The Cherwell School in Oxford has achieved the Inclusive School Award for the third time.
Inclusive Ethos Permeates School Life
The Cherwell School is an extremely welcoming and engaging environment; the inclusive ethos permeates all aspects of school life from Governors through to students. They achieve notable outcomes for all groups of students whilst fostering an expectation that all students have the opportunity to express themselves and develop into well-rounded individuals who have the skills to excel in the wider world.
The Cherwell School is a large, mixed secondary school with over 1900 students on roll. It is in the lowest quintile for deprivation but the top quintile for SEN students with EHCs. Writing levels upon entry were significantly below national average for Year 7 and 8 students. Progress and attainment 8 measures have been in the top quintile for all pupils for at least the last 2 years and in 2018 both were significantly above average for all students. From an inclusive perspective the progress of disadvantaged students is particularly notable over recent years and, in particular, 2018: English, Science and languages were in the top 20% and significantly above national; Maths, Humanities and EBACC were in the top 20% nationally. The school has identified whole school attendance and the performance of high attaining SEN students as their key areas of focus this year.
The Learning Environment
The school is split over two sites, divided by a busy road and main cycle path, however, due to the close proximity of the sites, does not benefit from the additional support available to most split site schools. It actively searches for innovative ways of improving the situation – as the decorative work in partnership with the Mid-Counties Co-operative demonstrates. The attitude of students when navigating between the sites is exemplary, displaying the same self-regulation and purpose as is evident within the school buildings. The classrooms are well managed, and the walls are adorned with high quality students’ work whenever possible. Corridor displays are colourful and are well respected by students as they move around the site. The school is a collection of a variety of school buildings which have been adapted over time to best suit the needs of the students which it serves.
A Proud School Community
Everyone that I spoke to was proud to be associated with the school. The students were considered and articulate, recognising the extraordinary lengths that the staff go to on a regular basis to support them and enable them to fulfil their potential; the staff celebrate the supportive and welcoming ethos of the school, along with the pro-active and visionary leadership which the Headteacher and his senior team provide; the senior team and governors recognise the passionate and committed staff that regularly go above and beyond to support the students; and the parents were extremely grateful for the exceptional education provided for their children by The Cherwell School.
A Hub for Specialist Provision
The school is a leading member of the River Learning Trust, a growing Multi-Academy Trust made up of both Primary and Secondary Schools. The Cherwell School is a hub for a range of council-based specialist provision including Hearing Impaired and Communication and Interaction Units – both of which are founded on the ethos of full emersion (or as far as is appropriate) for each of their individual students. Further bespoke support and opportunities offered by the school includes their 7 Stars Programme, Emotional and Behaviour Support Base and Summer Transition Programme.
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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