Ifield School is a Foundation co-educational school for 222 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. The school has been successfully designated to meet the needs of pupils with learning difficulties and has been awarded Specialist status for Communication and Interaction by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.
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 children to learn and play alongside mainstream peers 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 situated about one mile from the school site. 16 – 19 year old students attend Ifield Sixth Form based at North Kent College. Ifield Sixth Form and North Kent College’s supported learning provision, Gateway, have recently moved into bespoke accommodation within the LINK Centre. 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, library and gym 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 the sixth form to attend courses at other colleges of further education or to move into employment. Since September 2014 a small number of students have made the transition to Ifield’s Post-19 pilot provision where they follow programmes leading to supported employment or supported living.
All staff at Ifield School are experienced practitioners in the field of SEN and 10 members of staff have achieved Master’s Degrees in specialisms including VI, ASD, PMLD and SLD. The Teaching Assistants are experienced practitioners including; Team Teach, Paediatric First Aid, Communication & Interaction and Sensory Circuits.
Our Speech & Language Therapists have a Master’s Degree in Autism and BA Honours Degree’s in Linguistics, Language Pathology and Psychology. Our Occupational Therapist has a Master’s Degree in Health Studies, and Post Graduate Sensory Integration.
Our Head of School has a Master’s Degrees in Cognition & Learning.
The staff structure comprises of a senior leadership team of 8, a middle management team of 6 and 30 teachers. There is also a teaching assistant workforce of 88 staff. There are 3 full time Speech and Language Therapists and 3 part time therapy assistants. The school also employs a full time nurse.
A team of Specialist Teachers at Ifield Smile provide support in mainstream settings and schools in improving the outcomes for pupils and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Advice and guidance is given to schools and Early Years settings through the Local Inclusion Forum Team 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 with special educational needs.
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 lessons that keep pupils engaged in learning 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 child and young person.
Our Learning Environment
Ifield School has been designed so that every classroom, corridor and play area enhances pupils' learning and to ensure learning to take place 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 hydro-therapy pool, sensory room and several personal care suites. In addition there are specialist rooms for music, art, drama and food technology to ensure that the curriculum is enhanced and enriched.
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 pupils and students.
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 and students how to ensure their own well-being and has achieved 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.