Preston School Academy

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

Principal Gregg Morrison with
We are proud of our students’
uniform and work ethic
Since its foundation in 1961, Preston School has maintained
its reputation as a positive, happy place to both learn and
teach. Principal Gregg Morrison, who has led the school
since 2015, is filled with the enthusiasm his school generates
and loves coming into work every day. The school’s popularity
among students, families and staff stems from a culture based
upon the mantra of “Bringing Learning to Life and Life to
Learning”. This vibrant community, specialising in business
and enterprise, is more than a focal point for the local Yeovil
community – it maintains far-reaching education-sharing and
friendship ties with schools as distant as Yueyang, China.
The culture of any school is a jigsaw puzzle of its people, processes and
circumstance – all of the pieces must be in the box when you start so that you can
fit them together and for the school to succeed. When looking at the “Preston
puzzle”, I started with the corners and edges, as with the fundamentals of any
jigsaw, focusing on the culture of the school. There were many great things
happening and we have further developed and built upon these in my time leading
the school.
The Preston School BASICS
I am a firm believer that the behaviour and attitudes of students form the
prerequisite for a successful school culture. The behaviour and attitudes of students
at Preston were good, but as a staff team, we wanted it to be better.
»Head teacher: Gregg Morrison
»Founded in 1961
»Based in Yeovil, Somerset
»Type of school: Standalone
academy for students aged
»No. of students: 996
»No. of staff: 131, with
62teachers and 69 support
»Strapline: “Bringing Learning
to Life and Life to Learning”
»Provides an on-site autism
Preston School
Highlighting best practice
This is what the students deserve.
Working with the staff, we updated
the behaviour and rewards policy to
reflect a prominence of rewarding
great behaviour for learning, while
punishing those who interrupted
teaching and learning. In addition
to tightening up on rewards and
sanctions, we all created the “Preston
Schools BASICS”. BASICS is an
acronym for:
Behaviour for learning
Attendance and punctuality
Smart uniform
Interested in learning
Can-do attitude
These basics for a happy school now
underpin everyday learning life.
The BASICS are not just a set of
“school rules” that must be obeyed.
They are, rather, a set of principles by
which we want students to act and
behave while at school to prepare
them for the demands of their
future working lives. Every learning
conversation hangs off this acronym
and we instil in our children the belief
that if they uphold these principles
while with us, then not only is learning
at Preston easy, but they will also be
well prepared for later life.
As a result, visitors to Preston are
always impressed with the learning
environment and the conduct and
manners of our students.
“Bringing Learning to Life and
Life to Learning”
Complementing our Preston School
jigsaw is our strapline – “Bringing
Learning to Life and Life to Learning”.
Underutilised before I started as
principal, we have pushed the
message to the forefront and it is
now the sentence that is regularly
used to describe the intentions of
our hard-working staff and our daily
efforts. I firmly believe that if you use
a strapline as a school it must embody
the work that you do and what you
hope to achieve. I say with confidence
that ours certainly does. We are not
solely an “exams factory”; we know
that our role in a modern society is to
help prepare students to have good
manners, communication skills and
resilience for when they leave us – we
are here for them, and not the other
way around.
Our specialism in business and
enterprise – which we have
enthusiastically maintained despite
the cessation of the government
programme – is integral in building
pupil resilience and communication
skills. Throughout a child’s time at
the school, we focus upon the skills
that the specialism elicits rather
than entrepreneurial knowledge.
All students take part in specialism-
driven activities from their first term
at Preston and many of the exciting
developments we have planned for
the school revolve around the soft
skills of business and enterprise. In
summer 2018, a group of year 9
students are due to represent the
school in the final of Peter Jones’
“Tycoon in Schools” competition,
held at Buckingham Palace.
reading are important
at Preston School
Bringing learning
to life
I am a firm
believer that
the behaviour
and attitudes
of students
form the
prerequisite for
a successful
school culture
Local school – global
Another way in which we look to bring
learning to life and life to learning
is through our focus upon “global
learning”. In wanting to provide
the students with an educational
experience that sets them up for
a successful working life, we are
passionate about the role of global
learning in helping develop worldly,
well-rounded and wise students.
Learning about different cultures,
people and beliefs is embedded
throughout a student’s time at Preston,
and they will be explicitly taught about
all the wonderful, diverse corners of
the world in which we live.
While learning in the classroom is
inspirational on its own we aim to
bring learning to life by showing the
students first-hand what countries
across the world have to offer.
Partnerships, exchange visits and great
working relationships with schools
in China, Ghana, Australia, France,
Spain and Italy have all seen students
and staff embark upon many exciting
adventures. Our most prominent
partnership is with No. 10 Middle
School in Yueyang, China. Brokered
through our close relationship with
a local further education college,
the partnership is in its seventh year
and has seen students and staff take
part in rewarding and enlightening
exchange visits. Preston School
visitors to China have all learnt a
huge amount from the experience
of being immersed in Chinese life
and culture for a week, and delight
in understanding the similarities and
differences between Chinese and
English schools.
Skills for school, skills for life
Our aim at Preston is to equip all our
students with both the academic
qualifications for a profitable school
career and the habits and life skills that
will make them highly successful in life
after school. These separate qualities –
school success and life skills – will bring
some success in isolation, but once
young people are able to combine
them we see them really flourish and
fly. I am truly proud that local colleges,
apprenticeship providers, universities
and employers have all commented
upon how good Preston students
are when they reach them and how
they stand out for their excellence. It
is a pleasure to lead such a thriving
school and I look forward to every
I firmly believe
that if you use
a strapline as
a school it
must embody
the work that
you do and
what you
hope to
achieve. I say
that ours
certainly does
Gregg Morrison with principal Yang
from No.10 Middle School
Students enjoy reading
in the Preston School

This article was sponsored by Preston School Academy. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.