Bantock Primary School

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Bantock Primary School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Headteacher Harvey Sarai
Learning walls scaffolding,
reflecting and extending learning
Bantock Primary School is located in Penn Fields,
Wolverhampton, in an area of high social deprivation
which puts the school in the lowest six per cent nationally.
The majority of its students face multiple barriers which
impede learning, such as social economic deprivation, low prior
attainment, social care involvement, a wide range of proficiency
in English, and issues with mental health and wellbeing.
Headteacher Harvey Sarai explains more.
Assessment on entry to the Early Years Foundation Stage and throughout school in
any year group shows many of our children have underdeveloped communication
skills, little or no English, and poor personal, social and emotional development.
Consequently, the attainment of many of our children on entry is well below
developmental expectations, and the proportion of pupils who speak English as
an additional language is more than double the national average. A proportion
of these children are new to the country, with no English and little or no
School mobility ranges between 48 per cent and 54 per cent year on year, putting
us in the lowest quantile for stability nationally. We are significantly above the
national average for disadvantaged pupils, while a proportion of families have
no recourse to public funds and are supported financially and emotionally by
Our ethos aims to minimise the risk factors associated with these barriers to
learning through early identification, prevention and intervention for all pupils,
regardless of race, culture, gender or social status.
»Headteacher: Harvey Sarai
»Established in 2000
»Based in Wolverhampton, West
»Type of School: Primary
»No. of pupils: 389
»Our core ethos is for all our
children to SHINE
Bantock Primary
Highlighting best practice
Minimising barriers:
We aim to equip learners with
knowledge, the capacity to apply their
skills, an understanding of necessary
values to thrive in a diverse society and
a curiosity to become independent
lifelong learners.
Through research, professional
development and a motivation to help
all pupils reach their true potential,
we began to develop a pedagogy that
suited all the needs of our learners.
Teaching at Bantock Primary School
is learning centred, meaning that
each element of teaching practice is
researched and constructed with how
children can learn best at its heart.
We work to ensure our learning
models engage our pupils and
ultimately enhance academic language
development. There is continuous
provision for supporting and extending
the learning with the child.
Therefore, we use concrete and visual
learning to develop academic language
structures, narrow gaps and support
pupils to self-regulate learning. This
is a sustained focus for all learning
and curriculum development, coupled
with regulating emotional health and
mental wellbeing barriers.
Minimising barriers:
emotional regulation
After evaluating social, emotional
and mental health in 2018, we were
awarded silver status from the Carnegie
Centre of Excellence for Mental Health
in Schools, the School of Sanctuary
Award and the Rights Respecting
School Award, and we also have staff
trained as mental health firstaiders.
As a scaffold to support pupils in
discussing their feelings, and therefore
to develop emotional regulation, we
use visual representation including
emojis. This allows children to identify
and communicate a feeling that they
may otherwise not be able to put into
words. Through careful questioning,
children are then supported to identify
why they are feeling this way, to
resolve any problems and to consider
their consequences and choices.
There are a broad range of extracurricular
opportunities to develop the health and
wellbeing of pupils and staff in order
to decrease risk factors associated with
mental health and increase potential for
Enhancing physical and mental health, fitness and
resilience through sport
Fostering creativity and imagination, through the
augmentation of a life-long love of reading
Our ethos aims
to minimise
the risk factors
associated with
these barriers
to learning
through early
prevention and
intervention for
all pupils,
regardless of
race, culture,
gender or
social status
Minimising barriers:
Approximately forty languages are
spoken at our school, with many pupils
being bilingual or even trilingual.
Thisenhances the already harmonious
ethos, as pupils act as “ambassadors”
to help the high numbers of new
pupils to transition into school by
acting as interpreters and buddies.
Personal development is also promoted
through ambassadors having
responsibility to lead on supporting
with e-safety learning, social and
emotional aspects, and sports skills.
Pupils are also encouraged to take
ownership for peer learning by
researching, developing and presenting
whole school assemblies related to global
values, including rule of law, individual
liberty, and respect and tolerance, so that
differences in wider life are respected.
Minimising barriers:
parental engagement
The importance of parents’ involvement
in their children’s learning is utilised to
develop strong links between home
and school. To facilitate parental
engagement, we employ parent
ambassadors who work closely and
effectively together, explaining the
school’s expectations, increasing
parents’ knowledge and understanding
of the UK school system, and supporting
pupils. They support families in accessing
health services and run monthly “chatter
sessions”, advising on personal matters.
The future of education
At Bantock we see education as part
of developing the whole child, and we
instil a strong moral purpose so that
they might blossom and succeed in
society. Outcomes from our wellbeing
scale showed more pupils enjoying
what each new day brings, feeling
proud of their achievements and
getting on well with others.
Due to our unique context, school
leaders’ evaluation of our work has
been a key contributing factor to an
improvement in our priorities. Precise
actions have resulted in a dramatic
improvement so that at each key stage
we are adding value from entry starting
points. The result is that the majority
of pupils leave Bantock at the expected
standard, which demonstrates better-
than-expected progress. For example,
in writing, progress over the last three
years has been well above average or
above average, putting the school in
the top 20 per cent nationally.
Precise actions
have resulted
in a dramatic
so that we are
adding value
from all entry
starting points
Bantock Primary is a vibrant and stimulating place to learn with a
diverse population in an inner-city area of Wolverhampton. Our core
ethos is for all our children to SHINE:
»Succeed: we want all children to be confident and successful
learners who achieve their very best by working together and
constantly striving towards a cohesive community.
»Happy: we provide a fun, stimulating learning environment where
each new day brings fresh challenges and rewards.
»Inspire: we aim to inspire all our children by our creative and
imaginative approach to the curriculum, providing a firm
foundation for lifelong learning.
»Nurture: we build strong relationships based on trust and respect.
The voice of our pupils is highly valued by us all, and we listen,
value and act on what is important to our children.
»Educate: we treat all children as individuals, carefully monitoring
their progress and planning the next steps on their learning
journey so that they can achieve the highest-possible standards in
everything they do.
Providing life-long
memories and instiling
a sense of emotional

This article was sponsored by Bantock Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy