“All abilities, all involved, all the time”.
To move from Special Measures to Outstanding in three years suggests that something special happens in Vauxhall Primary School. Whilst working with the same staff, the school has seen a rapid turn-around. The principle can be easily stated, as Personalisation in everything, holding to the Every Child Matters ethos, although the practical aspects are more complex to describe. Vauxhall encounters virtually every identifiable barrier to learning, seeks to identify root causes and then to find solutions which allows each child to feel valued and to develop self-esteem, from which learning needs can be addressed, as children have the skills to cope when errors are made.
Passionate, articulate, hard-working, engaged, analytical, purposeful, creative, inspirational and visionary are all adjectives that can be attributed to the Vauxhall staff. It was a pleasure to spend quality time in their company.
Equally, if I could nominate a school where Inclusion is lived and breathed, it would be Vauxhall. It permeates every aspect of school life, perhaps, as the Head of School, Edison David, commented, “With so much need, we have no choice but to use inclusive approaches”. But inclusion at Vauxhall is more than that statement; it is the raison d’etre, like a stick of rock, sliced anywhere, the word Inclusive would be seen, hearts, minds, bodies and souls are dedicated to the same aims. Although the end of term was in sight, there was still and energy and vibrancy to the school which belied its Victorian building, although even that had been imaginatively used to enhance all aspects of teaching and learning, from Nursery to eleven.
I came away from this visit to Vauxhall Primary with two thoughts that summarise its outlook:-
The staff give above and beyond what one can reasonably expect of them.
Nobody is left out, child or adult. All are valued for their unique gifts and talents.
Two quotes from a parent and a teacher add to the summary:-
“Like a big family.”
“We offer a glimmer of hope in their lives. We are here to make a difference.”
While an external view was that:-
“The school makes excellent links with the community and other schools to deliver a high quality of service to families”.
The school aims for every child to have a happy and active primary education in an environment that is caring and supporting. It provides a stimulating and structured environment in which every child will be encouraged to reach their full potential.”
IQM is very proud to work with Vauxhall Primary School and to have it as one of our Centres of Excellence for Inclusion. Under the executive head Chris Toye and the head of school Edison David, the clarity, yet complexity of vision is inspirational.
It has now become the central school for the Lambeth Teaching Schools Alliance, so is being enabled to expand its influence.
A recent review visit showed that the school is well on the way to embedding all the requirements of curriculum change for September 2014. That’s a possible subject for a later blog post.