St Stephens CE Primary School

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 St Stephens CE Primary School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

We have invested significantly in
reading books to support pupils’
love of reading
St. Stephen’s CE school and the
Bradford community we serve
St Stephen’s Church of England Primary is a voluntary aided
two-form school, which educates children from three to 11
years old. The school serves a culturally diverse community
with a high level of transience and pupils from a range of
socioeconomic backgrounds. The buildings stand on a split-level
site with limited internal and external space and are surrounded
by low-cost housing within an industrial area of Bradford.
Headteacher Paul Urry explains more.
Our vision, “Nurture, Grow, Flourish”, compels us to seize the sheer potential of now.
It stems from a Christian belief in the unique value of each child. Every action for
children, staff and the wider school community is driven by the quest for excellence in
provision, by ethical decision-making and by the conviction that we must also be the
hub where resources for pupils’ flourishing are readily accessed. Diligent collaboration
with partners provides the additional services families need. Partners include
Bradford Children’s Social Services, health practitioners and community groups,
especially Shine, an award-winning local charity run by St Stephen’s Church.
Nurture embraces pupils, staff and the wider community; it identifies need and
provides a well-judged balance between support and challenge. Highly skilled staff
listen attentively, observe closely and identify a wide range of social, emotional
and mental health issues. Staff are courageous advocates on behalf of children,
and daily give strong support to children and families in crisis. Families are helped
to access online services for income support and paying bills or to understand
communications from the secondary school their child will soonattend.
»Headteacher:Paul Urry
»Founded in1863
»Location:Bradford, West
»Type of school:Voluntary
aided primary
»No. of students:452
St Stephen’s Church
of England Primary
Highlighting best practice
To manage behaviour for good
conduct, we use restorative practice
supporting pupils and staff to reflect
on their interaction and consider how
best to prevent harm. The Behaviours
Policy focuses on staff behaviours,
ensuring that these are appropriate.
We are good at perceiving the likely
sources for a child’s behaviour and
bring understanding of context
into the process of redress. We
seek to build an open and trusting
environment where pupils feel safe,
confident and alert for each day’s
learning. Through consistent practice
of this policy, we have developed a
culture in which laughter flourishes
and incidents of unacceptable
behaviour, including bullying, are
infrequent but thoroughly addressed.
Nurture is rooted in a Christian
ethos with strong values, including
thankfulness, perseverance and
forgiveness. With such tools we build
confidence, strengthen emotional
resilience and empower by opening
eyes to new worlds. As these roots are
embedded, all pupils are enabled to
function and grow. A culture of clear
expectations securely underpinned
by open and trusting dialogue has
proved its worth; mutually supportive
relationships among staff and children
are encouraged. Staff and pupils are
confident that you can make a mistake
and learn from it, and this supports the
generation of fruitful ideas, worthy of
community celebration.
Pupils learn through careful curriculum
design that they have a place in the
world beyond their starting points. We
provide scope for hands-on experience
and abundant books because we
believe that wide reading develops
children’s word power and their
capacity to engage with more complex
intellectual challenges. In recent TV
interviews year 6 pupils were able to
deploy correct scientific terminology
as they explained their role in the
Born in Bradford project to assess the
impact of air pollution on pupil and
adult health. In the next phase pupils
are going to use program coding
devices to design pollution monitors.
We can do such exciting projects
because we employ specialist subject
teachers in scientific, technical and
artistic fields to extend pupils’ learning
and opportunities. These specialists
work both independently and
collaboratively, and so, for example,
our artist in residence has worked
with technical staff to produce digital
works of art. The actor in residence has
directed year 5 productions for public
performance through the Shakespeare
in Schools project and has identified
talented pupils, nurturing them to
seek further opportunities. Working
with technicians who control our
radio station equipment, the actor has
coached pupils in voice production and
recorded stories that introduce key
figures from Bradford’s past, including
the parliamentarian W. E. Forster and
the educationalist Margaret McMillan.
Each class is known by the name of
The new uniform and
logo: bright, positive,
smart and aspirational
A culture of
by open and
dialogue has
proved its
School recently introduced a
uniform, chosen through community
consultation. The preferred option in
school colours was shirt, tie, sweater
with logo and black shoes, not trainers,
and a quality book bag. The choice
reflected high aspirations. One parent
said: “We don’t want the children to
feel they are playing; we want them
to regard learning with high respect.”
Another added: “Be smart in your
head and smart in your clothes.”
Through consultation and strategic
investment, the learning environment
has been transformed. Lighting,
furniture, colour and wallcoverings
have been chosen to support the
growth of wellbeing, curious interest
and sound learning. Next, we will
enhance outdoor facilities to support
children’s need for vigorous physical
activity. In collective worship, around
school and in class pupils listen to
good music, and they also experience
meditative silence. We strive to provide
the best resources for children’s
flourishing. Staff are encouraged to
base innovation on research. We work
at the cutting edge of educational
research to review and improve our
practice. Middle leaders next term
will work alongside Evidence Based
Education (winners of the Queen’s
Award for Enterprise, Innovation
category) to ensure the most
effective assessment tools support
With successful nurture and growth,
flourishing is full of surprises, as
we discover the productive energy
confident children and staff can
generate. Our learning strategies
emphasise collaboration, so we reward
only pupils who demonstrate positive
behaviours for learning, including
effective communication, co-operation,
thoughtfulness, respect, adaptability,
enquiry and resilience. We are strong
advocates for children’s potential; we
expose children to a wide range of
books, skills and experience. Structures
are in place that allow staff to function
interdependently, regardless of
seniority. This supports a flourishing,
open and constructive dialogue
within a safe environment. Staff
are self-reflective, eager to develop
themselves and others in school. A
well-coordinated leadership team keen
to empower produces the energy that
drives school improvement and creates
opportunities for all pupils, staff and
the wider community. The England
footballer Ian Wright is an inspiration.
His teacher gave him not just skills
but deep values that affirmed and
transformed his life: “Don’t just score
goals; score beautiful goals, Ian.”
Here is the vision that secured the
nurture of pupils, staff and families
throughout the pandemic, and will
enable the rehabilitation of pupils’
wellbeing, growth and flourishing
into the future. Our constant aim is
excellence, and we build a flourishing
St Stephen’s through a virtuous spiral
of initiatives that are sustainable
and continuously refined through
We are strong
advocates for
potential; we
children to a
wide range of
books, skills
We aim to create
and inspire learning
opportunities; here in
our new radio station

This article was sponsored by St Stephens CE Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

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