
The Harbour Centre
The Harbour Centre is an integral part of the school and is led by the IQM Lead in the school. Her passion for the role, the children within the setting and the importance of their inclusion in the mainstream classroom was evident from the learning walk around the school to the conversations with parents and children. Staff explained that the children were often in the mainstream classes in the afternoon which was confirmed by the School Council. The children’s incredible understanding of inclusion was reflected in their descriptions of recognising that the “Harbour Centre children struggled with their learning, but it didn’t matter as they didn’t choose their disability, they were just born with it, they are part of our school”.
The Outside Environment
The Centre has recognised the importance of the outside environment as a learning opportunity and has therefore begun to develop its use. Children in the Centre were enjoying the opportunity to free flow from the inside to the outside in Key Stage 1. The Key Stage 2 children also had that opportunity. On the day of the Assessment the Assessor was able to see some of the Key Stage 2 children taking part in the swimming lessons in the school’s outdoor swimming pool. The school is delighted to have been successful in their bid to cover the pool and as one of the Governors said the first concern was whether “there was enough funding for a hoist for the children from The Harbour Centre”.
The Internal Learning Environment
The internal learning environment reflected the current learning with good visuals and use of colour to support the children’s access. The focus on vocabulary development and the importance of visual to support understanding was reflected in the Zones of Regulation display within the Centre. The zones were represented by different colours – Blue, Red, Yellow and Green to represent the different words. The consistency between the main school setting and the Centre was very clear with similar working walls for Maths and English as well as topics.
From talking to the staff team and looking at books it was clear that the learning is personalised for the children and the high expectations of the staff has led to good progress for the individuals. Parents commented on the warmth of the staff team and their commitment to the children. One parent whose child had recently joined the school was delighted that for the first time their child had been able to attend an After-School club. Other comments reflected the staff’s commitment to listening. This was strongly voiced by all parents and Governors.
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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