Towards the end of last year we received our assessment visit from the National Nurturing Schools advisor to assess the work that we have been doing to gain the whole school nurturing award. Here are some highlights from the report:
‘Nurture principles are reflected in the development of the environment. The environment is outstandingly good in terms of feeling like home wherever the pupils go. In particular the buildings and outside areas are beautiful and very much part of the school’s curriculum and ethos in terms of taking pride and care of their environment. The staff model positive relationships and there is a sense that everyone genuinely cares for each other. All staff know all the children’s names and pupils refer to staff members by their first name. There are no offices, staff work in communal areas so that the pupils see adults are working but available to them whenever they need them. ‘
‘With inspiring and supportive leadership, the school prides itself on the nurturing ethos which promotes mutual respect and celebration of the diversity within its community. The six principles are clearly embedded throughout the school, enhancing teaching and learning and promoting healthy outcomes for the children, which is reflected in the school’s policies.’
‘I recommend that Wilds Lodge School should be awarded The National Nurturing Schools Award.’
‘This report cannot reflect the work that goes on at the school every day. A comprehensive evidence file and related documents have been provided as part of the assessment process. Examples of excellent practice include:
Inclusivity: Everyone works diligently and effectively to ensure that high expectations enable children (and staff) to be the best they can be, regardless of their special needs or difficulties at home or school. Head teacher, Robin said, “It’s always about the children, we start with their needs and go from there but we raise expectations for them in every respect.”
Partnership and community working: The school recognises the importance of fostering strong relationships with the community, sharing the same vision of education and having a clear drive to foster partnership with them. They are to be commended for their commitment and drive in maintaining and developing University links, through the development of training packages and providing training opportunities for NQTs and their own school staff.
Working with parents: Family liaison - Staff understand that working with parents is a key element to children’s success and they work tirelessly and in partnership with the parents to make that happen.
Six Principles: I cannot remember ever seeing a school that has embraced the principles to the extent this school has. From the head teacher, all staff members whether teaching, pastoral, domestic, and grounds staff right through to each pupil, the knowledge and understanding of the principles is impressive and inspiring. Wilds Lodge have truly taken this programme into the heart of everything they do.
It was a privilege to spend time with the children of the nurture committee who really made me feel at home and welcome. The staff, who were extremely intuitive and highly skilled, had a very calming influence on them and responded consistently with a clear understanding of the needs of each individual child. What is obvious throughout the school, is that the staff care deeply about the vulnerable pupils they work with and have high expectations that they can and will succeed at whatever level they are at.’
As head teacher Robin said:
“Nurture underpins everything we do here. We recognise that the key for all of our children is building relationships. It's through those trusted relationships that they feel safe and valued so they have the confidence to become whoever they want to be in life.”