A Northwich primary school is so good at including all pupils and ensuring their success that it’s been awarded Centre of Excellence status.
Rudheath Primary Academy applied for the Inclusion Quality Mark but assessors judged the school to be so good that they granted it Centre of Excellence status – a step above the Quality Mark.
Principal Andrew Ross and Jane Thomas, who leads the inclusion team, were praised for the way Rudheath Primary Academy supports all its children. No pupil at the school is labelled by ability. The school has a comprehensive inclusion policy and staff believe that every child has unique capabilities.
In their report the Inclusion Quality Mark assessors particularly praised Rudheath’s Early Years teaching: “The Early Years area has been extensively renovated and provides high-quality inclusive areas.
“To ensure there is more space for children, playtimes have been split so that the children have more room in which to play. There is currently a room to support children with emotional and social needs which is used during playtimes and throughout the day.
“Playtime Pals are encouraged to support others with their play and are responsible for the play equipment.”
The report praised a number of school innovations including the IRIS Connect system, a video camera tool where teachers can study their own lessons, and the IDL Cloud, which uses sight, sound and touch to support children with dyslexia.
The school employs an Emotional Literary Support Assistant who deals with a whole range of issues from behaviour to bereavement, friendship problems and sleep issues.
The inclusion team supports any child and family who are facing difficulties out of school. They work with them on a range of issues in order to promote self-esteem and confidence.
And the assessors were impressed by the effective use of social media: “When the children are away on residential, parents are informed of activities and events by a Twitter and Facebook feed. Parents have said that this does make a difference as they know their children are safe and happy.”
Speaking after receiving the award, during a presentation afternoon in London, Mr Ross said his ambition was to take Rudheath to the ultimate status of a Flagship School within three years.
“This is a great accolade for our school. We were confident that the inclusivity we have nurtured encourages all pupils to succeed but to be recognised in this way, following such a rigorous assessment, is a huge boost.
“I’d like to say thank you to all the staff, pupils, governors and parents who have worked so hard over the last two years – particularly Ms Thomas who collated the evidence for our assessment and the parents who kindly volunteered to talk to the assessor on the day,” said Mr Ross.
Potential parents will have the chance to see the facilities and meet staff at Rudheath Primary Academy on November 9 when the school will be holding an open evening between 5pm and 7pm.