Our school is an “Investors in Pupils” school.

We are very proud that we achieved our accreditation following a visit from an assessor on 2nd July 2014.

About “Investors in Pupils”

Investors in Pupils helps schools encourage children’s participation in school life so that they become more than just “pupils” in the school community.

Investors in Pupils helps pupils find out about their school, the jobs of everyone in it and that the school has a budget. It supports them in setting targets for the class and for themselves whilst recognising the importance of the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in their education, and how they as pupils can make a difference.

In order to earn our Investors in Pupils award, Mr Slater worked with teachers and children to help children understand more about the way school “works” (e.g. understand the different roles and responsibilities different people have in school; understand something of the budget) and have more of a “voice” in the running of the school.

What we did (and continue to do) to achieve our “Investors in Pupils” award

Some of the things we do include making sure that each class has:

  • a Class Agreement written by the pupils
  • a class target (and that each pupil has a personal target set by the pupils)
  • a “welcome” or induction booklet written by the pupils

and that:

  • pupils know which adults do what in the school (including Governors)
  • pupils know how they can take responsibility in the school at a level appropriate for their age
  • pupils know what the school spends it’s budget on.

As a result of working towards the award, there have been a number of important benefits including:

  • resources being more respected, because pupils understand that everything has a cost
  • children becoming more involved in school life
  • children liking the idea of having targets, understanding their benefits and why everyone needs them
  • helping to identify examples of good practice in individual classes, sharing them and making them consistent across the school.

“Investors in Pupils” report: July 2014

Following his visit to our school, the assessor sent us a report giving us news of our accreditation. This included description of the features of our practice which made a contribution to our success in achieving the award. These were as follows:

Strengths of the school which support the principles of ‘Investors in Pupils’

Learning

• There are meaningful class targets and classroom agreements displayed in every class and these have been cooperatively devised between pupils and staff. The targets support the learning environment well and also link with behaviour, attendance and support for the development of pupil responsibilities.

• There is a good and knowledgeable pupil understanding of the variety of ways in which individual learning takes place, with suitable levels of support being planned and implemented for pupils with additional learning problems, acknowledged and understood as essential by other pupils.

• Individual personal targets are displayed in every class in a variety of ways. These have been devised by a combination of pupils and staff guidance. Many targets support either main curriculum learning areas or meaningful challenges taken from the five main sections of ‘Investors in Pupils’. All pupils who were interviewed were easily able to talk about their targets and how they should be specific, realistic and how they were monitored and regularly reviewed.

• Achievements in both academic and non-academic areas are acknowledged and rewarded by a variety of class methods and publicly through certificates in Friday assemblies and on display boards throughout the school. Incentives and rewards are plentiful and show an encouraging promotion of progress towards those achievements.

• The school actively promotes a desire to learn, make progress and achieve the best that is possible in all its pupils and this is ably supported by many extra curricular clubs that are available and also the many colourful and eye-catching displays of learning prompts in every room.

Behaviour

  • “Pupils take a pride in their school. Behaviour is good both in classes and around the school.” Ofsted made this statement and throughout all my observations both inside and outside I saw calm but lively pupils showing respect and friendship towards each other.
  • School and class codes of conduct were clear, evidenced in classrooms and have been discussed and planned by pupils and staff. Each class has a time out process where a missed playtime or missed Golden Time could be the result of any unsuitable behaviour. All pupils interviewed felt safe in the school and agreed that bullying was not an issue.
  • The school has developed a system of Year 5 Buddies where they take on the responsibility of developing links with Year 2 pupils before their arrival in the school and then throughout their lives at Westdale Junior School. This is greatly appreciated by all the pupils and helps with reassurances both in induction and in helping develop lasting relationships and defusing any potential conflicts or misunderstandings.

School and Class Management including knowledge of school finance

  • Pupil responsibilities have been developed throughout each class and school-wide. Roles such as monitors of varying types through to buddies and school councillors are valued and always listed in classroom displays. Pupils respect each others’ responsibilities. “Many of the responsibilities and jobs in my class have come from the pupils themselves looking what was needed then volunteering to the job to address the need.” Teacher
  • The School Council is a true elected body with representation from every class and age group. It is coordinated by the deputy head and takes its role very seriously. Councillors were full of ideas and very ready to take on even more responsibilities related to further developing their methods of discussion of ideas and communication with their peers. Council members were rotated annually.
  • The School Council had interviewed their headteacher to find out more about the school budget and this had been relayed to their peers through an assembly. Also in the area of finance the school had implemented a class budget system where the class finance was reduced each time resources were damaged or wasted. This had been a very positive step for the school and was known and appreciated by parents and governors.
  • Pupils are very aware of staff roles and responsibilities and knowledge of the role of governors was good. Governors were knowledgeable and very supportive of the school, coming in to give their support and assistance regularly. Parents also felt extremely welcome.
  • All pupils have been given the opportunity to be involved in raising money through mini enterprise schemes with “School Council taking a very successful lead in organising and coordinating games and letters to parents for a memorable effort to raise money at a Summer Fair.” Parent.
  • Each class has developed its own system of incentives and rewards and these can be described by pupils who thoroughly appreciate both their part in deciding these and in working towards and receiving them.

Attendance

  • School attendance is good with 96.5% overall. This is monitored and then class percentages are publicly displayed monthly alongside names of pupils with 100% attendance. They receive certificates in assembly as good attendance is celebrated by everyone in the school.
  • Pupils of all ages respond accurately as to why good attendance and punctuality is vital for a good education and a good job in the future. Some pupils have used attendance and punctuality as the focus of their personal targets.

Induction

  • There are induction booklets in every class. Preparation of these extremely useful booklets, done in a variety of ways, has involved all pupils and the booklets have been used with Year 2 pupils on transfer, with newcomers during term time and with new adults to the school or class. Used alongside the efforts of the school buddies, the induction booklets have been a valuable addition to the school’s efforts to ensure a reassuring welcome to everyone as they come into Westdale Junior School.

Areas for development

Please note these actions are compulsory and areas must be acted upon to ensure that the standard is maintained in the future.

There are no areas for development.

The school should continue to consider how it can involve pupils in future school development and improvements.