Jubilee Wood Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Jubilee Wood 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 Jubilee Wood 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


Highlighting best practice
Caring, developing and learning
together is our motto
Tony Berwick has been head
teacher since 2012
Jubilee Wood Primary School opened in September 2012
as an amalgamation of an infant and junior school that
had been located opposite each other but not working
in tandem, to meet the needs of a diverse and challenging
community. Requiring a visionary head teacher who could unify
the two schools under a shared ethos, curriculum and set of
expectations, Tony Berwick was appointed from outside the
local authority to lead the transformation, and the school has
been on an upward trajectory ever since.
The school had significant challenges to overcome. The area had a poor local
reputation, parents were opting to send pupils out of the catchment area and the
community was disrupted by gang-related criminal activity; all the while, the area
was home to a significant amount of multi-occupancy housing with high levels of
deprivation. On being appointed as head teacher, my first task was to gather a
senior team around me, build trust among the staff and devise a single approach to
behaviour management.
Restorative justice
In the early days, there were exclusions as well as deeply intractable behaviour
that posed a significant challenge. We came up with a simple, but highly effective,
set of expectations: the “Jubilee Wood Jigsaw”. By relentlessly repeating these
expectations and rewarding the pupils for meeting them each week, we have
moved to a situation where behaviour is good – we believe close to “outstanding”
– and exclusions are now incredibly rare cases and a last resort.
Jubilee Wood Primary
»Head teacher: Tony Berwick
»Based in Milton Keynes,
»Type of school: Primary
»No. of pupils: 558 and growing
»EAL: 58 per cent
»Pupil premium: 32 per cent
We have adopted restorative justice
principles across the school, so much
so that in 2016 the Restorative
Foundation awarded our school their
restorative mark. We use our teaching
assistants to supervise the pupils at
lunchtime because they are known
to the students and are respected.
We train our year 6 pupils to be
pupil leaders and they wear lanyards
around school, which bear restorative
style questions to remind them how
to handle any issues they see on the
playground. Around 70 per cent of our
year 6 pupils are now fully involved
in restorative work. Most issues,
previously handled by the teachers
after lunchtime, are now resolved
by our pupils before they escalate.
There is a strong sense of purpose and
ownership shared by all children at the
school, and our pupils are proud to
be here; this is reflected by our good
attendance figures.
Our school inherited a dull and static
curriculum with teachers working hard
but failing to address what the pupils
needed; this clearly had an impact on
behaviour. The previous infant school
was placed in “special measures”, just
before the amalgamation in 2012,
with only 34 per cent of year 1 pupils
passing the phonics screening check.
Despite some opposition from teachers
at the time, the leadership team
completely reviewed the curriculum
and introduced Read, Write Inc. with
compulsory two-day phonics training.
They also overhauled assessment
procedures and tracking, making class
teachers directly accountable for the
progress of their children. A refreshed
topic-based curriculum was also
introduced, which made more sense to
the pupils and allowed teachers to be
enthused and free to try new ideas.
It takes time for changes to work.
In our 2014 Ofsted report it was
noted that the quality of teaching,
behaviour, safety, leadership and
management were “good”, but that
our school’s achievement required
improvement. I was not going to
argue with that judgment. Milton
Keynes local authority continued with
a Target Intervention Board to review
progress but largely left the school
to work through the issues because
they trusted we had the capacity to
improve. Although our end of key
stage results for 2017 remain below
national expectations, we continue to
focus on progress measures. In 2017,
89 per cent of year 1 pupils passed
the phonics screening test, which is
all the more significant because just
We use technology to
bring the school and
home closer together
There is a
strong sense
of purpose
and ownership
shared by all
pupils in our
Children enjoy coming
to Jubilee Wood
Highlighting best practice
over 50 per cent of pupils arrived in
school with English as an additional
language. In 2016, Ofsted recognised
the barriers to learning faced every day
by our pupils and confirmed progress
is good with overall outcomes good.
Thinking outside the box
I became convinced that we needed
to think even further outside the
box in order to make the gains we
knew were needed if our pupils were
going to close the gap between
their potential and their attainment.
Deliberating thoroughly with
colleagues, I decided that learning
technology held the key. We invested
a large proportion of pupil premium
in a ground-breaking project to issue
Chromebooks to every pupil in year
4, which they would use in school
and take home every day. We set
up our own domain to manage the
Chromebooks and used Google
Classroom alongside other software
to track their work. Our pupils, who
previously rarely completed homework
or even read a book at home, now
log on daily and several times over
the weekend to blog together
and complete tasks to support
We insist that parents pay a small
contribution to the project, which is
approved by the Learning Foundation,
and parents – some for the first time
ever – are directly impacting their
child’s education. We now have
every pupil from year 4 to 6 using
Chromebooks at home. Moreover, in
2017, our school was a TES Awards
finalist in the category of digital
Jubilee Wood’s reputation continues
to grow. We remain on the journey
to acquiring an “outstanding”
school status with some way still to
go. In September 2016, we moved
into fantastic new buildings and
refurbished accommodation on one
site. We opened a nursery and now
also cook our own meals on site, even
providing a halal meat option. Pupils
and staff now sit together, chatting
and enjoying healthy meals. Teachers
are encouraged to take risks, try new
ideas and work collaboratively because
teaching here is challenging and our
latest initiative on wellbeing for staff
recognises this. In September 2017,
we joined the Grand Union Partnership
Multi-Academy Trust because we
know that the future of the school is
firmly in our own hands.
Teachers are
encouraged to
take risks, try
new ideas and
Our pupils feel a sense
of pride in the school
Enrichment is an important
part of our curriculum


This article was sponsored by Jubilee Wood Primary School. 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