Plaistow Primary School & Children’s Centre in London has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
Plaistow Primary School is a maintained primary school, situated in the Plaistow North ward of the London Borough of Newham, an area of has high socio-economic deprivation. Overcrowding, lack of social mobility and small numbers having access to higher education are all issues for the school. 30.3% of families living in the North ward are low-income, higher than the average in Newham which is 25.7%. Plaistow is an ethnically diverse school, with 93% of the pupils for whom English is not their first language. There are pupils from14 different ethnic groups present at the school. Free school meals (FSM) entitlement is currently 27% however most pupils receive a free school meal because of Newham’s continued commitment to providing free school meals to all primary-aged pupils. The school has a nursery as well as an on-site Children’s Centre. The school has higher than average mobility with a high number of pupils who have newly arrived in the country.
Spreading the Joy
This quotation from one of the school’s wall displays summarises the school’s approach to inclusion beautifully!
“Have you spread Joy today at Plaistow?
Be the person that makes others feel included.”
Plaistow Primary School is a highly inclusive school with all stakeholders feeling that their views are respected and that they are listened to. This was the overwhelming view of the children, parents, teachers, Teaching Assistants and visiting professionals. Inclusion is strongly articulated and in evidence throughout the school.
The school is led by an inspirational Headteacher and Leadership Team who put inclusive practices at the heart of everything that they do. The Headteacher is proud to say that all practitioners work together with high aspirations for all learners; they live and breathe the school values. It was gratifying to see this in practice throughout the school. The Assistant Head/SENDCo is a highly respected and committed professional who constantly endeavours to improve the school’s offer and make sure that coming to school is a joyful and productive experience for all learners with SEND. Children spoke about their kind and helpful teachers and Teaching Assistants.
A Welcoming School
The actual school building is purpose-built and serves the children’s needs well. The school benefits from a range of intervention and specialist rooms as well as spacious outdoor areas. The entrance area and staff at the reception are friendly and welcoming to visitors and set the tone for people who are entering the school.
Pupils Are Engaged
In a Year 2 maths lesson, the children showed themselves to be confident learners in being keen to have a go. Through skilled questioning and targeted assessment for learning, the teacher made sure that all pupils were engaged and learning new information about measuring and estimating length.
Children Love School
The children were polite and eager to talk about all the opportunities that they are afforded by attending Plaistow Primary School. They all said that they love school! Year 1 were excited about their Mathletics competition, saying that they enjoyed getting stickers, certificates, and the trophy, presented in the Celebration Assembly. They spoke about their love for reading and their visit to the new school library to take out books to read at home. Others talked about how the teachers are helpful and they make the lessons fun. Key Stage 2 pupils enjoy being part of the PEAT- Plaistow Eco Action Team- weeding and planting in the eco-garden and selling produce. Play Leaders have a monitoring role, spotting pupils being good and handing out dojos.
Experience Is Recognised
Staff who work directly with pupils who need additional support have dedicated resources such as Now/Next boards, and symbol boards to stimulate communication and access to widget resources as needed. Key Stage 2 Teaching Assistants appreciate the way that their opinions are heard and taken on board, and their experience is recognised. They spoke particularly about the new zones of regulation programme which they feel is really helping with the mental health needs of particular pupils.
Communication Is Excellent
Keeping children safe is the top priority of the school, the school have a full-time Child Protection Officer in place. She spoke about the excellent communication channels that the school have, particularly since the introduction of a weekly inclusion meeting which all key members of staff attend. This is a decision-making group where strategies and next steps are agreed for vulnerable groups. Family Support Workers (The Best Start in Life Group) in the Children’s Centre work in tandem with the school staff to ensure that all needs are met. It is a transparent system where communication is key. The school have re-launched “Safeguard” an online safeguarding tool which has greatly improved child protection processes in the school.
Pupils Are Positive
All the children had clever ideas in the assembly which focused on good mental health as they discussed how they can stop themselves from feeling too sad and what activities make you feel happy, these positive pupils are an absolute credit to the inclusive ethos exemplified at Plaistow Primary School and Children’s Centre.
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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