St Helen's Primary School
School name: St Helen's Primary
Headteacher: Mark Thompson
Number of pupils: 237
St Helen’s Primary School is in the centre of the city of Swansea with pupils aged between 3 and 11 years.
There are eight mainstream classes including part-time nursery provision.
The school’s motto is: “All different, all equal” and its mission statement is “Expect the best, give the best, be the best”
Headteacher Mark Thompson said: “We continually strive to improve provision, support and opportunities for families in need, and believe that it’s possible to raise academic achievements and self-esteem in order to break the cycle of poverty and build on the positive attitudes this creates.”
Following a positive inspection in February 2016, St Helen’s Primary School was invited by Estyn, to prepare written case studies describing the excellent practice identified during the inspection.
The case studies, which are available to read in full on the Estyn website, are on Family Engagement and Transition for pupils from Flying Start into Nursery.
Engaging with parents to improve pupil attendance - due to having such a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds amongst its pupils, leaders felt that it was important to strengthen links with the indigenous community to ensure a clearer understanding of the shared values.
In addition, the school identified a number of adult learning classes, which would encourage further interaction.
It then introduced initiatives for the pupils in need, in order to establish a comprehensive family engagement programme.
The school’s Family Engagement team has been able to support and run after-school provision.
Transition for pupils from Flying Start into Nursery
Helping children with additional learning needs reach their potential - The practice began in response to the introducing the Flying Start Setting in April 2013.
The setting led to increased numbers of children entering school with additional learning needs.
A smooth transition from the Flying Start setting into the nursery was important to ensure continuity for both pupils and parents.
There had also been a reduction in training courses and outside agency time within the school.
The school responded by providing in-house training and creating a range of provision for pupils including developing their fine motor skills, dyslexia, nurture and social communication groups.