Whyteleafe Primary School in Surrey has achieved Centre of Excellence status for the second time.
Inclusion is Integral
Inclusion at Whyteleafe Primary School remains a priority and is an integral part of the school’s work with its pupils. School staff are happy and this is reflected in low staff turnover. They are proud of the work that they do to meet the needs of pupils with additional needs and recognise the importance of contributing to all children’s emotional wellbeing as well as their academic needs. Pupils behave well in lessons and around school. They are motivated and keen to learn because the school provides a safe and supportive environment.
Aware of Additional Needs
The leadership team at Whyteleafe has ensured that the staff have received professional development to ensure they are all aware of additional needs including ensuring they have a clear understanding of the THRIVE approach and how to implement it into their school ethos. All staff that I met, spoke highly of the support that the leadership team, especially the Inclusion Manager, provide. The support staff all agreed that “Emma’s door is always open”.
Planning for Individuals’ Needs
From my learning walk, I observed some teachers planning inclusive lessons that give careful consideration to pupils’ individual needs and learning styles. One teacher ensured that his severely dyslexic student who struggled with the pace of the lesson. was using an Ipad so he could follow the lesson at his own pace.
Collaborative learning is happening in the classroom and all children were motivated to learn. Through maths mastery, children with additional needs are included in all aspects of the classroom including learning opportunities and the use of additional adults is well deployed. In the Year 1 class that I visited, the support staff were facilitating talk during the paired work which again showed the skills of the support staff in the school in modelling and supporting independence. The children are motivated and keen to learn because the school provides a safe and supportive environment.
Pupils are Proud of their School
After meeting with the pupils, it was clear to see that they are very proud of their school and the opportunities that are provided for them. The children that I met with were all aware of the “Sapphires” that they could achieve to get the weekly blue tie, which shows they have been recognised for following one of the values. They were also positive about the experiences which the school ensure they can all access. This included the Forest School and The Wishing Well.
Opportunities for the children in the school are unique, these include their Forest School which they try to link to the school’s THRIVE approach. The Forest School lead and THRIVE lead work as a very close team to ensure they incorporate all aspects of nurture to ensure the best for all the children in the school. In addition to this the children are provided with opportunities to sponsor the resident chickens where they can help look after them, visit and keep their eggs! Another exciting opportunity the school offers to children is a qualification in bee keeping. They can achieve this by attending sessions with the school’s very own bees!
Pupil Voice is at the forefront of this school. The leadership team has thought of exciting ways to include the children in the day to day running of the school. This includes the Student Leadership Group who observe teachers and help shape the teaching and learning in the school.
IQM Cluster Group
The IQM cluster group (Shell) have had three Cluster meetings and due to changes that are currently happening in the school, Emma has been unable to attend but has however sent another member of the inclusion team. This has led to groups being introduced in the school such as the BSL group.
Children’s Needs are at the Forefront
This school has a lot to share with their neighbouring schools which they are doing as they are part of a three school federation group. This has provided for shared training and collabrration to ensure the children’s learning needs are at the forefront of everthing they do.