The Henry Beaufort School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Henry Beaufort 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 The Henry Beaufort 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

The school has built a “culture
of continuous improvement.” –
Ofsted 2017
Reflective learning in action
Six years ago, The Henry Beaufort School was coasting with
“gold standard” results in 2012 at 55 per cent of students
getting A*-C at GCSE including English and mathematics.
It was evident, however, that data was not used effectively to
support student progress while students themselves viewed
education as something that was taught to them rather than a
learning opportunity. This was limiting their view of education
and reducing their success at GCSE level; Sue Hearle describes
how the school set about changing attitudes.
In May 2017, we were judged by Ofsted to have a “highly inclusive culture”
with “high standards”. This has been achieved through our focus on promoting
independent learning for all students. We have christened this learning ethos [HB]²,
Henry Beaufort: HabitBuilding.
First steps
We started by considering what were the limiting factors to student success and we
kept coming back to two key issues: the need to build resilience in students and to
work on a skillset that would promote independent learning.
We started by looking at the work of Professor Guy Claxton on “building learning
power”. This concept fitted with our desire to equip students to become successful
independent learners. It was important, however, for the school to create a learning
model that suited all of our students. This meant that we took into account not
only their prior attainment but also the barriers to success caused by low self-
esteem and poor mental health and wellbeing, as well the existence of poor and
»Head teacher: Miss Sue Hearle
»Founded in 1971
»Based in Winchester,
»Type of school: An 11-16 local
authority maintained school
»No. of students: 962
»No. of teachers: 65
»Ofsted: “Good”, May 2017
»2017 Progress 8 score: 0.22
The Henry Beaufort
Highlighting best practice
sometimes deprived backgrounds that
limit success in school.
As a result the learning ethos became
centred on how to sustain progress
and not just on attaining results.
The establishment of [HB]² is the result
of the work of teachers past and
present. It involved working parties,
teacher lead in-school professional
development, feedback from students
and “sharing best practice” briefings
at team and school level, all of which
continue to the present day. [HB]² is
demonstrated in the table.
We knew at its launch in 2013 that
[HB]² would not be an overnight fix.
We wanted to establish a sustainable
learning ethos that could be embedded
into the culture of the school. The core
principles of [HB]² were central to its
success but we needed to be able to
adapt and develop the learning ethos
over time. This has kept it relevant to
the changes in programmes of study
The initial impact was clear, however.
A questionnaire taken showed that 67
per cent of staff recorded a noticeable
increase in student engagement
when using [HB]². Comments focused
on students’ increased confidence,
perseverance and resilience. Staff
noted that students had a greater
awareness of how to make progress.
69 per cent of staff indicated a positive
change in their teaching style since the
introduction of [HB]² acknowledging
the change to the planning and
delivery of lessons and a greater focus
on the process of learning.
We built on this by introducing an
[HB]² Learning Day at the start of each
academic year. This also acts as an
[HB]² induction for new students.
Developing and refining our
learning ethos
To raise standards further and to
ensure that students viewed progress
as unlimited, we then looked at the
way we were using data and [HB]²
marking to track progress. In 2015, we
introduced a data drop programme
that took data measurement every
half-term for every student for
every subject they studied. We then
benchmarked this against where each
student should be at that given point
in the academic year. We introduced
very detailed grading to monitor,
evaluate and intervene when a student
was not making sufficient progress.
We also used the data to ensure that
we were providing the right stretch
and challenge for our able students.
This was linked to half-termly data
drop meetings between heads of
departments and their senior line
manager to assess the data and
make decisions on interventions. The
introduction of the data analysis tool
SISRA has made this a significantly more
efficient process and allows teachers to
focus on the intervention rather than
the basic analysis of thedata.
We have reviewed the purpose of
marking looking specifically at how
it could reflect [HB]² by marking
What has been the impact?
Termly student voice activities which
include questions on [HB]² indicate that
students consider it is important to
Students “getting
We wanted to
establish a
learning ethos
that could be
into the
culture of the
learn from their mistakes, believe that
[HB]² is integral to their learning and
view the school as a place of ambition
where teachers encourage them to
Since the introduction of [HB]² in 2013,
results have seen a marked increase. In
2012, 55 per cent of students achieved
five or more A* to C grades including
mathematics and English – this rose
to 65 per cent in 2014, and in 2016
reached 75 per cent. Our Progress 8
score increased from 0.17 in 2015 to
0.22 in 2017.
Maintaining the momentum
We continue to look for ways to refine
and improve our learning ethos. It is
important that we do not stand still
or become complacent – just because
something works does not mean that it
cannot be improved. Currentlywehave:
»Moved to three data drops a year.
This has given us time to drill down
into the impact of interventions
and focus on those that are most
effective in leading to progress.
»Introduced cross-curricular hub
working. We have started with the
evaluation of marking to monitor
consistency of approach across
subject areas.
»Introduced student progress review
meetings. The head of department
and a teacher meet to review the
impact of student data on the
teacher’s planning and student
progress. Comparisons are made
between, for example, the progress
of a high-attaining disadvantaged
student with a high-attaining
non-disadvantaged student. An
action plan is then written for that
»Introduced learning walks with an
[HB]² focus.
»Introduced student surveys to
evaluate the impact of [HB]² in
subject areas. The outcomes are
used to inform school improvement
planning for example.
»Introduced [HB]² into our tutor
programme – a result of a student
survey which showed lowest [HB]²
learning impact was in tutor time.
»Created subject-specific [HB]²
posters to remind students of the
impact of [HB]² on subject-specific
The introduction of [HB]² has resulted
in year-on-year improvements in
outcomes for students. We have
seen the positive impact it has on
students’ resilience and confidence.
This learning ethos is taken on into-
post 16 studies, which benefits the
learning of our students throughout
their studies.
Students view
the school as a
place of
where teachers
them to

This article was sponsored by The Henry Beaufort 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