Fulwood St Peters CE Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Fulwood St Peters 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 Fulwood St Peters 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


Exploring the local environment
is important
The outdoor learning
Unlocking potential” has been the mission statement at
StPeter’s School for over a decade. Having received four
congratulation letters from the education secretary for
standards in mathematics and phonics over the last two years,
they have been focusing on developing ways in which children
learn across the whole curriculum, providing them with learning
that is tailored to their needs. Headteacher David Merritt tells
The Parliamentary Review
Building on a platform of solid achievement in English and maths, we have already
worked on complementary success areas, including the School Games Gold Mark
and Eco-Schools Green Flag awards. With a diverse and multicultural setting made
up of 17 different ethnic groups, serving a community of learners from nursery
upwards with a broad range of abilities, we wanted to look at how what we taught
matched our specific children.
Setting goals
The first stage of development was the statement of intent – a definition
setting out the aims of our educational philosophy, including the knowledge
and understanding children need to acquire at each stage of their learning
journey. Alongside significant child, teacher, governor and parental feedback,
other sources of information were looked at to determine the types of learning
needs that our children had and how this reflected the school’s context within
»Headteacher: David Merritt
»Founded in 1976
»Type of school: Church of
England Voluntary Aided
Primary single form with
»Based in Preston, Lancashire
Fulwood St Peters CE
Primary School
Highlighting best practice
Office for National Statistics data
and the children’s completion of
their own “Drawing the Future”
programme – an education and
employer international research
project backed by the NAHT and
OECD – provided the starting point
for discussion with the governor’s
standards committee. Some
children lacked aspiration and were
disconnected from the purpose and
real-life value of learning. Others
had limited opportunity and life
experience to develop general
knowledge and independence. We
were then in a position to start
identifying key drivers that would be
central to our curriculumprovision.
Having staff who attended training
on use of evidence-based methods
to inform practice, we wanted
to see what impact our choices
would have on the children’s
development. The Education
Endowment Foundation (EEF) has
completed numerous studies that
linked to our drivers and showed
positive impact on learning. Each
driver was then matched to relevant
research. The drivers were then set
and ready to be rolled out to all
staff. They included real-life learning
experiences, leadership teams,
independence skills and time to
follow subjects in depth.
Acting on our research
We are fortunate to have an over
three acres of grounds. A key area
for improvement was to improve
staff confidence in teaching
outdoors. We started to develop
teachers’ understanding of the value
of this by using EEF resources such
as educating outdoors, forest school
adventure and outdoor adventure
learning. The acquisition of an
additional plot of land from the
local council then provided us with
a designated area for forest school
activities. To trial its use we created
forest school extracurricular sessions.
These were quickly oversubscribed
and are now being implemented into
Many of these drivers are typically
seen in good early years teaching, so
much of the development in teaching
methods and attitudes to learning
was for later year groups. Having
successfully introduced coaching
methods through introducing the
children to collaborative learning
Learning in teams is a
key driver
A key area for
was to
improve staff
confidence in
Real-life, practical and outdoor learning: Seeing how subject matter
fits into the real world and getting children active with kinaesthetic
Leading teams: Communication and organisation skills to learn
Choice: Active rather than passive learning which reflects personal
Independence: Developing skills to learn and research more
Depth: Where there is scope in the curriculum to pursue subject
matter in more detail, following children’s interests.
and peer tutoring, we were able
to focus on other areas for staff
growth. Training on meta-cognition
and self-regulation highlighted the
importance of independent learning,
choices and children’s confidence.
One of the balances to strike was
how much choice children could have
within the confines of the national
curriculum. Some subjects have been
easier than others. For example, in
history the time periods that need to
be studied are stipulated, whereas in
art we had a free rein to link artists
to the topic work.
A direct way to address the
children’s understanding of the use
of learning was to invite parents
to explain their own occupations.
Being near a hospital, several
doctors and nurses were able to
talk to the children. A range of
other occupations such as running
businesses, aircraft engineering,
farming and even beekeeping spiked
children’s interest and understanding
of how their learning fitted into real-
life contexts.
It was important for subject leaders
to apply these drivers to their own
subjects. The staff at St Peter’s
have a range of experiences and
strengths. Subject leaders were
paired depending upon their
experience so that skills could be
shared as they worked together to
put the drivers into each subject.
In geography we have been able
to incorporate all of the drivers
in each year group while utilising
the outdoor space that we have in
school. Each class teacher was then
given the freedom to plan for their
year group and create themes for
learning where multiple subjects
were based around a central topic.
The study of the Second World
War in one year incorporated
history, geography, French, music
The acquisition
of an additional
plot of land from
the local council
then provided us
with a
designated area
for forest school
Keeping active!
Moving forward
As we move forward we believe we are
well positioned to balance achievement
in the subjects that are conspicuously
measured with skill, attitudes and
ingredients to learning that our
particular children need. Challenge lies
in balancing subject coverage with the
need to adapt it, and how to do all this
within time constraints. Being clear as
to what kind of learners we wish to
create – what the characteristics of the
end point are with children in year six
– will help measure and evaluate how
successful we have been.


This article was sponsored by Fulwood St Peters CE Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster