Monthly Archives: January 2016

Inclusion ( Insert definition here)

inclusion
ɪnˈkluːʒ(ə)n/
noun
 1. the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.
“They have been selected for inclusion in the scheme”
Oxford Dictionary

Maybe I am slightly late to the party, however over recent weeks there has been alot of discussion on Twitter with regards to Inclusion of pupils with SEND in mainstream education and a number of blogs which have followed. I am grateful to @JulesDaulby for collating many of them on her blog site here: https://mainstreamsen.wordpress.com/

As I write this I am fully aware of how controversial and emotive this topic can be and how definitions of what ‘Inclusion’ actually is can vary so much, hence, as pondered what it meant to me, it led me to the title of this blog.

Time for me to put my two penneth in………………

I would personally like to approach inclusion from the perspective of all of our pupils being on a continuum of learning needs. In this context, for me inclusion is about a personalised learning package which meets each pupil’s individual and holistic needs. That would include their learning environment whether mainstream, special, part – time in each, unit etc but also their personalised curriculum. For me it is not about one or the other being a preferred option  – it is about what ever is the most appropriate for the individual to meet their needs.

I get frustrated in many ways when I hear links to mainstream schools for our pupils with SEND being referred to as ‘inclusion’ as if they are not included in the system without this. Don’t get me wrong, we work closely with mainstream schools to support them to be as ‘inclusive’ as possible in terms of educating as many pupils with SEND in mainstream settings as possible, however, for some of our pupils, the most ‘inclusive’ setting to meet their needs is actually a base in a specialist setting either for all, most or some of the time.

I know there are many imperfections in the system in terms of being able to achieve the  optimum of personalisation however, my personal position is that I do not see the existence of specialist provisions as being a barrier to inclusion but an essential part of a multi- faceted education system in which I will continue to advocate on behalf of all of our pupils in ensuring their individual needs are met in the best possible way.

 

 

 

A strong voice ‘building’ for the future

new school and bus

Tomorrow is a big day for Camberwell Park School  (@CamberwellPark) as we welcome our pupils to our  new school building.

We learned back in 2012 we were finally destined to get a new building as part of the Priority School Building Programme . The news could have not come soon enough as the building we have been inhabiting was in such a poor state of disrepair. During my tenure as head teacher we had experienced a complete ceiling collapse in the hall, a fire in the electric cupboard and a gas explosion never mind the leaks into the school every time it rained! Our pupils and the staff were finally destined to get the building they deserved! You can read the DfE press release about our new building here

As headteacher, right from the start it was important to me to ensure that the whole school community had a voice in the development of the new school so staff, parents / carers, governors and members of the multi-agency team were all consulted:

But what about the pupils?

They have been involved and included all the way through in ways that are relevant and meaningful to them such as:

Drawing pictures of the things they wanted in the new school and voting for colours for the feature walls in the classrooms.

ramp and bigger bikes     voting for colours  shapes pupil

Our pupil’s work about the vision for our building formed a significant display on the school corridor

Building display

It was essential that all of our learners had a chance to have their priority needs for the new school represented in our vision, including those with the most profound and multiple learning needs:

 

pmld

My staff team as always have been hard working,  creative, imaginative and ensured appropriate access for all of our pupils to engage in the whole process. My staff team are fabulous – all due respect  and huge thanks to them!

I collated all of the views which were collected from our school community and made sure they were represented in our vision statement and what it would mean for the building as shown in the short sections below.

Section of vision

We have continued to involve the pupils during the autumn term with whole school topic work on ‘Buildings’ and ‘Change’ as we help to prepare them for the big move. We also celebrated our life at the old site with a very special assembly which included a balloon release ( we have the balloons ready for tomorrow morning to tie to the railings of the new site ready for when the children arrive)

balloon launch 1              balloon launch 2                    balloon launch 3

So here we are in January 2016, slightly later than we originally anticipated, but with an amazing building which has given us everything we could have hoped and wished for. A building which will enable us to build on our existing already outstanding practice and be even more Passionate, Respectful, Organised, Understanding and Dedicated. Ensuring Camberwell Park continues to be a school to be PROUD of. At an open afternoon for our parents and pupils on Thursday afternoon, around 20 families in total attended and seeing the responses of the parents, hearing the number of times the word ‘WOW’ was used and seeing the confidence and smiles of the pupils is what it is all about and makes it all absolutely worthwhile.

There is still work to be done – in addition to the snagging list we are having interactive elements fitted to the hydro pool as well as a brand new Immersive learning room ( work on which is already underway)

On 11th January 2016, our vision really does become a reality however as our children have their first day in their new school and I for one can’t wait!

There are lots and lots of photos on the media section of our twitter account @CamberwellPark – a couple of them are below. The photos really do not do not do the place justice though – why not come and visit us!

The hydrotherapy pool:

From this                             To this

pool before    pool after

The building

From this                                To this

building frame   OUtside new building

 

Mary Isherwood

Very PROUD headteacher at Camberwell Park School

January 10th 2016