Our Lady of Lourdes RC Primary School in Bolton has achieved the Inclusive School Award.
Nurturing and Diverse
Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Primary School is a happy, nurturing, diverse and harmonious school to visit. Described as ‘an oasis of goodness,’ by one parent, staff, Governors and pupils, the school is clearly living out their Catholic vision!
Inclusion at its Heart
Inclusion is at the heart of all aspects of its work and pupils thrive in an environment where everyone works together to secure success. The school boasts 27 different languages and pupils exude exceptional tolerance and respect for one another. They go about their daily work supporting and looking out for each other, whilst developing fundamental Christian attitudes and values.
A Journey of Improvement
Over the past 4 years, Our Lady of Lourdes has been on a journey of improvement and earlier this year, maintained its status as a ‘Good’ school.
“The leadership team has maintained the good quality of education in the school since the last inspection. You know your school well and are accurate in your judgement of where Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School is on its journey of improvement.” Ofsted February 2019.
A Quality Education
Across the school, the aim is to provide pupils with a quality education and ‘to provide a happy, caring and secure environment in which there is a harmony and understanding where children can develop Christian attitudes and values. It is a real pleasure to see this aim articulated in all that is visible in the school. It is most definitely reflected in the actions of all who are part of the school.
Pupils Achieve Very Well
Pupils achieve very well and are encouraged to do their best, irrespective of ability, disability, background, ethnicity or gender. Standards in Our Lady of Lourdes have improved over the years and this has had a great impact on the whole learning community. The most recent Ofsted report summarises this journey well:
Key Barriers to Learning
“Pupils enter the Nursery and Reception classes with knowledge and skills below the standards typically expected for their age. From the early years and throughout the school, leaders have prioritised language acquisition and development, as these are key barriers to learning. As a result of high-quality teaching and learning in each year group, pupils develop good language skills. This enables them to make good progress across KS2, particularly in reading and mathematics.” Ofsted February 2019.
Nurturing a Love of Learning
There is a busy working atmosphere throughout the school, with pupils working enthusiastically together in groups, pairs and individually. The school is focused on nurturing a love of learning and supports all children in making the right choices socially, morally, spiritually, culturally and emotionally.
Achievement and Confidence
This love of learning is a strong feature of the children’s approach to learning to read. A very bright and colourful reading display takes pride of place in the hall. As a result, children pride themselves in reading daily and collecting the points that will enable them to ‘Read Around The World!’ All the children spoke highly of their celebratory Friday assemblies where they received certificates and rewards. These enabled them to gain a sense of achievement and to grow in confidence.
A Welcoming, Bright and Thoughtful Learning Environment
The learning environment at Our Lady’s is welcoming, bright and thoughtful. Every bit of space is used effectively. Resource boxes are labelled and accessible. The Headteacher in her tour of the school shared:
“Everything has a place! We like to look tidy and organised.”
Displays are particularly well executed; they provide a personalised backdrop to celebrate the children’s learning.
Working Together as an Effective Team
There are many strengths in this ‘harmonious’ school but one which must be mentioned and forms the foundations of success which underpins the school’s catholic ethos, is the caring and loving interactions that the staff team model. The staff say they bring out the best in each other and it was evident that the children most definitely emulate this. As a result, strong relationships are evident throughout the school, with everyone working together as an effective team.
Daily, Inclusive Experiences
Children speak very highly of their school and can’t get enough of the daily, inclusive experiences, which they believe have moulded them into young, tolerant and respectful individuals who simply, as one child said, “get along!”
The School Council is proud of its school and members feel that they are increasingly involved in the decision-making process. The Forest Schools venture is in its infancy and the children had lots of ideas as to how this could be used. Equally impressive is the school’s GIFT Team who lead worship and circle time sessions, both in their own school as well as in the Catholic Cluster of schools.
Highly Visible Staff Team
Parents say that the Senior Leadership and staff teams are highly visible, very friendly and extremely helpful. With the majority of senior staff having been at the school for approximately 15 years, parents welcome the sense of familiarly and security that this brings. This is what provides them with the comfort and knowledge that their child, whatever his or her background or needs, will be well supported to make the progress that is right for their child.
Main Strengths of the School
The secret of the school’s success and strategies for inclusion are vast and include:
• An in-depth knowledge of the families and pupils the school serves, based on a longstanding commitment to the school by the Headteacher, DHT and SENCO, as well as other key senior staff.
• Great communication between all the staff in the school and outside support agencies.
• A comprehensive knowledge of the Quality First Teaching and SEND Pathways.
• A clear system for early identification of SEND needs and a good understanding of what to do and when.
• Inclusive strategies which promote success for different children e.g. Lego Therapy, purchasing tinted exercise books and specific SEND resources.
• A great relationship with the Ladywood SEND Outreach Service who act in a very timely manner and support requests for monitoring and future planning of EHC Plans.
• After school enrichment clubs, including Dance and Zumba, which promote inclusion.
• A specialist PE/Sports coach who teaches across the school and knows the children well.
Governors have a Clear Picture of Inclusion
The Governing Body has a clear picture of inclusion. The Chair of Governors spoke enthusiastically about the inclusive work of the school and its clear links with the Church. It made perfect sense to the Governors that the focus of the school on every child to reach their full potential meant that barriers were identified and removed. She acknowledged that the staff worked tirelessly and this reflected on the school’s great end of Key Stage results.
Early Identification Enables Timely Intervention
Ladywood Outreach Service, a community resource accessed through the SLA, linked to the local Special Needs School, provides phenomenal leverage to the SEND work of the school. Early identification by the school’s leadership team and staff enables timely intervention, so that much needed specialist strategies are at hand quickly.
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.
Want more information on the IQM Award? Click here to request your free IQM information pack.