senD & inclusion
senD & inclusion
Glade Primary School Achieves Inclusive School Award
October 20, 2022 by Helen White
Glade Primary School in Ilford, Essex has achieved the Inclusion Quality Mark’s Inclusive School Award.
Inclusion Is Evident
An inclusive ethos is evident in everything that takes place in the school whether it is the interactions between staff and pupils, the support given to parents, the inclusive curriculum or the dedication and commitment of all staff. The school is extremely inclusive and should be rightly proud of its achievements.
A Welcoming School
The first impression is one of a warm and very welcoming school. The outside entrance has colourful hanging baskets, olive trees encircled by seating and some book nooks in the cycle shelters from where children and parents can take books home. The reception area is spacious with comfortable seating and an informative display about safeguarding with a description of how the school is a listening school which helps parents realise before they even enter the school, that the school is inclusive and supportive.
Everyone Is Committed
All staff are very friendly, open and committed to their role within the school. The Senior Leadership Team are a strong and experienced team who ensures that all the staff teams understand and align their values to this ethos of inclusion. They have a visible presence around the school and are on the gates before and after school so that they can discuss any concerns with parents as they arise. The school has an open-door policy. Parents are treated respectfully and the staff in the school office are welcoming and respond professionally to parents’ queries.
Arrangements for safeguarding are exemplary, ably led by the Deputy Head with responsibility for safeguarding and well supported by the rest of the Safeguarding Team. They continually reflect on current practices with a constant drive for improvement, following audits from the children. The team supports each other with their individual specific roles. All pupils behave well around the school, behaviour during the singing assembly was of a very high standard. Pupils are polite and eager to contribute to discussions.
The curriculum is constantly being refined and improved. It is accessible to all learners, with practical elements built in to ensure it motivates and enthuses all the children. The curriculum drivers of Global Citizenship, Wellbeing, Creativity and the Arts encompass the strong moral purpose of the school and the drive to make the curriculum inclusive for everyone. The school constantly reflects on what skills the pupils will need for life and ensure that their curriculum prepares them for this. One example of this was seeing a group who were returning from their cycle training, taking place in the local vicinity. Some pupils who find public transport difficult, have had lessons, accompanied by their parents to help them become more familiar with the routine of traveling by bus.
No-one Is Isolated
The structure of a lesson has been carefully considered for pupils who have additional needs- starting with a 20 minute all class session, followed by 20 minutes of small group consolidation, finishing with 20 minutes all back together means that nobody becomes isolated from their peer group and everyone is following the same topic. All pupils have access to the resources that they need such as ‘Bucket Time’ (Attention Autism) and a visual timetable, ‘Colourful Semantics’.
Staff Are Valued
The school values its staff, with many colleagues having worked for many years at the school, saying that they would not want to work anywhere else. Consequently, staff retention is very good. The staffroom is large and welcoming, with a modern kitchen area and round tables for staff to socialise. A separate PPA room is available. Support staff have many different roles and responsibilities. New support staff spoke about the useful induction programme that they completed when they started at the school. One Teaching Assistant spoke about the supportive Senior Leadership Team and the guidance that they get from the very skilled and highly experienced Inclusion Lead. Teachers are very approachable and make support staff feel like valuable members of the team. They spoke about the vast amount of knowledge that there is within the professional body at the school.
Mental Health is Key
The importance of good mental health is addressed from an early age and a lesson about what makes you feel sad took place in a reception class during the visit. The whole school singing assembly was delightful to attend. The children sang a song that the teacher had composed which has now become the UNICEF song and is heard throughout the world. The music teacher explained the value to one’s mental health from singing and the pleasure on the children’s faces showed how much enjoyment they got from the experience. Pupils like the assemblies that are on offer. They have a weekly singing assembly, an article of the week assembly as well as a picture news assembly. Pupils have the opportunity to take part in lots of extra-curricular activities and the website shows photos of some of the recent events that have taken place through their “Glade at a Glance” feature.
Pupils’ Needs Come First
The Phase Leaders have a strong knowledge of the needs of each pupil and understand how they learn and the best way to support them to make outstanding progress. This was exemplified as one of the Phase Leaders and the Inclusion Lead talked about the evidence in the children’s books. Reading and writing progress are celebrated in the school, a wonderful example was the poetry book called Word Up, which was an anthology of poems that pupils had written whilst on their poetry retreat in the New Forest during the Summer term. Glade Primary school is a highly inclusive school where all pupils and families are welcomed and supported to ensure that each child gets the best educational opportunities possible.