School Notice Board

Inclusion Quality Mark – Centre of Excellence

Please see article below from the IQM website:

Thorn Grove Primary Achieves Centre of Excellence

April 27, 2022 by Dawn Murphy

Thorn Grove Primary School, Cheadle Hulme in Cheshire, Achieves the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status.


Thorn Grove Primary School is a one form entry school. Pupils are taught in single age classes from Reception to Year 6. There are currently around 230 children on roll. It is an immensely popular and in-demand school within the community for a range of reasons observed during this assessment. The initial meetings and observations formed a clear picture of the context of the school, with a calm start for children who come in to read early in the day, those who need self-regulation strategies to begin their learning and staff preparing a range of well-organised lessons and interventions. The atmosphere was busy and geared up to provide the best possible support for their learners right from the start of the day.

Inclusion at the Heart of Everything

The school has a thriving Foundation Stage which consists of a Nursery class and a Reception class and there is provision for some children to attend full time, taking account of the 30-hour guidance, with many accommodations made to ensure the needs of the community are met. Within the school there are children and families who need additional support for a range of reasons including: English development, Special Educational Needs, and families with diverse Social and Economic needs. Leaders explained that this can differ from year-to-year, but vulnerable groups are represented within the school make-up consistently and provision is offered to match this need. Therefore, inclusion is at the heart of the school as a matter of choice and a matter of essential need. The willingness to share extensive strategies related to how these needs are met, show how dedicated and thorough that Thorn Grove is, in relation to their greatest challenges.

Building a Positive Culture

Leaders speak with a clear focus on the need to quickly build a learning culture and environment to ensure that all their children achieve their potential, to address additional needs early and with a concentrated focus on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Leaders explained their ethos for targeted support and intervention programmes that are put into place to ensure that children from Nursery onwards make rapid progress from whatever their original starting point.

Parental Praise

Parents are keen to explain and thank staff for their support through challenging times, be it personal or national. They are very aware of the thought, dedication and hard work that goes into the success of their children and their education. They described ‘excellent workshops’ they are invited to and how this informs their willingness to give back to the school and help with activities such as book clubs themselves. They explained how impressed they were with the fluency of the live teaching provided by Google Classroom lessons, emails and resources shared. The consistency throughout the pandemic helped many parents and carers by providing much needed structure for home learning and they have also been able to take part in live lessons alongside children on site keeping the cohesion of the school day and community.

Successfully Embedded Systems

The learning walk showed ‘ground level’ application of the intentions explained by Senior Leaders. Talk Partners were promoted, displays were helpful to the learners and consistent, lessons were full of pace and purpose as well as high pupil engagement. This is a challenge well met. Especially when put within the context of online lessons alongside in-class sessions with split teaching inputs delivered by Teaching Assistants, all functioning with precision and with the added layer of vital individualised interventions. These were all delivered with the hallmarks of a system that is embedded clearly and fully understood by all involved. Later meetings with Senior Leaders explained to me how this was achieved, with scrutiny of the timetable to ensure interventions complimented the wider curriculum, related to timings and the reasoning behind curriculum choices.

Investment in Staff

The mid-assessment meeting with Senior Leaders contextualised interviews and learning walks that had taken place. Leaders detailed the logic behind them and disclosed the careful and proactive decisions made in support. It became apparent that time has been taken to ensure staff can utilise their skills and those available to them through a range of sources. Leaders promote live marking to aid workload and crucially provide real-time support for the children within lessons, they encourage Subject Leads (and all staff) to learn skills, develop those skills and finally have a climate of confident practitioners. They value pace, energy and consistency within lessons and training to ensure staff are only taking on tasks that they can all see the value in. It is clear from the additional clubs, activities, training, and shared skills – within the school, that this is happening and more than that – the school is a vibrant hub of collaboration. Everyone shares and ‘buys in’ to this vision.

Articulate, Engaging Pupils

The children interviewed were a delight! A product of their environment, they spoke kindly about others, showed wonderful manners and gentle humour indicative of the school. Each child explained an element of school they enjoyed as I quickly established how deep the inclusive roots of the school ran. Children explained how sessions reviewing their work and looking at areas they found challenging, individually, and collectively were their ‘favourite’ with great understanding of their peers. They were proud of the ‘Deaf Base’ and knew all children got support both with becoming independent and in areas such as their own ‘health.’

Committed Governing Body

Governors are dedicated with a focused and clear understanding of their role. Both Governors interviewed were driven by a deep respect for the school, through their experiences as parents who had children attending Thorn Grove. They have experienced other settings but knew that Thorn Grove helped their children thrive and wanted to give back to a setting which one Governor described as ‘deserving of my time.’ Governors are long standing and respected members of the school community, taking active roles to help Leaders provide the best provision in their power. They listen to staff in person and drive actions on committees related to curriculum development and premises development for example. They are a vital part of the culture of inclusion, and they explained the importance of striving for every pupil ‘at their individual level’ and they are passionate advocates for how the school supports children with Special Education Needs and know from personal experience that the school offers provision for these children on a par with many specialist settings. The Governors were especially proud of how Christmas Shows, and signed activities, songs and events support each individual and allow them to be a part of the whole school community.

Creative Support Staff

The Support Staff were a wonderfully diverse group and were exactly as described by Senior Leaders. They take on exciting new roles, seek out and drive interventions, support the most vulnerable learners in a humorous, professional, and dedicated manner. New staff are paired up on arrival, feel welcome and get the best of their colleagues’ experience, they are all flexible and aware of whole-school issues and through the trust and confidence placed in them, they are determined and excited to take on new challenges. The level of care put into Sign Language for children, families and other professionals is awe-inspiring to see. Added to this are strong inter-agency links and a thirst to develop the provision for their children, which would fill any parent with confidence and pride that their child attends Thorn Grove. The development and success in building such an effective team of Support Staff is a strength of the school and also a wonderful example of investing in those around you. The beneficiaries of this investment are the children.

Find out more about the IQM Inclusive School Award

If your school is interested in obtaining the IQM Inclusive School Award or you wish to talk to a member of the IQM team please telephone:

028 7127 7857 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm)

or email: 

Sports Awards

Every year the Stockport SHAPES Alliance (Schools Health, Activity, PE and Sport) hold an Awards event for all of the Stockport schools that have taken part in SHAPES ‘Be Inspired’ Sport competitions. Unfortunately due to current circumstances, they have not been able to hold this event as they usually would, so instead have shared awards virtually.

A message for Thorn Grove from SHAPES:

Thank you for taking part in the SHAPES Be Inspired competitions. Despite not being able to present this year’s awards at the plaza, we would like to congratulate the winners of all the different categories.

Please see below an overview of the SHAPES Awards presented to Thorn Grove for the 2019/20 academic year:

Thorn Grove SHAPES Awards

Keep an eye out for the Awards to be displayed in school. Well done and thank you Thorn Grove pupils, parents and staff for your ongoing dedication to sports and competitions!

Miss Freebairn


Y5 & Y6 Cross Country Event

On Tuesday 5th November 2019, Miss Brierley and Miss Freebairn took two boys’ Cross Country teams to an event at Marple Hall School. The boys ran a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometres and were ranked individually and as teams.

Out of 11 schools, our Thorn Grove ‘A’ team came 3rd and our Thorn Grove ‘B’ team came 9th. Two of our boys also finished within the top 10 of over 40 runners. Well done to the boys for putting in a fantastic effort!

Robinwood Day 3

Day 3:

The day of reckoning; the final day; the day when the rain came; the day when everyone had just gotten used to eating an unfeasibly large, but delightful breakfast before attempting rather strenuous physical activity; and the day unfortunately, we had to sadly return home.

But sadness was the emotion furthest from the children thoughts; the children were as hungry as a wolf and ready to devour the breakfast and the trials that lay ahead. Team ‘Year Six’ were into the groove and ready to recall the glory days of Wednesday and Thursday and finish, quite rightly, as the heroes we knew they had become.

The children had an energy that was simply irresistible, the centre bristled with excitement and the groups felt like they could rule the world. As the rain began to fall even heavier, the determination of the pupils was like a rolling stone– gathering pace – and in the corridors of Robinwood, conversation crackled, like electricity, as the Thorn Grove pupils put aside toxic, fearful thoughts of the impending end to the trip to discuss the previous day’s events and those that were yet to come.

“Trapeze was amazing” “Another day here would be amazing” “Another hash brown and some more bacon would be amazing!” “Why is Mr Wilson so amazing at climbing, archery and trapeze and Miss Nuttall, Mrs Dewar, Miss Karim and Mr Chandler so rubbish!” (This last one was made up, but it was worth a try when you are as poor at these things as I am!) were all heard as they children excitedly milled around awaiting the new adventures the final morning was ready to deliver.

The whole group, who had grown, from what seemed like absolute beginners, strode confidently forwards, knowing that today was the chance to go your own way and squeeze out every last ounce of enjoyment from the opportunities that lay ahead. They had visibly broader shoulders, chins that were raised and hearts that swelled with pride and satisfaction. Nothing’s going to stop us now was the attitude they exuded and the Thorn Grove staff watched with glee as they strutted around the centre with an air of self-assurance that showed they were ready for anything.

The rain (as if presenting itself as a final challenge) tested the resolve of some of the groups. However instead of saturating spirits, it merely lifted them and the children blossomed in the summer rain like powerful plants refreshed and ready to reach higher. As the three fantastic groups, completed their final challenges the only thing larger than the smiles on the faces of the children were the huge experiences they were taking home with them. The last meal was consumed, the instructors thanked (Andy, Sarah and Annie, you were irreplaceable, magnificent and truly wonderful with the children) and goodbyes exchanged

Year six sprung towards the coach and stepped aboard

The weight of this experience could not be judged using scales or mathematical reasoning.

It could only be judged by the sheer enormity of wonderful memories the experience had produced; the friendships that had been cemented; and the smiles, laughter and happiness both these things will continue to deliver

Farewell Robinwood….. you challenged us, you excited us, you drove us to new heights and we will never forget you, so please don’t you forget about us…

May I take this opportunity to thank: the children – you were magnificent; the staff (Mrs Karim, Mrs Dewar, Mr Chandler, Miss Nuttall, Mrs Jeddal and Mrs De-Moulpied – there is no way the children could have such a wonderful experience without your help, support and dedication; the parents – your children are a credit to you and represented you amazingly; and finally, the Robinwood staff, who are simply brilliant.

Mr Wilson

Robinwood 2019 Day 2

Day 2:

This morning we were woken by the brooding presence of grey clouds lurking menacingly overhead, however inside the brightness of the children’s smiles and the infectious waves of joyful laughter staved off any thoughts that may have dampened spirits and dulled expectations.

Team year six, fully re-energised after a relaxing evening snooze, sauntered merrily to breakfast to be met by their next mammoth challenge- how to conquer the amazing cooked breakfast, toast and beverages. Unfortunately, this was no match for the hungry hordes and they demolished the feast and were left hungry for only one thing- the activities that lay ahead on day two.

Year six strode purposefully forward: bonds were strengthened; new friendships forged; happiness danced around the centre; and the stories of the previous days quests were spoken about with awe and wonder. Yet, yesterday had disappeared and there were new stories to write; new adventures to complete; and new challenges to overcome…

Day two was upon us and more memories were ready to be made…

The groups slithered through the gnarled spiraling passages of the caves; squeezed skillfully and manipulated themselves masterfully through the cracks and crevices of the prehistoric old glacial rock formations that stand atop of the hills overlooking the centre; created feats of structural engineering and skyscrapers of a truly colossal nature in crate challenge; and pondered the perilous puzzles that awaited them in the Dungeon of Doom.

A wonderful lunch and dinner was consumed, but these moments sped by as children excitedly refueled before their next activities; their appetite for the next challenges, the only hunger that could not be satisfied by the amazing food

The stamina of our intrepid adventurous was impressive and year six stormed on wards. Even the blustery weather and intermittent rain, couldn’t slow the juggernaut of joy that careered towards late evening.

The only thing that did eventually serve to stop the groups was time – the moon peered jealously down on the centre; envious of the simply amazing happenings it had witnessed and the darkness ushered the jubilant, but weary masses to bed.

Day Two was a triumph – now for day three!

Robinwood 2019 Day 1

Day One:

As the eager July sun bounced over the horizon, the equally eager year six pupils bounded towards school, full of expectation and nervous energy. Laughter and conversation filled the school hall as friends and staff eagerly awaited the start of their Robinwood journey.

After the formalities were completed and goodbyes exchanged, the group grabbed their luggage and their pals and stepped aboard the coach.

As the warm balmy summer atmosphere hugged the coach, the journey progressed. The sounds of the quiet, somewhat nervous, conversation morphed into a chorus of singing; a selection of songs from the production were delivered as any nerves faded and broad smiles and laughter warmed the inside of the coach as we neared Robinwood.

Upon arrival, the children leapt off the coach; made their way to the centre and enjoyed a satisfying lunch – activities were about to start and much needed fuel was required!

The afternoon was filled with death defying feats on the trapeze; problem solving and pressure in the perilous piranha pool; conundrums and intrigue during alien conspiracy; and agility and strength on the climbing wall.

Dinner time arrived sooner than expected; time really does fly (just like the children on the trapeze) when you are having fun. Hearty meals and cake were consumed and final emotional goodbyes were said to departing staff and pupils (we will miss you Luke – have a wonderful holiday and we wish you all the best for the future)

The rain finally arrived as we moved towards the finale of our first amazing day- there was no chance it would dampen our spirits though as groups  assembled for the team challenge. A thrilling, competitive tournament was fiercely fought and all groups worked amazingly to try and be victorious.

The final act of the evening was to enjoy  delicious hot chocolate and biscuits before finally retiring, exhausted but exhilarated,  to bed.

Below are some pictures of the first day activities and visit again tomorrow to see another update.


Cheer Squad continue to lead the way…

On Saturday our amazing Key Stage Two Cheerleading Team attended the UK National Schools Competition held at the Velodrome in Manchester.

The Squad, who were looking to retain the title two years in a row, arrived at the venue in very good spirits and, even though there were some last minute adjustments to the routine, felt confident about performing well.  The children were joined by their amazing Team Spirit coaches Hannah and Lindsey as well as Mr Wilson and Miss Nuttall.

The competition is fiercely contested with teams travelling from as far as Bath to take part and the crowd, who were amazing (and very loud) supported the teams with passion and added to the amazing atmosphere at the venue. The teams only have one chance to perform their routine and because of this the margins for error are very slim; the squads have to be completely in sync and ready to perform when their slot arrives.

The team performed at 10:30am and had to start the preparation an hour prior to this as they made their way through grueling warm-up stations, uniform checks and team photos.

The routine, which contains complicated stunts, tumbles and dancing was delivered with precision, superb timing and fantastic synchronicity  and the children, coaches and supporters knew they had a chance to retain their title.

However, the awards ceremony was some time away and the judges decisions were kept secret until that time; this meant an agonising wait for the results…

During this time the squad members, coaches and staff busied themselves watching the other squads and soaking up the atmosphere of the huge event.

Finally the wait was over, and it was worth it.

Team Spirit at Thorn Grove were announced UK National Champions for the second year in a row.

A huge thank you must go to the parents who helped and supported on the day and of course to the brilliant coaches at Team Spirit, Hannah and Lindsey, who work tirelessly to help the team.

We have a hugely successful cheerleading programme developing at Thorn Grove and we would welcome any children to the sessions, so if any pupils would like to join the squad, please see Mr Wilson in school.

Here are some of the pictures from the day.

Forest School Makeover!

As you may know, Thorn Grove is slowly but surely developing a Forest School. I have almost completed my Forest School Leader training and have been working hard to redevelop some of our Forest School areas. Back in the Spring term, I reached out to a local tree surgery and woodland management company, Kraken Tree Care, to find out if they had any logs or tree stumps we could have to use as seating in our fire circle as it was looking a little bit tired!

Thorn Grove Primary School
Woodstock Avenue
Cheadle Hulme

Tel: 0161 485 1177