Newnham Juniors is a large school with 360 pupils on roll, located in Eastcote, Middlesex. Our pupils are from a rich, culturally mixed background and the proportion of pupils with special educational needs is below average. The Ofsted Inspection of 2011 rated us as outstanding.
There are many factors which contribute towards the school’s success and the first and probably the most important, is the strong school community. The staff, as in most schools, are hardworking and go over and above to find ways to make the learning environment fun and stimulating for the pupils. Many members of staff including teachers, teaching assistants and office staff have been at the school for over ten years. This stability leads to a common approach to all aspects of school life, including consistency and ownership of high expectations in terms of achievement and standards. Everyone takes great pride in what happens here.
The School Council is well established and pupil voice is strong, with children making democratic decisions on what and how they learn and the Governing Body supports and challenges the school to maintain high standards. Parents are kept fully informed about the progress their children are making and are extremely supportive and keen to be partners in their children’s education. One of the comments from an end of year 6 questionnaire in 2014 was, ‘My child was offered a fantastic range of opportunities in a safe, friendly environment. She was academically challenged and her needs were catered for. Newnham also has a great community feel’.
Over the last few years the school has continued to develop an ethos of ‘hard work achieves success’. An inspiring visit by Mathew Syed (British journalist and broadcaster who also played table tennis for Great Britain in two Olympic Games) cemented this belief and now through our day to day rewards and weekly assemblies, we celebrate effort and progress by all.
Our creative curriculum gives children the opportunity to be successful in all areas and we try to make the learning interactive and real e.g. we recreate a Victorian coalmine experience from which the children write emotive poetry.
Through a termly cycle of curriculum monitoring by subject leaders, which includes discussion with pupils, staff at Newnham work hard to keep the curriculum up to date and relevant to all and strive to be creative , apply a cross curricular approach and offer pupils a wide range of learning experiences.
Through the provision of these stimulating experiences in and out of the school environment, the children are provided with a platform to write for a range of purposes. Since OFSTED in 2011, a strong focus on developing sentence construction throughout the school, hand in hand with an increased emphasis on grammar is having a significant impact on improving children’s writing. Professional development for all staff has been important, alongside quality planned writing opportunities in the foundation subjects.
At the heart of our approach is Assessment for Learning (AFL) and the desire for all children to develop the skills of collaboration, enquiry and reasoning linked with the 5Rs (respect, responsibility, reflection, resilience, resourcefulness).
Marking is part of the learning process where next steps and peer and self- assessment all play a part in supporting the children to move forward. Formative assessment feeds into weekly planning which constantly evolves and this gives a strong sense of ownership for all the staff.
Termly pupil progress meetings help to identify and provide for children who are not achieving their full potential. This provision could be through intervention programmes or extra resources or further support. All data is discussed with parents and children which supports them to know where they are aiming for and their next steps.
The data tracking system allows the SMT to identify strengths and weaknesses across the school and act upon them where necessary. This information, along with the curriculum monitoring, feeds into the School Development Plan and governors are also involved in partnership with the monitoring.
In conclusion, the school continually reflects on its achievements and its areas for development. We look at new, up to date ways in which to engage children and to keep the learning process fun and positive for all.
Kulvinder Nahal – Headteacher