Handford Hall Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Handford Hall 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 Handford Hall 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, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.handfordhall.suffolk.sch.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | HANDFORD HALL PRIMARY SCHOOL
Headteacher Kasha Blake
Inspirational teachers develop curious
and resilient children as they build upon
individual strengths and talents
Handford Hall Primary School is a 346-pupil primary school,
situated in the centre of Ipswich. It is a diverse and
multicultural school, serving a community with high mobility.
Located in the Westgate area of Ipswich, its intake reflects a mixed
local community, with families representing a range of social,
cultural and economic backgrounds. Headteacher Kasha Blake
has been at the helm for a great number of developments at
the school; she tells
TheParliamentary Review
more.
We have achieved International Primary Curriculum School, International
School, Healthy Schools, Ruth Miskin Training School, Eco-Schools Silver, Napta
and Communication Friendly awards. This reflects our ambition as well as our
enthusiasm for sustaining best practice in every aspect of our provision.
Our educational philosophy – “Achieve, Believe and Celebrate”
Our philosophy of teaching and learning is founded on a belief that meaningful
collaboration unlocks the potential to create excellent school communities where
learning is unstoppable and aspirations have no limits. Our mission is to ensure our
community has access to the excellent school they deserve, reflecting their local
needs and characteristics.
We strongly believe that Handford Hall provides the best environment for our
pupils to learn, persevere and succeed. The school is based in a multicultural
community and has a valuable mix of customs and cultures – something that is
essential to the development of all pupils.
Our journey to excellence has been challenging, and staff have worked exceptionally
hard from the beginning to raise standards and secure outstanding progress.
REPORT CARD
HANDFORD HALL PRIMARY
SCHOOL
»Headteacher: Kasha Blake
»Founded in 1974
»Based in Ipswich, Suffolk
»Type of school: Primary
academy
»No. of students: 346
»Part of Orwell Multi Academy
Trust, from 2017
Handford Hall Primary
School
31HANDFORD HALL PRIMARY SCHOOL |
PRIMARY EDUCATION
Iprioritised improving the quality of
teaching and learning throughout the
school by creating non-negotiables
for all subjects and establishing high
expectations for everyone – pupils,
teachers, teaching assistants, parents
and governors.
Our inspiring curriculum and consistently
engaging learning environments support
pupils’ outcomes. Robust and effective
CPD for staff provide our teachers
with the best opportunities to develop
their teaching practice and collaborate
effectively outside their own setting.
Our annual visits to “outstanding”
schools are also vital when it comes to
further development.
The clarity of our vision and values was
instrumental in developing a learning
community whose aim is to deliver the
best possible education to all pupils,
regardless of their entry point. We all
believe that our children can achieve
well; we are there to remove the
obstacles and accelerate their learning.
Teaching and curriculum
excellence
We are a model school for outstanding
Accelerated Reader practice that impacts
pupils’ performance and their love of
reading. Our curriculum is innovative,
diverse, enriching and exciting, which
helps to secure the best possible
outcomes for our children. We are not
afraid to take risks to meet the needs of
our ever-changing vibrantcommunity.
Monitoring visits as well as pupil and staff
perceptions revealed that the English
curriculum could be more effectively
structured and delivered. In a school
with a high percentage of EAL pupils, a
significant number of new arrivals and
high mobility, children benefit from a
thematic approach to learning and the
opportunity to makeconnections.
Inclusion and its effectiveness
With a high number of pupils on the
SEND register, we knew we needed
to focus on meaningful inclusion. This
led to whole-school improvement by
systematically introducing a family-
centred approach to inclusion; this is
now embedded practice and has had a
measurable impact on pupilprogress.
The process required me to articulate
my vision for SEND development in
the school by developing a strategic
action plan and to inspire others to
understand and buy in to my vision in
order to bring about cultural change.
Alongside the co-production of a
“local offer” and a new policy with
a range of stakeholders, I embarked
on a change management process.
Firstly, my SENDco and I supported
staff to recognise the need for
change and identifying what works
well before developing strategies for
change that included specific training,
implementation and reviews.
I utilised my mentoring and coaching
skills to improve staff confidence
and aptitude, as well as developing a
programme of peer support for staff
that needed it. With an emphasis
on the highest expectations for all, I
challenged performance and practice.
I have also been instrumental in the
development of a high-quality creative
curriculum with a strong focus on
English and maths. This involved
using my leadership skills to galvanise
staff to work as a team and develop
a stimulating foundation curriculum.
Bybuilding on what was working well,
and with the confidence to identify
Inquisitiveness – asking
and being asked
questions is central to
how we learn
Our philosophy
of teaching and
learning is
founded on a
belief that
meaningful
collaboration
unlocks the
potential to
create excellent
school
communities
where learning is
unstoppable and
aspirations have
no limits
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
30 | HANDFORD HALL PRIMARY SCHOOL
Headteacher Kasha Blake
Inspirational teachers develop curious
and resilient children as they build upon
individual strengths and talents
Handford Hall Primary School is a 346-pupil primary school,
situated in the centre of Ipswich. It is a diverse and
multicultural school, serving a community with high mobility.
Located in the Westgate area of Ipswich, its intake reflects a mixed
local community, with families representing a range of social,
cultural and economic backgrounds. Headteacher Kasha Blake
has been at the helm for a great number of developments at
the school; she tells
TheParliamentary Review
more.
We have achieved International Primary Curriculum School, International
School, Healthy Schools, Ruth Miskin Training School, Eco-Schools Silver, Napta
and Communication Friendly awards. This reflects our ambition as well as our
enthusiasm for sustaining best practice in every aspect of our provision.
Our educational philosophy – “Achieve, Believe and Celebrate”
Our philosophy of teaching and learning is founded on a belief that meaningful
collaboration unlocks the potential to create excellent school communities where
learning is unstoppable and aspirations have no limits. Our mission is to ensure our
community has access to the excellent school they deserve, reflecting their local
needs and characteristics.
We strongly believe that Handford Hall provides the best environment for our
pupils to learn, persevere and succeed. The school is based in a multicultural
community and has a valuable mix of customs and cultures – something that is
essential to the development of all pupils.
Our journey to excellence has been challenging, and staff have worked exceptionally
hard from the beginning to raise standards and secure outstanding progress.
REPORT CARD
HANDFORD HALL PRIMARY
SCHOOL
»Headteacher: Kasha Blake
»Founded in 1974
»Based in Ipswich, Suffolk
»Type of school: Primary
academy
»No. of students: 346
»Part of Orwell Multi Academy
Trust, from 2017
Handford Hall Primary
School
31HANDFORD HALL PRIMARY SCHOOL |
PRIMARY EDUCATION
Iprioritised improving the quality of
teaching and learning throughout the
school by creating non-negotiables
for all subjects and establishing high
expectations for everyone – pupils,
teachers, teaching assistants, parents
and governors.
Our inspiring curriculum and consistently
engaging learning environments support
pupils’ outcomes. Robust and effective
CPD for staff provide our teachers
with the best opportunities to develop
their teaching practice and collaborate
effectively outside their own setting.
Our annual visits to “outstanding”
schools are also vital when it comes to
further development.
The clarity of our vision and values was
instrumental in developing a learning
community whose aim is to deliver the
best possible education to all pupils,
regardless of their entry point. We all
believe that our children can achieve
well; we are there to remove the
obstacles and accelerate their learning.
Teaching and curriculum
excellence
We are a model school for outstanding
Accelerated Reader practice that impacts
pupils’ performance and their love of
reading. Our curriculum is innovative,
diverse, enriching and exciting, which
helps to secure the best possible
outcomes for our children. We are not
afraid to take risks to meet the needs of
our ever-changing vibrantcommunity.
Monitoring visits as well as pupil and staff
perceptions revealed that the English
curriculum could be more effectively
structured and delivered. In a school
with a high percentage of EAL pupils, a
significant number of new arrivals and
high mobility, children benefit from a
thematic approach to learning and the
opportunity to makeconnections.
Inclusion and its effectiveness
With a high number of pupils on the
SEND register, we knew we needed
to focus on meaningful inclusion. This
led to whole-school improvement by
systematically introducing a family-
centred approach to inclusion; this is
now embedded practice and has had a
measurable impact on pupilprogress.
The process required me to articulate
my vision for SEND development in
the school by developing a strategic
action plan and to inspire others to
understand and buy in to my vision in
order to bring about cultural change.
Alongside the co-production of a
“local offer” and a new policy with
a range of stakeholders, I embarked
on a change management process.
Firstly, my SENDco and I supported
staff to recognise the need for
change and identifying what works
well before developing strategies for
change that included specific training,
implementation and reviews.
I utilised my mentoring and coaching
skills to improve staff confidence
and aptitude, as well as developing a
programme of peer support for staff
that needed it. With an emphasis
on the highest expectations for all, I
challenged performance and practice.
I have also been instrumental in the
development of a high-quality creative
curriculum with a strong focus on
English and maths. This involved
using my leadership skills to galvanise
staff to work as a team and develop
a stimulating foundation curriculum.
Bybuilding on what was working well,
and with the confidence to identify
Inquisitiveness – asking
and being asked
questions is central to
how we learn
Our philosophy
of teaching and
learning is
founded on a
belief that
meaningful
collaboration
unlocks the
potential to
create excellent
school
communities
where learning is
unstoppable and
aspirations have
no limits
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
32 | HANDFORD HALL PRIMARY SCHOOL
Deprivation indicator 0.24 (DECILE 4)
Free school meals 19.6 per cent
SEN support 18.8 per cent
SEN statement or EHP 0.9 per cent
EAL 74.6.1 per cent
In-year mobility 41 per cent
Largest ethnic minority groups
Eastern Europeans (37.9 per cent)
Bangladeshi (14.3 per cent)
Romany or Gypsy (22.7 per cent)
White and Black Caribbean
(2.3per cent)
Number of languages spoken 26
and make changes where necessary, I
developed a new long-term plan that
underpinned our school commitment
to creativity and collaborative learning.
Working in partnership
At Handford Hall, we work hard to
develop and maintain purposeful,
friendly and professional relationships
with a wide range of people. We
recognise and champion the benefits
of collaborative working as well as the
impact it can have on the lives of the
young people in education.
In a school with high levels of EAL,
high mobility and low levels of parental
education, communication can
sometimes prove a challenge. I am a
firm believer, however, that if a family
proves hard to reach, we need to be
even more creative in our approach.
All school leaders have regular contact
with a wide range of stakeholders,
including working effectively with
families, outside agencies, the local
authority and social care services.
We work collaboratively to review our
current provisions and to support and
challenge our schools. This has proved
to be a foundation on which we are
building a community of practice that
places improving outcomes for all
children as the highest priority.
Continued recognition
In 2018, we were recognised for
our outstanding pupil progress in
that we ranked second for progress
in Suffolk. I am very proud of our
achievements – our pupils’ attainment
and progress as well as the diversity of
our schoolcommunity.
My staff and I are committed to the
pursuit of the highest possible academic,
personal and moral standards and to the
development of fully rounded, caring
individuals with lively, enquiring minds.
This commitment is underpinned by
a belief in hard work and a culture of
care, respect and support for others
regardless of their background, abilities
and social status.
Our team is second to none. Our
learning community is built of a
dedicated team of professionals who
ensure the children have the support
and encouragement they need, allowing
each individual to succeed at every level.
We offer strong pastoral support,
which we believe is fundamental to
the success of the child. We treat
each pupil as an individual with huge
potential that we continue to shape
and develop throughout their journey
– and this will not change as we move
forward into an era of further success.
Our curriculum
is innovative,
diverse,
enriching and
exciting
»THE IMPORTANCE OF A PARENTAL LINK
For many families, understanding and acknowledging that their
child may have special educational needs is a significant challenge
– one only further complicated by cultural implications. To meet the
needs of any child with SEND, we ensure that we employ a “family-
centred” approach.
All leaders are available to parents through their daily presence on
the playground, which builds familiarity and trust, and we operate an
open-door policy for families who have concerns about their child.
We support class teachers who are less confident in their
communication with parents, coaching them through the process
of managing difficult conversations. We believe that parents are
partners in the education process.
Ensuring parents understand our curriculum approaches, professional
reports, assessment outcomes and school support is crucial, but their
views and those of their child are equally important.
33MARTINS WOOD PRIMARY SCHOOL |
PRIMARY EDUCATION
Headteacher Tom Evans
Year 4 students using Lego to bring a
project about town planning to life
As the demographics of Stevenage have changed, and the
population has risen, Martins Wood Primary Sc hool has
changed with it. Historically an undersubscribed two-
form entry, they are now a popular three-form entry school.
With a strong local reputation for the performing arts, they look
to supplement their core curriculum with exciting events such
as dance week and trips to the theatre. Headteacher Tom Evans
explains how they adapted to a negative Ofsted inspection and
how they have coped with their expansion.
The school serves the northeast part of Stevenage, a mixed area that contains the
fourth most deprived ward in the county and some households comfortably above the
median. I became headteacher in 2000, having previously worked as a head for seven
years in another part of Hertfordshire. In my time at the school, we have overseen
many changes, and the demography of our catchment area has changed significantly.
When I came here, the school was an undersubscribed two-form entry, which grew
into an oversubscribed school before being invited to become a three-form entry when
the county council identified a rapid increase in the Stevenage school population.
In 2015, we received a negative Ofsted inspection, just as we were reaching the end
of our expansion programme, and this did damage our reputation. However, the
majority of our existing parents did not recognise the school that Ofsted described.
Adapting to expansion
One of the main things we have accomplished is the restructuring of the
management system, ensuring that each part of the school is overseen by the
appropriate people. This has involved distributing leadership away from the centre.
REPORT CARD
MARTINS WOOD PRIMARY
SCHOOL
»Headteacher: Tom Evans
»Established in 1968
»Based in Stevenage
»Type of school: 3-form primary
school with a nursery and
preschool
»No. of pupils: 750
»www.martinswood.herts.sch.uk
Martins Wood
Primary School

www.handfordhall.suffolk.sch.uk

The Parliamentary Review 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