St Neots school recognised for achievements and awarded Centre of Excellence status

Headteacher Anne Eardley and SENCO Sarah Clee along with some Crosshall pupils.

Headteacher Anne Eardley and SENCO Sarah Clee along with some Crosshall pupils. - Credit: Archant

Crosshall Junior School Academy Trust in St Neots has been recognised for its educational and pastoral achievements and awarded Centre of Excellence status.

The school, in Eaton Ford, learned this week that it is to receive an IQM Award, making it one of just 250 schools in the UK to earn the accolade.

A IQM inspector visited the school in July 2016 and then carried out a follow-up visit to assess the staff, review work and action plans, including the website and policies, and interview pupils and parents.

The report highlights several areas of excellence and praised the school’s “inclusive ethos” and described the academy as “happy and welcoming” and “safe and supportive”.

“Staff at the school are proud to work there and are happy; as a result, staffing is stable,” the report concluded.

“The school has several pupils with significant special educational needs and disabilities, it provides individualised provision for them that has enabled them to succeed and make progress. They are supported to participate in the wider life of the school, including the residential visits that take place for each year group.”

Headteacher Anne Eardley and other members of the staffing team were also singled out for praise.

Most Read

“The headteacher is keen to utilise the skills of her staff and this is evident in the work that has taken place this year with teaching assistants,” according to the report.

“The role of teaching assistants at the school has been revised so that teaching assistants are assigned to each class rather than to individual pupils. This is supportive for pupil independence. An audit of teaching assistants has taken place and this has identified skills that teaching assistants have that can be utilised for running extra-curricular clubs, supporting subject leaders and supporting lessons.”

The report also praised the school’s “soft start to the day” policy which means pupils are able to enter the building 10 minutes earlier at the start of the day, which is thought to have had a positive impact on the traffic flow.

The assessor also highlighted “the use of group blogs”, links to schools in Australia and the US and various technology aids under the heading of strengths.

Under the progress heading, the report pointed out: “Crosshall Junior School Academy Trust has made considerable progress in the past year and has identified areas for development for the next 12 months on its action plan. In addition to these, there are some recommendations outlined in this report that were discussed as part of my review visit.”

It also recognised the “significant progress in terms of its inclusive practice in the past year” and said the school had made progress “with meeting the needs of pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs and those new to English.

“Positive changes have taken place with increased consistency in classrooms due to the various Compass Checks, a new behaviour management system”.

Headteacher Anne Eardley said: “The staff and governors of Crosshall Junior School are delighted that our endeavour to win this prestigious award, over the past year, has been recognised. We are extremely proud of our inclusive school community. Crosshall Junior is one of only 250 schools in the whole country that has managed to attain the IQM Centre of Excellence Award. As a Centre of Excellence, the school will continue to support other establishments and colleagues.”

The academy will be reviewed in 12 months’ time.