Kew Woods Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Kew Woods 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 Kew Woods 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
Head teacher Christina Jackson
Kayleigh Banks (SENCO) and Beverley McNally
(deputy head teacher) with representatives of
the school council, anti-bullying ambassadors
and sports leaders
Kew Woods pride themselves on offering their pupils
a broad and balanced curriculum which provides
opportunities to excel academically, physically and
artistically in a safe and caring environment. For the past two
years, pupils achieving the expected standards at the end of
Key Stage 2 in reading, writing and mathematics has been 20
per cent above national average. All KS2 disadvantaged pupils
achieved expectations in reading, writing and mathematics in
2017. Further, they have been awarded the Early Years Quality
Mark, Artsmark, Sports Mark Gold, the Wellbeing Award as
well as being an Apple Regional Training Centre for technology.
Herein, head teacher Christina Jackson remarks on the holistic
manner in which change is effected at Kew Woods, while
referencing the rich and varied structure of extracurricular
programmes and technologically aided learning.
I became head teacher at Kew Woods Primary School, Southport, in September
2012. This was a pivotal time in education, due to the introduction of a more
arduous Ofsted inspection regime, a new National Curriculum on the horizon,
higher expectations for children to achieve at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2
statutory assessment tests, and changes to the special educational needs code of
practice and its funding.
Kew Woods school also needed to address the dip in end of Key Stage 1 and
2 assessments in July 2012 across the core subjects of reading, writing and
»Head teacher:
»Founded in 1976
»Based in Southport,
»Type of school: Community
primary school
»No. of students: 433 pupils on
roll for 2017-18
»47 members of staff
(22teachers, 21 support staff
and 4 extended staff)
»Pupil premium: 19 per cent
»SEND: 16 per cent
»EAL: 8 per cent
»Ofsted: “Good”, 2017
Kew Woods Primary
mathematics and acknowledge that
there was an increase of pupils on
roll with special educational needs,
English as an additional language and
disadvantaged pupils, who required
carefully planned support in order to
make the best progress possible.
I saw this as a fantastic opportunity to
create and embed a new vision for the
school – one that would encourage
and inspire both staff and children.
To achieve this, I needed the support
of all staff as well as ensuring that
I had the correct skill-set across the
school to drive the much-needed
improvements forward. I needed to
use the expertise of existing staff, but
it was also necessary to recruit new
members to the school, who would
have the skills set to bring about rapid
changes needed for success. Therefore,
I led a whole-school restructure which
consisted of appointing internal and
external teachers for leadership and
management posts.
With a strong leadership and
management team in place, we
were able to design a high-quality
curriculum which would excite,
challenge and motivate pupils to learn.
I introduced a code of conduct for the
children that clearly defines the high
expectations at Kew Woods. Part of
this is valuing pupil voice and this is
now embedded into our ethos. We
value the input the children make in
lessons and use their questioning and
enquiring minds to guide our learning,
particularly in our topic work.
We also have established various
groups within school to ensure the
children are working collaboratively
with the teaching and develop their
own leadership skills. These include the
appointment of house captains, sports
ambassadors, digital leaders, anti-
bullying ambassadors and arts leaders.
The voice of our children is crucial in
shaping our unique school curriculum.
Innovation is encouraged and teachers
are given freedom to be creative in their
teaching and curriculum development.
Over the past six years, Kew Woods
has seen the hall expanded, new
classrooms built, a redeveloped nursery
and a fantastic resource for technology
in the installation of our “The Berners-
Technology is a key driver at Kew
Woods in raising standards across
the curriculum. In 2012, the school
had one iPad. Currently, we have 110
iPads, Macbooks, iPod Touches and a
Mac server. In 2014, Kew Woods was
awarded the status of Apple Regional
Training Centre for the local area. We
have two lead practitioners – certified
by Apple – and several members of Chris McWilliam (senior
leader of learning
technologies and
assessment) and the
school’s digital leaders
You have
restructured the
leadership team,
who work very
effectively with
all staff to
provide a
Ofsted 2017
Highlighting best practice
staff who are part of this skilled team.
Throughout the year our highly skilled
staff train teaching staff across the
region, sharing our best practice and
supporting schools with how they
can utilise technology effectively to
have an impact on pupils’ progress
and attainment across the curriculum.
Pupils in KS2 are selected for their
advanced skills and support computing
lessons across the school.
We encourage a love of reading at
Kew Woods and all our topics taught
are accompanied by high-quality class
texts. As a result, pupils’ progress in
reading across Key Stage 2 has been
in the top 20 per cent nationally over
the past two years. It is important to
us that our pupils learn to be confident
and that they can articulate their
thoughts both orally in public and in
a written context. To enhance these
skills, we run a vibrant performing arts
department full of music, dance and
drama. We use the arts to nurture
pupils for talent and to inspire and
engage disadvantaged pupils, SEND
pupils and Looked After Children (CLA)
in out-of-hours activities.
»Sports, music, academic and
performance clubs underpin and
enrich our curriculum. Being part
of the Children’s University scheme
promotes the clear message of the
importance of pupils continuing their
learning outside of the school day.
We have achieved “Sports Mark
Gold” for three consecutive years
and are now looking at achieving
“Platinum status”.
»Our children attend a range of
curriculum trips, visits and residential
activities while at Kew Woods. One
of our favourite residential visits is
to our partner school in Berkshire.
Pupils write to their pen pals from
year 3 until they leave school. We
have in place a year 5 project called
“Capital L”, which results in all of our
pupils visiting our partner school for
a two-day residential trip to London.
This is completely funded by school
with no financial pressure on parents.
From the moment pupils start at Kew
Woods we have high expectations
of parental engagement; the
school emphasises fostering good
relationships with parents and carers,
and we ensure that parents are highly
involved in their child’s learning and
all-round development.
KS2 test results placed Kew Woods in
the region’s top 20 primary schools.
Our aim for the future is to be in
the top 1,000 primary schools in
the country. Our pupils are very well
prepared for the next stage in their
education by the time they leaveschool.
Due to the
high quality of
teaching and
the nurturing
pupils are very
well prepared
for the next
stage in their
education by
the time they
leave school
Ofsted 2017
Year 6 annual musical

This article was sponsored by Kew Woods 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 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