Nafferton Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Nafferton 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 Nafferton 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 Paul Johnson
Harvest display at the
main entrance
Based in East Riding, Nafferton Primary School is a
traditional village school with a strong community ethos.
Personal responsibility and citizenship are the school’s
two main values, upon which is built a philosophy that hopes
to produce well-rounded students at the end of year six. The
school tries to generate a welcoming, family feel, avoiding the
corporate direction taken by many other schools. Headteacher
Paul Johnson tells the
Twenty-three years ago, I was a trainee teacher, completing my first placement
in a school in Bridlington and working with an inspirational teacher who I have
never forgotten throughout my career. Jump forward to today and I am now
working with that very same inspirational teacher once more: she is now my deputy
headteacher. As a partnership, we are only a small part of the Nafferton family –
one that I am immensely proud of. No corporate image, no gimmicks, no fads, just
us: a school where childhood matters.
We place a strong emphasis on individuality, with the aim of helping children
grow into responsible, able and caring adults. All our decisions are taken based on
their impact on the children’s wellbeing and development. Happiness, aspiration,
respect, value, endeavour, success and togetherness, or HARVEST, makes up our
ethos, and it is thread that runs through everything we do on site.
Tradition and innovation
Many of our children’s parents and grandparents attended the school and they are
invested in our continued success. This makes us a multi-generational family school,
»Headteacher: Paul Johnson
»Founded in 1914
»Location: Nafferton, East
Riding of Yorkshire
»Type of school: Primary
»No. of students: 289
»School open just before the
outbreak of WW1
Nafferton Primary
Highlighting best practice
with several members of staff being
ex-pupils, some of whose children also
now attend as pupils. The philosophy
of the SLT is to maintain the heritage
of the school while ensuring that
standards are continually improved
upon. We place a lot of trust in our
staff and, within the school guidelines,
teachers reflect their own personalities
through their classroom interiors.
We have chosen to avoid a corporate
feel to the school and instead
each classroom retains a sense
of individuality. We are regularly
visited by other schools that want to
experience and emulate the positive
environment we have created for both
children and staff. Walk through the
school or enter any classroom, and you
will be met with a scene familiar to
many of us from our own school days:
a bright, busy and child-led setting. It is
not uncommon for visitors to comment
on this familiarity and reflect upon
their own positive experiences when
they were primary age. This traditional
aspect is very important to us. It is also
an aspect of the school which does not
happen by itself but is constantly being
reinforced by the SLT.
Termly change
One of the key ways in which we
maintain our approach is through
whole-school termly themes. This
ensures each child and parent shares
the same focus with the school.
Every term, we work to ensure our
curriculum matches our learning
intentions via our current theme, so
that lessons are dynamic and fun for
both children and staff.
There are no off-the-peg schemes
or lessons but rather imaginative
approaches to making the children’s
learning memorable. All of us can
recall a project we undertook at
primary school that has stayed with
us through the years. That type of
distinctive learning is what we strive
for each term.
An example of a recent theme is
“Space”. Throughout the school,
children have engaged with the topic
in a variety of ways, from reading a
space-themed class book to writing
letters of application to the European
Space Agency or a newspaper article
about the moon landing.
Maths used the theme as part of
a Number Day, whereby children
explored the numbers behind our solar
system and beyond. Computing, PE
and art are also based on the termly
topic. Previous themes have included
the environment, during which
children wrote to politicians, businesses
and embassies to express their views
on deforestation. This in turn led to
a group of children being invited to
the Brazilian Embassy in London. The
purpose of this approach is to create
Our Victorian
Coronation Day
No corporate
image, no
gimmicks, no
fads, just us: a
school where
a dynamic framework upon which the
children build core primary skills.
Citizens of the future
Being at the heart of a rural
community means we need to help our
children become active and responsible
members of it. We take this very
seriously, ensuring the children know
their rights as well as responsibilities.
A key value is democracy, a cultural
element that permeates our school. It
is important that children experience
agency in the democratic process, so
that they can take responsibility for
their decisions.
Children participate in annual school
parliamentary debates where the
motions passed have an impact on the
school. Recent debates have included
establishing a school tuck shop, which
was defeated on the grounds it might
encourage poor diet choices, and
extending the franchise of who is
eligible to vote in the School Captain
elections, which was passed. The
pupil-led school council has a budget
and makes decisions that impact upon
the school, such as banning the use of
sauce sachets in the canteen as they
are single-use plastics. House captains
have to produce election materials,
speak at hustings and are elected via
secret ballot by their peers.
Pupils are expected to be responsible
for aspects of the school and must
apply, usually in writing, for a
responsibility. These range from
running the school library to older
children helping the younger ones
over lunchtime, and ensuring the bird
feeders are maintained. Staff also take
responsibility seriously by providing
out-of-school clubs, such as rugby,
yoga, hockey, chess and history, to
encourage children to become involved
in voluntary activities.
Students who demonstrate a sense
of fairness and an ability to lead
become Sports Ambassadors and are
given extra responsibilities around
the school. When joining a club, the
children sign an agreement stating
that they will conduct themselves in an
appropriate manner at all times. This
is enforced by children taking personal
responsibility for their own behaviour,
an essential part of our school ethos.
We strive to maintain our individual
identity in an ever-increasing
corporate-focused education system.
We see ourselves as more than just a
local village school: we are Nafferton
and Nafferton is us.
Being at the
heart of a rural
means we need
to help our
children become
active and
members of it
Harrison: “The skills I learn today will help me in the future, as an
individual and as part of my community.”
Tom: “Here at Nafferton we have a curriculum to help us tackle the
problems of the future.”
Joseph: “Being a rural school, the teachers make sure we can
experience and celebrate the diverse cultures of the UK.”
Rose: “We have a strong individual voice and we believe every
student should have a influence in our school.”
Jasmine: “At Nafferton we have a voice and ensure everybody is
Lydia: “I don’t know what the future will be like – but I know I will
Annie: “Allowing us to stand up, express ourselves and debate our
opinions is key to a happy and healthy school environment.”
The Polling Station on
School Election Day

This article was sponsored by Nafferton Primary School. 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