Bruce Grove 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 Bruce Grove Primary School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Headteacher Janice George
Year 4 instrument recital
Bruce Grove Primary and Nursery School is a culturally
diverse community school set in the heart of Tottenham
in north London. Headteacher Janice George says that
there is a common sense of belonging that brings the entire
community together, thereby fostering a genuine feeling of
family which is always commented upon by visitors. Their
Ofsted report also remarked that “pupils feel a strong sense
of pride in their school” and that “the school nurtures pupils
well through its positive ethos and values”. This does not come
without hard work, however, which Janice goes on to describe
in greaterdetail.
Progress has been consistently above national standards for several years, and
Bruce Grove School has maintained its “good” grading for over a decade in a
climate of increased academic challenge, socio-economic deprivation, high mobility
and budget cuts.
Underpinning all that we do is a strong commitment to community; effective
systems; rich, relevant and exciting learning experiences; and a solid foundation
in the teaching of reading, writing and mathematics. All of this has enabled us to
maintain, and build on, the excellent quality of education that we provide.
We encourage our parents to come and learn with their children in weekly
open morning classes. Parents take part in sessions ranging from phonics to
»Headteacher: Janice George
»Founded in 1893
»Located in Tottenham,
»Type of school: Community
primary school
»No. of pupils: 423
»Ofsted (Oct 2017) rated school
as “good”
Bruce Grove Primary
Highlighting best practice
»20 per cent eligible for
free school meals
»73 per cent speak
English as an additional
»23 per cent SEND
»24 per cent mobility
observational drawing. Open mornings
provide an opportunity for families to
see their children settled, socialising
and learning, which also has the effect
of strengthening parental engagement.
We provide a range of opportunities
for parents to support their children
through the use of a family support
worker, speech and language
therapists, a school counsellor, and
workshops on parenting, dental
hygiene and healthy eating. Over
the years, our Parent Teacher and
Friends Association has organised
numerous cultural events, celebrating
our diversity through music, dance
Our children have many opportunities
to influence school life. We have a
school council led by our head and
deputy boys and girls, who meet
regularly to decide on ways to improve
the school experience and raise funds.
Recent initiatives such as Non-Black
Shoe Day and Express Yourself Day
have helped raise money to purchase
additional playground equipment. Our
peer mediators are trained to resolve
conflicts between pupils at breaktimes,
and our Eco Warriors ensure that we
are recycling and reusing properly. Our
Sports Organising Crew take a lead in
running activities at breaktimes.
We have a stable and skilled staff at
Bruce Grove, many of whom joined
as newly qualified teachers and are
now middle and senior leaders within
the school. I myself joined the school
briefly in 2004 as an advanced skills
teacher and then returned in 2011
as deputy, taking on the substantive
post of headteacher in 2015. Having
a thorough knowledge of the children
and families has enabled the staff
team to provide effective provision for
pupils. Nurturing staff development
and providing opportunities for
continual professional growth against
a backdrop of outstanding pupil
behaviour and focus for learning has
meant that staff want to and can teach
at Bruce Grove.
We have a consistent approach to
many of our practices within the
school. It provides security and
equal opportunity for pupils and a
shared understanding and clarity
to staff. Consistency is a key driver
in all we do, which allows for
»Behaviour: our system for behaviour
is a strength of the school. It is
based on shared values known as
the Bruce Grove Benchmarks, which
Enterprise Week food
and drink sale
We provide a
range of
for parents to
support their
are consistently applied through
positive reinforcement and rewards.
These are displayed throughout the
school and where appropriate linked
»Quality first teaching: a common
approach to teaching and learning
is understood by all teaching and
support staff, which includes
features such as the sharing and
contextualising of the learning
intention and success criteria, self-
assessment, green pen responses
to feedback, paired talk, discrete
vocabulary teaching, pupils taking on
roles in practical collaborative group
work, and the use of visuals.
»Assessment: we have a
comprehensive system for tracking
pupil progress; as a result, support
and intervention is appropriately
targeted with effective results. This
ensures that standards in group or
subject performance are maintained.
»Marking: we highlight what is good
and provide next steps that are
routinely responded to, leading to
improvements in pupil work.
»Classroom organisation: guidelines
for an enabling environment are set
and the children make frequent use
of our working walls and resources.
The curriculum is themed and begins
with a “wow event” and ends with
a “fabulous finish”. Topics reflect
the children’s experiences and
backgrounds, such as “The Windrush
Generation” and “Islamic Civilisation”.
We strive to provide exciting
experiences for pupils. In year 4,
children learn a woodwind instrument.
All classes go out on visits at least
once a half-term and all visit a place of
worship each year. In Key Stage 2, we
have annual sleepovers. Year 5 pupils
have a pen-pal link with students
in Norfolk, which culminates in an
exchange visit for both schools.
Focus on the core
Phonic teaching is rigorous and
provides children with a solid
foundation for reading and spelling.
Frequent independent reading is well
established at the school through the
use of Accelerated Reader. Children
steadily move through the reading
zones, developing their independence
and self-confidence in doing so.
Moreover, we have altered reading
provision so that every class reads
quality, age-appropriate texts,
embedding key skills and learning
behaviours and resulting in a joy
of reading and rising attainment at
the end of Key Stage 2. We have
developed a system for teaching
arithmetic and grammar, punctuation
and spelling called guided practice,
which is done daily, providing
purposeful practice in the core skills.
At Bruce Grove, we constantly review
what we do in light of pupil needs and
the changing educational landscape. In
the end, our core purpose is to ensure
every child has the opportunities
they’re entitled to.
Having a
knowledge of
the children and
families has
enabled the
staff team to
provide effective
provision for
Head boys and girls

This article was sponsored by Bruce Grove Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.