The Piggott School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Piggott 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 Piggott 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

Year 7 Fun Run, September
A welcoming environment
for all
When asked what makes The Piggott School so special,
the answer the school gives is their Christian values,
which underpin all relationships. Respect, equality,
honesty, dedication, courage and love are at the heart of
everything at the school. The school’s belief is that living by these
values will enable their vision of a world-class learning community.
Our academic success consistently places us well within the top ten per cent
nationally for progress at Key Stage 4 and also at Key Stage 5. Our P8 score is
consistently high for all types of learner and our primary age results are 15 per cent
above national averages. In 2017 we were the joint highest-achieving Church of
England school in the country at GCSE.
A curriculum that works for all
Our curriculum caters for all types of learner with the more traditional subjects
being complemented by others such as further maths, dance, photography and
statistics. We offer a free choice for options and build the timetable around the
students’ choices. On top of this, there are 33 different post-16 options available.
We offer four modern foreign languages, including Mandarin, supported by pupil
exchanges. There is a wealth of extracurricular trips including those to Normandy, the
Netherlands, China, Italy, Iceland, the USA and Auschwitz. Additional opportunities
include a residential visit to an outdoor education centre in Wales and participating in
sailing Tall Ships. All these enrichment activities are provided by teachers and support
staff who give up their own time to enhance the life experiences of our children.
»Headteacher: Derren Gray
»Founded in 1939
»Located near Twyford,
»Type of school: All-through,
mixed comprehensive
»No of pupils: 1,500
»Year 8 girls won the national
CyberFirst competition and
subsequently met HM the
»The choir performed for the
prime minister and other
distinguished guests as part
of the ‘Never Such Innocence’
project commemorating WWI
The Piggott School
Highlighting best practice
We aspire to cater for the interests
of all pupils, whether they are
computing enthusiasts (a team of
our year 8 girls won the national
CyberFirst competition) or performers
in the rock concert, spring recitals,
Christmas church service or drama
productions. Sporting excellence is
wide ranging here and we have a
number of England and GB athletes
and sportspeople across a range of
year groups. We are proud of the
success and achievements of our
pupils, though we are always humble.
Individual and collective success is
acknowledged in a variety of ways,
from formal events such as celebration
evenings to showcasing talent on
occasions such as our summer
A civic education
We want our students to be citizens,
not tourists, which is why we
encourage them to be proactive
within the school and in the larger
community. They are politically
minded and we have a vice Member
of Youth Parliament as well as a
successful debating team. Pupil voice
is strong within the school and is
embedded within school improvement
strategies. We support charities,
locally, nationally and globally. Groups
organise donations for food banks
and clothes for homeless people, serve
Christmas lunch for the elderly and act
as ambassadors for projects such as
the Lessons from Auschwitz project.
Our annual remembrance service, held
in conjunction with our local British
Legion branch, exemplifies our strong
relationship with the local community.
We have built ‘dedicated improvement
and reflection time’ into our lesson
timetable. Pupils are explicitly taught
how to review their own work and the
feedback they receive. This process
develops their metacognition and
self-regulated learning – the ability
to plan, monitor and evaluate their
A system that promotes
wellbeing for all
Our staff are our most important
resource. We recognise their
commitment and passion for teaching
and working with children and also
Some of our recent
trainee teachers
excellence is
here and we
have a number
of England and
GB athletes
across a range
of year groups
their right to have a happy and
fulfilling life outside of work. The
recruitment, motivation and retention
of the very best people is central to
guaranteeing the highest-quality
education for ourchildren.
We offer family-friendly, flexible
employment throughout the school
for all staff. Those wishing to work
part-time are asked what their perfect
working week would look like and we
strive to work toward that. Intelligent,
thoughtful and skilful timetabling
allows us to create a curriculum model
which has the flexibility that staff
need together with the breadth of
opportunity for allchildren.
Staff are encouraged to attend
important life events that fall in term
time, such as their children’s first days
at school, sports days, nativity plays,
graduations, weddings and funerals.
Paid absence has been granted to visit
relatives across the world, choir tours,
hen parties, big birthdays and wedding
anniversaries and other events not
normally considered by school leaders.
We have half-termly wellbeing weeks,
which are free from before or after-
school meetings. Staff are actively
encouraged to leave the site promptly
to spend time elsewhere. Wellbeing
is at the forefront of our minds when
considering the calendar for meetings
and evening events. We rationalise our
meetings and will postpone if they are
not relevant at that time. Moreover,
wherever possible emails are not sent
in the evenings, at weekends or during
holidays. We offer a discounted BUPA
healthcare scheme, free on-site gym
membership including Zumba classes,
a laptop or tablet device for all staff
and, of course, doughnuts and apples
on a Friday. Promoting positive mental
health is a priority for all of us.
We trust our staff. We believe in
quality-first, wave-one teaching. Our
feedback, assessment and marking
policy states: “Teachers are trusted
professionals who prioritise their
time and workload.” Leaders also
work to remove all the barriers to
high-quality learning and to provide
teachers with the environment,
training and resources to achieve
The professional development of staff
is key to our success. Thirty of our
teachers are examiners or moderators
for examination boards. Twelve staff
are DSL trained as safeguarding is our
highest priority. Additionally, there is
an in-house INSET programme with
career-specific pathways. Each year we
help train over 20 new teachers. Our
aim is to have a resilient and highly
skilled professional team.
At The Piggott School we aim to
change the profession. There is a
teaching recruitment crisis in this
country, something we’d like to
change. It is the responsibility of all
school leaders to ensure teachers and
support staff are treated with dignity
and respect, to ensure that working
with children is an attractive career
choice and that workload is realistic
and manageable. In this way, children
will receive the education they deserve
and we will fulfil our motto of “Every
Child, Every Lesson, Every Day”.
We offer
the school for
all staff
Our School Christian

This article was sponsored by The Piggott 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 Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development