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The school was put in the spotlight at a glittering ceremony at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London for its outstanding work in helping children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) reach their full potential.
The awards are hosted by nasen – the National Association for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – and supported by official media partner, Schools Week. nasen is the leading membership charity that exists to champion, connect and support those working with, and for, children and young people with SEND and learning differences.
Scooping the nasen Award for Primary provision, Whitefield School was recognised for its focus on high-quality inclusive practice in classes, with the aim of integrating all children in learning as much as possible. The school is located in an area of social and economic need, and its percentage of pupils with SEN support is well above the national average.
Whitefield Primary School joins 12 other award winners who were judged by a panel of leading professionals – who have a wealth of experience in education and SEND – as well as individuals with lived experience.
“Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do at Whitefield Primary School. We are extremely proud of this award and of our Whitefield school community.”
“The team at Whitefield Primary should be extremely proud of what they have achieved. I am thrilled to be able to spotlight the team’s work and inclusive best practice to support all of their pupils, particularly those with SEND and learning differences. They are inspiring a love for learning among pupils, families and the wider education and SEND sector.
“As CEO at my first nasen Awards, it was heartwarming to read the nominations and the incredible work schools, individuals and organisations are doing to achieve such fantastic outcomes for children and young people with SEND and learning differences. This past 18-months have been particularly challenging for us all and have greatly impacted the educational experience of all children and young people. At nasen, our vision is to achieve an educational experience for learners with SEND that is consistently as good as it is for learners without SEND. I would like to congratulate all our nasen Award winners for their dedication to this.”
Judges admired the school’s strong commitment to inclusion, and attentiveness towards learners with SEND during the COVID-19 lockdown period, when the team made weekly phone calls to support families, and linked in support agencies to provide support and strategies. Staff also tailored support on the school’s online platform, and used external professionals to help identify children’s needs through Zoom. On return to school, staff boosted integration through approaches such as visual timetables, a clear, ordered learning environment which is consistent class-to-class, and the creation of sensory corridors and spaces. They also increased playtime to half-an-hour daily, while prioritising social communication skills and self-regulation.
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