Rabbsfarm Primary, in Middlesex, has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Flagship School Status for the second time.
Introducing Rabbsfarm Primary School
Rabbsfarm Primary School it is well maintained and bright and welcoming. The corridors are wide with a mixture of professional photographs on the walls as well as eye catching noticeboards and displays. The homework model projects on display show the creativity and enthusiasm of the parents and children. The classrooms are spacious, filled with light and are well organised, giving the pupils the opportunity to engage in a range of activities. Space is used creatively in order for intervention to take place in the classrooms as well as in other rooms. Classroom doors are even labelled in Braille. As I was told, ‘it’s not needed yet but might in the future.’ That comment epitomises what I discovered on my visit about the school’s attitude to meeting pupil need.
Welcoming, Creative Spaces
In addition, there are specialist areas for example, the library, ICT room and a dance and drama study and sensory room as well as the Hub. The Hub has multi uses. A parent had told me about how his son had initially been supported in a small group and outside the Hub, I saw the small play area that replicated that of the reception classes. Here small groups and individuals can experience play until they are able to access larger groups of children. The school is keen for the Hub to be used for the community. Outside the classrooms, there are the learning areas used by the EYFS groups as well as a multi-use games area and the playground with its range of activities. The school’s aim is to create a warm, caring, and welcoming environment and I observed this both inside and outside during my school tour.
Identifying and Removing Barriers
One of the greatest attributes the school has is its constant analysis of pupil need and reflection on how it meets those needs. The school’s intake is showing more complexity of need and it is responding appropriately. Using the multi-disciplinary team of SALT, EP and AP, the Inclusion Manager creates specific programmes to support pupils with for example, their developing language needs. The programmes are presented to staff in booklets and these booklets go through research evidence to intervention tasks. The interventions are modelled to staff who then run them, and this is followed by a review. This excellent coaching method ensures that staff are well equipped to deliver high quality teaching that allows pupils to make progress. These programmes are reviewed and shared with other schools. Interventions have been Shooting Stars, Mighty Meteors and the EAL programme to name but a few. Looking forward, the EP and AP spoke to me about the latest project work and in particular, the work on developing nurture groups and the training required for this. There is no doubt that the school never sits still. It is always reviewing and refining its interventions, and this can only be of benefit for the pupils.
Junior Leadership Opportunities
The school sees pupil voice as being particularly important. It has a Junior Leadership Team with representatives from all year groups and their views are sought and listened to. The pupils told me how they are able to apply for roles of responsibility in the school and said that it was good to learn how to manage disappointment if you were not chosen. Also, they were clear about recognising the opportunities that there were given in school, saying that this does not happen everywhere. They saw the teachers as being very approachable and supportive and that they could always speak to a teacher or adult if they needed to. If there were issues between pupils, these were managed and that in general the school was a positive place to be. They were looking forward to a return to parents coming into the school more and workshops coming back.
Parents in Partnership
Parents spoke very positively about the school. They particularly liked the way they could speak to staff. The Inclusion Manager and other staff are in the playground at the beginning and end of every day and are very approachable. They also have the opportunity of messaging the teacher using Seesaw and said how these messages were responded to promptly. Communication, they said, is excellent. Parents praised the school’s approach to supporting individual need, describing for example, how time in school was gradually increased as the child’s confidence grew and how individual teaching supported a gradual return to the whole class. Parents liked how they were told exactly what was happening, the honesty about individual needs and how they were given advice about how to manage children at home. Parents spoke about how happy their children were to come to school and how they were not made to feel different by the additional support needed. The staff have managed to gain the parents’ trust and there is a real feeling of partnership between them.
Partnership is important to the staff as well. There is a strong team ethos running through the teachers, support staff and the additional professionals working in the school. They share the same focus; allowing the pupils to be the best they can. Training has a high profile in the school and staff are supported in their individual development with some support staff moving on to teaching. Staff recognise that there is always someone there to offer support when needed and how there are videos etc on line that give support and ideas. Support staff spoke of how teachers listened to them and were prepared to take on their suggestions and how they were supported when developing their ideas. It is a real strength that the school is able to use the expertise of the EP, AP, OT and SALT to further support and develop practice.
Appropriate Support and Challenge
The Chair of Governors told me that the Governing Body’s (GB’s) aim was to make sure that all pupils reached their potential, no matter their individual starting point. The GB recognises that, as a mainstream school, staff have made tremendous adaptions to the curriculum to allow all pupils to engage and that Rabbsfarm is a good inclusive school. The Chair of Governors highlighted the importance of training and how there is a focussed CPD programme to allow quality teaching to take place. She spoke highly of how staff respond to the pupils’ individual needs and the positive outcomes of the appreciative enquiry model that the school uses. Governors are now welcoming the opportunity to visit the school again and continue to be fully involved in the life of the school.
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@example.com for further details.
Want more information on the IQM Award? Click here to request your free IQM information pack