St Edward's Catholic Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by St Edward's Catholic 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 St Edward's Catholic 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

Head teacher Christopher
The happy children of
Situated on Green Street in the diverse community of
Newham, East London, St Edward’s Catholic Primary
School is a two-form entry Voluntary Aided Catholic School
for children aged 3 to 11. The head teacher of 15 years, Chris
Mabey, has experienced huge changes in government policy,
local provision and expected standards. What hasn’t changed,
though, is his and the school’s commitment to serving the needs
of their children and community. For this reason and others,
StEdward’s was designated as a National Teaching School in
March 2013. Chris Mabey explains below how this was achieved.
My Journey
I grew up and attended primary and secondary schools in the borough of Newham
and I have a strong commitment to the local area. My first teacher training
placement was at St Edward’s in 1994, and with the exception of one year spent at
a neighbouring Newham school, my entire career has been dedicated to here. While
many heads face the challenge of turning around struggling schools, St Edward’s
has consistently enjoyed high standards and my very difficult challenge has been to
maintain the progress, success and profile of the school over a sustained period.
Investing in Our Staff
At StEdward’s we are fortunate to have highly committed and hard-working
teachers, the overwhelming majority of whom have undertaken training practice at
the school. At present, the school is made up of X teaching staff and Y supportstaff.
»Head teacher: Mr Christopher
»Year Founded: 1902
»Location: Upton Park, London
Borough of Newham.
»Type of School: Two Form
entry Voluntary Aided Catholic
»472 students
»27 teachers
»35 support staff
»Designated Teaching School
Status since 2013
»School Motto: ‘Following
Christ we reach our goals’
St Edward’s Catholic
Primary School
Highlighting best practice
We invest significantly in the
professional development of our staff.
We create opportunities to take on
leadership responsibility, for example,
through shadowing existing leaders
in the school. This academic year,
our NQT+1s are shadowing subject
leaders in order to support their career
development and subsequently to be
able to take on additional leadership
Our role as a Teaching School means
that our staff have unparalleled
opportunities for training, such as the
National Professional Qualification
for Middle and Senior Leaders and
the opportunity to work alongside
colleagues in other schools as Specialist
Leaders of Education (SLEs). At present,
a number of our experienced staff work
as SLEs to help raise standards in other
schools. We are also proud of the large
number of former StEdward’s staff
who have gone on to senior roles and
headship in other schools. This has only
continued to enhance our network of
schools and build upon the experience
and skills of leaders of excellence and
local knowledge.
International Primary
St Edward’s adopted the International
Primary Curriculum (IPC) three years
ago in order to strengthen our
children’s learning. The IPC is an
internationally focused curriculum
that is used across the world and
provides opportunities for global
learning. We found the focus on
different ways of learning and the
combination of academic and personal
learning particularly attractive given
the diversity of the school. The IPC
provides a wide choice of units to
work from with suggested tasks linked
to our learning objectives and the
need for lifelong skills. Incidentally,
being in the heart of London means
that we have enviable access to
cultural and educational resources
supported by the Mayor of London’s
Travel discount for school groups.
As a result of this, our pupils get to
experience learning outside of the
classroom environment and continue
to broaden their horizons.
One novel approach to our teaching
and development has been the
recruitment of Teddy, our school dog.
He joined the school in September
2011 and has become an indispensable
member of our school family. His
role includes meeting and greeting
important visitors, working with
children with special education needs
and reading to Teddy on a daily basis.
The Reading Programme with Teddy is
doing wonders for children at school.
Pupils that may feel embarrassed to
read aloud to the class or an adult
have proven to be less scared or self-
conscious when reading to Teddy.
Teddy is incredibly calm and happy to
have students read to him or join the
pupils in the SEN room while they are
learning. We have observed children’s
growing confidence in reading as well
as an increase in reading levels, word
recognition and the desire to read
Teddy with his reading
Our training
put us both in a
place where we
were confident
to take over
our own classes
as NQT’s and
confidence that
we will become
school leaders
Adrian Callendar-Ferrier
and Stephen Harmer:
Year 6 Teachers
and write – as well as an increase in
interpersonal skills among the pupils
they mix with. Teddy’s interaction also
provides an opportunity for improving
children’s social development.
The Changing Face of
During my time as head teacher, the
borough has undergone considerable
change. Following the Olympics,
Newham has enjoyed considerable
public and private sector investment.
Inevitably, this means some disruption
for residents, and St Edwards has not
been immune. Recently, West Ham
United Football Club, which adjoins
our school, announced its decision
to relocate to the Olympic Stadium
and the 9 acre site is being developed
for housing. Therefore, as well as the
usual challenges of headship, I have
become well-versed in planning policy
and demolition works. However, like
a phoenix rising from the ashes (quite
literally on occasion), we have been
able to redevelop our playground
with the installation of a MUGA
pitch, outdoor gym, nature area, soft
surfacing and fixed play equipment.
We are grateful for the help of all
those involved to support the school
during this time of change.
Future Prospects and
We are looking forward to the
many opportunities and challenges
in years to come. Our governing
body is considering the benefits of
membership of a multi-academy
trust which would mean working
more closely with other Newham
schools to continue to raise standards.
We will also maintain a keen eye
on our finances and cost control
in response to the demands of our
school budget. A high priority is
the continuing development of our
Teaching School to support school-
based teacher training, promote
best practice by supporting other
schools and providing professional
and leadership development for
teachers across Newham and the
Diocese of Brentwood. The advent of
the Teaching School has been one of
the most important changes to the
school and we expect its importance
to continue to grow in response to
government policy and initiatives.
We are committed to the consistent
drive for improvement and recognise
that we cannot sit on our laurels. We
remain excited about our future ahead
and the opportunities that this will bring.
Our equipment
helps us with
our learning and
making friends
St. Edward’s Head Boy
and Girl
Inside out learning
Teddy our school
dog meeting the
Prime Minister

This article was sponsored by St Edward's Catholic 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