Christ Church CE Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Christ Church CE 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 Christ Church CE 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


Headteacher Elena Print and
Deputy Headteacher Sarah Harry
Children use technology
effectively to enhance their
Based in Barnet, Christ Church CE Primary and Nursery School
is dedicated to providing an environment in which children
practise respect, consideration and appreciation for one
another. Headteacher Elena Print tells
that the school is committed to pursuing excellence in learning
while also providing a setting in which each child feels safe and
valued. Elena says more about why she feels Christ Church is a
school where the pupils want to be.
The moment that you step inside our school, there is a sense of welcome. This is
often remarked upon by visitors, and it is an achievement of which we are very
proud. We want to provide an environment in which everyone feels valued, and,
through God’s love, we encourage our children to flourish. Central to this are our
Christian values of respect, compassion, perseverance, service, trust and wisdom,
which underpin our foundation.
Our curriculum
We believe that academic success is based upon developing natural curiosity, a
good attitude to learning and a love of school. Children are encouraged to be
active thinkers, use their initiative and lead their learning. Within the classroom,
there are opportunities to discuss, with children having “talk partners” to share
ideas and opinions with. They take a lead in their learning and are encouraged to
ask questions, formulate opinions and test out ideas.
»Headteacher: Elena Print
»Founded in 1844
»Based in Barnet, London
»Type of school: Vountary-
»No. of students: 236
»There are 24 different
languages spoken at Christ
Church CE Primary School
Christ Church CE Primary
School and Nursery
Highlighting best practice
We ensure that the curriculum is
relevant to the needs of our children,
is holistic and broad, and provides the
children with the knowledge and skills
they need to become lifelong learners.
We aim to provide high-quality
teaching and learning and thus strong
foundations for life. Ultimately, we
want to see individuals meeting their
potential and becoming the best they
can be.
Furthermore, our approach encourages
children to be active learners by
evaluating and reviewing their
learning. There is no ability grouping;
instead, children are taught to choose
their level of challenge. Children know
when they are in their optimal learning
zone or their comfort zone, or when
they are too highly challenged – and
they assess their learning accordingly.
By that same token, we prompt our
children to develop a growth mindset
and view mistakes as an indicator that
they are learning. It’s necessary to
encourage them to always have a go,
especially with new concepts.
Our curriculum is relevant to our
children. Teaching through projects
and first-hand experiences is essential
to ignite the enthusiasm of children
and facilitates deeper learning. It
supports an understanding of the
relevance of learning and the links
between all curriculum areas. Learning
is purposeful and fun, and the children
use their learning to answer the
questions they want answered.
Holistic learning in the
We are very fortunate to be
surrounded by fields – it’s an
environment which inspires and
positively impacts our children. We
value the benefits that learning outside
bring, both academically and in terms
of children’s wellbeing. A result of this
is that the children are able to develop
a range of skills and are confident and
active learners.
We are committed to continually
developing our outside learning areas
for every child, ensuring that the areas
are well planned for and provide
outdoor learning opportunities that
link all aspects of the curriculum.
We encourage our families to share
our passion for outdoor learning. Our
Den Day in particular is very popular
– it’s an occasion when parents join
their children to build dens and work
together to problem-solve. Our children
love our Forest School, and the teachers
are always finding new, exciting
projects to increase enthusiasm.
Our community
We want our children to feel part
of something wider. For this reason,
we are involved in a number of
community initiatives. The choir visits
local retirement homes, and children
play board games with the members of
our local church. They collect food for
the local food bank and help distribute
food at harvest. We encourage them
to fundraise for local and national
Confident, independent
This is a
and caring
school, where
children are
encouraged to
explore and
have fun
Ofsted, 2019
charities, and they have organised their
own bake sales. The children have a
true understanding of service to the
community, and their generosity in
raising money often brings with it
creativity and a sense of enterprise.
They have inspired a number of
different projects, from car washing
and chocolate-egg sales to the creation
of slime, all of which were very popular
with their peers.
To further foster a communitarian
spirit, we plan regular whole-school
projects. This year, the children set
up a school museum, which was very
successful with their families, especially
with grandparents.
The relationships between home and
school are robust, and parents provide
active support through a strong Friends
Committee. Parents have raised funds
for many exciting projects, including
an Art Hub and new playground
surfacing – both of which have had
a huge impact on opportunities for
children. The support of parents, and
the appreciation that they demonstrate
to the staff through kind words, has
created a school where everyone feels
welcomed andvalued.
Links with our local community are
strong, and we have been fortunate
to have their support with fundraising.
Our local church, parents and staff
completed a sponsored abseil
together, which raised money for the
school, and took part in a walk from
London to Brighton, which was a
huge achievement. This partnership
is nurtured and valued for the
experiences our children gain.
Student voice
We facilitate opportunities for children
to be involved and take account
of their ideas and suggestions for
improvement. We want to develop a
sense of responsibility and encourage
our children to play a role in all areas
of school life. The house captains
organise events. There is a school
council that meets regularly to bring
forth ideas and suggestions as well
as a termly whole-school conference
to discuss different themes around
school life. Children lead assemblies
and take part in regular learning walks
with senior leaders. The older children
serve as buddies for younger children.
Children are encouraged to get
involved in all aspects of school life,
which creates a sense of responsibility
and value.
Pastoral care and wellbeing
We believe that the foundation of
all learning lies with children having
a love of school and enjoying all the
experiences that it offers. We value
children’s wellbeing; as well as offering
a mentoring service for children who
need support through difficult times,
we provide an active learning mentor,
who supports them with friendship
issues. We have excellent attendance,
partly because each absence is
followed up, but also because the
children love coming to school each
day and feel that they miss out when
they’re not here – this, perhaps, is our
greatest achievement.
We want to
develop a
sense of
encourage our
children to
play a role in
all areas of
school life
Time spent in our
natural environment is
valued and well planned
for; this positively
influences our children’s
mental health and


This article was sponsored by Christ Church CE 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 The Rt Hon Professor The Lord Blunkett.

The Rt Hon Professor The Lord Blunkett's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Professor The Lord Blunkett

A new Prime Minister, a new Education Secretary and, as we're all painfully aware, a deeply uncertain future. It is in this context that the education service continues to deliver for individuals, communities and of course for our nation. 
There is no doubt whatsoever that the education service as a whole, schools, post 16/Further Education, and yes, lifelong learning, needs the most enormous injection of cash. Independent analysis shows that there has been at least an 8% average reduction in the amount of spend per pupil in our schools. Those damaged most by this have been pupils with special educational needs, whose voices are sadly rarely heard. The necessity of urgent action was underlined in July by the report of the all-party House of Commons Select Committee on Education. They could not have been clearer about the need for substantial funding and a long-term 10-year commitment. 
At the same time, there are a number of reviews taking place. One of them, in relation to post-16 qualifications, is in danger of a classic mistake by politicians and officials who have little or no understanding of the complex territory they're dealing with. Namely, the ridiculous proposition that BTEC National Diplomas might be set aside because 'T Levels are the gold standard'! 
I'm in favour of T Levels, but in the right context and for the right outcome. They are intended to be extremely focused specialist qualifications in defined areas of employment. When and if they eventually take off – there is predicted to be just a thousand students in 2021-22 taking up the qualification – they will not replace the BTEC, which has been the workhorse providing a general and high-quality education for decades. The BTEC has equipped young people for a variety of opportunities in a very changing employment market where the development of artificial intelligence, robotics, and changed working practices makes confining the choice of vocational pathways to one narrow focus, frankly ridiculous. 
Meanwhile, her Majesty's Opposition continue to throw out titbits which do not give, as yet, a very clear idea of what, if elected, Labour would do in office. What is needed is positive proposals. Abolishing this, that or the other – assessments/tests for those leaving primary school, for instance – is not the same thing as a very forward-looking agenda for radical improvement in standards and equity between those who can and cannot afford additional help for their children.  
There are a handful of Labour Party members, supported by some people who ought to know better, who have decided that a full-frontal assault on private education would be a good idea. For those worried about this, stop worrying. A party that put this in its manifesto wouldn't get elected, and if by some fluke it did, it would be challenged in the courts to the point where all the contradictions would be exposed for everyone to see. 
Just contemplate one simple fact. 20% of secondary schoolchildren in the borough of Hackney attend private schools! Yes, Hackney. This is because a large number of parents, some of whom scrape the money together, are sending their children to private education in London which happens to be the area of England with the best academic outcomes from state education. What's more, very large numbers (again, particularly in London) pay for private tutors. At the last estimate 40% of parents in London had at some point over the last year paid for a tutor for their child!  
Perhaps therefore an opposition party, hoping to provide unity rather than division, opportunity for all rather than a futile class battle against educational privilege, would seek ways of ensuring that those who can't afford tutors have the kind of support outside school that would put them on equal terms. 
One thing is very certain, no government would be able to stop parents buying additional tutoring for their children.
So, a practical agenda for equalising opportunity, for investing where it's needed most, for transforming the pipeline from school through college, apprenticeships, or university, is a goal worth fighting for. A positive way of linking business and education through political decision-making, with the delivery by excellent professionals in the education service, to the children of today and the economy of tomorrow. Surely that is a much more progressive and less negative way forward for both government and opposition. 
The Rt Hon Professor The Lord Blunkett