Keir Hardie Primary School in Newham achieves IQM Centre of Excellence status.
Keir Hardie is a two-form entry primary school. It was built in 2014 and is surrounded by new apartments and houses. The Early Years Foundation Stage provision includes a nursery that caters for three-and-four-year olds, one class in the morning and one in the afternoon. The proportion of children from minority ethnic backgrounds is much higher than average as is the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language. In May 2017 Ofsted rated the school as ‘good’ and said, ‘You have created a leadership team that is determined to do the best for all the pupils in the school.’
Inclusive Practice is at the Heart of Everything
Inclusive practice is at the heart of everything that happens here. All staff work tirelessly to ensure the needs of every child are being addressed appropriately. Differences are embraced and staff value everybody’s uniqueness. Leaders constantly question their own practice. All staff are trained to ensure all children’s needs are met. Keir Hardie has a ‘Magic Charter’. Pupils explained what each letter stands for and understand how these words help them to progress, grow and learn. Pupils feel safe and valued. The magic here has been carefully crafted by the Headteacher, Violet Otieno who has recruited and retained staff who share her vision that every child deserves the best. Pupil Premium money is spent wisely ensuring that all children can access the curriculum or extra-curricular activity.
An Exciting and Stimulating Learning Environment
The learning environment is vibrant, exciting, stimulating and rich. All the displays in the corridors are engaging and instructive, some of which are interactive. Stairwells have inspirational quotes and photos of pupils which inspire others. The resources in the classrooms are relevant to the needs of each group. The school has a sensory room, a dance studio, a library, an art and design room, a Children’s Centre, a modern roof playground with a greenhouse and plenty of space for small group work. All these areas were used appropriately. However, the greatest resource here are the staff, most of whom have a zealous passion for their specific responsibility.
Working Closely with Parents
The Learning Mentor team is based near the front of the building. One said that,
‘every decision we make, we question it’s impact on the children’.
They work closely with many parents of certain children ensuring that they are safe and feel well cared for. They work hard to understand the triggers for any anti-social behaviour and liaise with the Behaviour Support Service and other agencies when necessary. They help the children to take ownership of their behaviour. The school employs a counsellor 0.3 days a week who works with individual children and staff. Year 5 and 6 children have access to an online counselling service called KOOTH which offers free, safe and anonymous mental health support. Pupils know who they can talk to if they have concerns or worries. The pupils clearly understand the behaviour system and agree with the consequences if they make poor choices. All of them enjoy obtaining points for their house.
Extended Services are a Great Asset
Extended services are a great asset led by another member of staff with wonderful energy. There are over 600 spaces available covering thirty lunchtime and after school clubs including various booster sessions. There is a breakfast club and after school provision until 6:00 pm. Pupil Premium money funds certain children, so no-one is excluded.
There are varied outdoor spaces for the children to play during break times and lunchtimes including the roof. There are many midday supervisors and coaches assisting them play. Some of the children are sports leaders and they set up activities. The early years’ foundation stage has their own area some of which is covered and there is wealth of resources for them to use. All children would have the opportunity to go on residential trips in years four, five and six to Fairplay House in Essex and Aberdovey in Snowdonia. All children’s needs are catered for and no child is excluded from accessing this opportunity. The staff seek extra training if that is needed to ensure specific children with extra needs can go. Pupils go off site to a local wood to do forest school work and each class is encouraged to go on a trip every term.
Literacy Work is Systematically Planned
The literacy work is systematically planned in three-week cycles and is always based on a certain text. The learning journey consists of a hook and plenty of oral rehearsal. The reading throughout the school is particularly well planned. There are displays of children, parents and staff reading, a reading graffiti wall where the children are encouraged to write up the book they are currently reading. There are golden tickets hidden in books in the library for the children to find. Every morning starts with teachers reading to the class. Phonics is planned for every child in EYFS and KS1 and the introduction of Read Write Inc. has proved very successful. Reading for Fluency for certain children in KS2, Fresh Start for some of the older children. Reading for Comprehension, Reading Gladiators for Years 2, 4 and 6 for the more able reader means that the needs of all children are being properly catered for. Parents come into EYFS every Friday morning to read to the children and share books together. They are encouraged to become Reading Volunteers where they receive a goody bag having completed the workshop.
All Work is Differentiated
All work is differentiated according to the needs of each group. The children understand how to respond to the red pen marking using their green pens addressing any identified misconceptions. There is plenty of pupil conferencing and staff have received training on higher order questioning. All groups are tracked carefully, good relationships between pupils and teachers are formed. Each child is discussed then appropriate targets are set. The leadership team ensures that a holistic approach is used to look at the whole child appreciating their individual needs whether they are EAL, SEN, more able or Pupil Premium etc.
A Family of Dedicated Professionals
Although Keir Hardie recognises its challenges the Headteacher has drawn together a family of dedicated professionals whom buy into her vision of ‘inspiring excellence’. She ensures their days are full of magic. One member of staff said,
“if we stop learning we should no longer be here.”
NQTs felt immediately welcomed into this positive environment and quickly became part of the team. They understand that not all children are the same and they must make all children feel comfortable. Their two- week induction was a positive experience where they learnt to use positive language and they felt strongly supported.
Parents are Very Happy with the School
Parents have appreciated the changes over the past few years. They know that their concerns have been addressed quickly. They feel that leaders listen. They love all events that the school and the PTA provide. They appreciate that the school gives the children and parents lots of opportunities. They know that communication is good and they like the fact that the Headteacher is visible and available. Governors have a clear understanding of inclusion and fully support the Headteacher’s vision. They have developed close links with curriculum leaders and enjoy coming in to deepen their understanding of their specific responsibilities. They focus not only on the outcomes, but the journey travelled for all pupils to ensure money is well spent. One governor said,
“the philosophy doesn’t die if the money dies”.
Sources of Evidence
Evidence was gathered from a variety of sources within the school. The range of evidence was extremely useful presenting a full picture of life in the school. Interviews on the two days of the assessment were carried out with Governors (including the Chair), the Family Support Worker, the Headteacher, the Deputy Head Teachers, Assistant Head Teachers, Lead Teachers, class Teachers (including NQTs), TAs, Office Staff, Midday Assistants, Learning Mentors, School Counsellor, School Nurse, Extended School leader, parents and pupils. A tour of the school, informal observations and lunch with the children also confirmed the evidence base.
A Comprehensive and Reflective Audit Document
The Self Evaluation Report reflects the high quality of evaluation that exists in the school. It is comprehensive and reflects the school as seen by the assessor. Keir Hardie Primary School is an example of a school committed to meeting the needs of its children with outstanding commitments and implementation of inclusive practice. It is a vibrant, caring environment for pupils where high expectations have a huge impact on attainment, progress and wellbeing.
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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