St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School in Lewisham achieves the Inclusive School Award for the third time.
A Great Deal of Developmental Work
A great deal of developmental work has taken place in the last year since the IQM COE assessment. This has included a great deal of work, led by the school’s Inclusion Manager, Headteacher and school team to further develop and embed inclusive practice across the school. Due to the lockdown as a result of COVID-19, the school team has worked tirelessly to ensure that their pupils have been provided with iPads and laptops where families had little access to technological hardware and the school also made sure that the pupils had work packs to minimise any disruption in their learning. Regular emails and phone calls to the families and pupils has meant that communication has been excellent during the lockdown. The Inclusion Manager has attended virtual meetings for LACs and for those with ECHPs. The school has ensured that Food Banks have been available for families in need and parents have appreciated all the support that the school has given during this time of turmoil and need.
Warm, Friendly and Welcoming
St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School is a warm, friendly and welcoming place. There is a sense of safety and calm within the whole school. Everybody has a sense of purpose and pupils in the school are happy. They are valued and respected. Pupils have a confidence in their teachers and support staff and know their needs will be met. They are strongly supported in all areas of the curriculum by dedicated, passionate and highly professional staff. The Headteacher has a clear vision for ensuring that St Winifred’s offers the best possible education in a warm and caring environment. The Headteacher is ably supported by a strong team of senior leaders who share her determination that all stakeholders are listened to and that all pupils will succeed regardless of any barriers. This inclusive ethos pervades throughout the school. The pupils are nurtured and enabled to reach their full potential in a safe and supportive environment.
A Broad, Balanced, Exciting and Creative Curriculum
The school has a broad, balanced, exciting and creative curriculum which ensures that it engages the pupils’ interests as well as covering the National Curriculum in all subjects. The school tracks pupils’ progress meticulously which ensures that learning is tailor-made to their individual needs. The teachers and support staff are a dynamic, committed and positive team who plan and deliver lessons which are exciting, stimulating and highly imaginative. The school ensures that both teachers and support staff have access to high quality continuous professional development programmes in order for all staff to keep abreast of the latest educational research and to develop their practice further.
Every Individual is Welcomed
The school mission statement states that at St Winifred’s Catholic Primary School: “We nourish a happy, safe and supportive school community in which every individual is welcomed, valued and respected for being unique. We inspire a search for excellence by offering the best possible learning environment. We provide a Christ-centred education, helping our children to develop and grow in faith and teaching them to promote the Gospel values of love of neighbour, fairness and forgiveness, both in school and in the wider community.” These values are deeply embedded in all the work that the school does for the pupils in its care.
Celebrating Children’s Learning and Progress
Classrooms are well organised, and the vibrant displays celebrate the children’s learning and progress. Pupils’ work is valued, celebrated and shared through the displays throughout the school. Pupils know what to do if they are stuck. The teachers plan their lessons carefully considering their children’s needs and desires. Each lesson has a clear learning intention with steps to success. Through the school’s inclusive approach, pupils are taught to respect, value and learn from other cultures and faiths. All members of staff encourage the pupils to have high expectations of themselves and aspire to be the very best they can be. It was clear from discussions with teachers during the day, how supportive they were of each other and they commented on how the senior leaders have an ‘open-door’ policy and if they felt that they were struggling with their workload, they would be listened to and leaders would respond in an appropriate way to reduce their workload. One teacher stated,
“Every person’s voice is valid, and everyone is heard”.
The highly stimulating curriculum is greatly enhanced by a wide variety of enrichment experiences for all pupils. Sports, music and the arts are highly valued in the school and the school ensures that every child is nurtured to develop their gifts in these areas.
Conversations with pupils during the review demonstrated how motivated and enthusiastic they were about their learning and their school. Pupils take responsibility for their own learning and they are encouraged to be inquisitive learners by asking questions, reasoning, predicting, solving problems and being resilient about ‘having a go’.
Learning is Carefully Planned
Teachers actively and carefully plan learning so that tasks and activities are meaningful and relevant. Staff work hard to identify any barriers to learning and adapt the curriculum accordingly with appropriate interventions and support to diminish gaps in learning and knowledge acquisition. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their learning and are given opportunities to transfer learning from one context to another in order to make vital links within the curriculum framework. The pupils have many opportunities to join after-school enrichment clubs and enjoy the educational trips and residential trips that they go on to enhance and enrich their learning experiences. Pupils are proud of their school, take pride in their work and have strong relationships with each other and the adults in school. One child said,
“We love our teachers and all the staff in the school because they help us and keep us safe”.
Staff Feel Very Well Supported
All staff feel very well supported by leaders and they know that leaders consider their wellbeing equally as important as the pupils’. They appreciate the training opportunities they receive to improve the quality of their teaching and this has contributed to a school community where all staff are both respected and highly valued. The Headteacher informed me that two teachers have applied for scholarships supported by the Local Authority. If they are successful, they will have a leading role in innovating change across the borough as well as in the school community. This demonstrates the commitment that school leaders have in developing their staff.
Working Closely with Parents
The school works very closely with parents and involves them in its work in many ways. They are welcomed to many events including assemblies, workshops, which they attend in large numbers; as well as the wide range of events organised by the PTA. Parents feel that they are listened to and the school has fostered a real partnership ensuring both parties share the process of educating their children. Emails received by the school from parents demonstrate how supportive the school has been for families especially during lockdown, with one parent saying,
“I just wanted to say that the school and all its staff and helpers have done an amazing job over the past few weeks in very difficult circumstances. Thank you for the incredible diligence and care in preparing the pupil learning packs. I know it must have taken so much time pulling together resources and getting them printed but we really appreciate it”.
Another email states,
“I would like to thank all the staff at St Winifred’s for their hard work and dedication to our children. A true testament to human kindness and great leadership”.
Governors Play a Very Positive Role
Governors play a very positive role in the school and are frequent visitors, enabling them to support and challenge the school in an informed way. Governors are well trained and knowledgeable about the school, both its strengths and areas for further development. They contribute effectively to the school’s self-evaluation and plans for improvement. They work well with leaders and play a vital role in making key decisions about the strategic direction of the school. The SEND governor explained how governors were always welcomed into the school and how they are actively encouraged to come into the school. She said that the school is very inclusive and that, “Every child is treasured for what they bring to the school and I can say this with confidence as all three of my children attended the school”.
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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