Maindee Primary School is a large culturally diverse primary school in the centre of Newport City Centre. There are around 520 pupils on roll, but the school community is transient with high levels of pupil mobility. Around 92% of pupils have English as an additional language.
At Maindee there are high levels of social deprivation and the school place a heavy emphasis on supporting the well-being of everyone including parents. They regularly visit Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and understand that as a school they need to help to support every layer to ensure that their pupils have the best chance of success in school.
At Maindee Primary School we have a clear whole school approach to well-being and nurture. We ensure that all staff understand Maslow’s Hierarchy as many families need support to meet the basic needs of the children. We also have a shared understanding amongst all adults who step inside the school that we all matter. Through commitment to engaging with Peace Mala we have a golden rule – ‘treat others as you wish to be treated’ which runs alongside all of our work in school. This rule runs across all religious and cultural beliefs and focuses on the school vision of “Learning and Living in Harmony.” In light of the work across the school we have adopted a whole school value of Peace.
Throughout the lockdown periods and re-opening of schools the school has invested a huge amount of time investing in well-being and nurture. We have trained Thrive practitioners across the school and have engaged in school wide training in Thrive and other social and emotional well-being training. We have revisited the school behaviour policy which has changed to a relationship and behaviour policy and is heavily guided by the most up to date research regarding understanding behaviour. The focus on developing high quality relationships with everyone linked to our school is key to our work in this area. We have invested heavily in training around ACES and have engaged in a variety of professional learning linked to understanding behaviour and the importance of relationships. All adults in school understand that all behaviour displayed by a person is a form of communication. The school focus on restorative practices when issues have arisen as we understand the importance of human connection and will invest time with people to talk through issues and find resolutions.
Our approach to professional learning is flexible and focused on the needs of individual staff members and also on individual pupils. Training and support take many forms, staff are encouraged through professional development discussions to identify areas of further reading and research in order to support pupils within their class. Whole school training is planned to support needs across the school with regular revisiting of training around areas related to behaviour and well-being e.g. attachment awareness, ACESs, restorative practices and many other areas.
Bespoke support is offered to staff members who are new to the school including staff who are employed on a short-term basis through recruitment agencies. It is important to us that all staff have a shared understanding and work alongside established staff to observe excellent practice and develop their own practice. The biggest impact on the professional learning of all staff is engaging wider than just within the school community, this involves engagement with other professionals as well as groups within the community. Engagement with community partners and religious leaders has enabled us to further understand the cultural and religious beliefs of our families allowing us to build trusting highly effective relationships with pupils and families. This work has created pathways to carry out further work to nurture relationships and place the school at the centre of the community benefiting the pupils and families greatly.
The focus on well-being has a huge impact on standards of well-being across the school which in turn impacts on learning. The progress of our pupils is excellent despite many of our pupils beginning school needing intensive support to allow them to thrive in the school setting. All pupils no matter when the join the school experience high levels of nurture to foster a strong sense of belonging at the school. This is evident in the attitudes to learning displayed by pupils and the strong sense of pride of being a pupil at the school.