Walford Nursery and 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 Walford Nursery and Primary School is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


Headteacher Louise George
(top right), Deputy Headteacher
Emma Hanham (top left), Head
Girl Imogen and Head Boy Alfie
A celebration of talent and skills at Walford’s annual
Oscars. Chair of Governors Paul Deneen OBE JB DL (left)
and Computing Subject Leader Claire Weyman (right)
Based in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, Walford Nursery &
Primary is a popular school with a positive ethos and family
atmosphere. The team aims to provide outstanding teaching
and learning for all pupils by creating an environment which is
open, stimulating, safe and caring. Below, Headteacher Louise
George goes into more detail about the range of innovative
schemes and awards that the school manages and takes part in.
Walford is a place where everyone is valued as an individual, their views respected
and where children are at the heart of all that we do. Our mission statement
“Learning & Enjoyment… Every Child, Every Opportunity, Every Day!
what the learning community is all about. The whole school community, children,
parents, carers, staff and governors, is valued for the contribution they make to the
work and life of the school. There is a strong sense of teamwork and a belief that
together, everyone achieves more.
Walford has developed a culture in which pupils love to learn and teachers love to
teach. Through daily reflection and discussion of pedagogy, Walford’s highly motivated
teachers are trusted to take risks and innovate in ways that are right for all pupils.
Our ambition is to grow a community of learners who are inspired and enthused
through the principles of developing a growth mindset. Pupils believe that they
can achieve, improve and succeed through effort and hard work. They know their
strengths and their next steps in learning and they know how to get there. Pupils
also demonstrate independence in their learning, they are resilient and they rise
to the challenge, developing relevant knowledge, skills and understanding across
»Headteacher: Louise George
»Founded in 1874
»Location: Ross-on-Wye,
»Type of school: Local authority
primary school with a governor led
»No. of pupils: 203, plus 33 nursery
»No. of staff: 7 full-time teachers, 2
part-time teachers, 7 teaching
assistants, 1 nursery manager and 3
nursery supervisors
»Ranked 84th in The Times Top 250
State Primary and Independent Prep
Schools (2019)
»Science Hub School for the Ogden
Herefordshire South Partnership
»Sainsbury’s School Games Gold
Award (2018 and 2019)
»Healthy Schools Award
Walford Nursery &
Primary School
Highlighting best practice
Building a strong team
I believe that getting the right people,
into the right roles is a crucial aspect of
securing whole school improvement.
Throughout my ten years at the
school, I have developed a team of
like-minded people with the drive and
passion required to ensure that every
Walford has a high level of expertise
with specialist leaders of education
in Early Years/Key Stage 1, in English/
Key Stage 2, a maths hub mastery
specialist teacher, two local authority
moderators in both key stages
and a computing coordinator who
has successfully embedded tablet
technology across the curriculum
which has been recognised by Apple
as best practice. As a result, we have
been awarded Regional Training
Centre status, and as a sector leading
school of technology, we now provide
training for headteachers, teachers and
other professionals within the local
authority and beyond.
Thegoverning bodyplays a key role in
our drive forschoolimprovement and
seeks to work together to promote
the well-being and effectiveness of
thewhole schoolcommunity. Well
supported by the chair of governors, our
highly skilled governing body hold senior
leaders and partnerships toaccount.
We aim to inspire both academic and
personal development by offering all
children access to a wide range of
exciting opportunities that challenge
and motivate learners to become
successful, confident, independent
and caring citizens of our diverse and
rapidly changing technological world.
Specialist art teachers work with classes
throughout the school and pupils enjoy
a wide range of sporting opportunities
including street dance, golf, archery
and yoga. In addition to curriculum
music lessons, children in year 3 and
year 4 learn to play a number of musical
instruments through whole-class
teaching, delivered by music specialists.
Our creative curriculum brings learning
to life and fosters a love and a thirst for
new knowledge. We promote hands-
on experiences in every subject, taking
children on a wide variety of school
trips, and we even bring experiential
learning into school with visiting
authors, historical actors, accomplished
athletes and exposure to unique
opportunities such as star gazing
and moon landings in The Stardome
planetarium within our school hall and
performing a Commonwealth dance
for HRH Prince of Wales.
By providing enriching learning
experiences, we ignite every child’s
curiosity and there is nothing more
satisfying than witnessing those lightbulb
moments, seeing children who are awe-
struck, excited and highlymotivated.
STEM promotion
Walford actively promote STEM
subjects. Teachers work hard to
stimulate inventive thinking by bringing
engineering into the classroom
through our annual “Inventor Award”
and our links with the South West
England primary and secondary
Engineer Leaders Awards.
Enthusiastic learners
preparing for the
Walford Bake Off
Helping each other
– learn to read and
you’ll succeed
Our ambition
is to grow a
community of
learners who
are inspired
and enthused
through the
principles of
developing a
For the past four years, Walford has been
delighted to learn that pupils in every year
group in Key Stage 2 have won a coveted
Primary Engineer Award and many
pupils have impressed achieving highly
commended and merit awards. Recently,
a group of girls in year 2 won the Primary
Engineer Apprentice Level 2 Award for
designing, creating and building a moving
vehicle. This competition also provided
a unique opportunity for our children
who had to present their designs and
test their prototype in front of a panel
of real engineers at the university.
We are also passionate about exposing
children to the world of work in order
to broaden their horizons and raise their
aspirations. Stockbrokers, aeronautical
engineers, inventors, scientists, athletes,
paramedics and authors to name but a
few, all serve to inspire children to aim
high and follow their dreams.
Collaboration and partnerships
The leadership team recognises
the mutual benefits of sharing best
practice and has cultivated a strong
outward-facing culture. This has served
to strengthen and maintain effective
working relationships throughout
the school, as regular discussion and
feedback regarding specific whole
school partnerships has provided
opportunities to acknowledge the
skills, experience, creativity and
contributions of individual colleagues.
Collaboration with other schools and
partnerships have also strengthened
teamwork by developing a greater sense
of trust and accountability, enabling every
member of staff to feel confident about
sharing their interests, background,
strengths and most dynamic skills.
Awards and accolades
Last year, we were delighted to be
ranked 84th in
The Times
Top 250
State Primary and Independent Prep
Schools. Notable success in statutory
assessment tests for Key Stages 1 and
2 in 2018 and 2019 indicates that our
children achieve significantly above
national statistics, ranking Walford in
the top five per cent nationally. On
average, in the past three years, 22
per cent of our pupils have achieved
the higher standard in reading, writing
and maths combined, compared to the
national average of ten per cent.
The children, parents, staff and the
wider community often make reference
to “wonderful Walford”. It is indeed a
privilege and complete joy to lead such a
professional, dedicated, passionate and
hardworking school community which
strives to be the best it can be. We are in
a unique position to influence the lives
of every young learner in our care.
The Coronavirus pandemic has created
the greatest disruption to education
in history. While dealing with the
complexities of securing an effective
remote home-learning offer and
subsequent full return to school, our
children and families have continued
to impress us with their resilience
and flexibility. We face some difficult
challenges ahead but I have no doubt
that we will get through it together
and we will continue to strive for
excellence in all that we do.
Our creative
brings learning
to life and
fosters a love
and a thirst
for new
The whole Walford team demonstrates a “can do” attitude and pride
themselves on “making great things happen”, from creating exciting
learning experiences to making, what seems impossible, possible.
Even in times of economic austerity, the learning environment has been
improved and enhanced significantly through securing a variety of
funding streams. In the past ten years, the school has benefited from two
major extensions, including the replacement of two mobile classrooms.
More notably, the children’s dreams became a reality when we
secured enough funds for our impressive Boynton Learning Lodge.
The children put their computing knowledge and skills to the test
and created a thought-provoking film about our school, which was
then sent to businesses. You can imagine the children’s joy when the
first funding donation of £45,000 was received from National Grid.
This whole process provided for our children an invaluable first-hand
experience in what can be achieved through passion, determination,
effort, dedication and resilience – at Walford, we never give up.
Awe and wonder
through an inspiring


This article was sponsored by Walford Nursery and Primary School. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.