Kings Hill School in Kent achieves the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
Kings Hill Primary School is situated in a fast-growing, purpose-built mixed-use development within the Tonbridge and Malling Borough of Kent. It was the first of three primary schools on the development, opening in September 1997. The school is purpose-built within large grounds. 368 children currently on roll live on Kings Hill, with the others living in close proximity. Tonbridge and Malling has an overall deprivation index rating of 76% (better than 76% of areas in the UK) as measured by the Index of Multiple Deprivation.
Kings Hill School has 478 children on roll (52% girls, 48% boys) and is a two-form entry primary school, with two bulge years of ninety. 11% of children at Kings Hill School have SEND, which amounts to 51 children. There are currently fourteen children with an Education Health and Care Plan in the school, fourteen children with High Needs Funding. The vast majority of pupils are White British with a small number of pupils from other ethnic groups. A new nursery provision was opened this September.
The school was graded as good by Ofsted in 2017. This is the second time they have been assessed as an IQM school – the last time was three years ago.
Mantle of Leadership
During this assessment, the Headteacher was absent on sick leave and the Deputy and Assistant Heads were leading the school. The Head is due back to school in the next few weeks. It is to her credit and her powerful leadership that the school continued to operate and grow during her absence. Her senior team and all staff took on the mantle of leadership in her absence and are to be congratulated.
A Wide Range of Needs
Kings Hill Primary is a unique school. Although the profile of pupils and the community do not immediately indicate a needy population, it is clear that like all schools, many children present a wide range of needs including academic, cognitive and emotional. Whatever the need it is quickly identified and measures are taken to address it.
Nurturing the Whole Child
All pupils are valued no matter what their ability or disability. Inclusion permeates every aspect of the school and reaches every corner and every aspect of their work. All the staff I spoke to felt that they were valued and their contribution to the school made a difference. As a result, staff retention is very high. Kings Hill School is a supportive environment to work in and staff at all levels, are appreciative of that fact. Inclusive practice is integral to every aspect of the school and there is a clear understanding that inclusion is about everybody and that a blanket ‘one-size fits all’ approach is not appropriate. The school sets out to meet the range of needs their children have to help them grow and thrive both academically and emotionally. The school deliberately nurtures the whole child rather than just concentrating on academic achievement. Pupil and staff well-being and mental health are a priority and there is ongoing support and development in this area especially in plans going forward after the Covid-19 lockdown.
The school is built on strong relationships and love for every child. There is real joy in the school and this is tangible throughout the school. Everything from the spectacular school building and amazing grounds to the curriculum that is designed to support children and to give them the best start in life. This is a real community school and families feel part of it. The Headteacher has harnessed the commitment of staff and governors and they have great loyalty towards her as a leader.
Learning in a Supportive Environment
Trust in the Headteacher and senior team is tangible and has a powerful impact on the ethos and atmosphere in the school. Parents speak highly of the team and trust them to care for their children. The pupils of course have never known anything different but feel safe and secure in the school where they can learn in such a supportive environment.
Collaboration and Partnership
Kings Hill is a school where people at all levels collaborate and work in partnership to find solutions to overcoming any barriers. Distributed leadership is evident and staff at all levels take on this notion and go the extra mile to support the children in their care. This is a school moving forward at a fast pace. Although they are very successful they are very reflective and don’t rest on their laurels. They are very skilled at spotting talent in staff and developing it and the school as a whole benefits as a result.
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)
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