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


Headteacher Kerry Hill
We want to ensure children
have memorable experiences
In the past few years, a transformation has taken place at Eyres
Monsell Primary School. Under the stewardship of Headteacher
Kerry Hill, the school has gone from strength to strength, with
progress rates by the end of Key Stage 2 currently in the top one
per cent nationally, despite drawing from an area of significant
deprivation. Kerry talks more of the school’s journey to success
and the steps taken to allow pupils to prosper.
The development of personal, social and emotional skills is a golden thread
throughout our school’s culture. I joined the school with a clear vision and drive
to improve the outcomes and ensure everyone thrives. In 2018, we secured our
first ever “good” Ofsted rating, alongside becoming the first primary school in the
UK to receive the prestigious Princess Royal Training Award, for our staff training
programme linked to mental health and wellbeing.
“No excuses” culture
As a leader, having the courage and conviction to take bold steps and make
difficult decisions is not easy, but maintaining an unwavering principle to do what
is right for the pupils and staff has been my focus. This “no excuses
culture of
ensuring the very best for every pupil was recognised and commented on in the
school’s 2018 Ofsted report.
At the start of my tenure, our pupils were achieving well below national standards.
Children enter our school with many barriers to learning. These can be further
compounded by adverse childhood experiences and mental health needs.
»Headteacher: Kerry Hill (2019
TES Headteacher of the Year
»Founded in 1950
»Location: Leicester City
»Type of school: Local authority
»No. of students: 360
»2018 Princess Royal Training
Award Recipients
Eyres Monsell Primary
Highlighting best practice
We began to consider the needs of our
pupils more carefully and the barriers
that they face in order to support
accelerated academic progress. We
carefully considered whether we were
providing what our pupils needed and
whether our children could be more
successful if learning was organised in
a different way.
As a result, we now have a greater
focus on what our children need
holistically, including social, emotional
and wellbeing factors, to support
them to become more academically
successful. In doing this, we can
strive for high standards of academic
achievement, knowing our pupils are
developing the necessary character skills
and dispositions to meet the challenges
and rigour of a modern curriculum and
to be successful lifelong learners.
Path to success
Our desire to improve achievement
standards focused on the
enhancement of oracy, language and
vocabulary skills, the promotion of
personal development and addressing
social mobility and justice, which is an
issue within the local area. This drive to
overhaul the school’s curriculum led us
to work with TT Education to develop
our Path to Success curriculum. The
Path to Success methodology has
active and collaborative learning at
its heart. It encourages children to
embrace a rich variety of experiences
and offers greater opportunities to
play as part of their learning, to enable
them to deepen their skills, knowledge
and understanding.
Collaboration and dialogue are central
tenets of this new curriculum. We
firmly believe that when children talk
about their learning, and become
“teachers to others
they strengthen
their own understanding and move
from shallow to deep learning. School
staff have received training in Kagan
collaborative approaches so that active
oracy and dialogue activities are key
parts of all lessons. Whole-school
initiatives, such as “Never Heard the
Word” and “Connect It”, mean that
children are becoming more confident
in linking learning and building on
prior knowledge so that they can
remember and learn more.
Personal development, mental
health and wellbeing
We have worked hard to blend
academic and personal growth, which
are now seamlessly learnt and taught
alongside each other. Children develop
character skills in a variety of ways,
primarily through our mindful PSHCE
curriculum “Jigsaw”, complemented by
initiatives such as life skills sessions and
our learning 4 life curriculum. Calming
and reflection activities, including
yoga, meditation and glitter bottles,
Creative and engaging
learning takes many forms
communication and
dialogue is at the heart
of the curriculum
An unwavering
principle to do
what is right
for the pupils
and staff
run alongside this, supporting self-
regulation and improvedbehaviour.
These approaches encourage children
to be more willing to concentrate and
persevere with learning, to become
independent thinkers, solve difficult
problems and learn to work with
others – components of life as well
as learning. Consequently, when this
is combined with effective academic
teaching and high expectations
for learning from our staff, we see
improved progress and outcomes.
My staff are my superheroes
Our school’s success would not be
possible without the whole school
team. Staff rise to the daily challenges
that school life brings, have embraced
our initiatives and continue to support
me with the vision and expectations
we have for our school. It is important
that they feel valued and know that
they are making a difference. Leaders
taking the time to say thank you can
make all the difference to someone’s
day. My staff work tirelessly so that
our pupils can succeed and achieve,
and I try to ensure that my staff can
also grow, develop and achieve their
own goals. In the past year we have
invested much more in staff training to
support pedagogical and professional
career development through a range
of providers.
We have also prioritised their own
mental health and wellbeing needs.
Research shows that when teachers
are able to have greater self-efficacy,
alongside the resilience to meet the
demands of the education system,
they are more likely to positively
impact on learning and outcomes.
Teaching pressures and stressors
are ever apparent and so it is crucial
for an effective school that our staff
understand how they react to these,
recognise what may prompt them
to feel more stressed and can access
appropriate coping mechanisms.
Keep moving forwards
Despite working in what is described
as a “challenging school”, I am
passionate about continued
investment in it. We will collaborate
with innovative partners, including
psychologists from the University of
Loughborough, to further develop our
character curriculum and mental health
agenda. We will also be working with
internationally acclaimed educationalist
Tom Sherrington, to support our
staff in improving their teaching
and learning practices, through
an evidence-informed professional
development programme.
As headteacher, I am committed to
meeting the challenges of the modern
education system, and I remain
steadfast about doing what is right for
our children and staff.
teachers have
greater self-
efficacy ...
they are more
likely to
impact on
learning and
We place great emphasis
on physical, mental
and emotional health


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