Thomas Willingale School and Nursery is a fully inclusive primary school and nursery setting in Essex.
Being fully inclusive means that promoting equality is one of our highest priorities throughout the whole school. We have high expectations of all our pupils and we aim to give them the opportunity to achieve the highest possible outcomes.
We wish for all children and their families to feel that they belong at Thomas Willingale School and Nursery as members of our community. We value everyone’s individual talents, backgrounds and experiences by helping all our children to develop a sense of personal and cultural identity that is confident, open, receptive and respectful towards other people. All our teaching takes into account pupils’ cultural and religious backgrounds, linguistic needs and varying learning styles. We create an environment where pupils feel safe and feel they can contribute fully and where they all feel respected and valued.
These values feed into the Thomas Willingale Mission Statement:
Thomas Willingale School supports endeavour, celebrates excellence and pursues equality for all.
In this section of the website we would like to share with you how we support all members of our school community.
Celebrating our cultures, faiths and diversity
At Thomas Willingale School and Nursery we have children and staff who represent a number of different religions including:
Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Jewish, Muslim, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Sikh as well as pupils and families without a faith.
Thomas Willingale is proud of different cultures and diversity. We have 36% of our pupils who do not identify as White-British. We are committed to showing racism the red card and our staff recieve training around this.
We believe that our school culture reflects and celebrates our diversity and that our curriculum allows all children to learn and develop. Our R.E Curriculum educates the children on a variety of religions and morals that support pupils to develop respect and understanding. Our PSHE Curriculum enables pupils to develop an understanding of themselves as well as developing healthy, supportive relationships with each other.
How our love of reading supports diversity:
As a school we are committed to providing a curriculum that promotes equal opportunities. Now is the perfect time to revisit these topics with your child and to make links between their learing in school and Black Lives Matter.
Here are some great books that explore issues of race, equality, empathy and self-esteem.
Parent Guide for Talking about BLM
A free, downloadable guide for parents that is designed to provide an easy-to-use resource to help parents start these important, but challenging, conversations with children of all ages.
The Red Cross: Black Lives Matter Session
This session is designed to help young people reflect on the Black Lives Matter movement with a focus on how people might experience racism and how it might feel.
Show Racism the Red Card
This organisation has a range of resources to support teachers with advice and activities that will help institutions to prepare student teachers to tackle racism and promote equality in the classroom.
Stand Up! Education Against Discrimination empowers young people in schools to learn about and act against discrimination, racism, antisemitism, and anti-Muslim hatred while developing their social responsibility in the community. The 'Sit Down with Stand Up!' resource bank is really useful and provides free resources for teachers, including bitesize workshops, reading recommendations, articles, livestreams and quizzes.
Children who have English as an additional language
At Thomas Willingale School and Nursery, we are proud of the languages that are spoken by our pupils and staff. At Thomas Willingale we have members of our school that speak:
Urdu, Bengali, Turkish, Romanian, Filipino, Polish, Bulgarian, French, Welsh, Russian, Albanian, Pashto, Lithuanian, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, Italian, Afrikaans, Greek, Persian, Caribbean Creole French, Gujarati, Portuguese, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian.
That is 26 different languages in our school in addition to English.
Having English as an additional language is a valuable skill and has neurological benefits.
We assess the progress of our pupils in their language development and apply well researched strategies to help our pupils to progress. This is inline with advice from Essex County Council. Some of our strategies include:-
New to Essex?
Essex County Council have produced a number of booklets with useful phrases for new pupils in a variety of languages. These can be used by teachers and pupils to ease communication and by parents to get messages across to schools and vice versa.
The leaflets in this link promote bilingualism and the benefits of maintaining and developing home languages. They are published in a number of different languages and also have links for further information:
At our school we promote a love of stories and reading.
WorldStories is a growing collection of stories from around the world. The collection includes retold traditional tales and new short stories in the languages most spoken by UK children.
We are adding new stories, translations, pictures and sound recordings every week. So keep coming back to enjoy new content!
Children with Special Educational Needs
Please click here to be taken to our SEND Section and view our Local Offer.
Children who are more able
At Thomas Willingale all children are valued for their individual strengths, talents and special abilities, whether this is in a core curriculum subject or in any other area.
We understand that all children, including the more-able pupils, require support and challenge in their learning in order to make progress and reach their full potential.
We use the term ‘more-able’ to refer to pupils who demonstrate or have the potential to work at a standard well above their peers; this means they are exceeding the National Curriculum expectations for their age. This may be in one or more areas of learning.
We endeavour to meet the needs of higher ability children through careful identification and monitoring strategies and by providing access to a curriculum which will not only support the development of the whole child intellectually, socially and emotionally, but will enable them to show aptitudes and quality of thinking.
We strongly believe that engaging teaching and learning for all is the key to securing achievement for every child. Through creative curriculum activities, more-able pupils are given a wide variety of exciting challenges and experiences, developing the ability to question, explain, persevere, communicate their thoughts and take risks in their learning whilst building relationships.
We support our more-able pupils by giving them opportunities for open-ended tasks, higher order thinking challenges and extension activities. In class children work in a range of ways; ability groups, mixed ability, paired work and independent work. We use a variety of teaching styles and a range of higher-level questions to stimulate critical thinking.
What can I do for my child at home?
There are many ways that parents can support their more able children. Below are just a few ideas that you may like to try.
Visit the following websites for resources and ideas to your child’s development:
http://www.nace.co.uk (National Association for Able Children in Education)
https://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources-parents (National Association for Gifted Children)
Please click on the link for information on how we support our Young Carers.
The wellbeing of members of our school community is one of our highest priorities at Thomas Willingale. Please follow the link for information and support available on wellbeing.
All staff at our school have training provided by Stonewall and Mermaids. This is reflected throughout all of our school policies and in our curriculum.