Vicarage Primary School in Newham has achieved IQM Flagship status.
Vicarage Primary School is a large primary school in East London with 885 pupils. Children come from 15 different ethnic groups, with the majority of pupils speaking English as an Additional Language. 32% of pupils are Pupil Premium. 13.2% of pupils have Special Educational Needs and Disability support.
Results are Impressive
Both KS1 and KS2 results are impressive. A very large majority of pupils (96%) met the phonics expected standard in year 1. Reading, Writing and Mathematics attainment of the expected standard was at or above national for the disadvantaged group. Attainment of the expected level was at or above the national for all prior attainment groups and disadvantaged pupils. Progress in writing and Mathematics was significantly above average and in the highest 10%. Mathematics progress was in the top 20th percentile, writing progress top 20th percentile. OFSTED last inspected Vicarage in November 2014 and judged the school to be good. Behaviour and safety of pupils and Early Years’ provision was deemed to be outstanding.
A Multi Academy Trust
Vicarage have recently become a ‘New Vision Trust’ school. The MAT was formed from Vicarage, Nelson, Elmhurst and Gallions schools. Parents were involved in the process and felt that they received all information needed. Parents spoken to during the assessment felt reassured that everything has stayed the same. Staff describe any changes as being very positive; staff have increased opportunities for working together with other schools and collaborations regarding resources and finances, which is very reassuring for all. Staff feel becoming a MAT ‘has enriched the children’s experiences; the school choir went to Gallions Primary School and they sang at the launch of the MAT. The school council hosted visits from the other schools and presented on their school and vision – ‘Children are proud’.
Changes in Leadership
During today’s Centre of Excellence review I was able to confirm that although there had been some changes to leadership since the last review, in particular the creation of a new inclusion team, Vicarage still delivers high-quality provision. In fact, the new inclusion team has developed a cohesive and forward-thinking vision for taking inclusion forward. They know exactly what they want to achieve, how to achieve it and are well on their way to success. Vicarage has held Centre of Excellence status for three years and are keen to move to Flagship status during this review.
Leading on Developments
Since becoming a MAT, Vicarage has led across the four schools on the following developments; Poetry retreat residential in the New Forest with ‘Adisa the poet’, school council meetings, poetry festival hosted by Vicarage, joint writing moderation with all year 6 teachers, joint working party on assessment sharing effective ways of assessing pupil progress and school business manager’s collaboration. During the INSET training 2018 Vicarage will be host to all staff across the MAT.
The school is proud to be an RWI Model school and were approached by the DfE. Staff have held workshops for parents, providing resources to support phonics learning at home. Vicarage is open to other schools to come and see practice.
Since the previous review visit the school has employed a new family support worker. She is keen to increase parental engagement in children’s learning, especially where there are barriers to participation that can be overcome. She has liaised with parents to set up the new Vicarage PTA who are poised to launch into their first summer fayre. Opportunities for parental engagement include coffee mornings with a different language each time where parents can network, sit and chat and get to know each other. They have also held workshops, free ESOL classes with crèche, Triple P and drop-in sessions.
Importance of Safeguarding
Safeguarding arrangements are effective, meetings are held fortnightly and are attended by the inclusion lead, family support worker, DHT and HT, attendance officer and deputy safeguarding lead. The Headteacher explained how important it is for safeguarding to be a standing item on any agenda including the safeguarding weekly question for staff at briefings. Key questions are emailed the week before for staff to come prepared to answer at the start of the next briefing.
Parents are confident that their children’s needs are being met and they are kept informed, ‘we have text messages when we need to know something, workshops to provide information, newsletters, parent meetings where we are provided with an overview of the year, workshops for different subjects’. This has been facilitated by the new inclusion team whose shared vision includes ‘providing the best quality support and outcomes for family and children, ensuring they are safe and happy’. Staff described one successful workshop – aromatherapy and massage session where parents were taught to understand the benefits of massage including promoting calming self-regulation of emotions, practical techniques and massage stories to use with their children. Parent workshops are having a huge impact with parents requesting they be repeated.
Efficient Pupil Tracking
Pupils’ progress is tracked efficiently. Termly review meetings with parents have been introduced this year supported with evidence from the new learning journals. These contain pictures of activities undertaken and samples of work towards achieving pupil targets which are shared with parents at these termly meetings.
Proud of Results
Staff at Vicarage are proud of their results across all curriculum areas. Staff say ‘we want to produce a school where our children are also historians, geographers and successful in all areas’. The Foundation curriculum subject leaders have collectively devised a Foundation subject assessment tool which staff say is consistent and easy to use. These ‘next step bookmarks’ break down the National Curriculum into achievable skills and objectives and are expressed in a child friendly way.
IQM Cluster Meetings
This year, through the IQM Cluster meetings, staff have participated in wider inclusive development. The focus for work in the cluster meetings is social, emotional, behaviour and mental health. Initial benefits for Vicarage were described as ‘getting a feel for each school visited, taking part in an activity unique to each school and exploring successes and challenges. Schools share with each other, looking at ideas that will benefit our own school’.
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)
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