Values and Ethos
OFSTED Feb 2016 judged us as Good in all areas and noted that our SEF was “accurate and honest.” Inspectors recognised that we are on a journey of school improvement. Our report was extremely positive and gave particular praise to senior leaders and governors’ decisiveness, our action plan and its implementation and evaluation processes. These have continued to drive our improvement forward at a pace.
Historical challenges that we have successfully overcome, or are improving markedly, include:
- Establishing our core business as teaching and learning alongside developing positive mental health and resilience.
- Ensuring systems for recording progress are more robust.
- Recognising that literacy is a huge issue and driving forward improvements in this area.
- Overhauling our systems for managing behaviour.
- Embedding a school improvement cycle so that the SDP/SEF and staff appraisal are interlinked.
- Recruiting Governors with the appropriate skill sets and experience to provide challenge and support.
- Creating bespoke personalised pathway arrangements to better meet the needs of very challenging pupils.
- Establishing Resilience Projects to encourage character formation and teamwork.
- Establishing an off site project for High Priority Pupils deemed at risk of lengthy exclusion.
- Working closely with Youth Offending Service and Merseyside Police on joint prevention initiatives.
There are several values and principles which underpin everything we do at Penkford. We are:
- FLEXIBLE in our approach because we recognise that every pupil is an individual
- ACCOUNTABLE and know that our parents and carers have high expectations of us
- CONSISTENT in how we approach issues and problems
- TRANSPARENT and open about everything we do
We have a holistic approach to education at Penkford and we believe that looking after the emotional health and well being of our pupils is very important, and sits alongside pupils’ academic learning and them learning to control their behaviour. We have employed our own counsellor to help any of our pupils who are in crisis or who simply wish to talk to someone in a “safe” environment. This initiative has proved to be very successful so far.
We have invested in our own Outdoor Education Team. There are planned programmes for each class which take place during the year and the focus is on teamwork, raising self esteem and building self confidence. These have been very successful and have a demonstrably positive impact on our pupils’ development.
During Forest School sessions pupils are encouraged to take risks within a safe environment. Pupils that may have experienced negative classroom based learning in the past are given the opportunity to re-engage with learning in a different context. Pupils also work towards the John Muir Award which provides an appreciation of the natural world and enables staff to embed Science in a real world and tangible format.
In the academic year 2019-20, Penkford will continue to work more closely with other organisations in order to share our good practice. Our Team Around the School meetings continue. The focus is on multi agency preventative work. We are working closely with Paediatrics to relaunch our ADHD clinic.In partnership with Edge Hill University we are also working with a student one day a week who is following a programme of study related to Chlid Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Studies will involve the student gaining observations and practical experience work alongside our pupils who have social, emotional and mental health difficulties.