Shadsworth Junior School in Blackburn achieves IQM Flagship School status for the second time.
Promoting an Inclusive Learning Environment
Shadsworth Junior School is an average sized school with 234 pupils on roll, located on the eastern edge of Blackburn. The school is situated at the top end of Shadsworth estate and the surrounding area and serves a supportive community with very close links to Shadsworth Infant School, that is located at the lower end of Shadsworth Estate, an estate with high levels of deprivation. They aim to give their pupils the best education possible and a superb level of pastoral care so that they learn well and are happy in school, through its outstanding commitment to providing a highly inclusive teaching and learning environment for all pupils and staff, continuing to ensure that the school is a superbly inclusive enjoyable, friendly place for all to come to work and learn. Everyone involved with the school believes in and works hard on a daily basis with the pupils to ensure it happens. This is truly a school where every pupil really does matter and is made to feel special. This is a fact I can attest to from the evidence of the review and from discussions with stakeholders. The school and staff are committed to providing the very highest standard of teaching and learning experiences which not only develop the pupils’ knowledge and skills, but an enjoyment of learning as well.
Heart of the Community
This is a school that is very keen to continue to be at the heart of its community and meet the needs of its changing population of pupils, parents and families as a truly inclusive community school, ensuring that they support not only their pupils, but the parents and families. Inclusion is a natural part of the very fabric of the school and a place where superb levels of care, nurture and support naturally occur. It is a calm yet stimulating, vibrant learning environment that focuses on helping pupils to develop the skills they need to be active participants in their community and in society. Everyone I met was helpful and spoke very positively about their experience at the school. A school with a focus on improving the attainment and wider outcomes for all pupils regardless of their starting point. As with the previous review it is clear to see that the school`s actions to care for pupils in my judgement is superb.
Exceptionally Positive Staff
The staff are exceptionally positive about the school. They naturally go the extra mile and beyond without thought to ensure that the individual and groups of pupils’ needs are met. They are justifiably proud of what they achieve both professionally and in terms of support for the pupils and themselves. They work exceptionally hard to ensure that the needs of pupils and families are met as a matter of course and it is very clear to see that there is mutual respect and care that is evident across the staff body and a fantastic rapport between the staff, the pupils in the school and between the staff at all levels. There is a mutual regard and respect that shines through and that everyone should be proud of.
Staff led by the Headteacher and her senior team who are clearly aspirational and have a very clear vision for the school moving forwards that all staff clearly buy into and is shown in their vision, “Learning Today for a Better Tomorrow, a statement and ethos that drives all work undertaken in the school and that everyone involved with the school work to achieve on a daily basis. A vision encompasses the very best teaching and learning and aspirations for their pupils and families, a relentless determination and drive for all to succeed. The behaviour and safety of pupils seen during this review was exemplary. Everyone involved with the school should be immensely proud of the way they conduct themselves around the school. Pupils through a variety of different opportunities have a strong pupil voice.
Sources of Evidence
During the review process I was able to talk to a variety of staff and pupils who spoke to me openly and frankly about their roles in the school and what was offered to support pupils and their families. This included a conversation with the Deputy Headteacher and the Assistant Headteacher about the school’s use of a Nurture Dog who had just been introduced to the school at the time of the last review and encompassed an evaluation of the role so far developed and future plans.
I had an enlightening discussion with the Media Hub Assistant and visited the Media Hub to see him working with pupils and talk to the pupils while they worked on a presentation about the environment. Since his appointment things have developed at a rapid pace with the Media Hub now up and running fully and the Assistant in school for four and a half days and running a number of clubs after school that are having an impact on the use of language with pupils. I also had a discussion with both Year 6 class teachers and some of their pupils about the recent introduction of iPads for all year 6 pupils. We talked about what they used them for and the impact it has had on their learning. The members of staff and the pupils were very enthusiastic about what they offered in the classroom and it was very clear that they appreciated the opportunity to use iPads and appreciated the opportunities it brought to enrich their learning. It will be interesting to see how both the Media Hub and use of iPads and Chrome books has developed at the next review point.
I was also able to spend some time talking with the SENCO and the newly appointed Phase Leader for Year 3 and Year 4 who will take up her post at the beginning of June with a clear focus on improving Teaching and Learning across the phase and being the conduit and link between SLT and classroom teachers. We also discussed the changes that are being put in place to ensure the needs of the pupils with higher SEND needs in Years 3 and 4 will be met as well as how the school had got to the point of change with the implementation of the SEND full-time provision and the proposed use of the Talk for Writing Programme. This was initially seen to work well in the Infant School and it will be important to see how it will be introduced and have an impact across the school. It will be interesting to see how this has progressed at the next review point.
A Superb School
In conclusion it was very clear from all aspects of this review that this is a superb school where every pupil really does matter. Everyone who works at Shadsworth is committed to providing the very highest standard of Teaching and Learning experiences developing the pupils’ knowledge and skills for life alongside academic achievement.
A Caring and Inclusive Environment
The superbly caring, inclusive environment that Shadsworth Junior School provides ensures each pupil receives the very best care, nurture, support and education possible delivered by extremely dedicated staff. There is a clear belief held by, and enacted, every day that each pupil is entitled to experience as many opportunities as possible in order to broaden life experience, develop confidence and self-esteem, allowing pupils to find what is unique about them and to capitalise upon it, whilst easing through areas of challenge. In terms of Inclusion Shadsworth is an outstanding school in every sense. It is clear that superb care, nurture and support that are the foundations of Inclusion in the school has maintained and developed its practice within all 8 elements of the IQM award and are at the heart of everything that happens on a daily basis at the school and were observed in all interactions between staff and pupils of all ages and abilities; between pupils and between staff; from discussions with all stakeholders and from evidence provided. Everyone involved with the school pull together to realise the school’s vision and understand that this is a superbly inclusive place to come to work and learn. Everyone should be commended for their superb efforts in making Shadsworth Junior School such a special place.
Find out more about the IQM Inclusive School Award
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