Model Village Primary School, Shirebrook in Derbyshire, part of the TEAM Education Trust, has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status for the first time.
Model Village Primary School is part of the TEAM Education Trust. It is located in Shirebrook, Derbyshire. Model Village Primary School is a ‘Good’ school. It has 244 pupils on roll, the majority of which are White British. However, the school has an increasing number of EAL children and the number of children who speak English as an additional language is higher than average in the England. Most of these children are of Eastern European descent. Children at Model Village make excellent progress from very low starting points. The proportion of pupils on the SEN register is higher than average and the identified main area of need is ‘Communication and Interaction.’ The proportion of pupils for whom the school receives the pupil premium is also above the national average.
Together Everyone Achieves More
Model Village is a hugely impressive and inclusive school and where they genuinely ‘place the child at the heart of our approach to education.’ Parents confirm their unequivocal support of the school by stating, ‘This is a great school, it really does everything it can to support the children and families.’ The ethics and ethos of the school are truly embedded and a pillar that ensures the children get the very best. This ethos permeates through everything they do as a school. There is a real purpose and drive across the school, where all stakeholders strive to be inclusive and are willing to go the extra mile for the children. As a family of schools, they believe in ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’ and both children and parents are extremely keen to reiterate this. TEAM Education Trust vision states:
‘Trust schools offer nurturing, inclusive learning environments led by teachers who collaborate as a team together to meet the needs of each and every student. Through our high-quality curriculum offer and embracing the latest technology, our children and young people will have the best possible foundation to be successful in their future lives, jobs, and relationships. The ‘TOGETHER’ values are explicit across the school.’
The school is at the forefront of leading inclusive education across the Trust with a hugely competent, well-respected, and inspiring SENCO. Staff and parents were keen to express how well she has led inclusion and how this had improved the quality of provision and the consistency across the school. This is further endorsed by the Trust Leadership, who talk openly regarding the great work that is being shared effectively with other schools.
The school always comes back to the ‘Why?’ This process focuses the school community in delivering high quality teaching and provision that enables children to excel, particularly if they have specific needs or are vulnerable, exemplified by the fact that a child has moved from ‘special provision’ into mainstream and is thriving and progressing extremely well. This achievement demonstrably improves life chances for the child. The Inclusion Team, under the excellent leadership of the Principal, and with genuine support from the Trust, is exceptional, and supports leaders and staff to genuinely focus on the individual child.
Positive Learning Environment
Model Village Primary School is a school where consistently high expectations of pupils have given rise to good outcomes for all. It is a very welcoming and supportive, with a relentless determination to provide the very best education for every child, academically and holistically. Children are firmly at the centre of everything, for all members of the school. There is a determined focus on creating a culture of inclusion, which produces success and a positive climate for learning.
Unwavering Commitment to Inclusion
Model Village is explicit in all that it does and articulates its aims and objects clearly. The academy believes that the quality of education a child receives empowers their future choices and life chances and they pride themselves on
‘Understanding the needs of children and putting in training to support their learning.’
SLT have an unwavering commitment to attaining the highest standards and an ambition to provide a high-quality educational experience for every child. This is supported and evidenced by the high quality of teaching witnessed and the love and enjoyment experienced by the children, particularly the extensive outdoor curriculum. The school and Trust have an unwavering commitment in leading SEND practice and inclusivity. There is absolute faith in staff actions because of the level and quality of training provided to them, and the support given in monitoring and listening to children and staff in how to maximise the learning experience.
Enabling Pupils Resilience
Systems and policies have been put in place to support the most vulnerable children so that they develop a sense of belonging, trust, and are given the skills and attributes to take ownership of their own personal development. This could behavioural, where children are able to self-direct and self-regulate by having discrete equipment that calms them down or the emotional communication lanyards used by some children – linked to zones of regulation which is utilised consistently across the school. The Academy places high importance on the positive mental health of both staff and children and is intrinsic to how they work within the academy.
Leaders have worked hard at creating consistency in practice and provision across the school. This is particularly apparent in Nursery, Reception and KS1. Staff have an impressive vision for providing high-quality education to all pupils, giving them experiences and supporting them to learn in a psychologically safe space. Their vision of
‘the best we can be’
is understood by staff, pupils, parents, and the wider community. This vision for excellence is central to the shared policies and practices of the school and has contributed significantly to the school’s continuous and sustained improvement. There are robust systems and processes that ensure all staff understand their roles, appreciate the expectations, and live the vision. In the case of Reception – extremely passionately!
The leadership is open, transparent, and extremely visible, at all times. The leadership has built a culture and climate that where the team learns and develops together and support each other through the process. This is the golden thread that runs deep through the school DNA. Parents strongly agreed that the academy is well led and managed.
Successful and Competent SEND Team
The SEND team is highly effective, inspirational, and highly valued throughout the whole school community. The communication and relationships that the SENCO has developed with all stakeholders is a key element in why children in her care are able to make progress and achieve. Her contribution to the support and well-being of children’s families has a direct impact in supporting parents and for them tangibly see their children attain. She has developed relationships that have enabled parents to challenge themselves in believing what their child can achieve. The innovative ways in which SEND children are integrated into mainstream provision are inspirational, supporting these children with learning difficulties to develop skills that will support them in life, including their transition through education. This is evident throughout the school but especially with the nurture groups.
All leaders ensure that all children are successful. Leaders are highly visible and accessible. Through their interactions with children and staff, they communicate and model high expectations of behaviour. Difference is accepted by all children and when challenges occur staff explicitly support children in their understanding of need, and adaption to meet that need. This was witnessed when a class was getting a little noisy and potentially unsettling vulnerable children. The class teacher stopped the class, and the class did some breathing exercises for one minute then returned to work calm and refocused. This was extremely impressive to see, and it was tangible how this enabled all children to make progress.
Effective External Engagement
The leaders of the school have a recognised the importance of transitions within school and actively praise children at every opportunity. There is a deep culture of continual self-reflection, development, and improvement by understanding that behaviour is a manifestation of unmet need. The school works tirelessly to meet this need by having a range of outside agency support in the training and development of staff. This includes CAMHS, PCSO links, Early Help offer, Social Services, Educational Psychologist, SALT, behaviour support, Nurture UK, and Specialist Services for SEN.
The SENCO has worked with the Trust to develop an SEN group which supports staff in making reasonable adjustments to their classroom practice to meet need. There are extensive plans in place that will rigorously monitor the impact of any interventions and put in support if children are not making the expected progress across all Trust schools.
Planning and provision are continuously monitored, adapted, and changed to meet the needs of the children. Ongoing assessments scaffold children’s learning pathways and are reactive to individual needs. There is a secure culture where staff are not afraid to change the direction of learning and reshape their lessons to ensure that every child has the opportunity to be successful. This was again seen throughout the school, the way that the Kindness Curriculum was integrated into a maths lesson was a testimony to how staff take on new initiatives and have the skill set to implement them effectively.
Continuous Professional Development
Leaders carry out regular learning walks to ensure high expectations are being effectively met and to promote inclusive learning for all. Staff praise the open-door policy, which allows SLT to provide instant feedback, so staff can act rapidly to improve learner engagement and achievements. There is a culture of continuous professional development and coaching. Leaders provide day-to-day support for developing teachers’ subject pedagogical content knowledge to enhance the teaching of the curriculum. There is focussed, well-planned and structured programme of continuous professional development which is valued by staff. Staff are given opportunities to reflect on their practice and develop a shared understanding of effective teaching and learning. This again is ably supported by the SENCO. As a result, staff feel deeply involved in their own professional development, creating a climate of challenge, support, and highly effective and innovative teaching.
It is clear leadership qualities from the Principal and SENCO, driven and backed up by the Trust that have played a major role in creating such a reflective and continually developing school. Thank you for a most informative, inspiring, and well organised visit.
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