Outwood Primary Academy Kirkhamgate, part of the Outwood Grange Academy Trust, in Wakefield, West Yorkshire has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
Outwood Primary Academy Kirkhamgate is an inclusive school where children are at the heart of every decision. There is aspiration, ambition, laughter, and love in each part of the school. The Multi-Academy Trust has supported this school in being a success – the clear and consistent ‘Outwood Way of Working’ is valued by the staff and allows for the focus to be truly on the needs of the students. The support offered by the Trust is outstanding.
Dynamic Senior Leadership
The Headteacher came into post in September and has had a positive impact. Staff speak highly of her. She describes inclusion as ‘Equality and Acceptance.’ She believes it is vital to not just be aware, but to accept – accept everyone for their differences. The Leadership Team is dedicated and committed to ensuring the school continues to grow and flourish. This is a reflective team with school improvement at the forefront of their meetings. The Headteacher and her Senior Leadership Team (SLT) explained how inclusion is central to everything they do. This mirrors what is written in their school vision.
Commitment to Empowering Success
In the welcome page on the school website, it states ‘Children first: raising standards and transforming lives.’ It goes on to say; ‘We are a welcoming and supportive academy, with a relentless determination to provide the very best education for every child. We place children at the centre of everything we do, with a focus on creating a culture of success and a positive climate for learning.’ This aspirational vision is lived and breathed by all staff.
Calm and Purposeful
From the moment one arrives in the grounds of Outwood Primary Academy Kirkhamgate, a warm welcome awaits. The Headteacher describes the importance of the people in the school and how they are ‘like a family.’ Inside, the family ethos is clear to see, and the warmth and inclusivity continues with each and every member playing their part to ensure a sense of belonging pervades the calm, purposeful spaces. Relationships across the school are a strength. Staff are warm and genuine.
This is a school were relationships matter. Relationships are valued and nurtured. The Leadership Team believe relationships are the key to ensuring success and this commitment to relationships has paid off. All stakeholders are positive about the school and share the vision that the Leadership Team has embedded.
A Listening School
Communication is a key strength of the school. From the open-door policy of the Headteacher, the pupil voice opportunities and the parental engagement strategy, someone is available to speak to you. This is a listening school. Staff are consulted so that they feel informed, and part of the school journey. They know their voice matters.
Strong Pupil Voice
Across the school there is a commitment to the students. All staff know their pupils and this dedication allows them to ensure children are happy, well-rounded, and achieving. During the learning walk and tour of the school, it was clear to see that inclusivity is part of the whole school ethos. Pupils have a voice and are seen as individuals. Staff are adept at adapting resources, and the curriculum, to suit the needs of all.
Pupils in the school were a delight to talk with. All were polite, respectful and children were able to articulate their learning and why they enjoy being part of this school. In discussions, pupils were keen to recount their successes, discuss their curriculum and demonstrate the wide range of opportunities they have to develop as well-rounded individuals. When asked what makes this school special, one child stated, ‘There are lots of kind people’ and another said they feel, ‘safe and supported.’
During the learning walk, on the assessment day, the standard of work seen was high, as were the expectations for behaviour and engagement in lessons. The quality of work completed by students across the school is of a high standard. The presentation of work in students’ books demonstrates their pride in what they are producing. Due to the personalised support in lessons, students are making great academic progress during their time at Kirkhamgate.
Looking to the Future
The Inclusion Quality Mark Coordinator, and Headteacher, produced an accurate and detailed evaluation of the school’s position. This was further supported by highly detailed documentation and effective data that was presented and discussed throughout the course of the day. Conversations with various people from the whole school community illustrated that the written evidence was accurate, clearly demonstrates the wide and varied range of inclusive practice in place within the school and the ongoing commitment to future improvement.
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 protected] for further details.
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