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At Shepherdswell Academy Every Child Matters. We believe that the most important function of the school is to maintain an environment in which every member of the school is able to achieve success and self fulfilment. There must be a total consistency of expectation that everyone (irrespective of gender, race, sexual orientation or culture) should feel safe and secure, have empathy for all others, and place a high value upon individual achievement and personal development.
Our School Creed is embedded throughout the school and is central to our whole school ethos. We are highly committed to promoting equality and inclusion within the school and local community. We actively promote and value the individuality of all of our children with our creed stating ‘Everyone is unique and everyone is special’. We are committed to giving every one of our children maximum opportunity to achieve the highest of standards. We do this by taking account of pupils’ varied life experiences and needs. We believe that all children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them, and to be fully included in all aspects of school life and we have very high expectations for all children. The achievements, attitudes and well-being of all our children are central to all we say and do. We believe that all children should be equally valued in school. We will strive to eliminate prejudice and discrimination, and to develop an environment where all children can flourish and feel safe. We aim to engender a strong sense of community and belonging, and to offer new opportunities to learners who may have experienced previous difficulties.
Shepherdswell Academy is passionate about and totally committed to inclusion and to promoting all aspects of the Every Child Matters agenda. In line with current thinking about Personalised Learning and Assessment for Learning, learners are partners in the learning process. We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background. Thus we value and provide for our learners in the best way as to meet their needs and respond appropriately according to their varied life experiences and needs.
This policy helps to ensure that this school promotes the individuality of all our children, irrespective of ethnicity, attainment, age, disability, gender or background.
Aims and objectives
Our school is committed to being a fully inclusive school. We therefore actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils, or groups of pupils. This means that equality of opportunity is a right and reality for our children.
We make this a reality through the attention we pay to the provision and achievement of different groups of learners within our school which include:
- Girls and boys;
- Minority ethnic and faith groups;
- Children who need support to learn English as an additional language;
- Children with special educational needs including those with a
- Disability and/or medical needs;
- Most able children;
- Children who are at risk of disaffection or exclusion;
- Travellers and asylum seekers and refugees.
- Children who are looked after by the Local authority.
- Those of lower means and on free school meals.
We aim to provide a differentiated curriculum that meets the needs of all pupils, individuals and groups by:
- Setting suitable learning challenges.
- Responding to pupils’ diverse learning needs.
- Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment providing other curricular opportunities outside the National.
- A stimulating, enriching and nurturing curriculum designed to meet the needs of individuals and/or groups of children. (This includes the wider curriculum like speech and language therapy; Educational Psychology interventions, Anxiety programmes, social, emotional and behavioural development)
We aim to provide a happy, healthy and safe school by:
- Recognising, reflecting and celebrating the skills, talents, contributions and diversity of all our pupils.
- Nurturing of the whole child where their happiness is central to all we do.
- Providing high quality pastoral care, support and guidance.
- Safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of pupils.
- Listening and responding to the concerns of children and parents.
- Taking care to balance the needs of all members of the school community.
- We secure inclusive education by continuously reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of our provision and achievement of all our pupils.
These principles are interlinked and are the heart of our provision and therefore we will:
- Provide a warm, safe and welcoming environment for all who come to our school.
- Ensure all staff are well trained and understand the needs of all pupils beyond the classroom.
- Provide quality first teaching and personalised learning strategies.
- Ensure that pupils support is proactive rather than reactive.
- Involve pupils and their families in decision-making.
- Provide support for pupils outside of the school and their families.
- Seek advice and support from a range of outside agencies and make links where possible.
- Ensure that all policies across the school take account of such pupils.
- Review and monitor policies and interventions regularly to ensure they are successful and make changes where needed.
- We strive to ensure that all pupils are considered as individuals, are given responsibility and respect for themselves and each other and that they all have to equal opportunity to achieve their full potential.
- Our aim is for our pupils and our staff to feel valued, content and secure with their learning environment. We actively promote creating a secure, accepting and stimulating school environment where everyone has the right to learn and everyone will achieve their best.
Teaching and learning style
We aim to give all our children the opportunity to succeed and reach the highest level of personal achievement. We analyse the attainment of different groups of pupils to ensure that all pupils are achieving to the best of their ability. Ongoing assessments of each child’s progress inform our provision and intervention strategies and measure their impact and effectiveness.
When the attainment of a child falls significantly below the expected level, teachers enable the child to succeed by planning work that is in line with that child’s individual needs. Where the attainment of a child significantly exceeds the expected level of attainment, teachers use materials from a later key stage, or extend the breadth of work within the area or areas for which the child shows particular aptitude.
Teachers are familiar with the relevant equal opportunities legislation covering race, gender and disability.
Teachers ensure children:
- Feel secure and know that their contributions are valued;
- Appreciate and value the differences they see in others;
- Are actively involved in their own learning and take responsibility for their own actions;
- Participate safely, in clothing that is appropriate to their religious beliefs;
- Are taught in groupings that allow them all to experience success;
- Use materials that reflect a range of social and cultural backgrounds, without stereotyping;
- Have a common curriculum experience that permits for a range of different learning styles;
- All children, regardless of their needs, are fully involved in the setting of their targets, which are challenging and focus on success.
Children with disabilities
We will endeavor to ensure all children make the best possible progress. No child or adult will be treated ‘less favourably’ for a reason related to their disability and ‘reasonable adjustments’ will be made to ensure that the disabled are not at a disadvantage. (Disability Discrimination Act 2001)
The school is committed to providing an environment that allows these children full access to all areas of learning. All our classroom entrances are wide enough for wheelchair access, and the designated points of entry for our school also allow wheelchair access.
Disapplication and modification
The school can, where necessary, modify or disapply the National Curriculum and its assessment arrangements. Our school policy is to do this only in exceptional circumstances. The school makes every effort to meet the learning needs of all its children, without recourse to disapplication or modification. We achieve this through greater differentiation of the child’s work, or through the provision of additional learning resources. When necessary, we also support learning through appropriate external specialists. In such cases, teachers work closely with these agencies to support the child.
In exceptional circumstances, we may decide that modification or disapplication is the correct procedure to follow. We would only do this after detailed consultation with parents and the professionals involved in the child’s life. The school’s governor with responsibility for special educational needs would also be closely involved in this process. We would ensure that every effort had been made to provide the necessary support from within the school’s resources before considering such action.
Should we go ahead with modification or disapplication, we would do so through: Section 364 of the Education Act 1996. This allows modification or disapplication of the National Curriculum, or elements of it, through a statement of special educational needs; Section 365 of the Education Act 1996. This allows the temporary modification or disapplication of the National Curriculum, or elements of it.
Racism and inclusion
The diversity of our society is addressed through our schemes of work, which reflect the areas covered in the new Curriculum. Teachers are flexible in their planning and offer appropriate challenges to all pupils, regardless of ethnic or social background. All racist incidents are recorded and reported to the governing body by the headteacher and reported to the authority. On the rare occasions of racial incidents, the school contacts parents of those pupils involved.
Support Services and External Agencies
The school promotes the value of specialist advice and support from a variety of professional and voluntary services. The school also welcomes and positively promotes links with educational bodies who can promote pupils learning and provide enhanced opportunities for our more able learners.
Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
We strictly adhere to any safe-guarding policies and procedures and any children who are deemed to require and/ or benefit from a multi-agency approach, will be place upon a CAF and subsequent Team Around the Family (TAF) meetings will be help to ensure we all work together to meet the child’s needs to the best of our ability with a united approach. These needs can vary from safe-guarding, to educational to social and emotional to medical needs and is considered to be appropriate for any child and/ or parents and/or professionals who need further support and guidance to ensure we meet their needs fully. We adhere to and follow the recommendations and guidelines proposed in the ‘The Common Assessment Framework for children and young people - A guide for practitioners’ and also The Common Assessment Framework for children and young people; A guide for Managers’.
The school’s Governors have statutory responsibilities outlined in the Special Needs Code of Practice. In line with this code, we have a designated named governor responsible for Inclusion. They are subsequently required to report annually to parents on the fulfilment of the school’s Inclusion Policy.
Partnership with Parents
Positive parental involvement is crucial and central in maximising achievement and development of all our children but it is particularly important for vulnerable group children. In accordance with the Code of Practice, we believe it is essential to involve parents from the earliest initial stages. Parents are given the opportunity to express their views, be active in decision-making process and actively participate in their child’s education, at review meetings, parent consultations and induction meetings. We strongly believe in building upon children’s strengths and celebrating them yet value the necessity for honest and open relationships with our parents displaying a true and realistic picture of their child. We operate an ‘open door policy’ whereby all parents are actively encouraged to share their concerns no matter how small they may feel they are.
If any parent feels that the school is not meeting the needs of their child they should first contact the class teacher then the Inclusion leader. If the matter is not resolved then an appointment should be made to consult the Principal. Parents may also seek support from Parent Partnership services.
At Orchard and Shepherdswell Academy, we promote and encourage career professional development and offer this in a variety of different means to ensure we remain fresh, up to date and forever improving and evolving. The key aim always being to enhance our practice to impact positively on our children with our passion to ensure we are a fully inclusive school always being at the centre of all we do.
Shepherdswell Academy believes in Quality First Teaching for all children, with challenges to ensure that more able children are encouraged to think at a greater depth and to take more control of their learning on a daily basis. Children are given personalised learning targets to encourage them to take responsibility for developing and applying their skills and knowledge in all learning opportunities. This may be through formal teaching and learning opportunities, but also through continuous provision, early work and active play opportunities throughout the school week.
In addition, children who are more able in a subject area are targeted for coaching in small groups in a range of learning scenarios to explore a topic or problem solve. There are targeted after school and lunch time clubs for more able pupils and additional opportunities to be young leaders in the school are offered through the School Council, Subject Lead Learner or Play Leader roles.
English as an Additional Language
At Shepherdswell Academy 76% of our pupils speak English as an Additional Language. We ensure that the school learning environment, teaching and learning and communication with all is as visual, interesting, engaging and informative as possible. Children’s competency in the English language is assessed and monitored during their time in our school. Where appropriate, additional strategies, support and interventions will be implemented to ensure that all children achieve their potential.
Languages spoken at Shepherdswell:
Our Inclusion Team
Jonathan Cursley - Principal
Elaine Noctor - Attendance and Family Liaison Officer
Sarah Champion - Specialist Teacher (Department) and SENDCo
Sophie Bonici - Intervention
Demi Wiltshire - Intervention TA
Neera Jobanputra - SALT