View from the classroom

we continue to make dramatic improvements and the school grows from strength to strength. This constant drive for improvement has resulted in Rush Green being recognised and congratulated on our pupil’s high level of progress by the Mayor for London, The Rt Hon. Nick Gibb (Minister of State for School Standards) and Tim Coulson (Regional Schools Commissioner for The Department for Education). We were recently nominated for the Pearson's

Award for 'Making a Difference,' School of The Year and awarded the Primary Quality Mark for Excellence in the teaching of Basic Skills.

‘Strive to Succeed’ is the motto of Rush Green Primary School, a large four form entry school in in Romford, Essex within the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. In September 2019 Education Today spoke to deputy head teacher Lisa Humpheryes, who explained how the school impressed Ofsted with its notable improvements, particularly in reading and writing.

Tell us a little bit about your school? The amalgamation of poorly performing infant and junior schools in 2013, resulted in immediate changes in expectations, standards and leadership. After 10 months of intensive improvement, we received our first ‘Good’ Ofsted grade. Since then, we have made rapid progress to become one of the highest achieving schools in Barking and Dagenham and beyond. Every day

Why did you choose the moto ‘Strive to Achieve’? Sir Richard Branson is a big advocate of ‘striving to succeed’ and its clear to see when you look at his accomplishments. He says, about his business, ‘had we not kept striving, we certainly wouldn’t be where we are today. There can be no greatness without striving.’ Madeleine Albright, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and the first woman to hold the cabinet post of U.S. secretary of state also refers to the importance of ‘striving’ when she said, ‘I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself is the only way to keep faith with life.’ In our view it is important to give the children a

level of pride in their work. A school can offer the highest quality education but without an appreciation of their own autonomy and inner drive to achieve, students will not reach their potential. Striving to achieve is something we instil in all our staff and pupils.

How did you turn your reading and writing standards around? If I had to summarise our incredibly successful transformation in one line it would be to say that we’ve used a totally kinaesthetic and engaging

4 Editor's Choice 2020

approach to involving the children in reading and writing, rather than just using flash cards or technology. We started to mandate that each class has a

literacy lesson every day with a high emphasis on the teaching of reading, encompassing phonics, spelling and grammar. Within each week our pupils will also have opportunities to develop their extended writing skills. Speaking and listening skills are developed throughout the day in

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