Bowmansgreen Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Bowmansgreen Primary 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 Bowmansgreen Primary 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

Beautiful rural grounds for play,
eco-school and forest school
Headteacher Anna
Lippa (right) and Deputy
Headteacher Claire Golding
Bowmansgreen Primary School have adapted their provision
to meet the needs of their pupils, focusing on combining the
pastoral with the academic to ensure the full development
of each student. Headteacher Anna Lippa had previously worked
as an inclusion manager for students with special educational
needs and this experience has been applied to designing a
comprehensive support programme for all, particularly their most
vulnerable students. She tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the
progress they have made over the last few years and how their
location close to the London boundary brings specific challenges.
We are a vibrant community school, committed to providing a high-quality,
inclusive education. We have an increasingly wide catchment area and are now
able to offer our school experience to students from farther afield. Despite there
being fewer children within our natural catchment area because of the birth rate
decreasing, we have been able to maintain student numbers by attracting students
from outside the locality.
We have high expectations of all our pupils and teach and support them to
work hard, behave well and give their best. We seek to provide a nurturing,
stimulating learning environment where all pupils succeed, underlined by our
mission statement: “Inspiring, nurturing and achieving excellence together.” This
is supported by our school vision, which is: “For all pupils to flourish, succeed and
achieve their potential.”
»Headteacher: Anna Lippa
»Founded in 1952
»Based in London Colney
»Type: Two-form entry
community school
»No. of students: 356
Primary School
Highlighting best practice
Our school mission statement and
vision underpin everything that we do.
We value and celebrate each and every
one of our pupils as individuals and
get to know them all well enough to
personalise their learning experience
and pathway to success. We aim to
ensure that coming to school is a
positive experience for every pupil.
Mixing the academic and the
We understand that children learn
best when they are happy and feel
secure, and we work hard to make
this a reality every day. We seek to
nurture the whole child throughout
their journey with us and to support
pupils effectively, covering both their
academic progress and their social and
emotional development. It is equally
important to us that pupils develop
their self-esteem, independence and
resilience as their academic knowledge
and skills.
As a primary school, we have the
responsibility of laying the foundations
for lifelong learning.Watching pupils
progress through the school and
seeing them ready and prepared
for the next stage of their academic
careers is a privilege and responsibility
that I do not take lightly.I am very
proud of the curriculum and provision
that we offer, and I strongly believe
in the choices that we make for the
pupils entrusted into our care. We
nurture, challenge and support well-
rounded, happy, responsible pupils
who recognise and celebrate their own
achievements and aspirations, as well
as those of their peers.
We are very much a community school
and build strong partnerships with
families, local businesses and other
services within the area.If you choose
to send your child to our school, I am
sure that you will feel welcomed as
part of our community and will enjoy
the many varied experiences and
opportunities to get involved.
Adapting to the needs of our
Many of our students struggle with
language and communication skills
or have special educational needs,
either diagnosed or undiagnosed.
The complexity of these issues is
a challenge, so we offer a lot of
support for socialisation. Before
becoming headteacher, I worked
as an inclusion manager, and feel
strongly that our provision offers a
curriculum and culture to support and
include all pupils, including our most
vulnerable. We have school-based
psychotherapists and an art therapist
We nurture and
challenge all pupils
through a broad, rich
curriculum, including
regular PE and fitness
All pupils share in the
care of our school
We value and
celebrate each
and every one
of our pupils
as individuals
and get to
know them all
well enough
to personalise
their learning
to assist children with emotional
difficulties and undiagnosed special
educational needs. Our curriculum
is tailored to supplement this, with
outdoor learning, school animals, a
nurture room and forest school.
As with all schools, it is essential
to get our harder-to-reach families
through the door. We have an open-
door policy, meaning that even if
people drop in, we remain accessible.
Regular meetings with parents help
them to support their children with
their academic work as well as their
emotional and mental health needs.
We have also run a programme of
parent workshops that focus on
different parts of the curriculum.
This year, we launched our new
school website and app, designed to
easily and frequently signpost and
disseminate information and news.
Many of our parents are worried about
online safety, so we have instigated a
workshop on this too. This dialogue
promotes a sense of community and
means that everyone is involved.
The challenges of our local
One of the main challenges we face,
much like many schools in our area,
is our status as a fringe school. As
we are classed as outer London, we
do not receive the additional funding
that is given to inner-city schools.
Our proximity to this area, as we are
only about three kilometres away
from being classified as inner city,
means that teachers can earn higher
salaries by moving just down the
road. Thismakes the recruitment and
retention of the best staff a particular
More generally, the demographics of
our area have changed significantly.
Whereas once there was very little
movement of residents, the area has
become much more transient, with an
influx of working professionals coming
into the area and longer-established
families moving out. This has led to a
change in expectations from parents,
as they have become more discerning.
Much like with our teachers, parents
have a range of schools they can
choose from, so it is essential that
we demonstrate our benefits. When
I first arrived at the school, one of my
priorities was to stabilise staff turnover
and to demonstrate clearly, to both
parents and staff, what our school
could offer.
To ensure we maintain our progress,
we have designed a two-year school
improvement plan. Our priorities are
not likely to change significantly,
and we are focusing on continuing
to improve the quality of teaching
and learning. We have managed to
improve student outcomes significantly
over the last two years, and it is great
for both the pupils and their parents to
see these results. We are also looking
to develop our middle and senior
leaders to fortify this improvement and
ensure that we can continue to grow
and improve.
As with all
schools, it is
essential to
get our
reach families
through the
All pupils benefit from
weekly music lessons,
including EYFS

This article was sponsored by Bowmansgreen 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 Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development