St. George’s Preparatory School receives Channel Island’s First Inclusion Quality Mark for Schools
Praised for Kindness, Inclusion and Outstanding Pandemic Response
St. George’s staff and pupils are extremely proud to have been awarded the Channel Island’s first Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM). Recognising schools ‘that support inclusive practice and therefore increase life chances for all’, the IQM is given to educational establishments that meet the Ofsted definition of a school where the ‘teaching, learning, achievements, attitudes and wellbeing of every young person matter’. The mark recognises schools that cater to pupils across the ability range, providing greater challenge and extension to those who require it as well as supporting those who need extra support.
To achieve their IQM, St. George’s completed a rigorous external review with input from pupils, teachers, Board members and parents. The school was recognised as a place that ‘values each child, welcomes diversity and places inclusivity at the forefront of its school experience [delivering] high quality teaching and learning to a diverse population, in order to be outstanding’. The learning environment was noted as ‘calm, purposeful and incredibly well resourced’ and judges commented on the extensive use of outdoor classrooms and ongoing outreach efforts where pupils focus on making a positive impact far beyond their school walls.
Most particularly, the school value of ‘Kindness’ was noted as ‘incredibly prominent’ and St. George’s was recognised as an ‘incredibly welcoming place…where you get the sense that kindness is at the forefront of behaviour choices and personal development’. Pupils provided much of the feedback with numerous comments such as ‘the teachers are really supportive’, ‘everyone is included’ and ‘the teacher is my friend’.
Headteacher of St. George’s, Cormac Timothy, says ‘It was a source of immense pride to hear that our school values shine so brightly from every area of our school community. We exist to help every pupil achieve their greatest potential and to have an external body affirm that we are achieving excellence for all through our unique approach is a very proud moment in my career. We work hard to help every child flourish and the ‘highly individualised’ support we provide was praised. It was particularly gratifying to receive our award after a period that included online learning in response to the pandemic. My team worked exceptionally hard to continue to be inclusive, I couldn’t have asked for more. Our flexible approach, regular contact with families and seamless switch to online learning and teaching helped us to maintain our vital connection with pupils, which in turn helped us all to get through such an unpredictable time.
To hear that we support everyone equally and effectively means we’re achieving what we come to school each day to do. To read that our children were telling external moderators that their ‘school is amazing’, and that all the pupils are engaged and happy in their learning, is everything we strive for as a team.’
St. George’s specialist teaching team were recognised in the report for their inclusive attitude helping every child to progress, as well as their commitment to ongoing training, allowing them to keep up with the latest methods. The involvement of pupils themselves in school life was also noted, with the School Council planning initiatives such as new playground equipment.
Miss Hanna Sharp, who spearheaded the IQM project, says ‘What is most encouraging is that the Inclusion Quality Mark not only means that we are including and supporting our pupils today, but also means that we’re teaching the importance of inclusion to future generations. St. George’s is such a warm-hearted school, and supporting the children well means that they achieve everything they’re capable of. I’m proud to work somewhere where kindness leads the way.’
Picture: Headteacher Cormac Timothy pictured with Reception Tutor Hanna Sharp and Reception pupils in front of the school’s Inclusion Quality Mark.