The Swindon Dyslexia Friendly Schools Quality Mark is awarded to schools who have demonstrated their sustained inclusive practice through meeting the quality mark standards. These Standards cover four areas: Leadership and Management, Teaching and Learning, Classroom Environment and Partnerships with Parents, Carers and Others. The school was required to provide evidence prior to the verification visit.
A verification visit was conducted on 11 th July 2023. The visit comprised of a tour of the school and observations within lessons and interventions. Evidence was reviewed during and prior to the visit with follow up questions and discussion during the visit. In addition, meetings were held with the SENCO, principal, the SEN Governor/parent, members of the teaching and support staff as well as a meeting with pupils from the Diverse Learning Council (DLC).
Highlights of the recent visit:
The school has a very active pupil-led group called the Diverse Learning Council (DLC). They are engaged in making positive change within the school to raise awareness and support neurodiversity. This group of pupils are well-respected within the school and places on the DLC are sought after. This highly inclusive approach shows that the pupil voice of all pupils is valued. The group has successfully achieved meaningful changes to promote inclusion e.g. resourcing of ‘helpyourself stations’ and visual labelling to support communication.
Pupils with special educational needs spoke positively about school and were comfortable speaking about their learning needs.
Collaborative working opportunities are created through quality first teaching. Pupils are encouraged to become active and independent learners through their participation in learning conversations between teacher and pupils as well as between peers. Their partner work was particularly effectively as it was well scaffolded to extend and improve the quality of their responses. Pupils were well-rehearsed at using these scaffolds which were fully integrated into their way of learning.
Creative and innovative approaches have been used to engage parents and raise awareness of dyslexia in an accessible way. For example, the school’s use of Crowdcast resulted in a high 3 number of streams and the school received positive parental feedback about this form of communication.
The schools offers a diverse range of support beginning with effective quality first teaching strategies, and supplemented by a wide range of interventions. Teaching assistants take ownership and responsibility for the programmes of intervention that they run demonstrating exemplary knowledge and understanding of these. They spoke enthusiastically about their work and understood the impact that their support had for their pupils showing a good understanding of the Assess, Plan, Do, Review process and their role within this.