The Hyde School in Barnet has achieved Flagship School status.
Friendly and Welcoming
The Hyde School is a diverse 2 form entry primary and nursery school with high numbers of pupils who have English as an Additional Language and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The school remains a friendly and welcoming place providing a safe and supportive environment for its staff, pupils and parents. This is a very creative school in which pupils are given opportunities to succeed in areas in which they excel. The school is part of The Elliot Foundation Academy Trust (TEFAT).
Sources of Evidence
This visit was the Year 3 IQM Centre of Excellence review. On my visit to the school, I had the opportunity to verify information provided on the Centre of Excellence action plan, review the plans for the Flagship project, conduct a learning walk, join a parent workshop, see the school’s Dance Festival performance and interview a range of staff, pupils and parents. In addition, discussions with the Deputy Headteacher for Inclusion, SENCO and Senior Learning Mentor took place to review the school’s work towards the action plan. Next steps for the school for the Flagship project were discussed with those who will be taking a lead on this: Deputy Headteacher for Inclusion, Senior Learning Mentor, Assistant Headteacher and Year 5 teacher.
Parents Engage Well
Parents at the school engage well and I was able to meet many parents who were keen to come in to be interviewed as part of the review visit. The parents I met were overwhelmingly positive about their experiences at the school. A set of parents who needed support from the school due to sudden parental ill health reported,
“This school has amazed me with their child-centric focus. They have been a bedrock in a time of crisis.”
Staff at the school went over and above the norm to ensure that the child was able to come to school with collecting and dropping them off each day. Parents trust the school to ensure their children’s wellbeing and feel that the school takes care of them too by checking up on them when they are having a difficult time. Parents are confident that their children are happy in school and that they are learning. They acknowledge the hard work that the staff put in with their children. Some parent comments about the school include:-
“The teachers are amazing – it’s a family environment.”
“The Headteacher knows every child by his/her name.”
“Lisa has been there step by step.”
“I was impressed with how they managed the situation (sharing concerns) – they were so delicate and sensitive and skilful in their approach to us.”
“Staff go the extra mile to develop the children. They give them care and attention.”
“They have made him confident.”
“This is a home from home.”
“This school has gone above and beyond, even after we left.”
“Sian is available whenever I have a problem.”
“I come to staff at the school for support before I go to my friends and family.”
The school’s population is less transient now and the school currently has siblings on the waiting list for Nursery and Reception. Some families have been rehoused in Enfield and Hatfield but continue to travel to the school. The Senior Learning Mentor commented that
“We have become these families’ communities.”
Pupils are Proud of Inclusive Ethos
Pupils are articulate and speak proudly about their responsibilities. These include: School Council, Junior Travel Ambassadors, Newspaper Club, Librarians, Mini mentors, Sandpit Leaders, Digital Leaders and Child Governors. Many of these are established roles with Junior Travel Ambassadors being a new role that focusses on encouraging pupils to cross roads at pedestrian crossings, pick up litter and encouraging walking or cycling to school. The school hosted a Bikers Breakfast for those who cycled to school and had a smoothie machine connected to a bicycle. Child governors spoke confidently about attending governors’ meetings to talk about their learning and understand the role that governors play in keeping the school outstanding. Pupils value the opportunities they have to go on trips, attend clubs, engage in projects and fundraise for charity. They recognise that their views are valued and feel listened to.
“The school hears our voice and doesn’t ignore us. We asked for a library with a magic and forests’ theme and it has been created for us.”
“Pupils are proud of the school’s inclusive ethos.”
One pupil commented
“It doesn’t matter how good you are, you’re never left out. You still have a purpose.”
Working Closely with Other Schools
The school works closely with other local schools, schools within the academy trust and schools in its IQM hub to share practice. All of the teaching assistants at the school were released to attend the TEFAT TA conference. Skilled staff from the school delivered workshops at the conference on dyslexia, voice of the child and attachment. The Deputy Headteacher for Inclusion is part of a safeguarding special interest group and conducts safeguarding audits for schools within the trust. Her recent intensive support to a nearby school in establishing systems resulted in safeguarding practices being recognised by Ofsted as a strength. For two terms the Headteacher and Assistant Headteacher supported part-time in another TEFAT school. A Nursery teacher was seconded to the school to support with improving the practice in Early Years. This member of staff has now moved permanently to the other school after the secondment came to an end. These secondments have enabled the two schools to work more closely but in the short term put additional pressures on the school.
IQM Cluster Meetings
The Deputy Headteacher for Inclusion is an IQM assessor and has attended IQM Hub meetings that have focussed on Nurture Groups and there are plans to use this within the school as part of the Flagship project. She also continues her work for the Local Authority on six SEN tribunals per year and is trained as a Disability Member for the social care tribunal for Disability Living Allowance personal independence payments.
A Skilled Inclusion and Support Team
In addition to the skilled inclusion team, the school has two literacy moderators, four Early Years moderators and an expert maths teacher who is part of an Elliot wide scheme and is bought in by schools in the foundation. I briefly met with The Regional Director for the academy trust on my visit who informed me that
“The Hyde School is our go-to school for support.”
Inviting Spaces for Learning
As on my previous two visits, I was struck by the creativity in the classroom and corridor displays which make them inviting spaces for learning. The impressive library that is currently undergoing transformation to a magic and forests theme has cleverly created spaces in the library to encourage even the most reluctant readers to find a corner to read in. Staff, parents and pupils have been engaged with an art project with an artist to improve the appearance of the school gates and walls at the entrance of the school. These have been designed and will be completed in the summer term.
Parents Engage Well
The school works hard to ensure that parents engage with them. Many opportunities are provided to see pupils in classes and learn about what they can do to support at home. Workshops for adult learning are held regularly and there is excellent attendance at these. Parents are grateful for the school’s personal approach to them and their children. The curriculum is tailored for classes and year groups as well as for individual pupils here. Opportunities like ‘Boys that brunch’ and ‘Ladies that lunch’ have been created to support with friendship difficulties. Floor books showcase the breadth of the school’s curriculum, evidence pupils’ reflective learning and pupil voice. The Hyde School is continually striving to further enhance its inclusive practice. The school extends support to other schools, welcomes visits from other schools to showcase its work and is adopting ideas from other schools.
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