Prince of Wales Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Prince of Wales 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 Prince of Wales 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

Highlighting best practice
Mr Bless, head teacher, with
pupils Amari Lee Boyaram and
Hashem Jaelani
Friendly interaction during
acomputing lesson
On arrival at Prince of Wales in September 2012, Jan
Bless noticed a wide range of challenges that needed to
be addressed, including pupil behaviour, the quality of
teaching and aspects of leadership. With a willing and trusting
school community and two open-minded deputies with 50 years of
shared experience, Prince of Wales has transformed into a school
which is valued and praised both within and beyond the localarea.
During my first staff meeting, I focused predominantly on the importance of
building positive relationships with pupils and their families. I explained my
plan for improvement, inspired by the London Olympics, that every pupil could
be a “gold medal” learner. Another key task was to identify emerging leaders
who shared my vision. The next step involved a staff restructure and a middle
New assistant head teachers (AHTs) emerged from within the existing team and
through careful recruitment. This leadership team had a varied skills set, ranging
from finance, inclusion, data, training, communicating with parents and the early
years foundation stage (EYFS). Their ability to problem-solve and commitment
to improve pupils’ learning experiences allowed me to focus on other strategic
matters, including a five-year school expansion programme. Recruiting additional
outstanding subject leaders moved the bar higher. Gradually, the competencies of
good leadership cascaded down to all staff, with the core purpose of improving
outcomes for all pupils.
Issues around behaviour and attitudes to learning were the most pressing
concerns. Over the last ten years, the needs of the local community had become
»Head teacher: Jan Bless
»Founded in 1950
»Based in Enfield
»Type of school: State primary
»Work with Westminster
University and SACRE on
developing an RE programme
of study contributed to the
recognition of Alevism as a
religion in Britain in 2015
»Prince of Wales won the
Enfield in Bloom gold medal in
2017 for the second time
Prince of Wales
Primary School
more challenging and the school
had adopted a reactive approach.
A range of initiatives built around a
new positive behaviour strategy were
introduced that supported pupils in
making informedchoices.
»Pupils, staff and parents jointly
devised shared principles for our
school community. These were
exemplified in our Learners’ Values
– listen, excellence, attitude, respect,
negotiate, enjoy, responsibility
and support. These values were
communicated at every opportunity,
such as during assemblies, meetings,
through the school website and in
our weeklynewsletter.
»Initially focused on the Olympic
and Paralympic values, a two-year
programme of values was introduced
that incorporated British values. In
the weekly achievement assembly,
pupils look forward to a ceremony,
unique to the school, where selected
pupils are awarded with an engraved
baton. These batons are passed on
every week to the next gold medal
»Five years of leading two thought-
provoking assemblies every week
have been an integral pillar to the
initiation of our ethos for a shared-
values culture. They can talk about
resilience, that learning is hard and
that mistakes must be made in order
to make progress.
»A new head teacher award system
was introduced where pupils could
earn a pencil, star, wristband, book
or a cinema ticket after 20 days of
“staying on gold”. All pupils start
the day with their names on a large
gold medal. Simply by following
all the school rules and values and
allowing learning to take place,
pupils earn a tick if they remain
there by the end of the day. A
simple traffic light system is triggered
when behaviour does not meet our
standards. A range of sanctions may
then beinvoked.
»Replacing the cloakrooms with
intervention spaces offered new
areas for small group work and
installing lockers outside the
classrooms maximised lesson time
and reduced lost property.
»Various climbing structures were
installed for each key stage in order
to stimulate physical development
and as a source of enjoyment.
Playleaders received training on how
to engage the children.
»The profile of year 6 pupils was
raised by identifying positive role
models such as a head girl, a head
boy and school prefects, while
allowing pupils to earn black
uniform jumpers for commendable
»CCTV cameras were installed
in strategic places around the
playground and in corridors.
Since then, pupils regulate their
choices better as there are clear
consequences to their behaviour.
»We have turned very high mobility
into an opportunity and strength.
Pupils are used to forging new
friendships and pass on our values
and expectations. A lot of thought
goes into changing all classes each
year so that there is a balance of
abilities and needs.
Relationships and
communication are key
to success
Over the last ten
years, the needs
of the local
community had
become more
challenging and
the school had
adopted a
Highlighting best practice
A relevant and exciting curriculum
reflects the community we serve and
engages pupils. Reading takes centre
stage and the Power of Reading is key
to much of the learning. Opportunities
are seized to enhance learning such
as local archaeological digs, Royal
Opera House visits or the Women’s
Cricket World Cup at Lord’s. We offer
a rich outdoor curriculum through our
school grounds and utilise our local
environment and Londonitself.
Good relationships with our families
are vital. Our school community
is a kaleidoscope of different
backgrounds, experiences and
expectations and this has at times
presented significant challenges. As
a school we understand that there
are sometimes substantial barriers to
learning, and knowing our families
There are an increasing number
of vulnerable families who require
different forms of support. The
school provides services such as
Place 2 Be, music therapy, a sensory
room, learning mentors and a parent
support adviser. Parents can attend
ESOL (English for Speakers of Other
Languages) or parenting classes
and have access to a wide range of
children’s centre services.
Through regular workshops such as
phonics, bar modelling or reading,
we demonstrate to parents how they
can help at home. We now have
new and active parent governors, a
reborn Friends’ association and a well-
attended Parent Forum.
Staff development has evolved over
the past years. The focus has shifted
from what a good lesson looks like to
effective questioning, giving relevant
feedback and more recently to teacher
efficacy and Lesson Study.
Staff have worked very hard to improve
the school and regular inspection visits
confirmed we were on the right track.
Good partnerships with the governors
and LA improvement service offered
the right amount of support and
challenge. Identifying talented people
whom I can trust and delegate to has
been an essential part of my leadership.
The past five years have confirmed that
change doesn’t take place overnight.
By being positive, building good
relationships, empowering staff and
getting children to work hard and do
their best, we now have a school of
which everybody can be proud.
The past five
years have
that change
doesn’t take
Left: Annual school
community picnic
Right: Baton ceremony

This article was sponsored by Prince of Wales Primary 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