Rooks Heath School in Harrow, Middlesex has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
The School’s Motto
“Wonderfully multifaceted and resourced to the needs of the community.” This is how the Head describes Rooks Heath. The motto of the school is ‘Strive to be your best’ and it is clear that everyone at the school follows this with a passion.
Students Have Role Models
Sitting in the heart of one of the most diverse towns in Europe, Rooks Heath School truly mirrors the community it is part of. This is true of both the pupil composition and the staff composition, ensuring that students have role models with which they can identify. It is a school that understands the vulnerabilities of students, working with them and their parents in a non-confrontational respectful way. The school boasts that more than staff and students speak seventy-two different languages.
Results Are Outstanding
Over thirty per cent of pupils qualify for free school meals or pupil premium though the real figure is much higher. Nearly two-thirds of the school pupil population are male. Students frequently arrive at the school with no English. The results and outcomes these young people achieve are outstanding. The school leaves no stone unturned to do the right thing for its pupils and I heard numerous stories of success. For example, a student who was a selective mute found her voice on stage and sang to the whole school.
Diversity Is Predominant
The Student Support Hub, a central focus of the school for all pupils, was welcoming, and light as was the learning support base. I witnessed many pupils popping in to say good morning to the team. The Hub was recognised by students as the place they could go to if they had any questions. This might be just about the day or more personal issues such as sexuality. The fact that students were willing to talk about this shows how open the school is with them and how much work has been done to bring diversity to the fore. Many students wear Pride badges.
Staff Are Experienced
The staff team have a wealth of experience, many stay at the school for large parts of their careers. For example, the school is saying goodbye to a staff member after forty-five years of service. All staff work to build student independence, they see every child as an individual. Parents are made to feel that their child is the only child in the school.
Wellbeing Is Key
Wellbeing is important to the leadership team. They are keen to hear everyone’s voice. Union participation is welcomed. Staff are regularly surveyed for opinions on school initiatives. Whatever the school action for the staff is then mirrored in what is done for the students. For example, during lock down the school sent out surveys asking ‘how well are you feeling’- looking for a simple rag response. Staff and students were surveyed to find out their opinions on school lunch and break times.
There is a warm welcome at the school and it was clear that the staff all work together as a team to ensure the best outcomes for pupils. The team prides itself on never giving up on a pupil. For example, the SEND administrative assistant related a story of how a pupil’s parent had called saying they could not afford to buy a prom ticket. Several phone calls later, the prom ticket had been paid for out of a subject budget – volunteered by the subject lead.
The pupils came across as confident young people. The school council members all had precise destinations in mind for post-school and strongly felt that the school would enable them to fulfil their dreams. The support is added in at each stage to maximise outcomes. All of the pupils knew whom they could talk to, each feeling they had a teacher whom they had a close relationship with. For many, this was their Head of Year. The Heads of Year stay with pupils throughout their school journey and build strong bonds with each pupil. Students use the school council to get their voices heard but are aware of other means of being listened to.
A Caring, Inclusive Environment
The pandemic has impacted the school. It is struggling to get all learners back into school and the number of cover staff they have had to use has risen massively. The Head was new to the school when the lockdown started. It was a tough start to her time at the school but, the school has grown under her leadership and she is highly respected by staff and pupils. The school has used the pandemic to reflect and build. The effectiveness of IT has greatly increased in the school due to the lessons of the pandemic and this has impacted pupil outcomes and progress levels. Rooks Heath strives to meet the needs of a diverse student cohort and does so in a warm, caring, inclusive environment.
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