West Ham CE Primary School

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by West Ham CE Primary 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 West Ham CE Primary 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


Headteacher Paulette Bailey
(second right) with Felicia Lord-
Attivor (Deputy Headteacher,
second left), Imogen Holroyde
(Assistant Headteacher,
left), Kaylee Jukes (Assistant
Headteacher, centre) and Veena
Clarke (Senior Teacher, right)
Originally established in 1723, West Ham Church
Primary School is committed to its school vision, which
underpins every element of its practice. An established
school initiative, West Ham Helpers, aims to educate students
about discipline, work ethic and the world of work while
contributing to their school. This commitment to extracurricular
development is sustained by the school’s extensive programme
of before and after-school clubs, which range from choir to
karate. Headteacher Paulette Bailey began her career as a
newly qualified teacher at the school before becoming head in
2007. She tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the importance
of their vision statement and their commitment to the
development of the whole child.
Prior to becoming headteacher in 2007, I began my career at the school, training
as a newly qualified teacher. I left and worked at three other schools in senior roles
before returning to assume my current responsibility. Having worked here now
for a total of 26 years, this school means a great deal to me as it does to many of
the past and present staff and pupils. We are a one-and-a-half form entry school
serving a very mixed community, and when I returned in 2007, I found that there
were many challenges that needed to be resolved. Our improvements were derailed
by staffing issues and serious illness: both myself and the school business manager
struggled with our health between 2013 and 2014. Soon after I returned to work,
we had an Ofsted inspection that placed us in “requires improvement”: a real blow
from our “good” rating in 2010 and because, as a school, we had worked so hard
»Headteacher: Paulette Bailey
»Established in 1723
»Based in Stratford
»Type: Church of England
primary school VC
»No. of pupils: 360
West Ham CE Primary
Highlighting best practice
to keep things going. Following the RI
judgment, the team got even stronger.
We pulled together and returned to
a strong “good” in 2016. We have
continued to work hard to keep
pushing forward for excellence and all
staff are determined that their work
will make a difference.
A central vision
As soon as I arrived as headteacher,
I introduced a vision statement,
underpinned by Christian values. It was
designed to include the community
as a whole, regardless of faith, and to
truly make our school inclusive. We
focus on the whole child. Children
study hard, achieve well, make
good progress and have a range of
experiences, but we also expect them
to be kind, to look after each other
and to be responsible young people
who care. We regularly review and
discuss this vision with the staff,
children and parents and it has been
the driving force for all of our positive
changes. Conversely, if a headteacher
does not have people who are
passionate and take ownership
of the vision, then changes and
improvements are almost impossible to
make and it is likely that the school will
not succeed.
We now have an excellent staff body
who believe in this vision and work
together. Our aim is for the vision
to run through our school “like the
lettering in a stick of rock”. It also
extends to our recruitment and
development of staff: our training is
linked to it and so are staff appraisal
targets. We have always had strong
partnerships with local universities. Our
two new assistant heads started with
us, one as a trainee and the other as
an NQT.
We always endeavour to embed best
practice and the passion of our staff
makes this much easier. We work
relentlessly to provide the best for our
children and always match staff to roles
that suit their skills. Beyond this, we
heavily encourage the development of
pupil voice; the children always know
they will be listened to. They write us
notes regarding concerns, suggestions
and achievements and know that what
they say will always be taken seriously
and be acted upon. As a result of their
suggestions, we have added new clubs
and play equipment. We introduced
large paddling pools when the children
asked for a swimming pool and planted
climbing roses after an Eco Team
member’s request. In 2017, a new wing
was constructed and our children have
been central to developing the site.
Deep in thought (left);
we aim to make learning
stimulating but also fun
We always
endeavour to
embed best
practice and
the passion of
our staff
makes this
much easier
West Ham Helpers
Our “West Ham Helper” initiative
has been running for 12 years. It is
a programme that asks children to
perform jobs to improve the school.
They know the jobs they can apply for
by browsing classified advertisements
and then decide which role they
would like. They complete a formal
application form and in a personal
statement tell us why they want the
job and why they think they would
do it well. They are then interviewed
and allocated to positions that will
harness their skill set and support
them. Among our Key Stage 2 pupils,
we received 120 applications last
year. In accordance with our vision,
these jobs help our pupils to learn
about responsibility, discipline and
the work ethic and they range from
personal assistants to the Eco Team.
Twelve different jobs are available,
including four lead helpers who act as
ambassadors and role models for the
other children.
In terms of our curriculum, we are
focusing on improving language
development, particularly targeting
subject-based vocabulary. This
helps to build knowledge around
the subjects and really supports
our reading progress. Hard work is
rewarded by treats, including visits
to parks, climbing walls and other
places of interest. Outdoor learning
and forest school take advantage of
our varied site and help the children to
grow in confidence and knowledge.
Our children are also committed to
raising money for charity and over the
past few years they have also really
enjoyed fundraising for school and
Beyond the curriculum, we have an
excellent extended school programme.
We run a breakfast club that opens
at half past seven in the morning,
which has helped hundreds of children
through the morning and into the day.
This is coupled with booster groups
and roughly 15 different after school
clubs, including Spanish and art.
The landscape of education is always
changing and we strive to work
within the frameworks we are set by
government. In the future, it will be
essential for the school to continue
to adapt to these changes, especially
Ofsted frameworks, and continue to
consolidate and build on the progress
already made while also maintaining
the vision.
In terms of
we are
focusing on
Climbing is a popular
reward for excellent
behaviour, excellent
work or both (left);
Developing skills and
keeping fit (right)


This article was sponsored by West Ham CE Primary 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