South Farnborough Junior School in Hampshire has achieved Centre of Excellence status.
Passionate About All Children’s Progress
South Farnborough Junior School is an excellent example of inclusive practice. The Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher and leaders are passionate about the progress of all the children in their school and have created a learning environment where children are encouraged to both develop their academic skills as well as those of being citizens of the future. The school motto is “embracing our values today…to be a successful part of the world tomorrow”. Leaders and children were proud of the values that they had developed together – Empathy, Excellence, Pride, Resilience, Happiness and Creativity. It was evident from both the virtual tour of the school and the discussions with staff and children that the values are at the core of the school’s approach. The cores are reflected through a bee and a honeycomb which are displayed in all areas of the school. It was apparent from conversations with children, staff, Governors and parents that the school is welcoming and friendly with both Governors and parents commenting on the easy access to staff. Parents particularly liked the regular Friday staff on the playground sessions as well as Senior Leaders throughout the week.
Displays Celebrate Children’s Learning
The learning environments have been developed to promote the children’s progress with displays that celebrate learning, as well as working walls that show the journey the children make as they progress in developing their skills and knowledge in different subjects. Children’s aspirations are encouraged through motivational quotes displayed on walls as well as displays such as Women in Science. The school has made extensive use of its outside grounds with the children able to complete the daily mile as well as take part in a wide range of sporting activities. A suggestion to enhance the outside learning environment would be to investigate Forest School’s to further develop children’s skills.
Supporting Children’s Learning
The school benefits from a Resource Base (Middle School) on site which is able to further develop the children’s understanding of inclusion. Leaders have focused on including the children within the Middle School through creating improved access to mainstream classes. Staff commented that the children from Middle School “loved being part of the whole class and felt much more part of the school”. The Middle School leader works with staff to support the provision in classrooms that meet the needs of all the pupils. Staff commented on the positive benefit of “staff meetings that enables expertise to be shared from differentiation to speech and language”. Staff are also able to access the Middle School as an Outreach support for children within their class. The team use a range of strategies from catch up reading, precision teaching, Read Write Inc and Numicon to support progress as well as very practical based activities to develop skills and knowledge. Staff monitor children’s progress using the Wakefield Progression Steps to reflect the small steps of progress made. Parents have regular access to the base and are encouraged to work with the team on developing pupil profiles that show the targets and small steps of development.
Promoting Inclusive Practice
Leaders have established a good range of systems and strategies to promote inclusive practice across the school. The school has developed a range of polices to promote inclusion as well as Pupil Premium Strategies that reflect the needs of the pupils in the school. The school also has a clear Behaviour Strategy that links to the school values and promotes positive behaviours. Children were very clear about the expectations of behaviour as well as the promotion of the values commenting on the Merit System and Dojos that are awarded to celebrate achievement. Children welcome the opportunities to be leaders across the school from Form Captains to Sports Leaders. The wider curriculum and enrichment activities are encouraged through a range of clubs that encourage cultural, sporting and academic achievement as well as trips and local community events.
A Distributive Leadership Approach
Leaders have also developed a distributive leadership approach to encourage whole school engagement in both school development and accountability. Staff are involved in the development of policies as well as new curriculum approaches. Staff have recently implemented a maths mastery approach across the school to further develop children’s maths skills. The team has recognised that although children achieve above the national average at the end of Key Stage 2, they must continue to develop and challenge to further enhance the provision. Staff have developed a strategy of Explain, Change Create as part of the development of challenging all children.
Supporting During the Pandemic
As a team that are passionate about inclusion the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent return to school led to a focus on ensuring that the pupils and families in the school were being supported. Staff made regular phone calls to vulnerable pupils. The team developed the use of Google classrooms and provided both live lessons as well as other material to support children at home. Parents particularly enjoyed taking part in the live lessons and that the lessons were led by different members of the staff team. The team also planned the transition back to school with the use of videos to meet staff and share stories. Staff completed EHCP and other plans through online meetings. Parents were particularly impressed with the transition programme and commented on the “positive impact it had on the children’s return to school as well as entry to new schools.”
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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