Derby school St Giles is officially recognised as ‘World Class’
A DERBY school is one of the first few special schools in the UK to reach educational excellence after achieving ‘world class’ status.
St Giles, the city’s only special primary school, has been designated a World Class School – an accreditation given only to highest performing schools in the country, who demonstrate that they are working beyond their ‘outstanding’ Ofsted judgement.
The Hampshire Road school received the World Class School Quality Mark (WCSQM) during a virtual awards ceremony held yesterday (July 8). The WCSQM is a student-focused award for non-selective state schools that demonstrate the best education provision for young people in the UK.
Until recently, only mainstream schools in the UK could apply to become WCSQM-accredited.
However, this was opened up to special schools recently with St Giles becoming one of the first few to receive the quality mark.
Assistant head teacher Nigel Tate, who has been working closely with WCSQM on the project, said: “This is a fantastic accolade for us and demonstrates our commitment to enriching the lives of each and every pupils who attends St Giles School. It’s been a real team effort.
“While Ofsted measures what each school in England does to develop its pupils, the WCSQM goes one step further and assesses whether this has worked. It’s child-focussed and, for our school, the framework is very different.
“We submitted video content and scrapbooks to the WCSQM assessors to demonstrate all of the ways in which St Giles School helps its pupils to achieve.
“This included a case study of two siblings, Louie and Alfie, one who is at the start of their schooling, in Reception, and one who is preparing to enter his final year. We were able to show they progress which they have made and the boys gave their opinion on school and various lessons using two different forms of communication; verbal and visual, using a communication board.
“Louie told assessors how much he enjoys our school assemblies, swimming lessons and his time at Forest School, saying ‘I like making bird houses at Forest School’, which was nice to hear.
“We also gave evidence of our pupils developing independence and of our collaboration with mainstream schools and organisations in our community. This included a video of the school council’s charity day earlier this year, where we raised money for Rainbows Hospice.”
The application process is rigorous and each school who applies for the WCSQM has to meet strict criteria, which includes celebrating diversity and creativity and preparing pupils for the wider world.
Executive head teacher Clive Lawrence said: “St Giles School wanted to really engage with the World Class organisation and to maintain high standards. We wanted to ensure that we didn’t become complacent after becoming Ofsted-rated ‘outstanding’.
“The WCSQM focusses on what the school does for its pupils and shines a light on the celebrations and achievements of our children.”
Miranda Perry, director of WCSQM, added: “The challenges of the last few months have proved that the World Class skills and competencies of our students, the recognition of which is the point of our organisation, are what really matter.
“World Class students have the skills and competencies not only to survive in times of trial but to flourish. We have a lot to celebrate.”
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