A SWINDON school has won a national award for the support they offer to children with special educational needs.

Westlea School received a National SEND Award for most inclusive practice after impressing judges with their inclusive approach to learning.

Awards chair Richard Daniel Curtis said: "In a year when schools have needed to pivot and show flexibility to meet the demands of the pandemic, it is great to see a school who are flying the inclusion flag and continuing to make sure that they make the difference for all pupils.

"The judges were unanimous in their decision to give this award to Westlea for their commitment to inclusion of all."

The honour arrived just as some of the pupils who receive special resource provision prepared to leave the school and move on to the next step in their education.

Kyle, 11, in Year 6 said: "My time at Westlea has been brilliant because ever since I have been here I have done activity days.

"Mr H helped me with my work sometimes and with my stretches. I will miss Westlea and never forget it.

Classmate Imaan said: "I liked Westlea because they looked after me, they made sure no one bumps into me. My teachers and learning support assistants helped me with my English and maths.

"My favourite subjects are art and PE because in art, you can express yourself with what you draw and in PE, you can get active."

Jordan added: "It’s been a great year, I have been on a residential at PGL and did a zip wire.

"I have had loads of help from my LSAs. I am excited about moving on to my new school, I think I will be good at using a white board."

Meanwhile, other pupils in younger year groups talked about what they enjoyed most about going to school.

Eight-year-old Eira in Year 3 said: "It's fun, happy and friendly. I enjoy PE because I get to interact with friends and I find PE the most enjoyable subject. I use my walker for PE.

"I enjoy the special subject days, like book days and music days."

Nine-year-old Imogen from Year 5 said: "I enjoy the dinners we have, my favourite is the salad bar.

"I quite like the playground, I enjoy the play equipment I go on it with my friends, I play with lots of different people at play times. I like PE because I like doing lots of sporty things."

Eight-year-old Layla from Year 4 said: "I like all of my teachers because they are very kind to me. My favourite subject is English, because it is so nice to be writing."

Even the youngest members of the Westlea School community who need a bit of extra help and support have been settling in nicely.

The learning support assistant for five-year-old Inaaya in Reception class said she had made "wonderful friendships" with her classmates.