South Green Juniors in Billericay has achieved the Inclusive School Award for the fourth time.
A Very Inclusive School
South Green Junior School is a very inclusive school The Headteacher has a strong vision of inclusion within a creative curriculum and she has worked effectively with her SENCo, SLT and the Governing Body to ensure that all staff have similar aspirations for children at the school. There is a commitment and high expectation of all staff to ensure that children have a positive learning experience.
Children are Fully Supported
The leadership of the Headteacher and the SLT ensures that all children are fully supported to achieve their full potential and they set the framework in which all the work in the school takes place. Children are valued as individuals within a caring atmosphere. Teachers, LSAs, HLTA and TAs know their pupils well and have an excellent rapport with their children. There is a consistent approach to behaviour management which is understood by everyone and the five school values focus children on being Responsible, Resilient, Reflective, Reciprocal and Resourceful. These values are reinforced on a regular basis through assemblies, class discussion and informal reminders. The nurture club organised by the Thrive practitioner supports vulnerable children both at break times and during lessons. She works closely with the SENCo to ensure that no children feel isolated or vulnerable in any way. Pupil premium funding is used effectively to provide good provision for these children and others who need supporting.
Displays are of High Quality
Displays in classrooms and shared areas are of high quality. They show a balance between celebrating learning and providing a focus for learning. Working walls are well used in classes and displays such as Stop Bullying (Start Telling Other People), Ancient Greece, South America, Art inspired by China, the School House and the School Council displays reflect the many and varied themes presented with a high quality of consistency in corridors and in the halls. There is also a strong focus on displays in book corners to encourage reading. These class book corners are judged by the children for creativity and uniqueness. A wide range of resources including those adapted to individual children’s needs are available to further children’s learning. Coloured overlays, dictaphones and cameras are available in classes. The computing curriculum is well equipped with a range of digital resources and these are supplemented by laptops, iPads, online programmes and practical science and maths resources. Interactive whiteboards are well used to support children’s learning. The library is inviting, well-resourced and used by each class at least once each week. The reception area gives parents and visitors a good first impression of the school and office staff are friendly and polite. The outdoor environment is spacious with opportunities for children to develop aspects of sport, sustainability and learning through play. The new gym equipment is of particular note. Children are on a rota basis to use this equipment but have many other activities which also occupy them at lunch and break times. The lunchtime session was especially calm and active with play leaders and peer mentors providing support and organisational abilities.
A Strong Focus on Support
There is a strong focus on sport which children enjoy and this encourages children to understand the value of teamwork and competition as well as skill development in a range of sports. This is supplemented by a range of extra-curricular activities including football, craft, tennis, tag rugby, comic, Braille and enrichment clubs. The provision for two visually impaired children is excellent with the Visually Impaired Specialist Teacher providing support and advice to parents, teachers, LSAs and TAs. The sports coordinator also ensures that children with disabilities, including the visually impaired, are included in school sport activities. There is good provision mapping and the effective targeting of the pupil premium funding ensures children with disabilities and special needs are given every opportunity to succeed.
Extending Pupils’ Learning
Pupils are clear on what they need to do to extend their learning and this is supported by improved feedback marking. This has been a school focus in the development plan. Talk for writing is having a growing impact on reading and writing levels. Children are often involved in the decision-making process when matters relating to their school environment and learning are concerned. Pupil voice is strong and opportunities for children to take on responsibilities including the school council, play leaders and peer mediators are taken seriously. Raising money for the Guide Dogs for the Blind and other charities ensures that children understand the lives of people less fortunate than themselves. The school residential trips in Y4, Y5 and Y6 enrich the curriculum and build up children’s self -confidence.
Constantly Reviewing Provision
Good tracking procedures and related Pupil Progress Meetings constantly review provision for individuals and groups of pupils. The introduction of Learning Ladders and the involvement of parents online should be an excellent way of ensuring parents are involved in their child’s learning. There has also been a concerted effort to improve marking and feedback and children’s books reflect this effort. Children are set in maths with three sets for Y6. Attainment is high at the end of Y6 and the school is working hard with the Infant School to further improve progress. The presentation of children’s work is consistently good. Children feel that learning is fun and are well motivated. The moving of topic work to a week at the end of each half term has been successful in maximising time and preventing relearning. Building Learning Power is being relaunched to ensure consistency across the school. This will also include sessions in philosophy which will further stretch the children’s thinking. The excellent behaviour, attitudes and work ethic of the children in both formal and informal settings enhances the learning that children can access in this and other subjects.
Importance of Adult Support
The role of the additional adults in supporting learning and supporting individual children cannot be underestimated. TAs, LSAs and the HLTA are totally involved in the learning process and there is a highly supportive relationship between staff and pupils. One child commented, ‘Our teachers are so supportive.’ This reflects the consistent messages expressed by children during the assessment. Subject leadership is strong with leaders in the core subjects demonstrating great enthusiasm for their subject. Staff have regular and effective CPD which focuses on children’s learning and areas for development in the school improvement plan. During the assessment the assessor saw good examples of the use of talk partners, differentiated work, use of time constraints, reflection, good questioning, peer and self-assessment, praise and encouragement used to good effect, good behaviour management, TAs involved in the learning, consistent standard of marking and presentation and interactive use of the smartboard. There is good teaching throughout the school with some that is outstanding.
A Supportive Governing Body
The Headteacher says that the Governing Body supports and challenges the leadership team effectively. They are fully supportive of the school’s inclusive agenda. Governors have a wide range of expertise upon which to draw and carry out their leadership function to good effect. There are good links with parents and excellent work with vulnerable families to improve the chances of all children. The excellent communication and the school’s “open door” policy is appreciated by parents and effective in giving parents confidence in the school. The recent parent view demonstrates high satisfaction with school policies and procedures. Regular newsletters, emails, parents’ meetings, reports each year, signposting to activities in the local community, a clearly set out prospectus and excellent website are all ways in which the school communicates with parents. There are generally good communication systems which give parents and carers confidence in the school’s support for their child’s needs.
Headteacher Has a High Profile In and Around School
The Headteacher has a high profile and parents feel that she can be approached to consider any concerns they may have. The nurture group leader and Thrive practitioner and the SENCo are well respected by parents for going that ‘extra mile’. Parents value the school’s ethos and understand the inclusive practices the school promotes. Outside agencies link well with the school and the Visually Impaired Specialist interviewed mentioned how the school is ‘so supportive and makes every effort to implement any recommendations’. The close working with a range of agencies to address the inclusion agenda ensures that children’s needs are met and the links with local primary schools through the Billericay Community Trust support staff and ultimately improve teaching and learning.
Visitors from the Local Community
There are visitors to the school from local community services and organisations to enhance children’s work. There are improved transition arrangements with the local Infant School and the choir sing at local events. The school is the host for Outstanding Teaching Assistant training and members of staff lecture at the local SCITT. Children are involved in raising funds for children and adults less fortunate than themselves by supporting local and national charities and the residential visits to different localities provide children with a much needed experience of a world different to their own. South Green Junior School is an example of a school committed to meet the needs of its children regardless of what that takes to achieve. The strong leadership of the Headteacher, her accessibility and her commitment to inclusion and improving the opportunities for all children together with the leadership of the SENCo in ensuring that the IQM process is articulated by everyone and putting inclusion at the top of the school’s agenda make this an excellent school.
Sources of Evidence
Evidence for the assessment was gathered from a variety of sources. The range of evidence was extremely useful presenting a full picture of life in the school. Interviews on the days of assessment were carried out with the Headteacher, SENCo, parents and carers, the school council, the office staff, LSAs, the HLTA, TAs, the Nurture Group leader, the Specialist Teacher for Visual Impairment, the maths and literacy lead teachers, the lead teacher for Building Learning Power and the PE lead teacher. A tour of the school, informal observations and lunch with the children also informed the evidence base.
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