Diversity and Inclusion
"Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice be heard." – Liz Fosslien
What do we want for our children?
Diversity and inclusion means all children no matter their ability, disability, race or gender be taught a broad and balanced curriculum that is pertinent to individual experiences and fosters a love of learning. Our aim is to ensure that all our children flourish and thrive. Teaching and learning approaches are at the heart of this; where we ensure equality of opportunity is upheld and both intrinsic and extrinsic barriers to learning are broken down. At Preston Park, we are committed to the inclusive education of children with SEND and young people and the progressive removal of barriers to learning and participation in mainstream education, (SEND Code of Practice 2015).
To that end, we believe in personalising learning and meeting the needs of all pupils; forms part of our moral duty and purpose, which is embedded within our curriculum design. We support all our children to access the curriculum through our three areas of provision – universal, targeted and specialist provision.
How do we deliver this effectively?
At Preston Park, we identify and support children with SEN through a four-part (assessment for learning) recurrent cycle known as ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review,’ as set out in The SEND Code of Practice 2015. We ensure that children and families are at the heart of this process, and the cycle allows us to obtain a growing and comprehensive understanding of individual children’s needs and the tailored support that allows for good progress and outcomes.
At Preston Park, the graduated approach starts at the universal level, whereby teachers are continually assessing, planning, implementing, and reviewing their approaches to teaching all children. When a child has been identified as having SEND, this recurrent process becomes progressively personalised.
What does this look like for our children?
We acknowledge that the outcome of meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum are imperative but will also differ depending on each unique child. Early intervention is key at Preston Park and through our robust graduated approach, we ensure children are assessed and plans that are specific to each child’s profile of need is implemented early on.
At the universal level of provision, children learn in the classroom alongside their peers and quality first teaching approaches that are differentiated and personalised ensures we meet the individual needs of our children and young people.
At the targeted level of provision, our highly skilled and trained learning support assistants (LSA) conduct evidence-based interventions to bridge gaps in learning, through one-to-one or small group teaching sessions.
Our Additional Resource Provision (ARP)
Our ARP for neurodivergent children, allows our children with complex needs to enjoy learning in mainstream, while also learning in a space that maximises their specific educational potential and thus allows them to thrive.
The ARP has four year groups (Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4) with a total of nine children. Group 1 is where Year 1 and Year 2 are taught together and Group 2 is where Year 3 and Year 4 attend lessons together. Children are supported in the ARP by a qualified teacher and two TA's. The curriculum follows a formal and semi-formal structure, in which the lessons are personalised to meet the specific needs of the children. National Curriculum subjects such as English, mathematics and reading are taught daily and within these subjects the children are taught skills to ensure they are taking those vital steps to meeting the outcomes on their EHCP.
The ARP is an audio-visual classroom with an environment that is both calming and stimulating for our pupils with SEND. Different visuals and sound effects can be tailored to the suit the needs of our pupils. In addition, we have specialist resources that are readily available for our children to explore and enjoy.
Our pupils receive a complete experience in the mainstream environment, including morning assemblies, phonics sessions and specialist subjects. In addition to this, our students have access to interventions in small groups, a range of resources to support their specific profile of need and speech and language therapy.
Our speech and language therapist is in school once a week, working closely with both the staff in our ARP and families to support our students in accessing a broad and balanced curriculum that places inclusivity at the heart of it all.
Interventions within the ARP involve: storytelling, attention autism, music, speech and language, phonics to name but a few. All staff use Picture Exchange Communication system (PECS) to support our non-verbal children and to provide them with the tools to communicate with their peers and adults.
Benefits of our ARP include; heightened awareness and improved alertness, exploration of environment, improved co-ordination and motor control, cognitive development, and improved opportunity for choice and self-determination.
The school’s sensory room is located within the heart of the school and is available for all pupils in the school to access. The room is designed to create a stimulating and yet calming atmosphere. In addition to this room, there are spaces within each area of the school which support the ethos of quiet and calming spaces.
The Sensory Room is divided into different areas within it which include: a soft play area, dark room, and sound room. Within the room there is a range of equipment including bubble tubes, fibre optic sprays, tactile lights, sound and music as well as textured walls. All of the equipment is designed to provide visual, auditory, tactile, kinaesthetic and olfactory stimulation.
This room is used for both therapy and education; some of the benefits can include; increased concentration and focused attention; cognitive development by increased brain function; social interactions; or providing relief from sensory overload.
This process doesn’t end in Year 6, but we ensure that each child has a smooth transition into secondary school, by working in partnership with schools and sharing approaches that work well for individual children.
Our anti-racist journey
Preston Park are proud to say that we are an anti-racist school. Our curriculum contains learning experiences and lessons that move students from the racially/ethnically familiar, or racially/ethnically relevant, to the unfamiliar and also includes learning experiences and lessons that increase the student's interpersonal contact with people who are racially different from them.
Our anti-racist curriculum weaves in firmly with our six core values as it allows our children to develop understanding and respect for all kinds of racial differences and increases their understanding of racial stereotypes, prejudice, and racist.
Supporting our children who have English as an additional language
We are proud to welcome families from all over the world to Preston Park, we celebrate our diversity and speak over 45 different languages. Proudly, over 70% of our students have English as an additional language and they enter the school making accelerated progress in their proficiency of the English language.
We acknowledge that learners with EAL have a dual task at school: to learn the English language and to learn through English. When our students arrive they are based line assessed, so that we have indepth knowledge of their starting points. This data is then used to ensure that the provision we put in place meets their specific language proficiency need.
At Preston Park we:
- create a supportive environment to help pupils integrate.
- consider the physical environment - by ensuring lots of visuals are used to support their learning.
- use interventions to support them in accessing all aspects of the learning in the classroom.
- set up a buddy system.
- celebrate the different languages and cultures.
- support parents and carers and maintain regular communication.
Since 2019, we embarked on a diversity, equality and inclusion journey – The Diversity Mark Award.
It is specific to education and is not a generic standard. It uses diversity in the broadest sense to include a focus on inclusion, equality of educational opportunity, developing cultural capital and the social and moral aspects of education. The programme has the aim of improving educational outcomes, where diversity and inclusion is used as a tool to achieve these aims. The Diversity Mark is also underpinned by key legislation – The Equality Act 2010 and The Prevent duty.
In 2020, we were awarded the Bronze award and in December 2022 we were awarded the Silver award for ‘demonstrating a commitment to building an ethos of diversity and inclusion, and ‘high expectations for disadvantaged groups - those with EAL and SEND.'