North West London

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW Highlighting best practice

The Willow “offer” Our success lies in the support that we give to any child who walks through our door. Like most other schools, our aim is for every child to achieve the best possible outcomes. We are determined to ensure that all our children leave with the skills they will need to succeed in later life. That is why excellent quality first teaching and learning is never compromised. So, for example, in all year groups last year and for most of this year, we have allocated three teachers to two classes. This made a significant contribution to improving our attainment and progress, especially for some of the more vulnerable children who benefited from working in smaller classes. We fully recognise, however, that our school comprises over 500 individual children who have a variety of needs that very definitely challenge the “norm”. We therefore go the extra mile to ensure our provision for all children is inclusive. So, for example, for ten children with high-level needs (i.e. statements/EHCP), we opened an “alternative provision” class (taught by one teacher and supported by three special needs assistants) in order to ensure they received the specialist teaching they needed. Ofsted’s comment on this provision in May 2017 was: “Pupils who have

special educational needs and/or disabilities they [sic] make very strong progress from their starting points in different subjects.” We also have engaged a school counsellor, a family support worker, a parental engagement officer and a speech and language therapist in order to offer a broader range of support to our children and families. We believe that nurturing the whole child and developing their natural abilities is vital for each child’s future success. We therefore employ specialist teachers in music, art, dance, gymnastics, sports, French and computing; these teachers’ enthusiasm, passion and expertise for their subject fosters equal passion in our pupils and provides them with expert scaffolding to develop their skills. This is then supplemented by our extensive, affordable, after- school provision where we host over 20 clubs each week, offering activities such as ballet, individual music lessons, gymnastics, street dance, photography and swimming. We want our children to get the experience they would automatically be offered if they were born into a more affluent family. “Pupils’ behaviour is impeccable” – Ofsted May 2017 This is not an exaggeration. The learning behaviour of our children is genuinely amazing. This has been brought about and maintained by several means: A) First class quality teaching and learning – our teachers are trained to deliver exciting, high impact lessons which excite children and draw them into their learning. Children want to learn and are therefore seldom engaged in offtask behaviour. B) Consistent behaviour management systems grounded in restorative approaches. We understand that children make mistakes with behaviour just as they do with all their learning – they are not “punished”

We want our children to get the experience they would automatically be offered if they were born into a more affluent family

“Teaching assistants are well trained and knowledgeable and provide timely support to pupils” – Ofsted May 17


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