At Hawksmoor School we believe that diversity is a strength that should be respected and celebrated by all those who teach, learn and visit here. Equality is at the heart of all we do.
Our vision is underpinned by our Core Values and our Mission Statement:
- Value all pupils and seek to develop each child’s abilities and aptitudes to the full.
- Provide a quality education to all irrespective of belief, ethnicity, gender or disability.
- Educate the whole child by addressing intellectual, moral, emotional, social and physical development.
- Seek to encourage an understanding of the diversity of culture and belief within the school.
- Teach children a sense of both rights and duties as members of their community.
- Value and encourage partnership with parents.
- Seek to provide all children with educational and recreational activities outside the curriculum – and particularly securing our tradition for music.
- To foster links within the community, working with local groups to establish positive and mutually beneficial relationships.
We are fully committed to advancing equality of opportunity; fostering good relationships between; and eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of gender, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity. We take this into account when making decisions e.g. recently when re-writing the Collective Worship, Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural Development, and Parental Engagement Policies. Senior leaders have undertaken a detailed evaluation of equalities work in the school which is updated annually. Governors monitor and discuss this key equalities information in their meetings.
We are a very inclusive school with a rich and diverse pupil population with slightly more boys than girls; three quarters of pupils from minority ethnic groups; almost two thirds of pupils for whom English is an additional language (EAL); and about a quarter with special educational needs (SEN) and medical conditions which affect their attendance and learning. Our children speak over 30 languages and represent all the major world religions.
Our children achieve significantly better than children do nationally. Data analysis shows that all groups normally considered vulnerable to underachievement achieve better than similar groups nationally but we are still keen to close any gaps between them and our other children so each year our school improvement plan includes targets and initiatives to do this. For example, last year we were concerned that we did not have the expertise to meet the needs of our increasing number of children who did not speak English so we appointed a specialist who has been very successful in training staff what to do and in accelerating these children’s progress in learning.
Many of our teaching approaches have been chosen and developed because they are so successful with particular groups of pupils. For example, we use a reading scheme which is especially helpful for EAL and SEN pupils; guided readers which help develop EAL children’s comprehension; Big Writing which is particularly effective with boys and those with EAL; and Ray Maher maths which is very successful with girls and those new to the country.
In addition to excellent teaching which is adapted to the needs of the children in the class, we have thorough systems which identify, target high quality support to, track and monitor the progress of low achieving pupils, those vulnerable to underachievement, and those not making expected progress, including those with ‘protected characteristics’, to ensure they catch up and achieve their full potential.
We foster good relations between people and our children by creating a very welcoming and inclusive ethos where people feel they are being treated with dignity and respect. We celebrate diversity and teach our pupils about prejudice and discrimination and how to deal with it, for example in assemblies and PSHCE lessons. In our curriculum we select topics for the children to study which promote understanding, for example about the Ancient Kingdom of Benin; select resources, posters and display materials which show positive images; and enhance our offer with visits e.g. to the National Maritime Museum to learn about slavery, and workshops e.g. to celebrate Black History Month. Our children link with children from other schools, such as a rural school in Somerset, to widen their understanding of other communities and we hold many events which promote community cohesion for example our International Summer Fair, Proud to be British day, and our Royal Wedding and Jubilee Celebrations.
Because of our positive ethos, modelling of courtesy and respect, and consistently applied Behaviour and Anti-bullying Policies, incidents of bullying, harassment and discrimination by pupils are rare. When they do occur they are investigated, followed up, action taken, a record kept, and reported to the governors and LA if appropriate. Ofsted inspectors noted that “school leaders have certainly succeeded in creating a very supportive school environment where pupils of all backgrounds get on very well and work and play together. The pupils are polite and considerate. Pupils feel safe at school because they are looked after well. Relationships throughout the school are very good, and pupils show a genuine interest in learning about their own and the other cultures represented within the school community. Pupils are unfailingly polite and friendly. They behave well and treat each other with care and respect”.
We are very keen to promote participation and engagement of all pupils and parents. Attendance, including of particular groups of pupils, is well above national and the use of fixed term exclusions below national. We welcome parents in to school as volunteers, to help with visits and events, and through our many workshops, parents’ evenings and events including those organised by our PTA. Our Access Plan and Single Equalities Scheme lay out how we ensure pupils have access to learning and the curriculum, and our aspirations for the school building and site. As we are no longer on the list for re-building, we have started a programme of refurbishment which includes improving access to the site e.g. by re-building some of the ramps and ensuring the new huts have disabled access toilets.
Our equalities targets are:
- To close the gaps between the attainments of different groups of pupils, especially those vulnerable to underachievement.
- To improve the engagement of parents of pupils vulnerable to under-achievement so they fully access and benefit from the wide range of support and advice we offer.
- To improve access to the school buildings and site.
- To continue to seek to improve the gender and ethnic balance of the staff at all levels through high quality appointments and leadership development programmes.
- To ensure all policies are adjusted to address the new ‘protected characteristics’ as they come up for review or re-ratification.
These are broken down into highly specific, measurable targets each year which are agreed by governors, incorporated into school improvement plan and the impact of initiatives to address them evaluated and reported back to the governors so they can monitor progress towards them.
Please also see our Equal Opportunities policy.