Ifield School is a Foundation co-educational school for pupils aged 4 to 19 years of age with Profound, Severe and Complex learning needs, including Communication and Interaction difficulties. The majority of pupils have learning difficulties associated with Autism, Speech, Language and Communication and, in addition, some pupils have complex medical conditions.
Ifield School is federated with King’s Farm Primary School.
Ifield Nursery was established in 2007 and is based at King’s Farm Primary School. It is a joint Early Years provision for pupils aged from 2 to 5 years old. This setting enables the pupils to learn and play alongside their mainstream peers whilst formal assessments are completed and all pupils at the nursery benefit from the resources and facilities that Ifield School offers.
Ifield School has a strong collaboration with North Kent College located 1.9 miles from the school site. 16 – 19 year old students attend Ifield Sixth Form based at North Kent College. LINK stands for “Learning With Ifield and North Kent” and reflects the close working partnership that exists between Ifield School and North Kent College. Students who attend The LINK Centre have a building and resources that have been specifically tailored to support their learning and medical needs. The students follow a highly personalised curriculum within a safe and secure environment and are also able to enjoy the benefits of the college’s restaurant and library facilities. Sixth Form students focus on preparing for adulthood and securing the outcomes identified on their Education, Health and Care Plans. Many of the students leave Ifield’s Sixth Form to attend courses at other colleges of further education or to move into employment.
Ifield School initiated a Post 19 provision in September 2014 as a pilot to focus on learners working towards independence and employability, while strengthening mathematics and English skills. LINK19 College Ltd was formed in January 2018 for 19-25 year olds. LINK19 College is a separate provision to Ifield School, but cohabits the same building as Ifield’s Sixth Form.
All staff at Ifield School are highly experienced practitioners in the field of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and some members of staff have achieved Master’s Degrees in specialisms including, ASD and SLD. The Teaching Assistants are experienced practitioners in key areas including, PROACT-SCIPr-UK, Communication and Interaction, Sensory Integration and Paediatric First Aid.
Our Lead Speech and Language Therapist has a BSc Honours in Speech and Language Therapy. Our Occupational Therapist has a Master’s Degree in Health Studies and Post Graduate Sensory Integration.
Our Headteacher has a Master’s Degree in Cognition and Learning.
The staff structure comprises of a Leadership Team of 12, with an additional team of 6 middle leaders forming the Extended Leadership Team and 45 teachers. There is also a Teaching Assistant workforce of 103 staff. The school employs a team of Speech and Language Therapists, including 2 Therapy Assistants. The school works in close partnership with the NHS Special Schools’ Nursing Service.
A team of Specialist Teachers at Ifield’s SMILE Centre provide support in mainstream settings and schools to improve the outcomes for pupils and young people with SEND. Advice and guidance is given to Early Years settings and schools through the Local Inclusion Forum Team (LIFT) meetings. These meetings are also attended by other agencies who can also contribute to the discussion including Educational Psychologists, Social Services, Early Help and Local Authority Officers. Specialist observation assessment for pupils and young people can then be arranged and interventions modelled in order that teachers and support staff can implement strategies and intervention programmes to meet the needs of pupils and young people with SEND.
Staff at Ifield School understand that the successful inclusion of pupils in learning activities is of the utmost importance. The school invests generously in the continued professional development of all staff. This commitment enables staff to keep up to date with educational research and teaching strategies, and to use their knowledge to create exciting and innovative learning opportunities that keep pupils engaged and ensure that they make good or outstanding progress in all areas of the curriculum. Ifield staff create an environment that is calm, well-organised and conducive to learning not only within the classroom but in every part of the school. Visitors to Ifield School regularly remark on its happy and purposeful ethos and the confidence of its pupils. This reflects the endeavour of each pupil and the hard work, enthusiasm and professionalism of staff who celebrate the successes of each pupil.
Our Learning Environment
Ifield School has been designed so that every classroom, corridor and play area enhances pupils' learning and ensures learning occurs in every part of the school. The buildings and internal environment have been designed to be light, engaging and fully accessible. The learning environment inspires confidence and encourages pupils to develop independence and curiosity as they move throughout the school. Facilities that extend and enhance the learning environment include a hydrotherapy pool, sensory room and swing room.In addition, there are specialist rooms for music and food technology to ensure that the curriculum is enhanced and enriched.
Ifield’s commitment to provide enhanced opportunities for learning outside the classroom is demonstrated by our unique off-site, nine-acre woodland, which is used extensively for curriculum enrichment including Forest Schools, vocational opportunities, PE, outward-bound courses and family open days.
Ifield and the Wider Community
Ifield School enjoys an excellent local and countrywide reputation.The school has established partnership arrangements with other schools, agencies and businesses which considerably enhance learning for all pupils.
Ifield School was awarded a full International School Award by the British Council in 2009 and the links that have been forged with schools across the world were acknowledged in 2012 and 2016.
Ifield School teaches pupils how to support and enhance their own health and wellbeing and has achieved a National Healthy School Status. The school has also been awarded the Lloyds TSB Lasting Legacy Award for our project for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The school won the Guardian’s National ‘School We’d Like’ competition creating a new facility to enhance outdoor learning.