Multi-cultural primary school wins top national award for inclusivity

It is one of the most culturally diverse schools in North Yorkshire, and now Moorside Primary School and Nursery has been recognised for its inclusivity.

The Ripon-based school, which boasts pupils from 17 different nationalities, has become among the first in the county to be awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM) Flagship status.

IQM was established in the UK in October 2004 with the objective of supporting both state and independent schools to become inclusive.

Children of all abilities and disabilities are valued and appreciated at the school. Differences are celebrated and the school successfully promotes equality of opportunity and inclusion for all.

Children in a school playground

Almost 10 different languages are spoken by children at the school. It has 190 pupils on roll of various religious beliefs and there are children whose families originate from countries such as Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan, Poland, Pakistan, Romania, China and Latvia. Almost 20 per cent of the school - 33 pupils - do not speak English as their first language.

Headteacher, Claire Rowett, said merging Moorside junior and infants into one site five years ago created a new vision and shared goals to embed a culture of success and achievement for all within the school’s nurturing and inclusive setting.

Children in school

Claire added: “There have been increasing opportunities through our IQM work to raise pupil voice and provide them with a platform to share projects, as well as share their learning opportunities, knowledge across the curriculum, personal development opportunities and also how they keep safe, mentally and physically healthy. We support and celebrate diversity within our school community.

“Some of the work has also led us to achieve gold in our Healthy School Awards for our efforts to improve the health, wellbeing and resilience in our school community.”

Claire added: “I am, as ever, extremely proud of everything that we have achieved at Moorside. The success that we have had has been through the tenacious hard work of all staff and governors, working with our children and their families, which we value greatly.

“Above all, we are proud of our pupils and their confidence in sharing the work we do together - they are the best ambassadors for our school!”

Children working in school

Assistant director for education and skills, Amanda Newbold, said: “The IQM award recognises the commitment by schools to provide the best education for all children irrespective of differences.

“This recognition truly reflects the wonderful work of staff, governors and, of course, the pupils at Moorside Primary School and Infant to successfully remove barriers to learning and maximise educational experiences. Congratulations to all involved.”