Meadowside Community Primary and Nursery in Warrington has achieved Centre of Excellence status.
“Meadowside is a Happy Place”
Meadowside is a community primary school (currently 275 on roll) including a nursery and two LA designated provision classes at key stage 1 and key stage 2 for children with special educational needs. These currently provide for 20 children with Educational Health Care Plans for cognition and learning. The percentage of children with SEN is above the national average. The school places itself at the heart of the community with a deep-rooted desire to serve the children and their families. ‘Meadowside is a happy place’ – the unanimous message from all its stakeholders. A thriving primary and nursery school that is outward facing and there for the children and their families. The headteacher, governors and staff are rightly proud of their inclusive environment. The school has embraced the philosophy of a rights respecting school and this underpins the wonderful behaviour and attitudes to learning from the children.
Constant Focus on School Improvement
The school welcomes the wider community and offers support to families with their open-door policy that fosters a climate that welcomes parents/carers expressing concern for their needs as well as their child’s. “The inclusive ethos goes through the school like a stick of rock” was one quote that was evident throughout this assessment visit, through the effectiveness of the school staff and their reflective practice towards school improvement. There is a sense of continual improvement and a desire to provide more opportunities for the community which the school serves. In the words of the children, Meadowside is a place where ‘no-one is alienated and everyone is there to help each other’. ‘The staff are united in the passion they have for their school and as their mission statement states, have a deep-rooted desire to ‘help their learners grow’.
Sources of Evidence
This was the school’s first assessment visit and was conducted over one day during which I had the privilege of meeting with:-
• Head Teacher, Mr Stuart Wright.
• Members of the Senior Leadership Team.
• IQM Co-ordinator.
• Welfare Co-ordinator and Family Liaison Officer.
• School Governors.
• Support staff.
• Pupils, including representatives of the School Council.
I also was able to verify evidence from Jean Fitzpatrick, chair of Warrington Parents and Carers, Frankie Griffiths, Specialist Teacher for Pupils with Visual Impairment, Debbie Gould, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and Iain Macdonald, SENDIASS Co-ordinator. All talked about the great education that the school provides for the community and how committed Meadowside is to inclusion stating how welcoming and professional the school is in working with children, parents and professionals alike.
Extensive School Grounds
The school hosts extensive grounds and places equal importance to both learning in and out of the classroom. There is such a calm and welcoming feel to the school, as I experienced first-hand throughout my visit. I was given a full tour of the school and was able to then spend time in:-
• All teaching areas including the nursery.
• The community and learning room.
• Both designated provisions.
• The Sunshine room (used for Nurture groups).
Outside spaces included both key stage playground areas and the forest school site. The school has excellent outdoor facilities and is constantly striving for new ways to enrich the learning beyond the classroom. Both the staff and school council are pro-active in seeking grants to develop the school and they are extremely keen to see through the completion of a new sensory room within the school.
Truly Inclusive Ethos
The IQM Self Evaluation Report (SER) submitted by the school, is comprehensive and gives an accurate description of the truly inclusive ethos evident throughout the school. During the visit, it was undisputed that the school is whole-heartedly committed to continuing its journey being an outward facing school that supports the community. Through its own rigorous self-assessment and development planning, the school is aware of areas to develop. The evidence presented to me indicates that significant progress has already been made and will continue to be.
Governors praise the innovative and tenacious leadership of the head who is actively seeking to develop the school further. There is a strong leadership structure sitting beneath this which ensures that all members of the school community embed inclusion as part of the school ethos – it is not just an ‘add on’. All are clearly motivated and strive to offer all pupils the best possible educational opportunities.
Outstanding Practice in Place
The evidence presented to me during my visit to the school and information contained within the Self Evaluation Report, clearly demonstrates the outstanding practice in place within the school and the ongoing commitment to Inclusion. The school is interested in continuing this journey further through the Centre of Excellence status having already achieved accreditations such as ‘The Committed to Inclusion’ award from Warrington Hub and being a Kaleidoscope School. The school certainly takes a holistic approach to supporting all their children and their families often going the ‘extra mile’.
High Quality Provision
It was an absolute pleasure to visit the school and to be given the opportunity to experience at first hand such an exciting, happy and motivational environment with such high-quality provision for all its learners. As an IQM assessor, I enjoyed my visit to Meadowside very much indeed. My thanks must go to everyone who generously gave their time during the IQM assessment. I hope that the children, parents and professionals I met at the school will understand that each of them contributed to a very positive IQM assessment outcome.
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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