Outwood Primary Academy Ledger Lane in Wakefield has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
‘A school which hosts future resilient and lifelong learners at heart with an aim of creating an outstanding future ahead for every individual.’
Outwood Academy Ledger Lane has 389 pupils. This perfectly formed school leads the way in terms of inclusive policy and practice. Everyone demonstrated their full commitment to the school and its children as well as to families and the community. There is a real commitment to inclusion that permeates every aspect of the school. Ledger Lane harnesses pupils’ unique skills across all areas of the curriculum. This is embedded in clear learning curriculum modelling.
A Determined Headteacher
The Headteacher is a very determined and involved leader who ensures that no child is left behind. She ensures that she is visible and involved, not only with her staff but with every unique child. Her clear vision and understanding of every child ensures that their needs and support are identified. She is a key leader who has even taught the parents of current pupils. Her implicit understanding of families has helped her to acknowledge and work to support their needs. Discussions with many staff members, pupils and some parents confirmed the commitment and dedication she gives for everyone. Inclusion for Ledger Lane is not only for pupils but extends to every member of staff or individual who walks through the door. She talks about the school as being an extended family and makes it clear that children come first. Not only is the pastoral care of pupils exceptional but the school has high expectations in terms of outputs and behaviour. She leads by example and is well supported by her Senior Leadership Team.
A distributed leadership model throughout the school means that staff have a clear direction and high aspirations for the pupils. They know their families and their community very well and do what they can to help pupils mitigate and overcome the many barriers to their learning and wellbeing. The leadership of the Head and SLT is very effective and reaches the hearts and minds of staff, pupils, and families.
The progress of all pupils is a clear demonstration of how effectively the school promotes equal opportunities for all. There is equity of provision for all pupils across the school to enhance opportunities. There are clear aspirations for disadvantaged pupils with special education. This system is clearly effective. Many staff members hold important roles such as interventions, broken down transition timing and an outstanding Attendance and Safeguarding Lead who goes above and beyond.
Children Feel Safe
Children are expected to work hard and try their best. In return, they are loved, cherished, and feel safe and secure in the school. Teachers and support staff are highly skilled and are well-trained and supported by their Senior Leadership Team. There is a collaborative and collegial approach; adults support each other in their role of supporting the children. There is a real can-do and positive attitude that transfers to the pupils. The curriculum has been developed to make it pupil relevant. Teachers are confident in their roles and equally confident in asking for help if they need it. They said they are trusted to carry out their roles and they are listened to. Members of staff stated, ‘no question is ever a silly question’. Staff feel valued, important, and involved.
Wellbeing Is Important
The Mental Health Lead for the school works rigorously with staff and pupils. The wellbeing of every pupil is carefully considered; measures are in place to support and help every individual. During the pandemic, the Mental Health Lead created a full online curriculum for the Trust from EYFS to Year 6, developing a programme called ‘Time For.’ This is used throughout the school each week to address different topics linked to emotional wellbeing.
Staff Go Above And Beyond
The school is very good at spotting and developing talent in staff, who thrive as a result. Staff turnover is very low. Children with special educational needs are identified in a timely manner and every effort is made to remove barriers to learning. Support and interventions are carefully targeted, and teachers and Teaching Assistants are trained and supported to meet the needs of the children in the classroom. Staff go above and beyond the realms of their job description to meet the needs of the children in the school. They do what needs to be done without question.
Parents Are Happy
After a discussion with two parents, it was evident that they are very appreciative of everything the school does for its pupils. They know that their children are loved and that adaptations are in place to aid and support their needs. They know that their children are happy and love coming to school. One parent shared ‘my son hates weekends because he misses being in school. When we walk past, he wants to go and play and learn. ‘
There was a warm welcome given by staff and pupils in the school. There was so much evidence to support the school’s positive work on inclusion. It means so much to staff to ensure that the needs of individuals are met. The staff’s reflective and thoughtful approach ensures that the school is warm and welcoming and aspires to do the best for each child.
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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