Preston School Academy

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Preston School Academy'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 Preston School Academy 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

www.prestonschool.co.uk

27PRESTON SCHOOL ACADEMY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Principal Gregg Morrison with
students
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.
REPORT CARD
PRESTON SCHOOL ACADEMY
»Head teacher: Gregg Morrison
»Founded in 1961
»Based in Yeovil, Somerset
»Type of school: Standalone
academy for students aged
11-16
»No. of students: 996
»No. of staff: 131, with
62teachers and 69 support
staff
»Strapline: “Bringing Learning
to Life and Life to Learning”
»Provides an on-site autism
base
Preston School
Academy
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
28 | PRESTON SCHOOL ACADEMY
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
Smile
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.
Can-do
attitudes
in
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
29PRESTON SCHOOL ACADEMY |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Local school – global
perspective
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
futuresuccess.
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
Gregg Morrison with principal Yang
from No.10 Middle School
Students enjoy reading
in the Preston School
library

www.prestonschool.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Preston School Academy. 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 Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

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