Avondale Community Primary School
Avondale is a large primary school in the centre of Darwen. We have over 400 children on roll and around 60 staff. The building was originally a secondary school and is laid out along one long line. Half of the building was recently refurbished and we have continued this work into the other half. We have amazing children and very supportive parents. Staff know their children well and personalise learning for them. We constantly look to extend and enrich the curriculum with trips visits, visitors into school and exciting activities. We believe in high standards and expectations and affirm to our children that anything is possible.
Who to contact
Where to go
- BB3 1NN
- We have three lifts in school for wheelchair access
- Classrooms are well appointed
- Staff training on dyslexia friendly classrooms
- Contact Name
- Judith Watson – Office Manager
- Contact Telephone
- 01254 703449
- Contact Email
- Local Offer Age Bands
- 5-11 years
Schools' Extended Local Offer Response
- What specialist services and expertise are available at, or accessed by, the school/setting?
- A pupil and family wellbeing worker
- Experienced Special Educational Needs staff
- An increasingly accessible site
- Strong links with external services
- Specialist staff to support particular needs
- High commitment to staff training
- What training and experience have the staff supporting children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities had, or are having?
- An emphasis on whole school communication between staff
- Training on team teach
- Regular child protection and safeguarding updates for all staff
- Speech and language specialist training
- Every Child a Reader programme fully in place
- PIVATs training
- Speaking and listening
- Motor skills/physical development
- How do you know if my child/young person needs extra help?
We have a strong history of working with parents and use local expertise such as educational psychologists and LA specialist extensively. Ous pupil wellbeing co-ordinator and Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinators put a high priority on knowing our families well. We have regular parents’ evenings and all our staff are always happy to meet both formally and informally to boost any child’s education.
We formally assess children three times per year and analyse this data carefully.
On entry assessments into school in the Foundation classes give us some extra information about particular needs.
- What should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?
Contact school and initially talk with the classteacher. From that meeting we may well include our special educational needs team or external experts as appropriate.
- How will staff support my child/young person?
That depends almost entirely on the nature of their need. We range from very light touch support – such as a child having a designated person that they have access to talk with to full time one to one support for medical or learning needs. There is no one model that fits all children and while we will provide whatever need is most appropriate we also try to develop independence in all our children.
- How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?
Once again there is no one single answer to this. We may go from coloured overlays that can help children with dyslexic tendencies to access their own work to small group or one to one support. The nature of need drives each individual programme. We are very keen to ‘personalise’ our curriculum for our children and this can go right down to individual level. You may well play a part in this too by helping with homework, reading and practising maths skills regularly.
- How will teaching approaches be modified to support my child/young person?
This can range from how we share the timetable or displays in class to individualised work to extensive support from an adult. All our teachers are encouraged to be forward thinking and to try out exciting and innovative ways to teach and give all children access to an extensive and personalised curriculum.
- How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing?
We constantly assess all children. This is not always in the form of formal tests, but can be verbally through one to one work, against standards and targets set for a particular lesson, day, week or longer. Talking with children about their work and life in school gives us fabulous information about how they are doing. They will also take tests at appropriate levels for them. Your child may have an 'All About Me' profile which has specific targets for them which we will review at a meeting with you, and possibly them. We will report to you regularly and produce at least one written report, as well as the two parents’ evenings each year.
- How will you help me to support my child/young person's learning?
We will constantly work with you to suggest ways to support your child in school. We can give you lots of tips and help if you feel unsure about anything – but you have a big responsibility here too. Being interested and involved in your child’s learning and in school life is the biggest first step towards this.
- What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall wellbeing?
Our pupil wellbeing co-ordinator and family welfare officer are passionate about supporting individual children, groups that may being having difficulties getting along and helping parents who may being having a tough time. We are very much aware that we can’t just see the child we have to think of the whole family and help to support and enable them to make steps to change situations for the emotional health of the child. We are currently developing and extending our wellbeing and nurturing area of school to be a distinct and welcoming area. We also have whole school assemblies twice per week with themes that extend their understanding of how to be happy and succeed in our school. We celebrate, along with parents, children’s achievements at assembly every Friday. Star of the week is given out for every class and platinum awards are given for exceptional work, acts or kindness.
Our nurturing group meet every day with experienced and very committed support staff and children are welcomed into this as and when they need it.
- What activities will be available for my child/young person?
We have a whole range of class trips to extend our curriculum beyond what we can offer within school. This can range from very local trips using our school minibus to our PGL trip for a week of outdoor activities in France. All classes arrange trips around particular areas of their curriculum, and we also welcome many visitors into school to supplement what we do. Our Parents’ and Teachers association raise money that often goes to subsidise the cost of trips, and we try to keep costs as low as possible but we may ask for contributions to ensure that the trip can go ahead. No child is prevented from going on a trip through non-payment, but the trip may not be possible without contributions from parents and carers.
School runs a huge range of extra-curricular clubs for both infants and juniors, these include a whole range of sporting clubs, music activities, art, baking and many others. The majority of these clubs are run voluntarily by members of staff, but some are run by external providers and do require a payment. If your child is passionate about a club, but can’t attend for financial reasons please come and talk with us.
- How will you prepare and support my child/young person during transitions?
The vast majority of our pupils attend one of the two local high schools in Darwen, though every year several travel further afield. We have very good links with all the high schools that we ‘feed’ and arrange extra visits, attendance at high school by school staff, counselling and just about anything that will make the move from primary to secondary more smooth and supportive for our pupils.
To help with children transferring into school from nursery we have an initial meeting which all parents are invited to and open library and lunchtime sessions before a morning taster session in July. Parents are strongly encouraged to play a full part in this process and share as much information as possible with school.
- How are resources and equipment allocated and matched to my child's/young person's needs?
Sometimes specialist equipment is needed to support a child’s learning and we are happy to source and provide this through liaison with specialist teams. We then train our staff up in the usage of this equipment. At other times support is provided through additional personnel and we have a very strong record of employing high quality staff to support children through their time of need. These resources often have most effect when used between a number of children and this may be how they are deployed.
- How are decisions made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?
Having identified the need and what we think is the best way to support this we will talk with parents about the plan and take their views about decisions. Our Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators, the classteacher, support staff, senior staff in school and the Governing body will all work together on how best to provide the support and all views will be taken into account in this area.
These decisions may then be reviewed formally, as in a Team around the child (TAC) meeting – where other agencies may come into school to check on your child’s progress, or more informally with school, staff and parents