We are fortunate to work with inspirational and ambitious colleagues in the educational world and beyond.
Research in Action
Progress for students at Uffculme School is recorded and evaluated through the App, Evidence for Learning. We wholly embrace the values that have led to the development of this holistic assessment tool.
We are excited to be hosting the West Midlands Networking and Development Day in June and hope to see you there.
Open Theatre are a... nonverbal physical theatre to collaborate with young people with learning disabilities, creating quality art which reflects and celebrates their unique creativity.
We wholeheartedly believe in the ability of young people with learning disabilities to contribute to the creative and cultural life of the places where they live, and work as advocates for their valued involvement as artists and leaders.
Open Theatre practitioners work with students in school since 2019. This partnership has led to further opportunities, including a successful bid for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation in Summer 2023. This project, 'Doing Difference Differently', seeks to develop class practitioners in line with the Open Theatre principles. The aim is to enable staff to understand the benefits, opportunities and develop the strategies to move from a structured, adult led system to one where students are enabled to have their voice, and are valued as individuals.
Alongside the development and delivery of Duke of Edinburgh awards in school, we are part of current research to understand what works to strengthen partnership and collaboration between the formal education and youth sectors. By focusing on pathways to achieve effective partnership and collaboration, this approach maximises the potential impact of activities, resources and infrastructure already in place.
Uffculme School is the first special school to work on a project with Inclusion Labs, which it will be rolling out with them over the coming months.Inclusion Labs partners with schools to empower them to be active and accountable in creating an environment that is inclusive of all abilities/disabilities, genders, races/ethnicities, religions/beliefs, sexual orientations or socio-economic backgrounds. At the heart of their approach is their firm belief that a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy or action plan for a school (or any organisation) should always begin by seeking insights from its community.
Before embarking on this journey, it is essential for schools to understand the current state of inclusivity within their setting, and a school's community (including students, staff, governors, and families) play a crucial role in identifying priorities, making them the best source for determining the starting point.
In 2023, students at Uffculme School took part in an exciting research program with the University of Warwick. The purpose of the research was to understand how an Anti-bullying resource can be adapted for use by students with SEND. The research paper can be accessed here.
Initial Teacher Training and Support
We are in a recruitment crisis in schools. To enable our students to achieve the best, we need to work with the best teachers. We therefore need to think differently about how we do this. We are currently developing an ITT strategy to support class staff towards gaining Qualified Teacher Status. Unqualified teachers access a range of bespoke training workshops delivered by BEP to develop their skills and make progress in order to gain accreditation through the Assessment Only Route into teaching.
This year (2023) we have begun to work in partnership with South Birmingham SCITT. By raising the profile of students with SEND for colleagues at the beginning of their careers, we hope to support a better understanding of SEND and provision for students in mainstream schools and to encourage Early Career Teachers to explore employment opportunities in Special Schools.
School to School Support
Our staff are keen to work alongside our colleagues in mainstream schools and to learn from the best. The reciprocal partnership with Holy Family will enable our classroom staff to learn best practice for the delivery of key skills in Maths, Reading and Phonics. We are supporting colleagues at Holy Family to develop different ways of engaging with and teaching children with Autism.
Our cohorts in Special Schools are becoming more complex, with many students displaying multiple needs. We are working with Lindsworth to better understand the needs of students with dual diagnosis of SEMH and ASC and how best to engage in effective learning.
We have recently (May 2023) been working with staff at DEC to support the development of provision for students with SEND, focussing primarily on ASC and SEMH profiles. We are hopeful that this work will lead to a higher level of engagement with students in mainstream provision, reduce absenteeism and ultimately improve outcomes for learners.