Trinity CofE Methodist Primary School, Skelmersdale in Lancashire, has achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.
Inclusion at the Core
The Trinity CofE Methodist Primary School’s vision clearly has its foundations in ‘togetherness,’ and this is not just part of their religious ethos, but it is all encompassing and at the heart of the entire school and also their Sunflower and Seedlings Nursery. Leaders made it clear from early meetings that their core messages are a driving motivation to ensure the wellbeing, diversity, and aspiration of their school cohort. When discussing their religious aspirations, they explained that they want to constantly be informed by their core values of love, respect, forgiveness, perseverance, and trust.
Pupil Voice Valued
The school employ a proactive and inspiring scheme used called the ‘MakingME@Trinity’ and ‘MakingMiniME@SunflowerNursery’ statements. These include giving the children a voice and a time to discuss and put thought into their actions toward their aspirations such as being a hero, a confident citizen, a passionate performer, a creator, a team player, a culture vulture, a nature warrior, a prayerful pupil, an explorer, to be happy and healthy, to be aware of others and importantly – having time to play and be a child. Giving deep value and time to this shows the true nature and deep consideration for the children’s wellbeing, by the adults who care for them at Trinity CofE Methodist Primary School.
The Headteacher was clear in relation to the inclusive strengths of the school, which became more and more apparent throughout the assessment day. He spoke with pride about how his team have an unmatched and meticulous knowledge of the school cohort and how challenging times nationally, only reaffirmed the bonds between the families and school. The Headteacher described his role as a worship leader and part of that role being the celebration of the success of others.
Motivated and Dedicated Staff
Staff spoken to during the assessment spoke of how their interests, skills and vocation perfectly matched their roles within school. A wonderful example of this was meeting a HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) who has grown into a role supporting pupil behaviour, attendance and providing nurture support – through recognition of their own strengths and encouragement from leaders, as well as a desire to give ‘more’ to a community they are part of, and they love deeply. How this member of staff spoke about ‘treating the children as my own’ and ‘putting trust’ in the children during forest-based activities set the tone for the day early on. This also demonstrated the debt we all owe to professionals such as this for the dedicated work they do.
Supportive Governing Body
This was echoed in the calm, thoughtful, hard-working, and caring governors, who explained how their professional backgrounds are used to maximise the potential of the pupils. For example, a resource committee member had many years in a similar field and ensures the children are getting the best learning environment possible. The Chair of Governors, although self-effacing, made it clear that the shared role of leading worship and serving others was a message he was dedicated to promote. Governors with a background in health and safety for the local authority share their skills and knowledge selflessly, ensuring the children are cared for and protected. Parent governors were very well informed and brought their own experiences in education as professionals to their role and were able to highlight the unique communication, supportive playgroups, and overall inclusivity they promote at Trinity CofE Methodist Primary School that is beyond the norm. Governors feel they can challenge decisions, but often they do not need to, as they are part of the decision-making process at the early stages alongside leaders and all staff. They have actively added to the curriculum through attending meetings and work collaboratively across school.
Parents in Partnership
The parents, carers and guardians shared their stories (due to the comfort and trust they put in being within the Trinity CofE Methodist Primary School environment) and they highlighted how they have been made to feel safe, included, listened to and in a setting with no stigma or judgement. They also described the school as ‘forward thinking’ as well as open to parental ideas and how the school staff help their children outside of school time. Examples of this included staff supporting parents at educational courses by attending them too or helping mediate if children are having problems in the local area. This was explained to me as ‘above and beyond’ support and was echoed by each adult. Parents and Guardians go out of their way to bring their children to Trinity CofE Methodist Primary School and love the happy atmosphere they experience there.
Speaking with a highly motivated and dedicated Teaching Assistant with Religious Education responsibilities, only supported the reasons the parents were so glowing in their descriptions of the school. She was enthused at the idea of the children accessing the IQM network of schools and wanted to build the life experiences of the children through even more inclusive actions. She was another amazing example of how the school wants to ensure the education is child led – with each child leading collective worship for the school during their time at Trinity CofE Methodist Primary School. The theme of ‘service’ eloquently put by leaders earlier, were explained further by the Teaching Assistant who spoke passionately about making a local, national, and international impact – through raising money to build orphanages, planting trees with older community members and much more. It was a beautiful moment later in the assessment when the children spoke with the same pride about these same actions. It’s clear who they take their lead from!
Learning walks not only gave further evidence of a caring and nurturing school, but also gave an opportunity to see Year 6 children gently communicate, interact and support younger children, as we moved from class-to-class. There was a palpable sense of pride from the staff and the children too, as children helped each other if they were struggling with a task, explained their ‘learning pit of resilience’ or got excited because their friend had received a reward. Many children spoke unprompted about their ‘service’ to others, such as why they had taken part in a ‘colour run’ where they were sponsored to paint their clothing during a fun run to help other children in need.
Meeting with the ‘Ethos Group’ which grew out of the School Council it was obvious that it couldn’t be more perfectly titled as this is a school governed by its ethos and is something that the school nurtures daily, through their wonderful adult role models. This group of fantastic children explained the differing needs of every child in such a way that they have clearly picked up the values of those entrusted with their care. They learn how to give care to others and put value on the things they have achieved. They explained the responsibility they have when voting on important issues, saying they like it when the adults ‘pick their brains’ for ideas and they clearly trust and value the systems put in place in school, such as how they earn rewards. They understand this with maturity and explained difficult concepts such as why others may need 1:1 help or differing equipment to help them learn. They explained how they help support their peers and the whole group were a credit to their families and to the school family.
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: email@example.com for further details.
Want more information on the IQM Award? Click here to request your free IQM information pack