Whyteleafe Primary School in Surrey achieves the Inclusive School Award with Flagship School status
The School’s Vision
The school vision is ‘Aim High. Be Independent. Enjoy Yourself’ and the school values are embedded within the school. The ‘5 Sapphires’ encourage the children to be respectful, responsible, kind, self-controlled and honest. Children who display these values are rewarded with a sapphire tie which they wear for that week and are recognised in the weekly celebration assembly.
Inclusion is Important
Inclusive practice is at the heart of all the school does and the Head of School, Inclusion Leader (IL), SLT, governors and staff share a strong belief in the importance of inclusion, with a focus on the development of the whole child. Great emphasis is placed on pupils’ social-emotional and mental health and their holistic development. The school endeavours to actively remove any challenges to learning that a pupil may have, to best meet each individual child’s needs. The Inclusion Lead is very experienced in her role and described the school ethos, surrounding care and wellbeing, in terms of;
‘It’s a really supportive family team. People just pull together and look out for each other’ and ‘wellbeing is part of the culture of the school.’
The school has 2 Staff Wellbeing Ambassadors amongst its stable and committed staff group. Staff appreciate the open-door policy that exists at the school. The Inclusion Lead described the importance of ‘relationships first’ and works closely with the Family Link Worker and Thrive Practitioner in this area.
‘The school aim is to ensure that all children spend the majority of their time learning alongside their peers within the classroom, receiving quality first teaching.’
The School Celebrates Diversity
Whyteleafe Primary School celebrates the diversity of the school community and has implemented a global curriculum to ensure that all children feel represented within it. There are currently 31 languages spoken within the school. The Global Curriculum Lead explained how the school was working to make the curriculum more diverse, including having more diverse texts and lessons. They are also building links with the community, such as through the church, through which the school has been linked with a school in Kenya and the children have pen pals. The curriculum is underpinned by the Whyteleafe Wheel of Learning, which promotes effective learning behaviours in all areas of the curriculum. These behaviours are motivated, concentrating, resilient, challenging, independent, communicating effectively, creative and taking risks. The weekly celebration assembly highlights those children who have been displaying these throughout the week. The school also celebrates a range of events across the year, which promote diversity and respect for different cultures and beliefs, including Black History Month, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Holi and Eid. The school has recently implemented The Write Stuff writing programme and the Little Wandle synthetics phonics programme.
Children Are Celebrated
Classrooms all have visual timetables, working walls and sapphire displays. They also have an ‘over and above’ board to celebrate those children who always do the right thing. Reward systems, such as having hot chocolate with the Head of School, Star of the Week, termly Proud Award and house points are motivating. Displays in the corridors celebrate the children’s work and there is a weekly celebration assembly. If children have a worry or concern, each classroom has a worry box and worry monster. Pupil engagement in lessons is high, with the behaviour for learning observed throughout the review being exemplary. Staff have all received training in restorative approaches to behaviour and the pupils understand that words have consequences.
Pupils Have Lots of Opportunities
The school offers a range of clubs, educational visits, and trips. Year 5 pupils stayed two nights at PGL Kingswood, and Year 6 stayed four nights on the Isle of Wight. There is an in-house breakfast and after school club, accessible to all pupils. Pupils are provided with lots of opportunities for them to take on roles of responsibility. These include Digital Leaders, Eco Warriors, Science Leaders and Peer Mediators. There are Prefects, School Captains and a Head Girl and Boy. The School Council raise money for charity, with their role being to look outwards from the school. The Pupil Leadership Team, formed of pupils in Years 5 and 6, look inwards, with the aim being to make improvements within the school. A member of the pupil leadership team told me:
‘We value people’s opinions and try and make sure they are happy and safe.’
‘Everything about the school is pretty perfect.’
Whyteleafe has a swimming pool, library, music room and huge outdoor areas, which include an area for a forest school, a new gardening area with vegetable beds and bee hives. Bee club runs for Years 4, 5 and 6 pupils who can work towards achieving a beekeeping qualification.
Staff Are Supported
Whyteleafe school is ‘somewhere where you are nurtured and encouraged to develop’ said the Inclusion Lead and CPD is a strength of the school, with an emphasis on research-based practice and with quality first teaching at the core of its delivery. Weekly CPD is provided for all staff and staff are encouraged to develop themselves professionally. The Chalklands Cluster includes Strategic Leads in certain curriculum areas, such as in maths and reading and provides opportunities for collaborative planning, with PPA time for year groups being timetabled on the same day across the 4 schools and shared drives for planning. All staff, including LSA’s, have a ‘growth partner’ as part of the overall appraisal system. An Inset Day was held for all staff across the cluster group. One member of staff said staff feel ‘supported and trusted’ at Whyteleafe:
‘You can go to anyone with a problem. The advice is just flowing.’
Staff appreciate the recognition they receive for how hard they are working.
Parents Praise the School
Parents are effusive in their praise of the school and the incredible support that the school has given to them and their children. They described how ‘the door is always open’ at the school and how they appreciate ‘the nice safe warm nurturing environment’ at Whyteleafe. There is a thriving PTA, and each class has a parent representative. Parent representatives ‘serve a primary role in maintaining good communication between parents and the school’. They ‘also facilitate the social interaction among families in the school community.’
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.
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