About Ifield School
Ifield School is a District Special School catering for 138 pupils with Special Educational Needs and is fully equipped to support the National Curriculum from Year 1 to Year 11. The School has been re-designated as the District Special School for the Gravesham Cluster to take pupils with more profound, severe and complex learning and communication and interaction difficulties from September 2004.
The School aims to provide an attractive welcoming and stimulating environment that can develop pupils through the effective and appropriate delivery of the National Curriculum. The school seeks to develop in all a respect for the individual and an appreciation of quality. The school understands that every child has natural talents and abilities that can stand outside of their general underlying ability and seeks to support these. The staff see that the successful re-integration of pupils, when appropriate, is of the utmost importance. Staff endeavour to create, within classes, a well organised, conducive and ordered environment. The schools aims to provide a happy and cheerful ethos that enables children to develop their confidence through success and praise.
Ifield School greatly values parental partnership and operates an open door policy to aid effective communication with parents/carers. Regular and active home to school contact is encouraged through a variety of school activities, and home school contact books. The school uses parent volunteers within the classroom.
The School is situated on an extensive campus close to the edge of Gravesend and within easy access of the A2. Purpose built in the late 1960’s within self contained and attractive landscaped grounds with hard and soft play areas. Facilities include a Heated Indoor Swimming Pool, Technology Suite, Sports Hall and Fully Integrated I.C.T. facilities. Specialist rooms support Science, Design Technology including Food Technology, Photography, Geography/History, Language Development, Pottery, Music & Dance.
A number of staff have obtained advanced qualifications in special education and the school’s staff development plan supports ongoing training of all teaching and non-teaching staff. Staff are selected to fulfil a clearly defined role and are supported through a sound management structure. A small panel of governors oversee appointments. Ifield School employs a Speech Therapist and Speech Therapist Assistant.
Ifield School believes in the importance of being a part of the local community and enjoys an excellent local and countrywide reputation.
In line with the Inclusion Initiative, Ifield School has already responded to the changing role of the District Special School. It has developed an off-site facility call The Ifield SMILE Centre which provides outreach materials for supporting youngsters with special needs within the mainstream setting. It also offers training for continuing professional development in AEN by experienced staff who work collaboratively with local schools.
The school was inspected by Ofsted in November 2004 and found to be “An effective School with some very good features. Good teaching promotes learning well and they make good progress. The positive ethos means that pupils achieve well in their personal development and the school provides good value for money.”
The School received a Sportsmark for demonstrating high quality in achievement from Sport England in the Summer 2001 and was re-awarded in Summer 2004. Ifield was also designated as a Beacon School in 2001.
The Governing Body and LEA are working closely with Architects designing and planning the next building phase with construction due to commence in 2006. This will provide a learning environment that reflects education in the 21st century.
The School has also an off-site curriculum development facility known as The Woodland. This is an exciting additional facility owned by the School. It is for the use of Ifield pupils and also other local schools by arrangement. It provides opportunities for curriculum extension activities e.g. GNVQ and also for extra curricular activities, e.g. camping and outward bound courses.