Edith Cavell Lower School
“Inclusion is about all learners and about taking action to remove barriers to participation and learning.” Edith Cavell Lower School is a fully inclusive school where children experience an extensive curriculum and where children with special educational needs/vulnerable pupils are taught alongside their peers.
At Edith Cavell Lower School the staff, governors and parents are fully committed to providing a happy, ambitious and stimulating environment. All learners are nurtured to achieve their full potential and develop a love and enthusiasm for lifelong learning.
High expectation within a progressive, stimulating and enriching curriculum ensures all learners are safe, valued and diversity is celebrated. Therefore Learning is fun!
How we support your child's learning
At Edith Cavell Lower School we employ an open door policy with parents so that they feel valued and welcome to come in and talk openly to staff regarding any aspect of their child’s school life.
This two-way communication between home and school is evident in other areas for instance via written comments from parents in reading record books or telephone conversations.
Weekly achievements such as ‘Star of the week’ ‘Reader of the week’ and ‘Values’ achievements are communicated to parents in the form of a certificate and invitation for parents to attend the assembly when the certificate is presented to their child. When a child has been commended for showing the monthly value, a hand written postcard is sent home to document this achievement.
There is a parents consultation evening offered to parents once a term whereby teachers verbally feedback to parents on their child’s progress and attainments from the term.
As a school we offer a range of learning events opportunities for parents to come in to school and provide information on how learning is planned, for example we have held targeted Sounds Write phonics intervention drop-ins and numeracy based drop-in sessions to inform parents of how these subjects are taught in school and how they as parents can further support their child at home.
Any children that receive SEN support have a provision map documenting the support in place for them and parents are included in every stage of this process.
Provision maps are on-going historical documents that are updated termly and sent out to parents. Parents have the opportunity to discuss the provision map and targets with teachers in person and are invited to be part of the regular review process by commenting on how they personally feel that their child has done that term.
We hold termly SEND Parents Information evenings whereby parents can talk through provision maps with teachers and agree on successful strategies that can be used to support their child further at school.
An annual teacher report is written and sent out to parents at the end of the academic year detailing children’s progress across all areas of learning. Children receive an attainment and effort grade in their report for each subject, alongside targets of how to improve further.
Parents are then invited to attend a meeting with their class teacher to discuss the report in person if they wish to. Parents are also invited to feedback on the report in the form of a review sheet to once again reiterate the importance of their comments.
Accessibility of our service
Reasonable adjustments are made to allow all pupils to access their learning and provide them with the resources they need to be able to participate fully in school life.
All children are encouraged to participate in and offered the opportunity to access extracurricular activities and also the wider school community life. This is further outlined in the schools equal opportunities policy.
The school is mostly wheel chair assessable and has audio enhancements to cater for children that are hearing impaired.
There are disabled changing and toilet facilities located by the main entrance of the building and this includes a shower cubicle that can be easily accessed.
As a school we communicate with parents and carers for whom English is an additional language sensitively and in person where possible. We support parents in a number of ways, for instance by offering to escort them to speech and language sessions or to liaise with our Polish speaking EAL Teaching Assistant.
Equipment to help support children with SEND is distributed where needed to the child’s class and central resources are stored in our ‘Intervention Room’ where interventions are also led daily.
Confidential documents are locked to provide the maximum security and confidentiality.
How we identify SEN
As outlined in our schools Inclusion Policy, children with SEND can be identified in a number of ways. We recognise the importance of early intervention to support children in reaching their academic potential.
At the beginning of each term Teachers meet with the Inclusion leader to discuss any children that need extra support in the four areas of SEND. During this meeting, the teachers and Inclusion Leader consider what the appropriate provision needed is to support this child and ways forward.
Following assessments by class teachers a sensitive decision may be made about whether or not the child is making adequate progress. These concerns are discussed with parents and then the Inclusion Leader takes the lead in working alongside teachers to acquire all the relevant information in order to plan for future support of the child and monitor and review the actions the school has decided to take in terms of SEN support strategies. These strategies are documented on a provision map that is shared with parents and monitored closely.
If parents have any concerns regarding their child, we reiterate our school’s supportive open door policy whereby parents can communicate openly with school staff in various ways e.g. in person, on the telephone or through written comments.
We are fortunate to have had access to the ASD Unit that was based on our school site but has now moved to Goldington Green Academy. We continue to liaise extremely closely with this specialist provision and have received a lot of staff training, advice and resources from them.
As a school with children of varying SEND needs we pride ourselves on having a good rapport with educational professionals such as The Autistic Advisory Teacher (AAT) and Peripatetic Teacher of the Hearing Impaired (Sensory Communication Support Team).
We are also privileged to have a workforce of highly skilled teaching and support staff who receive regular staff training in a number of specialist areas for instance hearing impairment, speech and language and ASD.
How we support your child/young person
As outlined in our ‘School Prospectus’ we are fortunate to have a large supportive and skilled workforce made up of both teaching and non-teaching staff.
Present in each class is a qualified teacher and teaching assistant. 1:1 Learning Support Assistants are also allocated to children who have a statement of special educational needs.
Each class has a class teacher who has overall pastoral and curricular responsibility for the children in his/ her care. From time to time children are taught by other teachers within school to share expertise and make the best possible use of the resources available. Classes are housed within units where common areas are made available to all children within that unit. Children are taught sometimes individually, sometimes in small groups and sometimes as a whole class.
The school’s Governing Body is made up of members of staff, parents and Local Authority or community representatives. Each Governor has an area of responsibility and this information is communicated to parents at the entrance of our school as well as being explained on the school website, see “Governors” tab.
The school’s governing body is responsible for the conduct of the school, and must promote high standards of educational achievement at the school.
- provide a strategic view of the school by establishing a vision and setting the purpose and aims of the school within an agreed policy framework.
- Appoints and performance manages Miss Cooke, the headteacher, agreeing the school improvement strategy (School Development Plan) which includes setting statutory targets with supporting budgets and staffing structures
- monitors and evaluates the work of the school by reviewing the performance of
the headteacher, the effectiveness of the policy framework, progress towards
targets, and the effectiveness of the SDP.
- signs off the self-evaluation process and responds to school improvement service
and Ofsted reports as necessary.
- In addition it holds the headteacher to account for the performance of the school and ensures that parents are involved, consulted and informed as appropriate, with information to the community being made available as required.
In order to do this effectively, our governors gain insightful knowledge of how our school operates through attending staff training, by attending meetings, and by getting to know their school community, for example through a number of visits to the school during the school day, supporting school trips or by attending planned visits with subject leaders.
How we match the curriculum to your child's needs
As specified in our ‘Teaching and Learning Policy’ “We believe that people learn best in different ways and through different approaches. At our school, we aim to provide a rich and varied learning environment that allows children to develop their skills and abilities to their full potential.”
Effective learning only comes about from first quality effective teaching. When teaching we focus on motivating the children and building on their skills, knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. We use the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, National Curriculum (2014), Hamilton maths scheme and the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education to ensure continuity and progression across the school.
For teaching to be effective, we believe that it is necessary to:
- Assess children’s knowledge and skills, to know the pitch of the lesson
- Develop a clear and structured plan leading to a well prepared differentiated and well delivered
-lesson that includes pace, rigour and good use of time
- Have a clear learning objective that is shared with the children
- Have clear success criteria so children know what they have to do
- Self and peer assessment is used against the success criteria
- Ensure feedback whether verbal or written is linked to the success criteria
- Review the learning at the end of the lesson and link to future learning
- Use a range of teaching strategies to include:
o effective questioning
o interactive teaching
o balance between child/teacher talk
o Teacher questioning, modelling and explaining
- Have appropriate challenges and expectations of all children
- Deploy teaching assistants effectively
- Use appropriate resources
- Manage behaviour so that children are keen to get on with their work
- Provide a secure and friendly environment in which children can experiment and learn from their errors
- Ensure teachers are well informed, confident and enthusiastic
- Deliver the lesson enthusiastically so that the children are motivated and enjoy their learning
- Ensure opportunities for applying Literacy, Numeracy and ICT skills across the curriculum
- Involve all the children
- Praise and encouragement to motivate pupils further
We use a creative thematic approach to teaching, based on the National Curriculum, which sets out the aims, objectives, and details of what is to be taught in each key stage. We have designed a 2-year rolling programme of topics to meet the needs of the different age groups while ensuring continuity and progression. Our medium and short-term lesson plans contain detailed information about the learning objectives and success criteria, the teaching activities and tasks to be set, the resources needed, and the type of assessment to be used.
In personalising the curriculum, we aim to find appropriate challenges for pupils and address their particular needs so that they may all have an equal opportunity to succeed.
We aim to cater for the needs and interests of the full range of learners, including:
- gifted and talented
- learners with learning difficulties and disabilities
- learners with English as an additional language
- girls and boys
- looked after and vulnerable children
- learners with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
The support we give to your child's well being
As an “ambitious, achieving and nurturing school” we pride ourselves on the pastoral care given to children at our school. At Edith Cavell every member of staff seeks to create the best possible circumstances for learning for their pupils. In essence, this means creating and maintaining the sort of positive relationships throughout the school within which pupils will want to learn, and teachers can teach most effectively for all pupils.Our “Safeguarding Policy” outlines this vision further by stating that “We establish and maintain an ethos where children and young people feel secure and are encouraged to talk and are listened to.” All classrooms have an allocated teacher and teaching assistant and children are encouraged to speak to adults about any concerns that they have. Any pressing concerns identified by staff are noted onto “Nagging Doubt” forms and passed onto the Safeguarding team to be documented.The school shares a purpose with parents to educate, keep children safe from harm and have their welfare promoted. We are committed to working with parents positively, openly and honestly. We ensure that all parents are treated with respect, dignity and courtesy. We respect parents’ rights to privacy and confidentiality and will not share sensitive information until we have permission or it is necessary to do so to protect a child.
Edith Cavell Lower School will share with parents any concerns we may have about their child unless to do so may place a child at risk of harm. We encourage parents to discuss any concerns they may have with Edith Cavell Lower School and make parents aware of our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policies. As detailed in our “Policy on Administering Medicines in school” the administration of medicines is understood and accepted by all staff, parents and children.
The school follow guidance detailed in the LA’s Guide on Managing Medicines in School and Early Years Settings and with regards to administering medicines, no child under 16 should be given medicine without written parent consent. A record is also kept in a written form each times medicines are given.Our “Behaviour and Rewards Policy” adopts a positive approach to high expectations of behaviour management in school so that all children feel safe and secure. We see behaviour as an integral part of the curriculum. The school keeps a variety of records concerning incidents of misbehaviour and the head teacher keeps a record of any child who is suspended for a fixed-term, or who is permanently excluded (a decision that is not taken lightly by teaching and governing staff and avoided at all costs with advice sought upon from Bedford Borough Council professionals). The schools behaviour policy is reviewed bi-annually.We expect all children on roll to attend every day, when the school is in session, as long as they are fit and well enough to do so. We do all we can to encourage the children to attend, and to put in place appropriate procedures. We believe that the most important factor in promoting good attendance is the development of positive attitudes towards school. In having high expectations for attendance, we offer rewards such as the class attendance bear and a wrist band for children with 100% attendance for each term. Pupil voice is an imperative part in children feeling valued in school and we promote this through a number of ways for instance having school council representatives in each class, pupil comment box on provision maps, end of unit reviews, subject questionnaires and tell me boxes in the classroom
The expertise we have access to
Miss Smith is the Inclusion Leader in school who oversees the SEND, EAL and MA provision. Miss Smith is a qualified teacher and has had a lot of training within the field of SEND including the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordinators.
Mrs Dennis is the SENCO Assistant and also an integral part of the Safeguarding team. She has previously worked at a special school for a number of years and has attended an array of training courses such as First Aid training, Attachment Theory, Early Interventions for Children Who Are At Risk of Sexual Exploitation, Sexualised Behaviour in Prepubescent Children, Hearing Impairment Training and Training for Looked After Children (LAC).
As a school we have a good rapport with the Hearing Impairment Team who visit us on a weekly basis.
As already mentioned our Learning Mentor works with children who suffer from low self-esteem and completes art therapy activities with children in a nurturing environment.
We have successfully liaised with other professionals such as CHUMS wellbeing service, Faces (Families and Children’s Early Help Services), Young Carers Support and Social Care to benefit the wellbeing of a range of identified children.
As a Leap Trust school we liaise closely with other schools in our network and surrounding area for instance we have links with Priory and Livingstone.
We also have community links with Shackleton Lower School, Queens Park Academy and Bedford Modern School.
How we include your child in extra curricular activities
Activities are highly differentiated for all children to access and Teaching Assistants are placed in each class to assist children’s access further.
Children that have a statement of special educational needs have an allocated Learning Support Assistant that accompanies them on school trips and encourages them to be as independent as possible.
All children are invited on school trips and when needed parents are invited to help on trips as additional adults. Parents are given questionnaires throughout the school year for them to voice their opinions and they invited to feedback when completing their child’s annual report feedback. Children that suffer from changes in routine or anxieties are provided with personalised social stories and exposure to the visit location prior to going on the trip. Children are supported by visuals to communicate that they are going on a trip.
All children are welcomed to breakfast and after school clubs and a range of motivating activities are offered at both clubs to boost social skills and interest.
All children are welcome to attend extracurricular activities and those children with SEND are supported where necessary for instance by additional adult help where needed e.g. one child with a statement of special educational needs attended after school club and was supported by SCS (Social Care Solutions).
How we prepare your child to join us or transfer to another setting
As laid out in our “Admissions Policy” parents have a right to express their preference for the school of their choice and should do so on the appropriate application form. Expressing a preference does not, in itself, guarantee a place at our school. Application forms should be complete least a year prior to the date of admission. The school notifies parents of the decision as soon as all the applications have been considered for the academic year.
Children are admitted to a full time place in the September of the school year in which they have their fifth birthday. Where a place at the school is required during the school year, parents need to apply directly to the school.
During the summer term, class teachers provide their children with a lot of opportunities to discuss transition for instance moving on to a new class or school setting. This usually takes place during weekly PSHCE sessions and can be personalised to match children’s needs for instance a transition book with photos may be created for children that would benefit from it and extra visits to their new class area.
As we are becoming a primary school, transition will be minimised if parents wish for their children to remain with us for years 5 and 6.
How we match our resources to your child
Following assessment by class teachers in collaboration with parents, a sensitive decision may be made about whether or not the child is making adequate progress. These concerns are discussed with parents and then the Inclusion Leader takes the lead in working alongside teachers to acquire all the relevant information in order to plan for future support of the child and monitor and review the action the actions the school has decided to take in
terms of school strategies. These strategies are documented on a provision map and further advice from professionals is sought after where appropriate after a review of the child’s progress.
The Inclusion Leader is provided with an allocated SEND budget and liaises with the Head Teacher, SLT and teaching staff to identify where the funding could be used most effectively for instance as reading was identified on the School Development Plan, money was targeted for reading based intervention support.
Resources are regularly audited and deployed to support children where needed. Where possible the Inclusion Leader creates personalised resources to support and motivate children using their interests.
How we involve parents
Close links between home and school matter to us, as we know that parental support is important if a child is to succeed to their full capability. Our policy is one of openness with parents and the community based on mutual respect and understanding, to ensure that our children achieve their potential, both academically and socially.
Parents can be involved in the school in a number ways for instance by being invited to come in and read with their child in class on a Friday morning, being invited to attend assemblies, shows, open afternoons, information evenings and events such as fayres and cake sales.
Parents are fully part of decision making processes for instance with the move to becoming a Primary school in 2017, parents have been kept up to date on building work plans and invited to attend information evenings based on their thoughts and feelings around year 5.
Parents can feedback to school in a number of ways such as by speaking to staff face to face, completing parent questionnaires and from contacting the school using ICT.
We share information with parents regularly via our school website, entrance area and parent mail electronic service.
How we include your child in the planning of their support
Children complete end of topic evaluations where they are given the right to evaluate their learning and identify what was good or successful about the topics learned.
Children self and peer assess their learning daily and are taught to evaluate their work from an early age for instance in PE, pupils critically evaluate their work and how to improve it in future.
Subject leaders gather in learning questionnaires and interview children to inform future planning according to the feedback provided by children.
Children requiring additional support are named clearly on the planning to inform all members of staff working with them.
General Contact Information
There are many ways of contacting the school. The first point of contact would be the main office who can then contact the necessary people or inform you of setting arrangements and key information.
If parents have any concerns we encourage them to speak to their child’s class teacher directly or to discuss their concerns with the Inclusion Leader or SENCO Assistant if regarding SEND or Safeguarding issues.
Our school website holds all the key information and contact details for parents and viewers to easily access both inside and outside of school hours. There is also a link to Bedford Borough Council’s Local Offer from our school website which can be found alongside the school’s SEND Information Report.
Bedford Borough’s website provides further information on the Local Offer and provides names of support services that provide parents with more information and support for instance Parent Carer Forum.
Contact for more information
Record Last Reviewed On: 12/12/2016