Wellingborough MP Peter Bone visited Newton Road School in Rushden last month to see for himself the improvements and developments that have taken place over the last five years, and the warm, nurturing and inclusive atmosphere that has been created that encourages the very best learning outcomes for all pupils.
Pride in the successes and how the school has improved since it was rated Inadequate by Ofsted in 2017 prompted the invitation. The MP declared himself impressed by what he saw. On display were high-quality teaching and learning principles, a clear and consistent curriculum, newly developed Early Years and Key Stage One provisions, investment in outdoor play and learning areas, a new library and IT suite.
Principal Kerry Mills took Mr Bone on a tour of all classrooms, giving him the opportunity to see the environment in which the children work and how learning is delivered by the amazing and dedicated team of teachers.
“We wanted him to see how much the school has improved since 2017, and what we have done to address the issues Ofsted found,”
“One of the key factors behind the success has been the fact that we became a part of the Nene Education Trust. This gave us the opportunity to change the name of the school and facilitate a completely fresh start.
“Becoming part of NET gave us a fantastic opportunity to work with a cluster of local schools that share our values and ethos. It’s a support network. At the same time, each school still has the autonomy to run itself in line with what is right for the community it serves and keep its own identity, and that was important to us.
“The infrastructure in place within NET has given me, as the Principal, the opportunity to focus on the priority of improving outcomes for our pupils. With our fantastic team, we have taken NET’s strategies and developed a high-quality curriculum and clear set of teaching and learning principles to suit our school and community – which is autonomy in action.”
Being part of the Nene Education Trust, with its focus on professional development, has seen Newton Road School benefit from shared experience and opportunities. The natural interaction between schools has seen staff move between schools to develop their experience, and teachers move into new, more senior roles in Newton Road or from Newton Road into other trust schools. Newton Road is quite rightly proud of how it has trained, supported and facilitated opportunities for staff, who were previously members of the support team to become teachers. The focus on personal and professional development among staff is seen as crucial to the education outcomes for the pupils.
With the re-brokerage to NET, the Trust and Newton Road were also able to source investment from various sources, including the Department for Education and East Northants Council to fund refurbishments and building work to invest in the community.
The structural changes have brought a new warmth to the school where children are given the opportunities to dream, believe and achieve – dream of a bright future, believe in themselves, and achieve their highest potential in school and throughout their life – so that they can truly make a difference wherever they go.
“The school is such a positive and uplifting place to be,”
“The smiles on the faces of our pupils and their positivity about the school are indicators of our hard work.
The warm, nurturing and inclusive feel within the school is commented by many of
“We’re very much a part of the local community, we have third and fourth generation children here, and whilst we are fully aware that it takes time for the reputation of a school to develop, we could not be prouder of what we have achieved so far. However, there is so much more we wish to do and achieve.
“We started this academic year with a focus on teamwork and watched a motivational video by Tyler Waye – which asked the question ‘How good can a team be?’ For us, NET and our school are a team. We are one. We all have our talents and successes, and we use them.
“Tyler says a good team doesn’t know they’ve made it until they are there, until they’ve had that breakthrough but then they strive for more. As a school, and an organisation, we continually celebrate our successes, but we do not get stuck in the breakthroughs. We celebrate them but as a great team we keep raising the bar as we want to continually improve opportunity for our community.”
Member schools are also encouraged and assisted by Nene Education Trust to promote their good news stories to a wider audience to showcase the positive aspects of school life – like the recent visit from the Wellingborough MP.
“I think Peter Bone was impressed by what he saw. He said it had been a long time since he visited our school, but he seemed to appreciate how much it has grown and the development and improvement that has occurred. He also seemed to appreciate how inclusive the school was and how the school has a very special feel.”
Newton Road School is part of the Nene Education Trust, a multi-academy trust in East Northants. NET’s schools also include Windmill Primary in Raunds, Stanwick Primary, Raunds Park Infants, St. Peter’s CE Junior, Woodford CE Primary, Redwell Primary in Wellingborough and Manor School in Raunds.
Click for further information about the Nene Education Trust.