Newfield Secondary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Newfield Secondary 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 Newfield Secondary 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

Emma Anderson, head teacher
At Newfield we are curious and
have a thirst for knowledge
Newfield School serves a diverse community in the south
of Sheffield. They celebrate a rich culture and truly
comprehensive mix of students with over 30 heritage
languages and dialects being spoken by its families. Historically,
there were places available in each year group, which meant
managing large numbers of in-year starters and transience. As
the school’s reputation has grown recently, so has the number
of families opting for Newfield as their first-choice school. Now
all year groups are full, and the school has a waiting list. Head
teacher, Emma Anderson, explains how the school has worked
relentlessly to move from a “special measures” to a “good”
judgement by Ofsted in all categories in March 2017. Newfield
School now delivers the education its students deserve.
Benefiting from being part of the Mercia Learning Trust and strong leadership at
all levels, Newfield School began another phase of school improvement. In 2015,
I was appointed as co-head teacher along with Dean Webster. We had both been
working as deputy heads within the trust and so combined our skills and local
knowledge to lead the school under a new and innovative structure.
Together we promised that all decisions we made would be for the benefit of our
students. Our focus was resolutely core business and our priorities were simple:
that we deliver high-quality learning, meet students’ needs and that we have high
»Head teacher: Mrs Emma
»Founded in 2014
»Based in Sheffield
»Type of school:
Comprehensive secondary
school for students aged
»No. of students: 1,007
»No. of staff: 118
»Pupil premium: 41 per cent
»Ofsted: “Good", March 2017
»Part of the Mercia Learning
Newfield Secondary
Highlighting best practice
expectations of each other – students,
staff and families. A culture of zero
tolerance for low standards and
accountability shared by all was quickly
established. Everyone in the school
held the same belief and this common
ethos and value set remains at the
heart of all we do.
Getting the climate for
learning right
We have a great team of teachers
and support staff at Newfield and
our job was to ensure that they could
focus on great learning experiences
and not waste time dealing with
poor behaviour. To make further
improvement, low-level disruptive
behaviour needed to be systematically
tackled. Time was taken to research
good practice in other schools across
the country and to design a system
and policy that was easy to use and
understand, consistently applied and
met the needs of our students in our
context. Implementing our Consistent
Discipline Model gave staff the
confidence to manage behaviour, to
be supported by senior colleagues and
to recognise those students who were
working hard and being good citizens
in our school and wider communities.
We worked hard with all stakeholders
and “held the line” at all times, which
meant courageous conversations with
some of our families. Our behaviour
policy has transformed the climate for
learning in our school and we now see
the rapid progress our students make.
Put simply, teachers are able to teach
and more learning takes place. Other
schools in our trust and beyond have
now developed their own behaviour
policies based on the Newfield model.
Visitors to our school comment on the
calm and welcoming atmosphere. This
is simply down to positive relationships
with all who work with us at Newfield.
There is a real sense of “team” here
and genuine care for each other. We
believe in doing things because they
make a difference and if they don’t
make a difference we just don’t do
them. We do not expect our teachers to
mark books, for example. We do expect
that teachers provide quality feedback
and respond quickly to address
misconceptions or to really develop
depth of understanding and cognition.
Our support staff and pastoral teams
provide additional support and that
“wraparound” care that some of our
young people really need. Subject-
specialist teaching assistants, SEND
teaching assistants and pastoral staff
with specific expertise in safeguarding
and well-being are all vital in ensuring
the achievement of our students.
Staff go over and above to support
our young people and our students
respond to this and recognise the
effort made to support them. Our
results over the last two years have
significantly improved and place us in
Newfield students and
families regularly donate
to our local food bank.
We are considerate and
value our community.
Newfield is in
the top two
per cent of
the country
2015 2016 2017
P8 - 0.33 0.85
Attainment 41.6%
(5 A*-C EM)
(5 A*-C EM)
(Standard pass in EM)
the top two per cent of the country
for the progress made by our students.
We are also proud of the fact that
attainment gaps between cohorts are
closing significantly and the progress
of our pupil premium cohort remains
among the best in the city.
Teaching and learning focus
With an improved climate for learning,
we can concentrate on the core
business of learning and teaching.
Educational and organisational research
informs our work. Time is given to staff
to really get to grips with new GCSE
specifications and to design a curriculum
and assessment cycle to support this.
Opportunities to work collaboratively
with colleagues within the trust and
the city have been our recent focus.
We are honing our priorities so that we
have elements of pedagogy that are
common to all lessons – an emphasis on
reading (technical and pleasure), revision
of knowledge, low stakes quizzing to
consolidate, clear routines and pride in
work are typical.
What next?
I am very proud to lead Newfield
School. There are so many moments
when our students and staff bring
joy to every day. But there is still so
much to do here. We have recently
re-evaluated our core values and have
set these as the bedrock of our next
stage of improvement. Put simply,
we believe that achievement (in all
its forms) leads to opportunity and
choice. We want to develop and
broaden our offer to our students
so that they have the same life
chances as those peers with the
greatest of advantage. Our Newfield
Diploma will not only develop our
students academically; it will also
provide a range of enrichment
and extracurricular activity that
complements the curriculum. We
serve fabulous young people and their
families and want only the best for
each and every one.
leads to
and choice
Newfield School
We succeed through
dedication and relentless

This article was sponsored by Newfield Secondary 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 The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister