Highlighting best practice
Year 6 children are trained as
librarians and reading champions,
to work alongside Key Stage 1
children. This has a significant
impact on both parties
David Potter, head teacher,
with year 6 children
The successes of Middlefield Primary are even more striking
when considering the acute social and economic deprivation
within the community which head teacher David Potter serves:
71 per cent of their children are entitled to free school meals,
20 per cent are on the SEND register. In addition, over ten per
cent of their most vulnerable children and families are supported
through a range of safeguarding provisions, from EHATs to CIN
plans to full child protection plans. David documents the way
in which Middlefield Community Primary has achieved positive
outcomes for its students despite these challenges.
Children enter our school in the early years at starting points much lower than
typically expected. Even with highly effective teaching and care in the Early Years,
on average only around 50 per cent go on to achieve a good level of development.
However, for the past two years, outcomes for children in English at the end of Key
Stage 2 are at least in line with all schools nationally.
In 2016, we recorded an incredible reading progress score of +8.4, placing us in
the top one per cent of all schools across the country. In writing, our progress score
was +2.8, significantly above the national standard.
Building upon this success, in 2017, our reading progress score continued to be
“above average” at +3.10: 88 per cent of children in year 6 achieved the expected
standard or higher in reading, 17 per cent above all schools nationally. Our
2017reading, writing and maths combined attainment was 65 per cent above local
and national averages. In reading, 24 per cent achieved a higher standard, while 18
per cent achieved greater depth in writing.
»Head teacher: David Potter
»Founded in 2001
»Based in Speke, Liverpool
»Type of school: Community
»No. of pupils: 317reception to
year 6 – 44in nursery (339 FTE)
»School holds a number of
quality marks: “Liverpool
Reading Quality Mark”–
Gold, “Liverpool Counts”
Maths Quality Mark – Bronze
and “Sainsbury’s School
Games Award”– Gold
»Middlefield is also a “strategic
partner” of Liverpool Hope
Middlefield Primary
In reading, we strive to:
»create a text-rich environment for all of our children that appeals to
their interests;
»provide a wide range of high-quality texts;
»promote reading for enjoyment throughout the school;
»develop confident, independent readers;
»help children use a range of strategies to enable them to read for
»enable children to deduce, infer or interpret information, events or
ideas from texts;
»encourage children to become enthusiastic and reflective readers.
In writing, our aims are to:
»help children enjoy writing and recognise its value;
»enable children to write confidently, with accuracy and meaning in
narrative and non-fiction;
»encourage children to produce imaginative, interesting and
thoughtful texts;
»increase children’s ability to use planning, drafting and editing to
improve their work.
Prior to this, outcomes in both
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 were
inconsistent and were often below
or significantly below average. In
both 2007 and 2010, the school
was judged “satisfactory” and in
January 2013, we were judged to be
“requiring improvement” by Ofsted.
Just13months later, Middlefield was
judged to be “good”. Since then, we
have embarked upon a journey of
continuous improvement.
This success has been the result
of several years of the school’s
bespoke and innovative “Middlefield
Chatterboxes” curriculum. This
is our meticulously planned and
implemented English scheme,
which, in turn, drives the remainder
of our creative curriculum. The
“Chatterboxes”approach has been
tremendously successful in developing
pupils’ abilities within an integrated
programme of speaking and listening,
reading and writing. It has given
pupils opportunities to interrelate
the requirements of English within
a broad and balanced approach to
the teaching of English across the
curriculum, with regular opportunities
to consolidate and reinforce taught
English skills.
It has ensured the delivery of the
National Literacy Curriculum 2014
in a fun and engaging way, which
enables all children from whatever
background and of whatever ability
to excel. It provides children with the
necessary skills to become competent,
creative and efficient users of the
English language, to prepare them
for secondary school and to enable
them to become successful in their
“Chatterboxes” provides children
with successful literacy role models
to increase aspiration and provide
children with meaningful, engaging
contexts for reading and writing.
Throughout our skills-based creative
curriculum, there is a focus on
broadening the children’s outlook and
raising their aspirations for the future.
We believe that this has a positive
impact on their progress and encourages
them to learn how to take risks and
become more resourceful, innovative,
enterprising and capable citizens.
Children engaged in
high-quality immersive
Highlighting best practice
The transformational impact of
“Middlefield Chatterboxes” is just
one of many examples of the strong
practice within our school. Securing
excellent academic outcomes for our
pupils can only be achieved through
a strong teaching and learning
process: an engaging and challenging
curriculum, quality teaching, robust
assessment that informs the next steps,
appropriate targeting, interventions
and a constant desire for improvement
through dialogue and reflection.
Alongside this is the equally significant
and vitally important work that
we do to ensure that our children
are fully supported to develop the
social and emotional skills, resilience
and wellbeing that are essential for
modern life. Our pastoral provision is a
particular strength at Middlefield. The
challenges within our community are
such that we have four members of staff
in our safeguarding team. In addition to
our pastoral assistant head teacher, who
leads our provision, our DSL and two
full-time learning mentors and SENCO
work tirelessly to ensure that the needs
of our most vulnerable children are met.
We are constantly striving to help
our children overcome any barriers
to their learning. These barriers can
often be very complex. We use a wide
range of educational therapeutics
and supportive interventions.
Ourprogrammes are aimed at
improving well-being and developing
the child’s emotional intelligence.
Our robust referral system ensures
that the correct children are identified
and can be offered the appropriate
support that they require. During the
autumn term we provided an essential
intervention to 76 children – 22 per
cent of the school – and many more
children who have been identified
through the referral system and regular
pastoral team meetings will receive
support throughout the school year.
The introduction of the “Philosophy for
Children” (P4C) programme into our
school this year has brought our bespoke
curriculum and outstanding pastoral care
closer together. We are already seeing
that creating a “Community of Enquiry”
through P4C is having a positive
impact on children’s deeper thinking,
better curricular understanding, better
understanding of their own self-esteem
and respect for others.
At our last Ofsted inspection in 2014,
all areas were judged to be “good”.
Thanks to the dedication and talent of
all of the staff at Middlefield, I believe
that our ambition and drive has led
us from strength to strength. This is
a special and unique school, full of
warmth and care and a dedication and
aspiration to succeed.
are aimed at
wellbeing and
the child’s
Children visited Liverpool
Central Library as part
of the school receiving
a Gold Reading Quality