Lozells School, Birmingham in the West Midlands, has achieved the Inclusive School Award.
Lozells School is a two-form multi-cultural primary school located in the Lozells area of Birmingham. It is a non-selective community school and shares the same site with a secondary and sixth form school and a special school. Pupils and staff at the school are encouraged to achieve to their full potential, to develop as individual learners and to contribute to the school, their community and society. The staff recognise that the challenges facing their pupils are not just academic and that there is a need to educate the whole child and often their families as well.
Upon pupils return, the school put in place a recovery plan, centred around restoring pupils’ mental wealth and health. As a result, most children were able to get back into their learning routines quickly. The wellbeing of all staff was also prioritised by Leaders during this time. Staff I spoke to on the day positively commented that the school tirelessly supported all staff through the Covid 19 pandemic with one member of staff noting the following: “through her experiences, the processes the school put in place during the pandemic confirms how wonderful the school is.”
Leaders have introduced a new ‘Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership – CUSP’. This curriculum is underpinned by evidence, research and cognitive science and focuses on developing pupils’ oracy, vocabulary acquisition, retention, and cognitive load. A rich diet of language and vocabulary is deliberately planned for. The sequenced plans in place are designed to activate prior learning, build on skills, and deepen knowledge and understanding. Learning, vocabulary, and content is cumulative; content is learned, retrieved, and built upon. Therefore, through its implementation the school ensures pupils from across the school know more, remember more, and can do more over time. The school has plans to work in partnership with CUSP to design specific SEND components to complement the existing curriculum offer.
The school environment provides a dynamic and nurturing place which is calm, supportive, and inclusive. The school is very welcoming with a warm and friendly atmosphere. There are examples of displays in corridors and public areas that celebrate the achievement of all.
Staff model the behaviours they wish to see, setting the foundations for purposeful learning. Classrooms are places of warmth and humour and are inspirational learning spaces for children. A visit to the Foundation Stage demonstrated how well staff support learning through play, with every adult involved in guiding pupils through problem solving, developing their language and vocabulary, and deepening the learning through thoughtful questioning, interaction, and engagement.
Pupils learn about the six chosen school values of forgiveness, determination, honesty, happiness, respect, and kindness. They develop an understanding about the values in themselves, in other people and in the wider world. As one pupil said, the school helps them to
“respect differences and be kind to all.”
I was fortunate to speak to pupil leaders at the school, who spoke passionately about their roles and their impact. The school provides numerous opportunities to promote pupil voice and leadership. Examples of roles includes the Junior Leadership Team, which mirrors the structure of the existing School Leadership Team and encompasses key responsibilities linked to fundraising, pupil wellbeing and safety etc. Other pupil led responsibilities at the school include the Teaching and Learning Committee and Architect of Change group. When speaking to representatives from the latter group, the pupils confidently described the opportunities that were provided to them, had helped shape their character and collectively labelled the school culture as being “kind, supportive and respectful.”
Strong Community Links
Links with the local community are very strong. Parents are made very welcome at the school with Parent Ambassadors being overwhelmingly supportive of the inclusion agenda at the school. These Parent Ambassadors work with the school to ensure the inclusion, well-being and educational outcomes for pupils are improved and vulnerable communities are helped to integrate in both school and the local community. Examples of recent work include supporting the consultation process surrounding the implementation to RSE curriculum and signposting parents to sources of advice/information/guidance about education, welfare, and opportunities within the local community. Pre Covid 19 parent workshops were well attended, and the school has plans to introduce these workshops again in the New Year.
Parents and carers of pupils with SEND I spoke to were universal in their praise for the school. One parent said that the support that her child receives is “second to none.” All pupils benefit from effective ‘catch-up and keep-up’ sessions, enabling these pupils to repair any misconceptions from learning earlier in the day/previous day. The school remains very inclusive in all areas with a real can-do attitude from all members of staff who have made sure that the inclusion ethos continued throughout the Covid 19 pandemic.
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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