Staff and students at Northampton Academy are celebrating after being presented with two Inclusion Quality Mark Awards.
The Academy, which has adopted the mantra ‘Our Differences Unite Us’, was initially assessed by Inclusion Quality Mark for the Inclusive School Award last month. The assessor spent two days at the school, speaking with staff, students, parents, and carers to gain an overall understanding of the school’s approach to inclusion. Following her visit, the assessor was so impressed by what she had seen and heard that, alongside this award, she also presented the school with the prestigious Centre of Excellence Award.
In achieving these awards, the Academy was recognised for how it delivers and promotes an inclusive education across eight key categories, including through teaching and learning in the classroom as well as through wider engagements with students, parents and the local community.
As examples of this, last year the Academy held a student-led Pride March during Pride History Month and introduced a Sensory Garden as a quiet space for students with Special Educational Needs to enjoy. More recently, as part of its ‘Community Matters’ agenda, the school set up its own foodbank and has introduced a school uniform swap facility to support students and their families.
In her report, the Inclusive Quality Mark Assessor said:
“From the moment I stepped into the Academy, I could feel the commitment to inclusion. I was made to feel incredibly welcome and special throughout my visit; nothing was too much trouble. The Senior Team has considered what inclusion means, looks and feels like. The Principal described inclusion as ‘The feeling you get in a place where people are trusted, safe, respected and have a sense of belonging to the school community also to the local, national and international communities.’ This is apparent as you walk around the school.”
One student told the assessor:
“I think Northampton Academy is different to other schools. Staff listen to the students, and we are their priority. I feel I can be authentic here, my true self, and I am proud to be a part of the Northampton Academy community.”
This month, the school is set to host its annual ‘My Culture Day’ to celebrate the different cultures within the school community. Inspired by the theme ‘You, Me and My Community’, the day will give students the opportunity to try street food from around the world, enjoy a fashion show and hear from an impressive guest speaker.
Carlington Anderson, the school’s Director of Character and inclusion lead, said:
“Diversity and inclusion are very close to my heart, so I am thrilled that the school has achieved these awards. Across the academy, we work tirelessly to ensure each and every member of our school community feels a sense of belonging and is empowered to be their best selves. We look forward to continuing to build on all the positive work that has already been done, including through our upcoming ‘My Culture Day’.”