Lanesfield Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Lanesfield 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 Lanesfield 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

Our school catchphrase
Lanesfield Primary School are committed to expanding the
horizons of their students and ensure that their pupils have
the opportunity to experience things they may not usually have
access to. They have achieved academic success, and their average
score for combined reading, writing and maths is 77, well above
the national average of 64. Headteacher Zoe Rollinson joined
the school nine years ago and explains their commitment to
staff training.
Our all-round attention to our pupils’ education, emotional health and
extracurricular interests is reaping dividends in creating a school rated “good” by
Ofsted in 2018 and commended for its academic progress, strong safeguarding
culture and vibrant environment.
Based in Wolverhampton, we are a bright, welcoming primary school. We employ
around 50 staff and have more than 360 pupils. We are a one and a half form
entry with a 46-place nursery. Following a fall in the demand for nursery places,
we have developed our nursery provision to now offer 30-hour places. We are
committed to expanding the horizons of all children and constantly look to
develop, enrich and amend the curriculum so that our pupils can be the best they
can be. Over the last three years, Key Stage 2 results have been significantly above
the national average with average scores for combined reading, writing and maths
at 77 per cent in 2019, way above the national average of 64 per cent. I joined
the school as deputy nine years ago and became substantive headteacher in April
2015. In our recent Ofsted report, it was noted that I had “ensured that pupils’
learning and well-being are at the centre of the school’s work.”
»Headteacher: Zoe Rollinson
»Established in 1962
»Based in Wolverhampton
»Type: Primary school
»Pupils: 362
Lanesfield Primary
Highlighting best practice
Managing change
During my first year of headship, one
of my key challenges was to create a
clear and sustainable leadership team.
Great schools are built around great
staff: those who are proactive and
reflective and lead the way for others
to follow. Along with our governors, I
revisited the vision to identify key roles.
By 2017, a completely new leadership
team was in place and half of the
teaching team had changed. This has
caused some improvement actions to
be delayed but supported a culture of
continued improvement as new and
old members of staff work together
to identify best practice. This supports
our aim to be the best we can be
and recognise good as a minimum:
continual improvement is our mission;
outstanding is our goal.
Investing in staff
We practise what we preach, and
staff at all stages of their career are
involved in CPD opportunities. Last
year we became part of the Salop and
Herefordshire maths hub, involved in a
Key Stage 1 writing project supported
by the Department for Education’s
strategic school improvement fund
and have two members of staff taking
National Professional Qualifications.
We are working closely with an
“outstanding” local nursery school
to develop the EYFS provision for our
We have already begun to develop
the improvement steps for next
year as both myself and the deputy
have completed accredited coaching
courses. Coaching will be a key force
to support our established monitoring
process, supplemented by our use of
video footage as a feedback tool.
Ongoing curriculum
Although we have had success with
academic subjects, we are also keen
to encourage and recognise the
achievements of pupils whose talents
lie outside of traditional academia.
One of these areas is the performing
arts, and we boast our own
music room and year 6 boy band,
the Lanesfield Legends, whose
achievements include performing at
the annual Wolverhampton Diversity
Our curriculum is enriched by topic
weeks, competitions and expert
visitors to ensure it remains broad and
balanced. This is also supported by
our involvement in many arts-based
events including a big band show,
outdoor music festival and trips to
theatre performances such as
The Lion
Charlie and the
Children in all year groups have the
opportunity to participate in off-
site and residential visits. We have
recently purchased a minibus, which
has supported further engagement in
outside competitions, and in the new
academic year, a PE specialist teacher
will strengthen the teaching team. Last
year, we introduced financial values
and enterprise into the curriculum and
as a result, we are proud to be the only
Our curriculum is
enriched by topic weeks,
competitions and expert
Great schools
are built
around great
staff: those
who are
and reflective
and lead the
way for others
to follow
school in the UK to have been named
a Centre of Excellence in Financial
Education and Enterprise Education
by Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading
financial education charity.
Moreover, we have created links
with a vocational college, and pupils
have spent time studying a range of
work-based skills including mechanics,
hairdressing and carpentry. This was
reflected in our Ofsted report, which
noted, “Pupils say they enjoy school,
value their lessons and are able to talk
about their ambitions for the future.”
We really do try to celebrate everything
here. Next year will see the introduction
of the Lanesfield Passport so that
children can record all of their valuable
experiences. We encourage all pupils to
achieve as much as possible wherever
their talents lie and to feel their
achievements are valued. We always
talk about achievements and not
abilities. If a child is achieving at a lower
level, we need to be asking ourselves as
teachers what we can do to help that
child achieve more, rather than labelling
and limiting their possibilities.
For some time now, learning partners
have been a key pedagogical tool
which teachers have used to develop
pupil independence and build
resilience. This platform will be used
to develop learning further as it moves
towards a vision where teachers and
pupils drive learning through use of
the Apple Classroom.
Promoting wellbeing
Each classroom has a self-registration
facility, which allows pupils to record
how they are feeling each morning
before the start of lessons, on a sliding
scale of numbers or images. This
enables staff to identify children who
may be having a particularly difficult
day and talk to them in private about
what may be troubling them. It also
means the school can spot trends
and identify pupils facing ongoing
In addition, I operate a “Worry Box”
scheme on the school website through
which pupils are able to send me a
personal email at any time to raise
their worries.
As designated safeguarding lead,
I want all our pupils to know I am
accessible, and that their problems will
be taken seriously. Beyond this, they
know that they always have someone
they can trust here in school and who
will listen to them.
Our success is neatly summed up by
our catchphrase – “Lanesfield loves
Learning”– and our pupils certainly
love Lanesfield.
We encourage
all pupils to
achieve as
much as
wherever their
talents lie and
to feel their
are valued
We encourage students
to embrace the
performing arts

This article was sponsored by Lanesfield 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 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