What does ‘inclusion’ mean at Footsteps?
Footsteps is a mainstream school with an inclusive policy. This means that we welcome all children, regardless of race, gender, age or disability. We strive to maintain the recommended proportion of student population with SEND in order for our school to be a true representation of our society in Cayman, whilst ensuring that the working environment is well-balanced and beneficial to all.
At Footsteps, all our staff are part of the inclusion team, providing learning opportunities that are responsive and differentiated to meet the learning and social-emotional needs of all children with all abilities. This results in confident, assured children who are prepared for a future in which they will be full, participating members of society and their local communities.
We care about the happiness and wellbeing of all of our children first and foremost, and we aim to develop happy, relaxed and confident students who boast a growth mindset. When everyone is included, everyone benefits. Tolerance, empathy and leadership skills are employed and practised daily, creating comradery amongst all of our students.
We hold high expectations of all our students, believing that every child can progress and will achieve. We measure success not only on standardised assessments but also on personal academic targets, character development and social development.
Above all, Footsteps aims to create an educational environment where students’ unique characteristics are valued, successes are celebrated and every one of our students feels joy every day in coming to school and learning.
Inclusion and Admissions
Students with recognised special educational needs and disabilities will be invited into school for an informal assessment and a short trial. If a place is available, parents will receive a letter of acceptance and will be asked to confirm the place by paying a security deposit. Footsteps is an inclusive school - we strive to maintain the recommended proportion of student population with SEND in order for our school to be a true representation of society, and for the working environment to be balanced, manageable and beneficial to all. We aim to support all children’s individual differences with our in-house teaching and support staff, however, if we deem it necessary for a child to work with a 1:1 learning assistant, parents will be responsible for additional costs involved and should be involved in the collaborative appointment of a suitable member of staff.
Footsteps was proudly awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark in 2022. A small section of the report is shared below. You can read the full report here.
Report on IQM Inclusive School Award
“Footsteps is a very welcoming and warm, friendly school and this is apparent from the outset. There is a calm, happy, purposeful atmosphere and the environment is bright and very positive throughout the School with beautiful displays in the corridors and classrooms. The building consists of classrooms for each of the classes as well as two libraries, a studio and dining room.
The staff have created a safe, stimulating and supportive atmosphere where pupils can love life, learning and play. There is a clear ethos at Footsteps which has a focus on ‘nurture through nature’ where pupils explore their natural environment through their regular visits to the local beaches. It enables pupils to make deep and meaningful connections to the wider world. The School’s inclusive model promotes respect for the community and its environment.
School leaders at all levels set the tone for the supportive, caring, inclusive framework. They are committed to helping every pupil succeed, whatever their background or ability. They collectively lead by positive example with very high ambitions for their pupils and believe all pupils can succeed while ensuring all aspects of inclusion and pupils’ individual needs are focused on. Footsteps School has a child-centred focus to education with a curriculum that inspires, motivates and empowers the pupils to develop into resilient, independent and confident learners. The curriculum is culturally relevant and incorporates many facets of the Caymanian culture. This contributes to the richness of the curriculum.
The pupils at Footsteps School are fortunate to belong to such a highly inclusive school. They are happy, respected and valued by all the staff. The Leadership Team and all staff share an inclusive ethos which pervades throughout the school. The pupils are strongly supported in all areas of the curriculum by passionate and dedicated staff led by strong leaders who share a determination that all stakeholders should be listened to and work relentlessly to provide equality of learning opportunities for all pupils in school regardless of gender, race, age or disability.
Staff are committed to providing equal opportunities for the academic curriculum, sport, music and the arts to enrich the lives and better the chances of the pupils in their care. This extends to the wider curriculum, after school enrichment clubs and educational visits. There are high expectations for every pupil to achieve their best. The School is an important part of its community and it ensures that the languages and cultures of the pupils are highlighted, celebrated and built upon throughout the school.”