Brunswick House Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Brunswick House 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 Brunswick House 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

www.brunswick-house.kent.sch.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | BRUNSWICK HOUSE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Headteacher Wendy Skinner
Highly-skilled teachers provide
the children with a variety of
exciting opportunities
Between 2012 and 2016, Maidstone-based Brunswick House
Primary School focused heavily on teaching and learning.
They received recognition for this from Ofsted in 2016 as
well as for their positive attitude towards pedagogy, something
that was reflected in their successful SATs and phonics outcomes.
However, more work was needed to strengthen the leadership
team, including governance, so that the school could clearly
demonstrate the work that it was doing to move the school from
strength to strength. Headteacher Wendy Skinner says more
about this journey and the school’s commitment to best practice.
Our history and background story
The school moved to a two-deputy structure in 2017 and established designated
champions within the leadership team for pupil outcomes, inclusion, safeguarding
and the curriculum. Governors created an in-depth skills matrix, enabling them
to easily identify the areas to recruit in. This robust recruitment strengthened the
skill set of the governors further and enabled them to track and support school
development with confidence.
Something that has never been in doubt, from one Ofsted inspection to the next,
is our passionate commitment to providing the very best we can for every learner.
Our vision of “Enjoying the Journey to Success” forms the foundation of everything
we do. We inspire our pupils to achieve this with a high-quality and challenging
curriculum in a child-centred and stimulating learning environment that our pupils
have proudly developed alongside us.
REPORT CARD
BRUNSWICK HOUSE
PRIMARYSCHOOL
»Headteacher: Wendy Skinner
»Founded in 1949
»Located in Maidstone, Kent
»Type of school: Primary
»No. of students: 420
»The school was resited in 2002
on Leafy Lane in a modern
two-form entry building
Brunswick House
Primary School
19BRUNSWICK HOUSE PRIMARY SCHOOL |
PRIMARY EDUCATION
Building a school on a set of clearly
identifiable and shared values is crucial.
Our values of respect, teamwork,
empathy, honesty and self-belief were
inspired by the 2012 Olympics, and
they lie at the very heart of our ethos.
Everyone is actively encouraged to
demonstrate the school’s values in all that
they do, and we celebrate achievements
linked to these and encourage our
families to be a part of this.
Our belief is that every child will
succeed at our school, irrespective
of their starting point. Everyone is
good at something – you just have to
find it and make the journey towards
realising it exciting and inspirational.
That means that pupils must be at the
centre of all of our decisions, including
the ones that shape their curriculum
and improve their school.
Pupil Voice
Pupil Voice is a driving force at our
school, and our pupils help to lead the
school in many ways. We have created
a myriad of opportunities for our
children to be ambassadors within our
school, and they take part in democratic
elections to earn their posts. From peer
mediators to house captains, and from
sports ambassadors to senior pupil
leadership team members, our students
relish the opportunity to take on key
roles to improve opportunities and drive
up standards for their peers across the
school and in their link school in Malawi.
This has led to great success, including
national awards in sport, the arts,
online safety and music, as well as
“Silver: Rights Aware” accreditation
from Unicef as part of its highly
coveted Rights Respecting Schools
Award. Our children have also been
key drivers in the creation of our year
1 outside-classroom, forest-school
area and, after many months of
campaigning, a zebra crossing, with
which they have actually made their
community a safer place.
Once pupils can see the part they play
in their school, their sense of ownership
is heightened. They want great things
for their school, because they see
them happening, and they want an
inspiring curriculum that brings them
into school every morning full of hope
and anticipation. Ofsted reported:
“Pupils are confident, articulate and
well-prepared both for the next steps
in their education and life beyond.”
We encourage our children to be critical
thinkers, risk-takers and growth-mindset
enthusiasts. Our children are partners in
their learning journey and owners of the
enrichment opportunities that augment
this. They are exposed to a range
of opportunities that stimulate their
interests. These are complemented by
our wonderful school grounds, including
an eco-greenhouse that the children
built in collaboration with trainee
architects from the University of Kent.
A curriculum that enriches the
whole person
The breadth and complexity of our
curriculum is crucial – it must prepare
our children for their futures; it has to
excite and enthuse them about learning
for years to come. It must also provide
them with skills and knowledge that
will help them to do jobs that may not
yet have been invented.
Brunswick House
Primary School
Our belief is
that every
child will
succeed at our
school,
irrespective of
their starting
point
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
18 | BRUNSWICK HOUSE PRIMARY SCHOOL
Headteacher Wendy Skinner
Highly-skilled teachers provide
the children with a variety of
exciting opportunities
Between 2012 and 2016, Maidstone-based Brunswick House
Primary School focused heavily on teaching and learning.
They received recognition for this from Ofsted in 2016 as
well as for their positive attitude towards pedagogy, something
that was reflected in their successful SATs and phonics outcomes.
However, more work was needed to strengthen the leadership
team, including governance, so that the school could clearly
demonstrate the work that it was doing to move the school from
strength to strength. Headteacher Wendy Skinner says more
about this journey and the school’s commitment to best practice.
Our history and background story
The school moved to a two-deputy structure in 2017 and established designated
champions within the leadership team for pupil outcomes, inclusion, safeguarding
and the curriculum. Governors created an in-depth skills matrix, enabling them
to easily identify the areas to recruit in. This robust recruitment strengthened the
skill set of the governors further and enabled them to track and support school
development with confidence.
Something that has never been in doubt, from one Ofsted inspection to the next,
is our passionate commitment to providing the very best we can for every learner.
Our vision of “Enjoying the Journey to Success” forms the foundation of everything
we do. We inspire our pupils to achieve this with a high-quality and challenging
curriculum in a child-centred and stimulating learning environment that our pupils
have proudly developed alongside us.
REPORT CARD
BRUNSWICK HOUSE
PRIMARYSCHOOL
»Headteacher: Wendy Skinner
»Founded in 1949
»Located in Maidstone, Kent
»Type of school: Primary
»No. of students: 420
»The school was resited in 2002
on Leafy Lane in a modern
two-form entry building
Brunswick House
Primary School
19BRUNSWICK HOUSE PRIMARY SCHOOL |
PRIMARY EDUCATION
Building a school on a set of clearly
identifiable and shared values is crucial.
Our values of respect, teamwork,
empathy, honesty and self-belief were
inspired by the 2012 Olympics, and
they lie at the very heart of our ethos.
Everyone is actively encouraged to
demonstrate the school’s values in all that
they do, and we celebrate achievements
linked to these and encourage our
families to be a part of this.
Our belief is that every child will
succeed at our school, irrespective
of their starting point. Everyone is
good at something – you just have to
find it and make the journey towards
realising it exciting and inspirational.
That means that pupils must be at the
centre of all of our decisions, including
the ones that shape their curriculum
and improve their school.
Pupil Voice
Pupil Voice is a driving force at our
school, and our pupils help to lead the
school in many ways. We have created
a myriad of opportunities for our
children to be ambassadors within our
school, and they take part in democratic
elections to earn their posts. From peer
mediators to house captains, and from
sports ambassadors to senior pupil
leadership team members, our students
relish the opportunity to take on key
roles to improve opportunities and drive
up standards for their peers across the
school and in their link school in Malawi.
This has led to great success, including
national awards in sport, the arts,
online safety and music, as well as
“Silver: Rights Aware” accreditation
from Unicef as part of its highly
coveted Rights Respecting Schools
Award. Our children have also been
key drivers in the creation of our year
1 outside-classroom, forest-school
area and, after many months of
campaigning, a zebra crossing, with
which they have actually made their
community a safer place.
Once pupils can see the part they play
in their school, their sense of ownership
is heightened. They want great things
for their school, because they see
them happening, and they want an
inspiring curriculum that brings them
into school every morning full of hope
and anticipation. Ofsted reported:
“Pupils are confident, articulate and
well-prepared both for the next steps
in their education and life beyond.”
We encourage our children to be critical
thinkers, risk-takers and growth-mindset
enthusiasts. Our children are partners in
their learning journey and owners of the
enrichment opportunities that augment
this. They are exposed to a range
of opportunities that stimulate their
interests. These are complemented by
our wonderful school grounds, including
an eco-greenhouse that the children
built in collaboration with trainee
architects from the University of Kent.
A curriculum that enriches the
whole person
The breadth and complexity of our
curriculum is crucial – it must prepare
our children for their futures; it has to
excite and enthuse them about learning
for years to come. It must also provide
them with skills and knowledge that
will help them to do jobs that may not
yet have been invented.
Brunswick House
Primary School
Our belief is
that every
child will
succeed at our
school,
irrespective of
their starting
point
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | BRUNSWICK HOUSE PRIMARY SCHOOL
We want our children to investigate
like scientists, research like historians
and explore like archaeologists – and
to do that, our curriculum must create
these opportunities. You simply
cannot leave a stone unturned in these
seven special and important years of
children’s lives. Their future decisions
and paths depend on it.
Bringing everyone on board
We admit families, not just children.
Parents, grandparents, aunts and
uncles are all invited to be a part of
their child’s education, from helping
on school trips to assisting in forest
school sessions, cooking, and hearing
children read. A strong partnership
with the families that we serve is vital
for each child’s success, and we invest
heavily in the connections we make
before a child starts school by having
a comprehensive series of visits and
information sessions.
Our skilled team of governors know us
well. They challenge staff and pupils
to reflect and build on their strengths,
while working alongside us to plan for
the future and improve our children’s
life chances further.
Ofsted said in 2018 that we are “a
harmonious and unified community”.
The all-important high-quality
teaching and learning
The most important thing is to have a
good teacher in every classroom – this
is non-negotiable. Over the last six
years, we have worked hard to train
and retain high-quality teachers and
support staff through rigorous CPD,
as well as coaching and mentoring
support. Staff are key drivers of their
own learning journey. This ensures
they remain invested in being part of
the school team.
Sharing inspirational practice enables
our staff to improve their teaching
at Brunswick House. They take part
every year in the lesson study approach
and video their teaching as part of
our in-house Higher-Level Teaching
Programme. Ideas and strategies are
then shared with all staff to strengthen
teaching further. Everyone has
something to bring to the table.
Our attitude towards work-life
balance is simple: we believe that not
a moment should be wasted. Time is
of the essence. Meetings are focused
and are working or training sessions;
no one leaves a session with more
to do. Time is given back where staff
devote additional time to the children,
either through after-school clubs or
residentials. A headteacher is only as
good as the staff who work alongside
her – so valuing the team is crucial.
This commitment to ensuring everyone
is valued is a foundation of our
success, now and into the future.
’Every day is a
learning day at
Brunswick
House’ is a
catchphrase
that has caught
on with all
learners
Staff and children are fiercely proud of the school. Our school
questionnaires regularly demonstrate this. Attendance is above the
national average. Staff say they are proud to work here (100 per cent
in the 2017/18 questionnaire). Our children want to come to school,
and 97.8 per cent of their parents agree that they “enjoy school”
(2018/19 parent questionnaire: 176 responses).
Pupils enjoying the
outdoor environment
21CANADA HILL COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL |
PRIMARY EDUCATION
Developing a love of reading
Building strong friendships
Canada Hill Primary School sits between the ancient village
and the relatively new and expanding estate of East
Ogwell, outside Newton Abbot in Devon. Having been
rated as “outstanding” in 2008, the school has a big reputation
to maintain; Headteacher Delphine Knott and her team have
worked tirelessly to move the school forwards and not sit back
on their success. She tells
The Parliamentary Review
more about
how they believe all children can flourish, and the challenges
they currently face in today’s political and educational climate.
Pupils and parents have always chosen our school because of our friendly and
relaxed atmosphere, the caring nature of the staff and our happy children.
One of the main challenges that we have faced has been maintaining our own
sense of what is “outstanding” while the political and educational landscape has
been in a constant state of flux.
A strong team around the child
We know every one of our children. Our staff care about all the children in the
school, and treat all pupils equally with the belief that, given time and love,
everyone can succeed and flourish.
We give them as much of our time as is needed; during lunchtime, you will find
staff sat having lunch with the pupils, volunteering in the lunchtime drop-in club or
chatting to children in the corridor.
REPORT CARD
CANADA HILL COMMUNITY
PRIMARY SCHOOL
»Headteacher: Delphine Knott
»Founded in 1991
»Based in Newton Abbot,
Devon
»Type of school: Community
primary
»No. of pupils: 350
»Combined staff teaching
experience of over 300 years
»www.canadahill.devon.sch.uk
Canada Hill Community
Primary School

www.brunswick-house.kent.sch.uk

This article was sponsored by Brunswick House 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