Langafel CE Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Langafel CE 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 Langafel CE 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

Headteacher Katie Maynard
Excellent maths and English
teaching is key
Six years ago, Langafel had been graded as “requires
improvement” in its past two Ofsted inspections and
twice as “satisfactory” in the inspections before that. Its
results were hovering just above the government floor targets,
expectations were low and children were not achieving well.
The new Headteacher Katie Maynard recognised that while
results were poor, staff and children were working hard, and
she set about assembling a new leadership team with the
determination to turn fortunes around. In October 2018 it
received a second “good” Ofsted inspection grading and 2018
Key Stage 2 results were 19 per cent above national figures
with 83 per cent of children achieving the expected grade for
reading, writing and maths.
At Langafel CE Primary school we believe in the potential of every child regardless
of background or individual needs. We are committed to providing an emotionally
supportive environment, where pupils flourish, growing both spiritually and
academically. We secure the foundations for each child to understand who
they are and the unique qualities they bring to the world: this is our vision and
Make the change that will have the most impact
Langafel has been through significant change to reach these results, always
taking the approach of implementing the change that will have the most impact.
»Headteacher: Katie Maynard
»Founded in 1995
»Based in Longfield, Kent
»Type of school: Primary school
with a resourced provision
»No. of students: 320
»No. of staff: 60
Langafel CE Primary
Highlighting best practice
Sixyears ago, that meant looking
at the individual areas of English
and maths that children had not yet
grasped and teaching those to small
groups of children in intensive sessions,
targeting teaching and approach.
No longer were all the children who
were struggling in maths given the
same additional support, whether
they needed it or not; instead, the
teacher looked at each area of the core
curriculum, identified the gaps and
then grouped children accordingly.
That year, our end of Key Stage 2
results rose by 20 per cent and it
transformed our outlook on what
children could achieve.
By raising the expectations for teaching
and learning and introducing a no-
excuses culture for children with SEND,
our attainment and achievement
continued to rise. We then faced
another problem; our school roll was
rising, and fast. An increase of 130
children across seven year groups in
three years was hard, as at times we
could afford a teacher but no support.
Rooms that were used for some of
the intensive support were no longer
available so staff had to be more
flexible. We had to adopt mixed-aged
classes and grow the school even
though the budget was often 18
months behind in terms of funding
for new entrants to the school.
Recruitment was an issue, as working
in a “requires improvement” school
is hard work due to intensive scrutiny
from school and local authority leaders,
but we were determined to have
a strong, capable team who could
cope with the needs of the children,
and Department for Education
Inclusive in curriculum and
We are incredibly inclusive at
Langafel, ensuring our children
are given everything they need to
access the curriculum, thus allowing
them to make progress. We have a
resourced provision for 24 children
with an education healthcare plan
and a diagnosis of autism spectrum
disorder (ASD). The children in the
provision, which is called Socialise,
Learn, Interact, Communicate, make
very good progress from their starting
points and we are renowned in the
area for our success regarding children
with ASD. We are very proud of
our reputation but it does mean we
accommodate a higher than usual
Working collaboratively
for the Lego challenge
Celebrating diversity during
“This Is Me!” week
By raising the
for teaching
and learning
introducing a
culture for
children with
SEND, our
continued to
number of children with SEND. We
know these children enhance the
life experiences of our neurotypical
children but they often make teaching
challenging. One benefit of this high
level of need is the expertise it breeds
in the staff who understand the
triggers, strategies and resources that
can help all children succeed.
At this time, we also began to
attract a number of children who
had been excluded or who were at
risk of exclusion from other schools.
Therefore, wellbeing had to come
first, above academic success, partly to
ensure these children were in school.
During this time my senior leaders and
I spent many hours walking around
the corridors and talking children back
We could have taken the view that
to improve standards in English and
maths, we just needed to teach more
English and maths but our children
needed and deserved more than that.
They needed to be excited about
school as a place where memories
could be created, links made and
where children had ownership of the
learning whenever possible. A topic
curriculum was introduced, linking
good-quality texts with other subjects.
Now teachers had high expectations
of academic achievement, a host of
strategies to help them with SEND
and a curriculum that inspired. Ofsted
came in March 2015 and we were
rated “good” in all areas. A huge
weight had been lifted: after eight
years Langafel was a “good” school.
Looking for further progress
As a “good” school we knew the
journey was not over and it became
apparent that a whole-school
approach to support wellbeing was
required, so Langafel underwent
another transformation and became
a Thrive school. Thrive is a specific
way of working with all children that
helps to develop their social and
emotional wellbeing, enabling them
to engage with life and learning. It
supports them in becoming more
self-assured, capable and adaptable.
It can also address any troubled,
or troubling, behaviours, providing
a firm foundation for academic
attainment. Positive relationships are
at the heart of Thrive. We use these
relationships, together with play and
creative activities, to give children key
experiences at each different stage of
their development.
Our most recent Ofsted was in October
2018, a short inspection where we
retained our “good” grading. We are
very proud of our results as they show
we live out our values and vision. We
know we will have to change regularly
but by focusing on what will have
the most impact and by staying true
to our vision, children at Langafel
will continue to thrive, flourish
Our children
needed to be
excited about
school as a
place where
could be
created, links
made and
children had
ownership of
Practical lessons build

This article was sponsored by Langafel CE 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