Shawclough Community Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Shawclough Community 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 Shawclough Community 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
Julia Sandiford-Mitchell,
“You and your staff provide
exceptional care and support
for pupils and their families”
hawclough Community Primary is a two-form entry primary
school for children aged two to 11, with a school ethos
grounded in love, security and happiness. Their 2017
Ofsted report effectively demonstrated that inclusion was at
the heart of their practice: “as an inclusive school, you work
tirelessly to reduce any barriers to learning that pupils may
have.” Shawclough now plan on enhancing their offer with
a dedicated autistic spectrum condition provision, a natural
extension to the child-centred practice they presently operate;
this will ensure that children can access education without being
isolated, excluded or lost in the system.
I am sure that Rochdale conjures up many pictures for you: our catchment area
has featured on the BBC as the Benefits Capital of Britain and you will have heard
the distressing stories about child sexual exploitation which happened close by.
There is a high level of poverty and we have a school which has 18 different
languages and a diverse population. We believe we provide excellent provision for
all of our children; Ofsted visited in December and confirmed our view: “You have
established a culture across the school which promotes pupils’ academic aspirations
alongside their physical and emotional well-being.” And: “You and your staff
provide exceptional care and support for pupils and their families.” Ofsted 2017
With the nurture and ethos that we continually develop through school we are
best placed to offer a resourced unit for autistic children. Our staff have highly
rated experience and specific knowledge in these areas with many staff qualified at
degree level in autism; we are also an autism champion school.
»Head teacher: Julia Sandiford-
»Founded in 1990
»Based in Rochdale
»Type of school: Primary school
for pupils aged2–11
»No. of pupils: 450
»Autism provision opening
September 2018
Shawclough Community
Primary School
Many schools worry about the impact
of results, but we believe all children
need the opportunity to achieve well
whatever their starting point. The local
authority and the Rochdale Additional
Needs team are supporting us to
ensure the best provision possible.
We have developed our children’s
learning based on six principles which
are our school drivers.
Our results are excellent, our children
are happy, our school is bright and
inviting and we don’t work in isolation;
we work with whoever we can - the
local authority, the Rochdale Urban
Schools Collaborative (RUSC), with
which we have seven other partner
schools as a support and challenge
network, and we have connections
to the nearest Teaching School, the
In nursery we cater for children from
two to four years old. Our offer for
two-year-olds is about supporting
disadvantaged children in getting the
best start in education. Providing early
learning opportunities will hopefully
translate into wider life chances later
on. Our three and four-year-olds in
the main access the 15 hours provision
with a small group accessing the
enhanced 30 hours funding. The skill
of working with the younger children
is celebrated as these children are
supported by in-the-moment planning
and experiences; with focused activities
to move learning on at the child’s own
pace, it is very important that each
success is celebrated and developed
In unit 1, reception and year 1, the
team develops learning creatively
through play and the outdoors: in-the-
moment planning for reception and
developing our creative curriculum
with the national curriculum for year
1. Children’s learning is focused on
personal and social development, and
strong and clear phonics teaching
through Read Write Inc. which is
taught with commitment, giving an
excellent foundation for children’s
reading which is shown at the end of
Key Stage 1, especially by our boys,
through reading in greater depth.
Our boys are encouraged to be
superheroes, climb trees, make a
mess and build. This enables them
to access the written curriculum for
which girls generally have more of
an affinity. (These are of course gross
generalisations: all of our children are
individuals.) We don’t put superhero
stickers on pencils and just hope they
will write. Our children’s learning
behaviours are carefully introduced
through our dinosaurs, Try-a-tops and
Stick-a-saurus, which fosters a culture
of learner resilience, right from an
In unit 2, year 2 and year 3, children’s
confidence is developed through GBAT
(Getting Better At), identifying gaps
and misconceptions for individual
children and making the difference.
We build resilience and self-esteem
through our curriculum drivers,
creating team-workers, creative
thinkers, independent enquirers,
effective participators, self-managers
“In the moment
planning” at nursery
You have
established a
culture across
the school
which promotes
pupils’ academic
alongside their
physical and
Ofsted 2017
Highlighting best practice
and reflective learners. Childrenare
introduced to these, building on the
dinosaurs from unit 1; this embeds
a significant reliance on learning
behaviours to enhance children’s
By unit 3, years 4 and 5, the
foundations have been laid in order
to enhance academic achievement
for each individual child. This is done
through creativity; using chalk body
outlines to develop the depth of
writing through Macbeth, mummifying
a fish for the Egyptians, and circus,
skills to identify a few of the vast array
of experiences planned and organised
in order to meet all of our children’s
learning needs.
In unit 4, year 6, creativity is further
developed through crime scene
investigation, scientific enquiry, the
diary of a soldier in the First World War
or up in the woods re-enacting The
Little Match Girl to enhance the depth
and quality of the writing. This has had
a significant impact on achievement
in reading, writing, EGPS and maths
which is evident in our results,
achieving above the national average
in all areas: no mean feat in a deprived
area like Rochdale with most children
without English as their first language.
Our staff are open, honest and sharing
and as a result we have developed
strong links with the Rochdale Urban
Schools Collaborative (RUSC) of which
we are a lead member. Within this we
have worked with member schools
on sharing good practice through the
teach meet, moderation learning walks
support, and challenging each other
in order to enhance the life chances of
the children of Rochdale.
We overcome many of our children’s
significant barriers to learning through
identifying needs and meeting those
needs through nurture, therapeutic
inclusion, an expectation of good
manners, understanding of diversity,
openness and honesty through
rights and understanding, respect
and responsibility. Our learning and
teaching are developed in teams,
through lesson study, joint planning
and team organisation to overcome
some of Rochdale’s children’s
struggles. We work very hard to keep
children in mainstream education and
provide them with the best education.
We have the most incredible children
that deserve the very best. Our parents
called us “my Shawcloughfamily”.
As an inclusive
school, you
work tirelessly
to reduce any
barriers to
learning that
pupils may
Ofsted 2017
enquirers” in unit 2
“Try-a-tops” in
action in unit 1


This article was sponsored by Shawclough Community 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