St Giles Spencer Academy

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Our Awards

Learning Outside the Classroom

We are proud to celebrate that in November 2019, St Giles Spencer Academy were awarded LOtC Mark (Silver) by the registered charity 'Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.' This great achievement was awarded to St Giles in recognition of our 'commitment to ensuring all learners have access to good quality educational experiences beyond the classroom walls' (LOtC). The report highlighted that 'St Giles is clearly a good school working hard to help all of the children in its care navigate the world happily and achieve their potential.'

Inclusion Quality Mark - Flagship Status

St Giles was first awarded Flagship Status in July 2018. St. Giles has been awarded ‘Flagship Status’ for its high quality work in inclusion. In order to achieve Flagship Status a school must have held 'Centre of Excellence' status for at least three years prior to attaining Flagship status for the first time.

An assessor came to re-visit the school in September 2023 as part of the on-going review process, their report concluded that:

  • It was a delight to be able to return to St Giles Spencer Academy for a second time, “it felt like coming home.” This is a warm, friendly and inspiring child-focused school.
  • The staff go above and beyond to support the families as well as educate their child/(children). Staff motivate all the children to become the very best that they can be, through a range of social and academic experiences to empower them to achieve success at all levels as they move through St Giles and on to a new secondary setting. The atmosphere over both sites is one of calm, happiness and ‘professional love’.
  • St Giles is a student focus school, enabling students to engage in daily school life. The children feel safe, wanted, heard and valued by the staff. When some children need that little more support and help from staff, it is quickly and readily offered and withdrawn when needed for the children to remain as independent as possible to empower them to flourish.
  • The three main drivers (mission) of the school are:

Communication - for the staff to provide each child with effective ways to communicate

Independence - to promote child independence

Community - to prepare them for life in the local and wider community.

This is heard, seen and felt, quickly becoming fully immersed in these core drivers as St Giles welcomes you to be a part of their family where the ethos is of feeling wanted and valued in a happy, positive and exciting place to learn together. There is a strong emphasis on celebrating each step, regardless of how big or small that step is for the children and staff. It is a fully inclusive school where respect of difference and diversity is promoted with an attitude of understanding and tolerance. It has been a real pleasure to assess the progress of St Giles Spencer Academy as continuing to promote all eight elements of IQM as a Flagship School.

  • It was wonderful to see the ‘Learning Together’ programme in action. Each half term parents and carers are invited into their child’s classroom to work alongside their child and the classroom staff to learn together. So, while making bird feeder snacks, parents can shadow staff and learn how to use widget sign language to then use at home to increase vocabulary and life skills etc. In another class, parents were encouraged to read books and use the school puppets to re-enact the story. Parents can see and be involved in how their child learns at school and socialises with others.

Autism Accreditation

On the 5th July 2019 St Giles Spencer Academy were awarded the Autism Accreditation by The National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for people on the autism spectrum and their families. The award was given in recognition of the school’s good autism practice. The report highlights that ‘the school provides personal centred support based on a thorough understanding of each autistic pupil’s strengths and challenges.  Structured teaching approaches are embedded throughout the school and autistic pupils are well supported in their communication, sensory regulation and emotional well-being. There is a strong commitment to empowering them to become more independent and confident in their abilities. Feedback from parents is overwhelmingly positive’. 

Shine a Light - SEN School of the Year

Shine a Light Award – 2019 SEN School of the Year Award

St Giles Spencer Academy was awarded the SEN School of the Year Award for the work that they do in supporting pupils’ communication and independence skills at the UK-wide 2019 Shine a Light Awards, organised by learning company Pearson, in partnership with The Communication Trust. The award celebrates innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s speech, language and communication development. They also recognise the hard work and determination of children and young people who have some form of long-term and persistent speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Fair Active Award

In March 2019 St Giles was awarded the FairActive Award.  To achieve the FairActive award pupils looked at global issues such as where our food comes from and how we are connected to people around the world.

International School's Award

Re-accredited by the British Council St Giles Achieved the International School's Award in December 2022.  They said "It is clear to see that St Giles Spencer Academy continues to build and embed a real global learning ethos supported by a range of interesting on-going international activities and by the school's involvement in the Right Respecting Schools Award. The school links with India and Thailand have been used as a vehicle with which to enable increased awareness of ways of life, cultures and experiences in the world, carried out through some interesting activities such as A day in the life of..., Value of Money, Traditional Songs, Every Picture Tells a Story etc."

Arts Mark - Gold

We are an Arts Mark School, previously gaining Gold in 2019 and hoping to work towards Platinum.  The Arts Mark scheme aims to bring learning to life through arts and culture - an ethos which is key to St Giles. Specifically, the Gold award aims to provide a culture of arts that is embedded within curriculum, ethos and values. Well done St Giles and onto Platinum! 

Family First

The Families First Quality Award (FFQA) is a national quality assurance process and quality improvement framework designed to help you provide gold standard information to families and keep families at the heart of your work. 

The assessor said "The role of parents/carers in supporting readiness for learning is clearly valued by the school and a range of approaches are used which enable family needs to be identified and met. Parents/carers interviewed reported that family support had changed their lives, for example by enabling them to arrange transport to school for their child, to be able to consolidate the school’s development of their child’s behaviour and communication skills by mirroring fun learning activities at home, or by enabling them to access the support from other professionals needed for safeguarding, family health and wellbeing, including personal counselling."

By achieving the award, St Giles has demonstrated a level of quality in relation to its work with families; successfully engaging parents, carer and children.

Sports Mark - Bronze award

Achieved in July 2016, The School Games Mark is a Government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their commitment to the development of sports competition across their school and into the community.

As a bronze school we achieved the following criteria:

  • A system is in place to track young people’s participation in School Games
  • Opportunities that attract less active young people to participate in physical activity
  • Held a School Games Day as the culmination of a year-round competition programme
  • A calendar of competition is in place that demonstrates opportunities for young people with SEND to take part in competitions;
  • A notice board is in school which promotes School Games activity
  • Plans are in place to provide all pupils with two hours of physical education and school sport per week inclusive of extra curriculum provision;
  • We engage at least 20% of pupils (5% for special schools due to the size of the school) in extracurricular sporting activity every week
  • Use the School Games formats to provide the opportunity for both boys and girls to take part in the appropriate level of competition
  • Engage at least 5% of pupils in leading, managing and officiating School Games activity

Makaton Friendly Award

Achieved in June 2016, The Makaton Friendly Award recognises local organisations, businesses and educational establishments that strive to make their services accessible to children and adults who use Makaton. We are passionate about communication and firmly believe that all pupils and adults with a learning or communication difficulty should be able to access the same services and facilities as everyone else.

ICan – “Primary Talk” Accreditation

 The "iCan Primary Talk” Accreditation was first achieved in July 2015 and has been re-accredited every year since. We were accredited at Specialist Level, not because we are a Special Needs School but rather because of the high quality provision in place to support children's communication needs which is underpinned by the 'expert' knowledge and skill of our staff.

As a Communication Specialist School we deliver high quality, integrated speech and language therapy and education for children with the most severe and complex speech, language and communication needs. Services at Specialist Level can demonstrate collaborative multi-disciplinary practice that benefits the children and their families.

The external assessor/moderator praised St. Giles Spencer Academy for the following:

  • Outstanding strategic lead from senior leaders has resulted in an effective provision for pupils with severe and complex Speech, Language and Communication Needs.
  • Communication is integral to the school’s culture and overtly demonstrated through the physical environment and practice of all staff
  • The impact of the focus on communication has led to a reduction in behaviour incidents and improvement in pupil attainment
  • A wide range of differentiated strategies and specialist approaches were used by the whole staff team to support learning and inclusion
  • Pupils were engaged in their lessons due to a high level of multisensory input and all opportunities were used to encourage independence skills
  • There is an excellent deployment of staff and classroom teams work effectively together to meet the care and educational needs of each child
  • Feedback from parents was extremely positive. In particular:

                     Their involvement in their child’s IEP and sharing the target setting process

                     The support and resources provided by school to address specific difficulties at home

                     The good progress they have observed in their children since joining the school

                     How their own expertise in SEN is recognised and used by the school to develop a ‘tailor made’                                provision for their child