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

es.sch.uk

1WARWICK ROAD PRIMARY SCHOOL |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE
Year 6 children writing about
Macbeth
Children in nursery
practising their names
Based in Batley, Warwick Road Primary School is a place
where staff work hard to ensure every child exceeds
expectations. Children flourish under a team of committed
staff who create learning opportunities that ensure all children
achieve their full potential. It aims to develop the holistic child:
empathy, compassion and respect are that which will enable
our children to become responsive, active members of society.
Headteacher Shamsa Quereshi elaborates.
Before addressing how we maintain high standards in literacy, it must first be
acknowledged that our children come from very diverse backgrounds – many, if
not most, of these children possess English as an additional language. Traditionally,
in such circumstances, standards in literacy are below those of maths. We have
worked hard, therefore, to raise the profile of writing, and, in turn, to bring
standards in line with those of maths. A series of activities have taken place in order
to achieve this.
Whole-school write assemblies are held each half-term, and the work produced is
proudly displayed on the corridor for all children to see. Termly spelling bees also
attempt to add an element of fun to a traditionally dry subject area: children rise to
the challenge, and teachers often take part, too – this allows children to see first-
hand how it is fine to find something difficult. Recently, we hosted a National Poetry
Day assembly when children from each year group wrote and performed their
own poems in front of the school. A large poetry book was created, collating the
work that the children produced. Children take part in all events enthusiastically,
and they look forward to the next. Workshops for SPAG, writing and phonics are
delivered by staff to parents, allowing them to lend greater support at home, too.
REPORT CARD
WARWICK ROAD PRIMARY
SCHOOL
»Headteacher: Shamsa Quereshi
»Founded in 1880
»Based in Batley
»Type of school: Primary
»No. of pupils: 384
»No. of staff: 57
Warwick Road
Primary School
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
2| WARWICK ROAD PRIMARY SCHOOL
Commitment to our ethos
Perhaps the most important factor in
Warwick Road’s success with regard to
writing, however, is that of the school
ethos. The promotion of a “growth
mindset” has ensured that children
are unafraid to make mistakes. This
can-do culture has developed a love
for learning that exists throughout
the school. This is celebrated during
the weekly “Secrets of Success”
assemblies, where children are praised
for their efforts; significantly, children
are often asked to read their writing
aloud in front of their peers – this
helps boost their confidence and
assures them that their hard work will
be recognised.
This positive approach has undoubtedly
had an impact on the behaviour at
school, which is exemplary. As children
want to do well and better themselves,
behavioural issues are infrequent, and,
if any were to occur, they would be
promptly dealt with. Reduced class
sizes allow staff to give each child a
more individual focus – each class
holds around 26 children. Time that
would have been spent adapting the
teaching for more children is instead
spent on ensuring that quality first
teaching and exemplary marking and
feedback is taking place.
Working closely with students
Marking and feedback is of a high
priority at Warwick Road: it allows
teachers to address misconceptions
immediately so that each child knows
exactly what they need to do to
progress. It is differentiated for each
child to suit their particular needs.
Children expect next steps and do
not see them as criticism, but as
guidelines to progress. Perhaps more
important is the immediate feedback
that occurs in lessons. As teachers’
subject knowledge is strong, staff
are able to address or pre-empt
misconceptions in the classroom,
thereby allowing children to progress
immediately. Twilight sessions have
been delivered to ensure that staff’s
subject knowledge is secure enough to
do this.
Enabling children to progress further
are the child’s success criteria. Each
lesson, children are given details of
exactly what is expected of them
in that session. This not only allows
children to self-assess their own work,
but, as they are divided into Bronze
(Working Towards), Silver (Expected)
and Gold (Greater Depth), children
can see for themselves how to
progress. Linked to this are the interim
frameworks for each year group,
Year 2 children taking
part in writing booster
The promotion
of a “growth
mindset” has
ensured that
children are
unafraid to
make
mistakes. This
can-do culture
has developed
a love for
learning that
exists
throughout
the school
3WARWICK ROAD PRIMARY SCHOOL |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE
which are stuck in and ticked off at
the front of all English books. These
detail exactly what children in each
year group should be able to do. This
allows children to see exactly where
they stand with regard to writing,
and, again, what they need to do to
progress even further. As children
know what is expected of them, they
grow even more confident.
It is this confidence that allows children
to access high-quality texts. The SLT
worked hard to create a curriculum
that largely centres on quality texts.
This is not restricted to literature,
however. Very often, units of work are
based on picture books or provoking
video clips. This means that children
who favour different learning styles
are able to access the curriculum.
In year 6, for example, children are
exposed to difficult texts such as
Macbeth
by William Shakespeare and
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens.
As our children love a challenge, they
persevere with the difficult language.
Writing is largely about absorbing what
has been read and making it one’s
own, so we firmly believe that children
should be exposed to the best.
Persistent approach
This year, we are working towards
ensuring that this high standard of
writing is applied across all subject
areas. In order to achieve this, the SLT
have devised a curriculum in which
most subjects centre around the one
topic. For example, children in year 5
who are currently studying the First
World War for their creative curriculum
topic are using
War Horse
, a text set
during The First World War, as the
basis for their writing unit. As both
subject areas revolve around the same
topic, children are able to apply what
they have learnt in their writing to
their creative curriculum work and vice
versa – thereby raising the standards of
writing in both.
Rigorous monitoring takes place
in order to ensure that the high
expectations we have are being
maintained. An English book scrutiny
takes place every half-term – each
with a different focus. The subject
coordinator looks at what each
individual child achieves in reading,
writing and SPaG to ensure that
teacher assessments are as accurate
as possible. Both year 2 and year 6
have been externally moderated in
the last two years, and both were
positive experiences which confirmed
that our assessment procedures are
effective. Moreover, we host our own
in-house moderations, sometimes
involving other schools, with the other
year groups, too, so that everyone
understands the process of moderation
and that everyone is aware of the
expectations in each year group.
Writing is
largely about
absorbing
what has been
read and
making it
one’s own, so
we firmly
believe that
children
should be
exposed to
the best
Year 4 child writing a
report about Gandhi

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