Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham Temple Grove Free School in Lewisham has achieved Centre of Excellence status.
Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham Temple Grove Free School (HAHTGFS) is a two form entry school which is part of the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation of Schools. The school is slightly larger than average size with 420 pupils organised into 14 classes. The current pupil population consist of 52.5% White British families and 47.5% from ethnic minority families, this latter figure represents a higher than national number across the school. In addition, 11% of children speak English as an additional language. The percentage of Pupil Premium children is well below the national average.
Resilience, Independence and Mutual Respect
Over the last seven years the school has grown in size and, as a new school, has “worked hard during its formative years to establish its ethos and core values, drawing heavily on the ‘Askean’ values of resilience, independence and mutual respect” as referenced on the school website. Each member of the team described how the whole team had worked together to develop the school and that everyone’s viewpoint is “considered and leaders listened to them.” HTFG is a school where collaboration is central to its development and has led to a team that feel valued and highly regarded by both parents and leaders. Parent questionnaire comments describe “friendly helpful and welcoming staff.” The meetings held during the review certainly confirmed the comment. The Headteacher correctly describes on the website how “incredibly proud” he is “to lead the team at HAHTGFS”. The review reflected a committed team who the Headteacher has appointed and developed to reflect his vision of collaboration and inclusion as the school has grown to its full capacity.
A Strong Culture of Aspiration for All Children
The school acknowledged that it “serves an advantaged community” and that it is “our duty to capitalise fully on the better start in life most of our children experience.” From the assessment this duty was reflected by the staff team as they described a school with a “strong culture of aspiration for all children.” Internal data and tracking demonstrated that children achieve well with expected outcomes at the end of Key Stage 2 reflecting well above historic National figures.
Caring and Inclusive Approach
The impact of the passion and the collaborative approach to inclusion which the team demonstrated during the assessment day were excellent. Staff were enthusiastic about their school and being a part of the school. New team members felt highly valued due to the caring and inclusive approach of the staff team.
A Positive School Culture
This is a school that has established a positive school culture that:
• Reflects a keen understanding of the importance of good relationships.
• There is ownership of the vision and values.
• A staff team that is committed to collaboration.
• Every member of the school is valued and there is a commitment to invest in each of them.
• Recognises the importance of praise and celebration.
• Each member of the team is a role model.
During the summer term 2020, when the school was only open for vulnerable children and key worker children, laptops were sent home to families who did not have the relevant technology as well as supplies of paper, pencils and paint. Anything that families requested to help their child to continue their learning journey was provided by the school. Free school meal vouchers were provided and this scheme continued after the official Government Scheme had come to an end. Remote learning protocols were quickly put into place and everyone was able to access lessons from school or home. One parent said,” the school is a real asset to the local community.”
Mindful of Mental Health Needs
The school’s SLT were very mindful of the mental health needs of staff, whether they were on-site or at home, self-isolating. They held 1:1 meetings with all members of staff to give support and check that everyone’s personal situations were being managed as much as possible for example, PPA sessions took place at home so that staff didn’t have to travel at peak times on public transport.
Using Microsoft Teams
The school also hosted another primary school on their site during this period. One of the pupils from the School Council stated that she had made new friends during this time. As staff were only able to socialise with people in their bubble, the school ensured that staff could socialise on site after work to relieve some of the sense of isolation that people felt. Staff have become proficient in holding meetings on Microsoft Teams and have found it a useful tool for communication, helping the school run more efficiently.
Black History Month
The school has extended the theme of Black History Month to make it a whole term with a focus on black history. Representation of black people as role models are displayed around the school such as a print of Marcus Rashford and other black people known to the pupils. The school has also purchased more contemporary books for the library that represent a more diverse range of cultural backgrounds.
A Proud School Council
The school council is very proud of their school and the work that they do, they spoke about Mindfulness Day and how the daily session helps them get ready for their lessons after break.
An Overwhelming Sense of Inclusion
The overwhelming sense of inclusion was evident throughout the assessment and the commitment of the staff team to ensure all the children in their care made progress and loved learning was tangible. Extra support for specific learners is provided through an ASD specialist teacher, a dyslexia teacher with SALT and EP support bought in as needed.
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