The Beacon PRU in Worcestershire has achieved the Inclusive School Award again.
Review of Targets
This report forms part of the Centre of Excellence review of the targets agreed in 2018:
• Ensure effectiveness of interventions offered to address barriers to learning.
• To further our pupils sense of community responsibility. To adapt our environment to promote ‘mindfulness’.
• To continue to extend our curriculum beyond the school day in the Kidderminster Unit. To continue to extend the range of out of class activities offered.
• Further enhance our parental engagement and support offered to parents/carers.
• To continue to improve and embed transition practices with specialist settings.
• To develop our support package for mainstream schools to enable mainstream schools greater ability in supporting SEMH needs Intended Outcome.
The school has also provided a comprehensive and accurate self-evaluation of the progress made against all the above targets which I was able to confirm through my discussions with the Headteacher, IQM Coordinator and the member of staff with responsibility for Outreach provision.
I was also given access to hard copy supporting data and electronic tracking information relevant to the evaluations. I was particularly impressed by the professional quality of the resources available to parents and pupils, all of which are produced on site.
IQM Cluster Group
In addition to the evidence provided for this review, the school has also documented their attendance at IQM Cluster Groups, which I whole heartedly congratulate them on their commitment. The meeting attended meant a return journey of approximately 150 miles, and I fully appreciate the difficulties of releasing staff members when the total staff team is small in number. The review document indicates the positive outcomes of their attendance at the meeting.
The Evaluation Process
I can add, from my discussions with key staff members, further details of the evaluation process. The introduction of Clicker 7 was in response to wanting to improve children’s handwriting across the curriculum, but not wanting to use a specific tool focused on SEND. Clicker 7 also allows opportunities to stretch the more able pupils. The school spent much time researching a variety of resources before committing to Clicker 7 and used a holistic approach to the launch in school. Training sessions from the Worcestershire Learning Support Team provided an excellent introduction to the resource and then shared individual sessions have been used as follow ups. The school might like to consider the use of video training as a possible learning tool for staff.
Impact of the Resource
Staff meetings have been held to evaluate the impact of the resource, indications are a positive impact on the learning attitude of pupils together with a “closing of the gap” for many pupils. The school plans to continue the roll out and embed the resource across the school over the next 12 months with “Top tip ideas” at weekly staff meetings.
Links with Community Ventures
Whilst the school has still not managed to “break through” with its links with the onsite primary school, they have made other positive links with community ventures: family learning events, ensuring parents have access to support groups (very difficult for a PRU with such a large catchment area), PE programmes which have enabled pupils to link with local coaches and sporting groups.
There is now a successful and established link with Chadgrove School with swimming activities using their hydrotherapy pool. The relatively newly introduced Lego Therapy training has also proved an excellent intervention for pupils with social and communication difficulties.
Physical Literacy Plan
The Physical Literacy Plan is a development which is focused on the development of all skills not just PE. Staff have used Pupil Voice sessions to seek views and also catch up with what activities pupils have been involved with. As with many other schools, The Beacon is keen to further develop the opportunities presented by Outside Learning. The school has also produced booklets for parents to promote physical activity (Get Active at Home) and also developed PE bags complete with equipment for pupils to take home.
The school places great importance on Transition arrangements and, as such, has developed elaborate arrangements allowing pupils to familiarise themselves with changes to new environments (school visits, staff visits, lessons by visiting staff). Already mentioned are the outstanding resources designed and produced by The Beacon, something which other schools could take note of (Cluster Group sharing). These include; memory books, transition books etc.
The Family Learning Project
The Family Learning project (FLP) has seen parents coming into school to work alongside their child. This runs every half term and is linked to different curriculum areas.
Highly Regarded Support
The outreach service continues to provide highly regarded support to schools via a service level agreement arrangement which gives access to advice, assessment and direct support. The school might like to consider a “Staged” arrangement for participating schools (i.e. Bronze, Silver, Gold giving varying levels of access to the outreach service.
Amazingly Dedicated Team of Staff
The Beacon PRU continues to provide a totally Inclusive teaching and learning environment for youngsters who have for a variety of reasons been excluded from mainstream placements. The amazingly dedicated team of staff strive tirelessly to provide opportunities for all pupils to develop as individuals and achieve their greatest potential. Their approach is holistic and focusses on developing the child as an individual who is able to take an active part in all aspects of the curriculum, whilst helping them to understand and manage any social, emotional and behavioural issues.
Providing Valuable Support to Other Schools
In addition to the internal expertise and developments the school, in the clear tradition of an IQM Centre of Excellence, provides valuable advice and opportunities for other schools, providers and parents to share in their knowledge and expertise. The school wishes to maintain its status as a centre of Excellence and I fully support this. In line with the IQM criteria the school has also submitted targets for the coming 12 months, whilst some of the intended work could be viewed as interventions and practices expected by a school, it is very important to take into consideration the context of The Beacon. Their ever-changing cohort with complex and differing individual needs, together with an expectation of integrating pupils, where possible, back into mainstream provisions, means that they constantly need to revisit, amend and develop basic approaches to teaching and learning. They manage to do this very successfully whilst providing an example to all other schools as an environment which holds a strong ethos of Inclusion for across all areas of the curriculum.
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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