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 Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy