St Michael and All Angels Catholic Primary School has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
Excellent Inclusive Approach
St Michael and All Angels is a voluntary aided Catholic Primary School in Wirral. It is a one-form entry school, with 237 pupils aged 2-11 years currently on roll. Located on the Woodchurch estate, the school serves an area with high levels of socio-economic deprivation. The number of pupils in receipt of free school meals (FSM) is 45%, well above the national average. The number of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) is 29%, also above the national average. 12% of pupils speak English as an additional language (EAL), a number which has seen a significant increase over the past couple of years. The school has a Local Authority Resourced Base, the Nurture Base, which supports 8 pupils from Early Years and Key Stage 1 with significant social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs, who have previously been identified as being at risk of exclusion from their previous schools.
In 2021, Ofsted judged provision at the school to be ‘good’, with the report highlighting the school’s excellent inclusive approach: “Adults treat all pupils with care and affection. Pupils reward this positive approach with their unyielding trust, good behaviour and respect for all. This makes St Michael’s a calm, purposeful and safe place to be for everyone. Pupils live and breathe the school’s Christian values. They do their utmost to treat others as they wish to be treated themselves”.
Throughout the IQM assessment visit to St Michael and All Angels Catholic Primary School, a consistent inclusive ethos was evident across the School. Pupils and families are warmly greeted in the morning; any visitors are immediately welcomed into the school community by all. The school provides a safe haven where children feel protected and cared for, with a stable connection with trusted adults.
The Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher described the inclusive culture at the school as “welcoming”. This word was consistently chosen by all stakeholders throughout the day to express the essence of the inclusivity, demonstrating a united vision and experience for all. Having been warmly welcomed into the school community by all, our Assessor endorsed this sentiment.
St Michael and All Angels Catholic Primary School pupils are delightful. They demonstrate genuine acceptance and tolerance of others. They welcome children who join from other schools or countries with open hearts and minds. They are caring towards each other and their behaviour is excellent during lessons and unstructured times.
Teamwork is Key
Teamwork is key to the success of the staff, who work together effectively, with the children at the centre of their shared vision. Staff feel supported by the Leaders and feel that their voice is listened to. Staff are developed and nurtured throughout their careers at St Michael and All Angels, growing both professionally and personally due to the opportunities and support afforded them.
As an outward-facing school, there are numerous collaborative partnerships in place with other schools locally and further afield. The close relationship with the local secondary school allows mutual best practice sharing as well as the establishment of a comprehensive transition programme which prepares pupils for life beyond St Michael and All Angels.
Parent and carers feel well-supported by the staff. The work undertaken to support families is a clear strength of the school. Staff go above and beyond typical expectations to ensure that families are given as much support as possible. An open-door culture means that parents and carers can speak to staff whenever they need to, resulting in prompt responses to any issues brought to their attention. Communication between school and home is highly effective in ensuring the children have their individual needs met.
Provision at the Nurture Base is excellent. The Nurture Base Team work with some of the most vulnerable, often marginalised children, to turn their lives around and give them another chance, thus improving their future prospects and life chances. Many of the children successfully reintegrate back into mainstream settings following the intensive programme of support they receive whilst attending the Nurture Base.
Expectations of the Children are High
Teachers’ expectations of the children are high. This raises aspirations for all. Pupils respond positively to the staff and their genuine caring approach. Pupils feel that the teachers believe in them, which galvanises them to achieve to the best of their ability. The result of the positive relationships between the staff and pupils is that the children enjoy going to school.
Through the broad curriculum, which is underpinned by the school’s values, pupils are developed holistically. To support the many disadvantaged children who attend the school, the curriculum embraces varied learning activities which pupils may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience. All pupils are supported to successfully access the curriculum, with any barriers to learning effectively identified to enable all to succeed.
For the IQM Inclusive School Award assessment, the IQM Coordinator and Senior Leadership Team provided wide-ranging evidence to validate the process. Our Assessor was welcomed into the school with warmth. Staff welcomed the process and demonstrated an open culture of self-evaluation. This reflective culture ensures that the school is continuing to improve and move forward. Leaders know the areas of strength and have clear plans to improve any areas which need further development.
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.
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