Norfolk Community Primary: A school where every child is celebrated and encouraged

At Norfolk Community Primary every child is celebrated and encouraged – whatever their ability.   

And this was never more evident when the school marked its annual Yes We Can Week – a disability awareness raising initiative.

School focus on Norfolk Community Primary School in Sheffield

School focus on Norfolk Community Primary School in Sheffield

The special week, which is a highlight on the school calendar, aims to celebrate and encourage all children to feel they can achieve, no matter what their academic ability.

Assistant headteacher Rachel Walker said the school has 28 per cent of children who have special education needs or disability.

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“In every class there is a high percentage of children with complex needs such as ADHD and autism," she added.

School focus on Norfolk Community Primary School in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

School focus on Norfolk Community Primary School in Sheffield. Picture Scott Merrylees

“Every year we have a week which aims to celebrate and encourage all children to feel they can achieve, no matter what their academic ability.

“We teach children to be respectful of other children and also give them opportunity to develop in other ways, not just academically.”

On one of the days every class in the school took part in No Pens Day, when all the teaching and learning took place without pens.

The event aims to consider other ways of recording such as videos and voice recordings, encourage different types of literacy such as drama, role play and den building, support children to feel they can participate and achieve without the worry and anxiety of whether their writing skills are good enough and encourage rich, problem solving and engaging learning using lots of different media.

Salma Abdul-Rajeev enjoys some fun in the plyaground

Salma Abdul-Rajeev enjoys some fun in the plyaground

Drama, maths lessons with paint and sign language classes were some of the activities held in school.

Mrs Walker said: “As part of the week we are having a No Pens Day.

“Children are doing drama, lots of painting and speaking activities.

“Some have been doing recordings, but painting them onto cardboard boxes.

Lucy-Mae Rodgers and Millie Witham. Picture Scott Merrylees

Lucy-Mae Rodgers and Millie Witham. Picture Scott Merrylees

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“For children that struggle with fine motor skills, it gives them the opportunity to develop their skills in other ways.

“This gives them the chance to record with different media, so they feel like they can achieve.

“There is lots of focus on speaking, listening and recording in different ways.

Year 6 children spent part of the day doing maths activities using painting rather than pens and pencils, while year four pupils learned some greetings in sign language.

Some of the school’s youngest pupils took part in Forest School activities outdoors using different parts of their body.

Making clay figures using their fingers and balancing on swinging wooden walkways were among the interesting things children were getting up to in the playground.

Year 4 children spent time learning common greetings in sign language, before practising on classmates.

Later in the week they practiced fencing with a difference.

Coached by someone who had represented Team GB, the children practised on benches to represent wheelchair fencing.

Mrs Walker said it was a great experience for the children because they got to see the actual equipment used in a professional competition.

She added that the week is a highlight in the school calendar.

“The week is really exciting,” she said.

“The children love it because it’s learning in a different way.

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“Teachers also enjoy it because it gives them opportunities to plan teaching and learning that is quite different from what they normally lead.”

She added: “We are a very inclusive school and we try to celebrate everyone’s needs.

“We have a range of pupils with a range of needs and so we try and celebrate that everyone has something to offer and show to the other children.

“We are a very close community.

“We have very supportive parents who like to get involved.

“We have a coffee morning which parents come in for and we have people coming in from various organisations.”