Bowlee Park Community School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Bowlee Park Community School's best practice article

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 Bowlee Park Community School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Reading is at the heart of our
Bowlee Park senior
leadership team
Bowlee Park Community Primary School is one of the largest
primary schools in Greater Manchester and serves many
vulnerable families in an area of significant deprivation.
Growing larger each year because of local birth rate and housing
increases, they currently have over 750 pupils on roll, with over
50 per cent eligible for pupil premium. In 2010, the school was
designated “outstanding” by Ofsted and has maintained that
grade for seven years. Head teacher Aleks Hartshorne discusses
how they have achieved such consistent excellence.
Strong leadership is the key to our success. We have grown to meet the needs of
our school’s expansion, and the senior leadership team has been restructured. It
now consists of myself, the deputy and three assistant head teachers, all with high
levels of skill and expertise.
We lead with energy, tenacity, humour and warmth, developing confident middle
leaders and a trusting and supportive environment. As we strive for continued
improvement, we both challenge and celebrate our successes in equal measure.
A “bold” foundation
Many of our children begin school with limited learning experience and social skills,
so it is essential that they have an outstanding start to their education and make
rapid progress in their first years at school. As the Ofsted report “BoldBeginnings”
outlines, the reception year, and for us, the nursery too, is vital for later success.
We ensure direct daily teaching of reading, writing and mathematics in order to
make these early years count.
Bowlee Park Community
Primary School
»Head teacher:
»Founded in 2008
»Based in Middleton
»Type of school: Four-form
entry mixed primary school
»No. of pupils: 770
»Ofsted: “Outstanding”
Highlighting best practice
We build good relationships with
families before pupils start with us
in September. We have an extensive
programme of events and activities
to guarantee support for parents and
children even before they join the
school. This is an essential element
of the personalised care and learning
we offer. Our highly skilled staff
deliver targeted programmes to meet
the needs of our children in our
outstanding early years environment.
Our school is characterised by its
beautiful, spacious and orderly
environment. We provide well-
organised, modern and highly
maintained indoor and outdoor areas
for our children, parents and staff,
all located at the heart of our local
community. Our fabulous resources,
which include a large 4D immersive
space, a custom-made machine
SHOKK gym and two sports halls, have
been the envy of visiting colleagues.
Our spacious classrooms, superb IT
equipment and modern staff room
reflect the value we place on the
wellbeing of everyone.
Success for all
We have used our pupil premium to
fund additional specialist staff, who
ensure the quality of our teaching
and learning for a high number of
children from deprived backgrounds.
A large part of our provision is focused
on addressing barriers to learning
both in and out of the classroom.
We have two dedicated full-time
family workers who support parents
and children with a wide variety
of social, emotional and economic
difficulties. Our own specially trained
staff deliver speech and language
therapy alongside therapeutic inclusion
programmes within school to address
communication, mental health and
wellbeing issues.
To ensure that we open every avenue
of support for our children, we have
developed strong links with outside
agencies for health and education,
and maintain excellent relationships
with our local secondary schools. We
have recently joined an exciting school
partnership team, “The Arch Alliance”,
to share and explore best practice and
innovation in teaching and learning.
While working hard to support our
families’ needs, we are also determined
to see all pupils leave the school
well equipped for the next stage of
theireducation. Governors, senior
leaders and staff believe passionately
in a shared vision of success for all our
children. Above all, we want our pupils
to be good readers, good writers and
good mathematicians, so that they
will be able to learn effectively in
secondary school.
Seventy-four per cent of
our Key Stage 2 pupils
participate in afterschool
clubs and sports teams
Children develop good
learning behaviours from
the very beginning
respect and
ambition are
key to our
Resilience, respect and ambition
are key to our teaching, and these
are characteristics we strive to
develop in our learners. Despite
very low attainment and skills on
entry, our children achieve good
levels of development (GLD) close to
the national average by the end of
reception. Our phonics results in year 1
have been above the national average
every year. At the end of Key Stage1,
our pupils show considerable progress
and achieve in line with the national
average. We feel that the full impact of
our teaching and learning is evidenced
at the end of Key Stage2, where
progress and attainment in reading,
writing and maths has been above
the national average for all groups –
including our disadvantaged pupils –
The wider curriculum
Although we continue to focus on
maintaining our high attainment in the
core curriculum areas, we have also
worked very hard to deliver an exciting
and engaging foundation provision.
We have developed teams to lead each
curriculum area, and their camaraderie
and enthusiasm has been impressive
and impactful. The result has been
increasing confidence and expertise in
all areas of our curriculum and pupils
enjoying exciting and creative teaching.
Our popular theme weeks include
practical science, health and sports
week. We finish the year off with staff
and children in costume – complete
with multi-ethnic foods and national
dress. We are fortunate to have two
specialist PE teachers on our staff –
and a trophy cabinet full of awards for
our sports teams. More importantly,
they ensure excellence in the teaching
and learning of PE and take care
to promote the importance of a
We value the impact that music,
drama and art have on the lives of
our children and we employ specialist
peripatetic teachers to deliver lessons.
Our fantastic drama productions and
our award-winning choir are testament
to the importance of these elements of
our school life. We run 30 afterschool
clubs which include sport, music,
dance, drama and chess. Children are
exposed to the experiences that more
advantaged pupils enjoy outside school
hours, and every child has six class
trips each year to an amazing range
We empower students by teaching
them their rights; our school is part of
the Unicef Rights Respecting Schools
programme. Their confidence and
personal voice are both evident in our
school council, digital leaders’ team,
playground pals and rights respecting
leaders team.
Hard work and high expectations,
without compromise or excuses,
alongside strong and consistent
discipline, are entirely necessary to
ensure excellence at Bowlee Park. This
is tempered with friendship, humour
and love – all of which are key to
Hard work
and high
or excuses
Scientific enquiry
develops knowledge,
skills and teamwork

This article was sponsored by Bowlee Park Community 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