Winterbourne Boys Academy in Croydon has achieved the Inclusive School Award.
Winterbourne Boys Academy is believed to be the only state boys’ junior school in the country. It has two forms of entry presently with nine classes. It was rated by OfSTED in 2017 as ‘Good’. It is one of three schools in the Platanos Trust all within the London Borough of Croydon. It has a higher number of children with EAL and Pupil Premium funding than the national average yet its standards, outcomes and progress scores at the end of Key Stage Two are above the national average. It has close links with the nearby infants’ school and transition arrangements have greatly improved. It also has links with the girls’ school on the adjacent site but few of the children go to the Platanos College as it is too far away. The school’s attendance is above the national average at 97%.
Catering for all Pupils’ Needs
Senior leaders believe that the school must cater for the needs of all of the boys regardless of their background or ability. Initial assessments including phonic screenings are carried out when the children enter year 3 and if it is thought suitable, interventions and extra support are put in place to ensure that identified gaps are closed as soon as possible; these include catch-up programmes, Read Write Inc, Toe by Toe and many more. The boys are set throughout the school, but the work is differentiated within each class to ensure all needs are met. Questions are targeted for each group. Teachers’ plans show that each identified child or group has specific learning which is suited to their needs. Some children in years five and six have maths tutors or attend Saturday University. Some go on to study for their GCSE in maths. There is a literacy project for those who need extra support.
Speech and Language Support
The Speech and Language therapist comes in one day a week. She RAG rates all Year 3 children and if they are red or amber, suitable pathways or interventions are used e.g. Lego therapy or Direct therapy. In October 2019 43% were red, 30% were amber and 27% were green. A year later the same children were rated; 29% red, 13% amber and 67% green. She trains and supports TAs who run specific groups, she liaises closely with the psychologists and she has run whole staff training on vocabulary. She was an integral part of the team during the first lockdown supporting the school with their Covid response programme. The Speech and Language Therapist travels to various schools but she thinks Winterbourne values the pupils as individuals, listens to their opinions and encourages them to communicate so they grow into kind and accepting young people.
Winterbourne is proud of its maths and science academies which run on Wednesdays during PPA time. There are also academies for arts, sports, research and communication and martial arts as well as clubs for rising attainers and football. There is a Grammar School Pathway club for those wishing to take their 11+. Each day begins with a morning fitness programme to get children In the Mood (the music used in the video tour).
Pupils Feel Safe and Happy
Pupils feel safe and happy here. They think the food at lunchtime is ‘delicious because we’re all starving’. The washing and sanitising of hands is now part of their daily routine. They love all the different aspects of the school, from learning about history to using the library. The staff nurture children’s interests and encourage them to think about their world. Pupils like the merit reward system which leads to prizes at the end of each term. There are certificates distributed by the Headteacher for attendance and writer of the week etc. Some boys are Anti-Bullying Champions and they like the restorative justice system. They like the wide variety of clubs that are offered, and some enjoy raising money and planning events for charities.
A Forward-Thinking School
The Educational Psychologist works one day a fortnight and supports the assistant who is full time. She believes this is a forward-thinking school where parents are encouraged to be part of the learning process. She writes reports and the assistant ensures they become manageable working documents; he then works alongside the class teachers and ensures the strategies are effectively implemented. The impact is analysed ensuring the cycle is working and pupils are making the desired progress.
Flexible but Highly Structured Strategies
The SENCo chairs a SEN panel in school to ensure all needs are being met. The literacy project is a focussed approach for those needing more input. The strategies used are flexible but highly structured. It uses real books, and the staff are trained in how to deliver each session. All children have made good progress.
Staff Feel Well Supported
There is a thorough induction process for new members of staff. Safeguarding has a high priority. Each NQT has a mentor and is well supported. Their planning is checked to ensure it is fully inclusive. The literacy programme supports children with their confidence. The school is well resourced and uses a variety of interventions for those with certain needs. The TAs receive the lesson plans in advance and know how to support the teacher and the children in their groups. They receive regular training to update their skills.
Seeking to Improve Support for All
Senior leaders are constantly looking for new or alternative strategies to improve the support for all of the different groups within the school. They are currently looking at providing a nurture group. The trustees’ vision is clear that Winterbourne must be a fully inclusive school.
Parents Feel That the School is Inclusive
Parents feel that the school is inclusive because they are kept informed about events and about how their particular children are doing. Some have a daily book; the school uses emails and texts; an app for the newsletter and staff are at the gate before and after school. Many parents and carers have chosen Winterbourne because of what other parents have said about the school. It has a very good local reputation. Staff are quick to identify if children have problems or issues and parents like being informed and consulted. There is a healthy mutual respect. Parents said that the staff are very professional and well-organised.
Inclusion Runs Through The Agenda
The CEO of the Platanos Trust reports to the board of trustees. She ensures that the agendas for the meetings have reports for learning and teaching, attendance and punctuality, finance and exclusions. Inclusion is a thread that runs through the agenda. They take their responsibilities seriously and ensure that the leadership team are held to account. They are proud that this is an inclusive school, and they are determined to ensure that the new Headteacher when he or she is appointed, continues with this drive.
Children are taught that they are part of society and their actions affect other people. The police come into school and discuss gangs. A mentor works with the boys. They raise money for local and national charities including McMillan Cancer, Children in Need and the Royal British Legion. A local imam comes in to discuss Islam. They visit a Hindu centre and a mosque. They also have links with Crystal Palace.
A Solid Grounding
Winterbourne Academy regards itself as a family where everybody has a voice and is valued. The CEO has a deep understanding of her role to challenge and support. She is in regular contact with the Headteacher and believes she must listen but remain detached. The systems that are in place here offer all of the boys a solid grounding which ensures they will all be well prepared for their next transition.
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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