Why this is leading practice
The school embraces inclusive practices that are embedded in everyday life. Relationships are strong. Every child really does matter and no one is left behind. As a community School we are committed to developing close family links and welcome the opportunity to work together to overcome social, emotional and behavioural issues. The inclusion team will deal with every child who needs support internally or through the use of outside agencies. This may also involve home visits. We aim to break down barriers, overcome fears and maintain a positive outlook to school life so pupils can flourish in a safe environment.
Impact to date
· Birchensale’s contextual value added assessment at Key Stage 2 has risen over the past 4 years·Attendance has increased whilst exclusions have decreased year on year
· Local authority advisers recognise a high level of cohesion and support in the school’s practice. The school’s transition programme models good practice and is used as an exemplar by the local authority.
· The Neighbourhood Police Officer reports successes in reducing anti-social behaviour outside school as a result of the school’s engagement with the police and community groups. She feels welcome and valued in the school..
· Family members feel welcome in the school and take advantage of opportunities such as family learning sessions e.g. ICT skills, finance, literacy and numeracy and opportunities to support pupils in the school
· Pupils who entered the school with significant barriers to learning speak independently and most articulately of how the school had helped them overcome symptoms resulting from earlier experiences such as being taken into care, separated from their siblings, extreme anxiety causing withdrawal and inability to speak, and bereavement in the family causing depression. Now they are confident and looking forward to their transfer into high school.
Rationale / Start Point
This aspect of school life has been chosen because we feel it represents the school’s mission statement: “Birchensale Middle School will always be a caring community providing the right environment to enable all its’ pupils to realize their full potential”. In our most recent report, OFSTED said that “The care, guidance and support pupils receive are outstanding. The special educational needs coordinator, learning mentor and deputy headteacher work as a highly cohesive team to draw together the specialist support necessary to meet pupils’ needs”, and “ the school is a special place in the community that cares about its pupils”.
· The strength of the school’s success in providing for vulnerable children lies in the cohesion of the support strategies
· There is a powerful culture of openness and commitment to ‘do what it takes’ to make a difference
· Keeping all who are involved with a child informed and engaged is a priority and the school uses a range of communications that are well understood
· Pupils are able to review their own progress, access support from a number of sources and ‘have a voice’ in the school
· In school all staff share information daily in briefings, reports and a range of face-to-face communications.
· Record keeping is meticulous with interventions and records of outcomes shared and ‘live’on a data base
· Regular briefings address needs of incoming pupils. Extra time is allocated for the Learning Mentor and support staff to be on hand to help children to settle in.
· Similarly additional protected time ensures co-ordinators and year heads can focus on transition for pupils moving on to high school
Sustainability and Further Development
· The school’s improvement plans guarantee an on-going commitment to sustain and improve the current provision
· The governing body and the senior leadership team seize opportunities to increase resources and engage partners
· The development and delivery of the systems and activities that improve inclusion are reviewed as part of the co-ordinator’s and deputy head’s performance management cycle
· Parental expectations have risen and they are prepared to contribute to the school’s work.