Holy Family Catholic School & Sixth Form

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Holy Family Catholic School & Sixth Form'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 Holy Family Catholic School & Sixth Form 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


Highlighting best practice
Dr Andy Stone, head teacher
Sixth form prefect team
Holy Family is a Catholic School, sitting at the heart of
its community. The purpose of the school is to serve all
members of its local community and it has contributed
to the betterment of the London Borough of Waltham Forest,
making it one of the best places in which to live, work and
study in London. Herein, head teacher Andy Stone discusses the
positive impact of redevelopment, integration of both old and
young students, and the influence of the gospel on the way in
which the curriculum and school aremanaged.
In the ten years that I have been the head teacher of Holy Family Catholic School,
we have seen copious changes. The most visible change has been the extensive
redevelopment work that has taken place over the past two years. We are
improving the learning environment through developing new, key resources –
including new classrooms, a lecture theatre and a full-size sports hall. Managing a
major building project has been one of the most exciting and rewarding things that
I have been involved in throughout my career. Our aim is that these new facilities
will inspire and motivate young people to love learning and give our pupils the
opportunity to develop their wider skillset, inevitably preparing them for 21st-
century life. The work has not been without its challenges. Classes being displaced
and playgrounds being reduced to half of their original size has meant space has
been restricted. Staff and students, however, have responded magnificently; we
have enjoyed a fantastic partnership between the school, the local authority and
our contractors, Willmott Dixon.
»Head teacher: Andy Stone
»Founded in 1987
»Based in Walthamstow,
Waltham Forest
»Type of school:
Comprehensive Catholic
»No. of students: 1,197 as of
March 5, 2018
»No. of staff: 85
»Exam performance: A level
value-added score ranked
107th of 4,415 schools across
»A level: Over 50% A*-B
Holy Family Catholic
School & Sixth Form
Our lower school is a mixture between
the old and the new. Our impressive
Georgian frontage, as aesthetically
pleasing as it appears, complements
our sixth form – who have been
housed in the Aquinas Centre since
its erection in September 2015. Our
latest new addition, the Corpus
Christi Building, is a collection of eight
modern classrooms and a spacious
learning resource centre, the Henriette
DeLille building. After many years
of working to gain investment in
the school, we are now seeing the
benefits that new and refurbished
accommodation can bring, not least
in the sense of pride and raised
Holy Family is a split-site school.
All such schools indeed have their
particular idiosyncrasies and issues. It
is unlikely that, given a blank piece of
paper, anyone would design a school
in two separate locations, 500 metres
apart. For us, however, the split-
site nature of the school has had its
advantages. It means that when our
students join us in year 7, they start life
at Holy Family on our lower site, with
just year 8 and sixth form students.
Sixth formers are a tremendous asset
to the school – their leadership team
help the staff with duties at lunchtime,
raise money for charity and take
on roles advising and guiding the
younger students. They are excellent
role models and having the older
students side by side with the youngest
members of our school community has
been hugely beneficial.
This year the focus of building work
in the school has shifted to our upper
site, home to years 9, 10 and 11. We
are looking forward to opening our
new sports centre and new religious
education classrooms. When we
agreed to expand our school, we
wanted the investment we received
to be transformational. We didn’t
want to simply build enough extra
classrooms to accommodate the
additional 300 students who would
join us. We were clear that we had to
get as much return on the venture as
possible: this meant that we needed
to refurbish and improve areas of the
school that were showing their age,
and be creative and transformational
so that as much of the school estate
as possible felt new and different. One
illustration of this is that the existing
rather dilapidated 19th-century gym
on our upper site will become a
modern learning resource centre and
lecture theatre, fitted with high-tech
Holy Family has a proud record of
participation and success in sport.
With the creation of the sports centre
we will better serve all the school
community, from our elite athletes –
we have a number in the school who
have represented both their county
and the country in competition – to
those who simply enjoy physical
activity and taking part. It will be at
the centre of our community offer as
we invite local groups to make use
of the school’s new facilities in the
evenings, at weekends and in the
schoolholidays. Year 7 students outside
the Walthamstow House
We tell students
and parents that
they are starting
a seven-year
journey at Holy
Family when
they join us
Highlighting best practice
Holy Family is a Catholic school in
the diocese of Brentwood. We are
proud of our inclusive Catholic ethos
and the way in which we work in
confluence with other schools for
the benefit of our students. Through
the Aquinas Trust we enjoy excellent
relationships with our Catholic primary
schools, and through the Waltham
Forest Challenge we work together
with all our neighbouring schools
to raise standards and improve the
opportunities open to all young people
in our borough.
We tell students and parents that they
are starting a seven-year journey at
Holy Family when they join us. This is
because the overwhelming majority
of our young people continue their
education with us in our successful
sixth form – offering courses to
students of all abilities, including A
levels and both intermediate and
advanced vocational qualifications.
Most of our students go on to
university, including Oxford and
Cambridge and Russell Group
universities. Others choose to start
employment at the age of 18 and
take up the increasingly popular
apprenticeship route.
At Holy Family we teach all our
students about the Holy Family Way
– the way in which we should behave
towards others. The importance of
good manners and courtesy, high
aspirations and participation, tolerance
and respect, and a belief in social
justice are embedded within the
curriculum. These values, derived from
the gospel, are vital to us and influence
all that we do. Students aspire to be
the best they can be and to reach
their potential. Extracurricular activities
include a busy Duke of Edinburgh
programme. Promoting and actively
engaging with such programmes
demonstrates our approach to
educating the whole person – not on a
solely academiclevel.
When I became head teacher, I told
the staff and the community that the
school had to be good enough to send
my own son to. I’m pleased to say that
he is here and doing well in year 9. It
is a privilege to be the head teacher
of Holy Family Catholic School and I
thank all our excellent staff, parents,
governors and clergy for their support
of our school community.
These values,
derived from
the gospel,
are vital to us
and influence
all that we do
Dr Stone, head teacher, with a
year 8 drama student
Year 7 science lesson in
newly refurbished lab


This article was sponsored by Holy Family Catholic School & Sixth Form. 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 Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister