A PRIMARY school has been shortlisted for a Proud of Barnsley Award for the work of its communication and interaction team.

Meadstead Primary Academy, in Royston, is one of three schools shortlisted for the awards and was nominated due to the school’s communication and interaction team and its inclusivity and diversity.

The school won the School of the Year category in 2018 after being nominated by several parents for helping children with special educational needs, behavioural issues, autism and other personal issues.

Nichola Smith, head teacher, said she is delighted the school has made the shortlist again and is proud it is being recognised for different reasons.

“I have been here four years as a head teacher but I have been here six years in total. It has totally transformed over the time that I’ve been here,” said Nichola.

“But the ethos and inclusivity are the things we really love about Meadstead. We have a trust that really supports us in what we do and in our ethos of giving our child the chance to succeed.”

The communication and interaction team has its own dedicated classroom for children, who have a variety of learning difficulties or are on the autistic spectrum.

“For me, I think the inclusivity and diversity of where we are and what we do for the children is one of our biggest strengths,” added Nichola.

Sarah Morgan, lead teacher for the communications and interaction team, said: “I’ve been at the school for nearly 19 years now and I have always worked in the resource


“Most of our children have a diagnosis of ASD and/or ADHD and we support these children by including them in mainstream class, withdrawing them if they need it and helping them be part of the mainstream school life.”

Speaking about her favourite part of her job, Sarah said: “It’s seeing the little things that the children achieve. It’s seeing them enjoy coming to school and being part of the


Nichola said: “For us, being nominated is fantastic. This time the nomination has come about primarily from the work of the resource provision to get the children back into

mainstream school. It’s absolutely amazing.”