New Hall Primary School

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

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 New Hall Primary School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

HeadteacherBeverley Hanks
Reception children
Based in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, New Hall Primary
School is at the heart of the community it serves and
is driven by the mantra, “Love to Learn”. Prior to the
arrival of Headteacher Beverley Hanks in 2009, the school had
gone through a turbulent period, but things have been turned
around. A recent Ofsted report read: “As a well-established
headteacher you know with precision what the school’s
strengths are and what needs to be done to continue to
improve it.” Beverley explains more.
Part of the school’s turnaround involved increasing the school size from a one-
form to two-form entry in 2015-16. New Hall is situated on the outskirts of Sutton
Coldfield in the West Midlands, with the very affluent areas of Sutton Coldfield
on the one side and open fields on the other. The school sits on the edge of
the one main social housing area, and as a result we have a varied and ever-
With high deprivation rates and Pupil Premium funding at double the national
average, we defy the odds by offering a curriculum that is not only tailored to meet
the needs of the diverse community we serve, but is ambitious in ensuring that we
provide opportunities for all to succeed. Results for children continue to follow an
upward trend. Last year we were above the national average across EYFS, phonics
in year 1, year 2 and year 6 SATs, and this is a testament to the hard work and
commitment of the whole school community.
»Headteacher:Beverley Hanks
»Location:Sutton Coldfield,
West Midlands
»Type of school:Two-form
entry primary school
»No. of students:320
New Hall Primary
Highlighting best practice
Philosophy for children
Albert Einstein stated: “Education is
not the learning of facts but training
the mind to think.” This was at the
forefront of our minds when we
looked at the Education Endowment
Fund research on the impact of
Philosophy for Children.
In 2019, following a three-year
journey, our inclusive and forward-
thinking approach to the curriculum
allowed us to celebrate achieving
the Gold Award for Philosophy for
Children. Our teaching was based
on the research we had adopted in
addition to the values and beliefs we
learnt throughout these three years.
We believe the P4C would give our
pupils a voice, while accepting and
recognising that everybody’s opinion
is valid.
With 27 different languages spoken at
the school, often with children arriving
without speaking any English at all,
this is particularly important. We are
rightly proud to be the first school in
the West Midlands to have achieved
the Gold Award. We continue to be
great advocates of the P4C approach,
hosting other schools to see the
benefits and the impact that it has had
on the whole school community.
Pupil wellbeing
Our recognition with the P4C award
fits well into our understanding that
the fundamental principle of a good
education is ensuring that pupils are
ready and able to learn. To this end,
pupil wellbeing has always been high
on our agenda. Due to our location,
the school has high in-year mobility.
To enable all pupils to feel part of our
community, a great deal of work is
done to ensure that new arrivals are
welcomed, integrated and supported.
We have a fantastic pastoral team
who focus on supporting the children
and their families. Each year a pupil
wellbeing questionnaire is completed
in the autumn term and then revisited
in the summer term. The questionnaire
provides a snapshot of how pupils are
managing their feelings and attitudes
to learning, so that we can set about
supporting those in most need. We are
able to ensure that the support given
has made a difference when we revisit
the questionnaire.
Outdoor learning
The school benefits from an amazing
environment, not only in terms of open
space but the resources available. We
have had a Forest School in place for
ten years now, and this has allowed
us to ensure that outdoor learning has
always been a fundamental principle
by which we believe the children learn
so much – not just about caring for the
The indoor outdoor
Our inclusive
and forward-
approach to
the curriculum
allowed us to
achieving the
Gold Award
for Philosophy
for Children
environment and the creatures in it, for
future generations to enjoy, but also
the understanding of how we all need
to live and work together.
We are a school that looks outward
not inward, so that we can help our
pupils understand that they too can
make a difference. We have continued
to add to the outside learning
experience with a Maths Academy,
where large-scale mathematical
equipment such as Numicon and a
climbing wall are used to reinforce and
enhance learning. An onsite swimming
pool means that we are also able to
offer all pupils an opportunity to learn
to swim, as we employ a swimming
teacher. The swimming pool also
provides a valuable income stream, as
it is hired out to outside groups when
not being used by the school.
Outward looking
The school is committed to ensuring
the vibrancy of the whole school
community is celebrated, and an
extensive programme of visits to places
of worship is planned for each year to
reflect the multicultural make-up of
the school.
An extensive programme of
educational visits to local and national
places of interests build upon the
children’s working knowledge. Each
year group has particular philosophers,
artists and composers to learn about
throughout the year. Again, this is to
enhance and extend the knowledge
and vision of our place in the wider
world. As a school we strive to
continue to look outward.
The impact of the coronavirus has
made its presence felt this year for
all schools across the country. With
very little preparation time, we have
continued to help and support our
community by keeping learning
alive. Extraordinary times calls for
extraordinary people and actions.
This is what we have at New Hall, a
huge effort from the whole team,
from ensuring the school is safe, by
providing key worker and vulnerable
places for our pupils through to
high-quality remote education. As a
school we can only look forward to
welcoming all of our pupils back when
it is safe to do so.
We are a school
that looks
outward not
inward, so that
we can help our
understand that
they too can
make a
Key Stage 1 playtime Making the most of the
Key Stage 2 outdoor

This article was sponsored by New Hall Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy