Lyncrest Primary School, Northamptonshire achieves the Inclusive School Award with Flagship Status for the third time.
A Warm Welcome
Lyncrest School greets all its visitors with a very warm welcome. As soon as you walk into the school, it is evident that the Leaders have created an atmosphere that continually ensures the well-being of all the community. This is at the forefront of their vision.
Collaborative and Inclusive Approach
The mantra ‘Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ has been adopted to encompass the importance of both the physical and the mental well-being of each person. The mantra supports a collaborative and inclusive approach to encourage everyone to be confident enough to make independent positive choices. The three key values of ‘Show Respect, Show Compassion and Persevere’ are the key drivers for the vision. These are addressed in every aspect of school life.
Renewed Sense of Purpose
The collaborative approach to ‘Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ through adhering to the values, motivates the whole school community to become fulfilled and happy on their lifelong learning journey. There is a renewed sense of purpose throughout the school with everyone motivated to collaboratively work together for the best outcomes of the pupils. The Leaders are realistic in their view of what is working very well and what improvements need to be focused upon.
Leaders are Passionate
A discussion with the ‘Phase Leaders’ showed that they are putting structures in place according to the key objectives on the School Development Plan. The focus was driven by the aim to improve the outcomes for the pupils in terms of their progress from their starting points. It was evident that the ‘Phase Leaders’ work extremely well together and are passionate and realistic about what they have already achieved and what needs to be achieved.
Pupils Fully Engaged in Learning
The structures in place for ‘Literacy Hour’ were seen during the ‘Learning Walk’. Every pupils’ needs were addressed. For example, in Year 4, three pupils who could not yet access the ‘Literacy Hour’ were participating in ‘Read Write Inc Fresh Start’. The structure of the ‘Literacy Hour’ meant that all pupils are having focused time according to their needs to progress in their literacy skills. All pupils were fully engaged in their learning. In Year 2, experienced teachers with differentiated learning objectives meant that the needs of the cohort including high EAL and PP pupils were being met.
Weekly Cycle of Improvement
It was evident that the Phase Leaders knew the pupils individually. A discussion took place regarding the needs of three Year 6 pupils who moved into the school in September 2019. The Leaders had swiftly understood their needs and put structures and interventions in place to support the pupils. A weekly cycle of improvement through meeting with teachers and training means that teaching and learning is continually monitored and tracked with consequent actions put in place in order to diminish the gap in progress amongst cohorts of pupils.
Abundance of Extra-Curricular Clubs and Sports
The pupils’ needs are also addressed through an abundance of extra-curricular clubs and a sports curriculum being delivered by a sports specialist. Clubs and lessons include dance, basketball, dodgeball, multi sports, football, cricket, athletics as well as chess to name but a few. For those pupils who may not attend a sports club, ‘Friday Fun Club’ encourages participation in a variety of sports. Interhouse as well as external competitions take place.
Pupils have a Voice
The pupils spoken to who are part of the Sport Council and School Council were extremely proud of their achievements in sport and of their school. They feel that they have a voice in what happens within the school and that they are supported by the adults within the school. There are opportunities for everyone to participate in physical activity as well as making decisions around the school regarding important topics such as recycling and raising money for charity for causes personal to their lives as well as more Global causes. Music is also a major activity with pupils being able to play musical instruments and then the opportunity to perform in a musical concert every term.
Emphasis on Reading
The emphasis on reading was apparent throughout the school. A ‘Reading Café’ has been set up every other Friday afternoon for Reception to Year 3 parents. This is extremely well attended and gives the parents the confidence to enjoy reading with their children. A wonderful ‘Reading Corner’ just before you enter the hall encourages pupils to sit and read. Books are tailored to the ability of all pupils. The reading choices of pupils are monitored carefully.
Opportunities for Learning Indoors and Outdoors
During the Learning Walk, it was clear that the classrooms were organised to meet the needs of all pupils. For example, in Reception, the class of thirty pupils consisted of learners with additional needs. The staff knew the needs of every pupil and worked closely with the EP. The EYFS Framework was being addressed throughout with opportunities for learning indoors and outdoors.
Carefully Planned Outdoor Environment
Displays throughout the school and in the classroom support learning as well as showing the artwork and writing covering different topics. The outdoor environment has been carefully planned with reading and writing sheds and an abundance of well organised areas to encourage free flow play in the EYFS. The main playground consists of different areas including a new enclosed sports pitch for games, a separate climbing area as well as the main playground and the area for the fitness equipment. The Forest School area is well organised with organised areas so that pupils can play freely and safely.
Passionate Inclusion Governor
Finally, it was a pleasure to speak to the ‘Inclusion Governor’ who is passionate about the school. She described her role as an ‘objective pair of eyes’ and felt that inclusive practice was about ‘embedding processes’ and viewed it as a ‘marathon and not a sprint.’ She understood the next steps for the school. We discussed the implementation of the ‘Class Folders’ and she felt that they have given a far more ‘holistic approach to be able to review every pupil in the school on a continual basis.’ We discussed the importance of the correct intervention being put in place to ensure the progress of the pupils whatever their starting point. The monitoring visits are an important part of the ‘Inclusion Governor’s’ role and take place each term.
Emphasis on Nature and Wellbeing
Since the last visit, structures and processes have been put in place. The emphasis on Nurture and Wellbeing is visible throughout the school. This focus has meant that pupils are more ready to engage in learning. The mantra ‘Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ is prevalent. The leaders are determined to focus on the whole person with the positive results on improving the outcomes for all pupils and at the same time ensuring that staff feel supported and motivated to evaluate the quality of teaching and learning so that every pupil makes progress and if not, why not? How can we do things differently?
The Leaders have also been very successful in engaging parents through ‘Class Dojo’ which is the main communication with parents. The use of Class Dojo has had a huge impact on relationships between the staff and parents. It means that parents can be involved in learning every day and feel part of the school community. As a result, events are extremely well attended including parent meetings as well as assemblies and social events organised by the PTA.
Making Positive Choices
It was an extremely pleasant and informative day. The Leaders have created a safe and engaging place to learn, where the pupils are encouraged to take risks whilst at the same time, ‘Show Respect, Show Compassion and Persevere’. Through the restorative behaviour approach to every aspect of school life, all stakeholders understand the importance of mindfulness and well-being. This means that they are encouraged to make positive choices regarding their learning journey within the all-inclusive calm and happy environment.
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: email@example.com for further details.
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