Burnt Oak Primary School in Kent becomes a Centre of Excellence.
Making a Difference
This primary school believes that their school can make a difference to the pupils within it, and it does! Through the dedication of the staff team, Burnt Oak succeeds in providing a learning environment where everyone, pupils and staff, are helped to succeed.
Enjoy, Achieve, Succeed
As I walked in, there was a warm welcoming greeting, which was extended to all people entering this busy school in the morning. Pupils, parents and visitors, are treated with kindness and respect by all adults, and this helps Burnt Oak to achieve its aim of providing an environment where everyone can ‘Enjoy, Achieve, Succeed’.
Passionate about Education
The Head Teacher is passionate about education and believes that every child in the school should have the opportunities to succeed. The Senior Leadership Team, SENCo, Staff and Governors share this aim and work together to ensure that they fulfill their vision statement.
An Inclusive School for All
The school has a largely White British population, with nearly half of the children in receipt of Pupil Premium, as well as a larger than average number of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. There is also a high incidence of mobility, but the parents and children I spoke to want their children to stay at the school as they see the value it brings to them. This all has an impact on the class and school environment, but Burnt Oak’s high aspirations and commitment to helping all their children progress, creates an inclusive school for all.
A Well Resourced School
The school is well resourced, which includes space, IT and specialized staff, and these are used to their greatest effect. Provision for the wellbeing, emotional and mental health of the whole school is catered for by the ‘Place to Be’ which provides support for pupils, parents and staff and is used effectively by the school. The Children’s Centre works very well in partnership with the school and is valued for the support that it gives to the community.
The Importance of CPD
Staff at the school value CPD and plan training well. Staff who have a specialist knowledge disseminate training to others which helps to build a knowledgeable team with the capabilities and resources to support need where it arises. There are specialist staff in areas such as the Learning Behaviour Mentors, Speech and Language and EAL and PE, who work hard to support the children and the teachers to improve outcomes for these groups of children.
Governors Hold Staff Accountable
Governors support the school effectively and are knowledgeable about the strategic plan for the school. They understand their role and use this to drive and hold staff accountable for the progression of the pupils at all levels.
Sources of Data
The IQM/Inclusion Leader produced a very comprehensive Self Evaluation Report and provided a wide-ranging selection of documentary evidence to support all elements of the IQM Report. His enthusiasm for the school, pupils, parents and staff meant that the school’s provision for SEND is a high priority and he is dedicated to providing an environment where everyone is able to achieve and where learning is a high priority.
I was also able to verify the information contained in the report during my visit and in the interviews that had been arranged. Meetings were arranged with the:-
• Head Teacher
• IQM Coordinator/SENCo
• Class Teachers, Teaching Assistants and Admin staff
• Specialist staff working within the school, i.e. The Children’s Centre and Place2Be staff
I was also able to go on learning walks, have lunch with the children and meet the School Council. These pupils were a credit to the school. They confidently spoke about their school and what it helps them to achieve and are proud of what it offered them as pupils.
Helping Children to Make Progress
During the learning walks I was able to see how strategies had been put in place to help all children to make progress in their learning including those in the most vulnerable groups. Classrooms and displays were used to support learning and teachers used a variety of teaching methods and strategies to support learning. Interventions and planned adult support were used to enhance children’s learning, from their individual starting points, and this allowed for progress to be made.
The behaviour in classes was very good and demonstrated behaviour for learning. The children were engaged in the activities they were doing and understood what they were learning. Children with additional needs are planned for using a number of strategies and interventions in and out of classroom, where appropriate. During their interview the children showed that they were proud of their achievements, and their school, and could clearly articulate why they liked being at Burnt Oak Primary School and what it has done to help them.
The school was highly regarded by the parents that I met and they were grateful for the levels of support their families had received from it. They were very complimentary about the help they received, and two of them commented that they “would do anything” to keep their children at the school. One parent confirmed that she travels a greater distance to school after moving to a different area just so her children could stay at Burnt Oak. They felt that the school understood what they and their children needed and was able to approach the SENCo, or member of staff, whenever they needed to.