Phoenix Primary School in Liverpool has achieved Centre of Excellence status.
A Vibrant Community School
Phoenix Primary School is a vibrant community school with 205 children on roll. There is a resourced provision for 30 children across the school with needs across all four areas of the code of practice. The website guarantees a warm welcome describing the powerful air of optimism about the school. Having visited to carry out the assessment I can fully concur with this sentiment. The optimism in the school was tangible and all staff guide and nurture the children whilst offering them hope and aspiration and a determination to be the best that they can be.
Building Trust, Strength, Resilience and a Future
The vision of the school community shone through with a deep-rooted desire to build trust, strength, resilience and a future for their pupils. A thriving primary school that is outward facing and there for the children and their families. On arrival, the school was a hive of activity. I was greeted with the warmest of welcomes and immediately shown the school ‘in action’. The breakfast club was alive with children and school staff sharing in morning activities together and each beginning their day in such a positive way. One child confidently introduced himself, sharing a model he had made, this really did set the ethos for the rest of the day. Everyone had a smile on their face and indeed the positivity in the room and throughout every corner of the school was overflowing. What a fantastic way for a child to begin their day at school!
A Hands-on Approach
Without exception, every member of the school community has a ‘hands on’ approach; all working together as one team. As I was taken into the main building of the school, one of the staff said, ‘this is where the fun begins’. Never a truer word was spoken as everyone I met shared the same passion and commitment to ensuring the children at Phoenix Primary have fun in their learning in a happy, relaxed and safe environment. The headteacher, governors and staff are rightly proud of their inclusive environment and their love for what they do emanates throughout the building.
School of Sanctuary Status
The school is pro-active in seeking better outcomes for their children including leading the way in the authority as a school that offers outstanding provision for as recognised by their ‘School of Sanctuary’ status. Indeed, every member of staff in the school wants the best for the children and they really do go the extra mile. As the day went on, it became apparent that the school, as per its namesake, has risen in terms of its inclusivity and is reaching new heights.
Confidence! That was the word of the day. From each and every member of the school community, confidence is the key to success. Everyone has been empowered as their confidence has been developed in different ways and children and staff have flourished as a result. All stakeholders spoke candidly about their personal journeys that the school had taken them on. As one teacher described; ‘the school has a buzz about it each day’. I was overwhelmed by each personal testimony and how the school ensures inclusion is at the heart of all its decision making. Being able to have external verification to support the assessment from the school’s SIP who explained that the school does what is right for each and every child, was further evidence that this is a school that is not simply ticking the inclusion box, moreover they are living and breathing it.
Inside and Outside the Classroom
The school 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 the breakfast club, reading recovery room, therapy room, 4D room and all classrooms. The outdoor and indoor environments were stunning, I was particularly impressed with the outdoor Bio-Dome provision.
A Comprehensive Self Evaluation Report
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 evident that the undertaking of the IQM was indeed a journey and had evidenced the embedded practices of the school. These have been recognised by external agencies who see the commitment and contribution the school makes to providing effective care and provision. The evidence presented to me indicates that significant progress has already been made and will continue to be.
I noticed a quote that was displayed in school that read;
‘no one person has every skill, so you need a team to make it happen’.
These words have been brought to life at Phoenix Primary School. Every minute of every day, something wonderful happens for the children here. What a genuine privilege for me as an assessor to capture a snapshot of this and to see such a dedicated team in action.
I am in no doubt that the evidence presented to me during my visit to the school and information contained within the Self Evaluation Report clearly demonstrates the inclusive practice in place within the school and the ongoing commitment to develop this further. As an IQM assessor I was made to feel extremely welcome and included in all aspects of the daily life of the school. My sincere thanks must go to everyone who generously gave their time during the IQM assessment. Everyone should be proud of the opportunities they are providing for the children and their families.
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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