Longney CE Primary Academy

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Longney CE Primary Academy'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 Longney CE Primary Academy 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 Penny Howard
Community is at the
heart of all we do
Located just outside Gloucester and close to the River Severn,
Longney CE Primary Academy is a small rural primary
school with 100 pupils on its roll. First opened in 1853, it
has provided education for children from the local Severnside
villages and wider community ever since. Although the number
of staff is small, the team is extremely committed to the work
of the school and to the pastoral support of pupils and families.
Headteacher Penny Howard tells
The Parliamentary Review
“Building Community, Enriching Lives” is the vision statement behind everything
our stakeholders strive to achieve. We are a church school and our values are
central to our ethos. We teach our children that perseverance, respect, courage
and friendship, our core values, can shape how they move through their lives. Since
many of our pupils come from outside our immediate catchment area, we work
hard to ensure that community is at the heart of all we do.
All stakeholders have high expectations for our pupils; however, this extends
beyond purely academic achievement. Research shows that when you can engage
a pupil through a subject area they enjoy, success will follow. The second part
of our vision statement, “Enriching Lives”, ensures that our broad and balanced
curriculum is what drives us, from PE and outdoor learning to wider experiences,
including music and drama. The four pillars that underpin our curriculum are:
initiative, creative arts, environment and spirituality.
Enriching lives
Given our rural location and our focus on wellbeing, we attach great importance
to learning outdoors and have been working with the Outdoor Play and Learning
»Headteacher: Penny Howard
»Established in 1853
»Based in Longney,
»Type of school: Church of
England primary
»Pupils: 100
»Ofsted: “Good”
Longney CE Primary
Highlighting best practice
(OPAL) programme since 2016. All our
pupils spend one morning a month at
our Forest School, which is situated
in local woodland a 20-minute walk
from the school, and which gives the
children the opportunity to connect
with the local area. This learning is
applied to the rest of the curriculum,
including creative writing, science or
geography, for example.
Physical education is also a key element
of our school curriculum. The whole
school takes part in the daily mile, and
our pupils have many opportunities
to compete in a wide range of sports
events, representing the school and
county, including indoor rowing,
archery and New Age Kurling. We
achieved our second School Games
Gold Mark last summer.
Music is also a significant aspect of
school life, with singing at the heart
of this. The majority of our Key Stage
2 pupils participate in the Young
Voices concert and sing at Gloucester
Cathedral. These wider opportunities
help the pupils develop enthusiasm,
self-discipline and collaborative and
listening skills, all of which transfer to
the academic subjects.
Moving forward
Developing and supporting our staff
has always been a priority for me as
the headteacher. I am fully aware
that in a small school, there is a risk
that staff may not have the usual
opportunities to progress, as there are
no head of year or key stage roles to
aim for or any team from the same
year groups to plan with. Therefore,
staff training has to be carefully
constructed to ensure staff have an
opportunity to lead projects and work
with colleagues teaching in other
schools, in order that they can keep
motivated and moving forward with
their careers.
Action research projects have changed
the way we have approached staff
professional development. Encouraging
staff to read the latest research and to
work collaboratively with colleagues on
projects that are based on their own
teaching practice has had a greater
impact on teaching and learning than
we would have seen had teachers
simply attended courses. They feel a
sense of ownership about developing
their own expertise and view the
projects as relevant to their teaching
in the classroom. This can be seen in
our maths curriculum; our mastery
approach means teaching starts at a
point where all pupils are equal, and
we do not limit our expectations.
Music ensures
development of a wide
range of skills and
Our pupils develop healthy
lifestyles, resilience,
teamwork andhave fun
Staff training
has to be
constructed to
ensure staff
have an
opportunity to
lead projects
Moving towards the future
In 2015 the educational landscape
was moving towards academisation as
a model for the future. Being a very
small rural school, we were aware
that we needed to be proactive and
outward looking to ensure that we
collaborated with colleagues from
other schools and agencies, so we did
not become isolated. With this at the
forefront of our minds, we decided
to become part of the Diocese of
Gloucester Academies Trust.
As a rural church school, our values
and vision are reflected in those of
the trust. We saw this approach as a
way of maintaining our identity while
being part of a larger organisation
that would help us drive school
improvement and provide further
opportunities for staff and indeed for
pupils. Staff come together across
the trust for network meetings and
to share good practice, while pupils
have taken part in workshops and
opportunities such as debating and a
Spirituality Conference.
Our biggest challenge to date is
funding. These problems have been
well documented, especially for
authorities such as Gloucestershire,
which is one of the lowest-funded
counties. However, funding for
building is causing us the most
concern. There is limited funding
for rebuilding schools, and these
restrictions have a real impact on
our environment. Only one class is
in the main building of the school,
with the three other classes housed in
temporary classrooms. These buildings
are upwards of 30 years old. We try to
keep them refurbished but the reality is
that they are not fit for purpose, with
lighting and temperature control just
being the start of the difficulties.
While the move to becoming an
academy has been a real benefit for
school improvement and access to
funding, allowing some maintenance
to be carried out, there does not seem
to be access to funding for replacing
buildings that have come to the end of
their life for a smaller academy trust.
Love of learning
Our academy provides an environment
in which all children are able to flourish
and grow in confidence. They have
the opportunity to experience learning
beyond the classroom and to connect
with the wider world. Our aim is to
ensure our pupils leave Longney with
a love of learning and a respect for the
wider world in which they live.
All pupils are
equal, and we
do not limit
Enjoying the benefits
of being outdoors
and learning how to
“Building Community,
Enriching Lives”


This article was sponsored by Longney CE Primary Academy. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster