We harness our students’ imaginations with thoughtfully devised projects that encourage creativity and independent thinking, whilst equipping them with a strong foundation for their future.
We put the individual at the centre of our educational approach and work flexibly, empathetically, and creatively to connect with each and every one of our students on a personal level.
Education should equip young people to thrive as independent, happy adults.
We believe that by empowering our students as individuals, they will contribute to and strengthen the wider community.
We champion communication not only as a means of resolving conflict, but to equip our students with the means for negotiating adverse situations in a positive way.
We take pride in the diversity of our school community, and engender solidarity through core principles of mutual respect and understanding.
The flexibility and breadth of our curriculum allows every student to excel according
to what inspires and motivates them. The strictures of a mainstream education have proved
alienating and ill-suited to the specialist needs of our students. At IMHS, we believe in
adventuring beyond the conventions of the classroom, opening up the wider world along the way.
We strike a balance between formal class-based learning and practical exercises away from desks. We revel in the opportunity to be creative, innovative, and imaginative. Preparing our students to live independently as healthy, happy, fulfilled adults is the driving force behind all that we do.
Our curriculum comprises three areas: My Foundation, My Being, and Our World.
Each area is designed to develop analytical, social, and practical skills.
Each area offers the opportunity to work towards qualifications.
Each area addresses an essential aspect of an individual’s existence,
both in relation to themselves and to the wider community.
No area is entirely discrete; we combine them in thoughtfully devised projects that allow students to work together whilst continuing to work on the areas and interests best suited to them.
Our student to staff ratio ensures that we work closely with individuals, adapting our educational strategy accordingly and setting attainable goals. We are able to offer flexible access to one-to-one support, and constantly review our practices, implementing changes of tack and fresh ideas when necessary.
Each area has a leader who oversees their area’s core elements and co-ordinates with the other area leaders to make sure that the different aspects of learning complement one another, providing students with a well-rounded education. Our intensive support is crucial for building trust and confidence, without which building a solid foundation for their future would not be possible.
The curriculum at Ian Mikardo is a ‘Needs Based, Skills Focused and Learner Centred’ model, focused on the development of skills and personal attributes that combine to equip learners with the social, emotional and educational skills to live fulfilled lives at home, in the workplace and within the community.
Our curricular approach is based on the principles of Bronfenbrenner’s ‘Bio-ecological Model of Child Development’. The model describes human development as a transactional process through which growth is influenced by interactions with various aspects and ‘spheres’ of the environment. Bronfenbrenner’s model encourages us to consider how the interaction between the individual and their environment shapes and moulds perceptions, attitudes and aspirations, as they progress through the developmental phases of their lives.
Further information can be found here.
For a full and detailed specification of our school’s curriculum, please see here
Deputy Head (IMHS) Trust Safeguarding and Compliance Reporting Lead
Assistant Head Teacher
Lynn St Phillip-Ross
Lead Welfare and Inclusion Practitioner
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Head of Sixth Form, Head of Careers
Attendance and Welfare Coordinator
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Aaron was educated at St Joseph's Secondary School in Derry City, Ireland. His experience there gave him a meaningful,
positive grounding in the value of others, a sense of always working towards being a better person and contributing whatever
talent he had to the benefit of the community and society. His hope is to live up to that aspiration.
In Derry, Aaron learned that the value of education isn't about 'being the best' but being 'your best'.
He feels lucky to have experienced some wonderfully committed teachers working in difficult circumstances, setting him on the path of emulating their example.
In 2003, after studying at St. Mary's College in Strawberry Hill, Aaron had the opportunity to work at IMHS and did so for three years, as the Numeracy & Literacy coordinator. He then left to train as a Physiotherapist. Aaron has always been captivated by the ethos, spirit and practices of IMHS school and so he jumped at the chance to return in 2012. He accepted the position as Teacher of Maths and has had roles as leader of the 'My Passport' Dept.; Deputy Head Teacher; and now leader of the school.
Aaron's aspirations for the school mirror the aspirations of his own teachers in his formative years and those of IMHS, hitherto lead by Claire Lillis since 2002. Aaron believes in the importance of recognising the value and talents of the students and staff in our community and helping them grow through their challenges, in pursuit of a meaningful and purposeful future. He is committed to supporting our students who come with a past, to leave with a future.
Preparing our students for working life is integral to our curriculum.
From the moment they join our school our careers leader, Karen Raftery, gets to
know each student’s strengths and interests. We tailor learning and activities to the individual.
We seek to inspire our students, unearth vocations, and equip them with the transferrable skills
necessary for realising their interests in the working world.
By embedding our careers programme in our curriculum, we ensure that careers are not thought of as some distant future separate to one’s education. All staff play an active part in preparing students to live as confident, independent adults. Over the years, we have cultivated links with a diverse range of employers. These connections provide our students with invaluable opportunities to develop skills, spark interest, and contribute to the wider community.
Helping students learn about themselves, their interests and their strengths is an important part of supporting them in their transition from primary to secondary school. During this year they complete a self-assessment and self-development journal mapping the development of their skills. We also introduce crucial concepts and terminology to do with the workplace at this early stage, including discussions and lessons about tax, wage slips, and the cost of living.
At this stage, we introduce students to the mechanics of the workplace. In their exploration of the world of work, they gain an understanding of employers’ expectations and the labour market, as well as beginning to build the key and soft skills needed for employment.
In order to help students discover what types of work inspire them, we have a rich and diverse programme of courses, workshops, and visits to careers fairs to present them with a multitude of careers options. Whether it be a life course run by the London Fire Brigade or a course in coding, by drawing on our many connections to people in industry, we ensure that students have every opportunity to discover their vocation.
During the course of this year, students participate in a programme carefully designed to help them apply to their place or position of choice, whether that be a job, placement or college. Each will learn how to write a personal statement, a CV, and a cover letter, as well as being coached in interview technique. These practical skills will equip students to secure work placements that they will undertake in sixth form.
In this year we concentrate on supporting students in making vital decisions about their future. Through a programme of education, information and one-on-one guidance, we help each seriously consider and explore their options. We present them with a range of opportunities for further learning and qualification, including sixth form, FE College, apprenticeships and school leaver programmes. By connecting with each individual, taking into account their strengths and interests, we support them in effective decision-making and plans for their future.
Students attend a work placement in their chosen field 1-2 days a week for the duration of the academic year. These placements help them to work towards a BTEC Vocational Qualification, allowing them to create a portfolio of evidence for individual units.
In their final year at IMHS, we aim to set students firmly on their future paths. Each attends a course 3 days a week, selected on the basis of their chosen vocation. In the 2 other days of the school week, their learning and activities are geared towards developing the core and soft skills necessary for their chosen career.