Plaistow Primary School in Newham has achieved the Inclusive School Award again.
Plaistow Primary School opened in 2002 and is a two-form entry school with a nursery. The current school role is 440. The latest Ofsted judgement (2013/14) was outstanding. Plaistow achieved the Inclusion Quality Mark in 2014. Since then there have been significant developments such as the growing expertise in speech and language development and therapeutic support across the school.
Pupils are proud of their school. They say,
“All children are friendly and let you play with them.”
Pupils reported they like school because they enjoy learning. Pupils are very well behaved and are supported to develop their social skills both in small groups and in class. Pupils work hard in their lessons and talk about their learning confidently achieving stars for their number bonds and times tables. One pupil, in key stage one, expressed her desire to do well at school as she wanted to be a teacher when she grows up.
Alive with Pupils’ Work
The learning environment is alive with pupils’ work and learning walls. The pupils have easy access to resources to support their learning and use these independently. The teachers use techniques such as “talk to a partner” and “lollystick lottery” to encourage all pupils to be fully involved in the lesson.
Parents recognise that the school has strong leadership. The Headteacher is very well respected for leading the school and knowing all the families well. One parent said,
“If you’ve got a great leader you have great followers.”
The parents spoke very highly about the Headteacher, leadership team and all of the adults in the school. The parents I spoke to liked the professionalism, friendliness and fairness of the school staff team. Parents expressed their pleasure that pupils with special educational needs had equal opportunities and were very well supported.
Parents Praise Pupil Support
The Inclusion Manager is very experienced and is also one of the Assistant Headteachers. Parents spoke of her excellent communication skills and approachability.She regularly works with the governors to keep them informed about inclusion at Plaistow. She has recently given a presentation to governors which included information about the effectiveness of the significant number of interventions in place. These include play therapy, social skills group, self-esteem group and 1 to1 reading. She tracks the progress of each pupil, adjusting interventions as required and ensuring good communication with school staff, outside agencies and parents.
Equality is a Central Theme
Equality is a central theme within the school. Students of all abilities and ages have opportunities to take part in a range of activities including extra-curricular clubs and enrichment. All pupils are able to choose an afterschool club, and these are funded by the school. Parents value the many opportunities that the school has given to their children, for example, free musical opportunities, cookery and football clubs which may have been unaffordable for some families. The school staff ensure all classes have enriched opportunities such as educational visits and visitors to enhance the creative curriculum.
One parent explained that her child had been given the opportunity to learn the violin through the Newham scheme “Every child a musician,” and has now had two lessons a week and has performed three concerts. This has proved to be something her daughter really enjoys, and she has become very accomplished, wishing to continue this at secondary school.
Excellent Staff Support and Training Opportunities
The school knows the strengths of each adult in the school and uses these very effectively, for example, teaching assistants with degrees or specific skills have opportunities to offer one-to-one tuition or to run a club such as dance or sewing. A teaching assistant has been trained to support with speech and language, and to develop resources to effectively support a pupil with specific needs. Recent training on autism has been well received by the support staff I spoke to. They are now following this up with further on-line training and speak highly of their opportunities at Plaistow and value being part of a supportive team.
Specialist Support is Brought In When Needed
Specialist support is brought in to the school, such as additional hours from a speech therapist, a counsellor and a dyslexia teacher. The impact of each of these adults is very evident, making a huge difference to the supported pupils. One parent spoke to me about her child initially struggling with dyslexia but is really progressing due to the support she receives at Plaistow Primary School.
Sources of Evidence
Evidence was gathered from a variety of sources within the school. The range of evidence was extremely useful in presenting a full picture of life in the school. Interviews on the two days of the assessment were carried out with the Headteacher, the Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion, teaching assistants, parents, pupils, speech and language therapist and counsellor. A learning walk of the school, informal lesson observations, visit to the lunchtime Rainbow Club, observation of a social skills group, dyslexia session, interventions, parents workshop and Assembly also informed the evidence base.
Documentary evidence included governors’ action plans, school diary, a range of assessed pupils’ work, foundation stage learning journals, intervention folders and inclusion files.
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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