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We Want To Be The Best School In The World

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It’s scientifically proven that the older you get, the faster time travels. Age 5, a year lasts forever. Age 50 and it’s gone in the blink of an eye, as was the case for me last year at Highgate Primary. There’s something about the pattern of the school year, with its topics and calendar of events, that means something familiar is happening all the time, be it the summer fair, Rainbow Day, the Christmas performances or a re-enactment of the Great Fire of London.

Looking back, I feel it was a very successful year for the school with a great deal achieved. Not only did children make great progress, we saw big changes to our school grounds, re-launched the Early Years Foundation Stage and achieved Confucius Classroom status. But how do we really know how well we are doing?

In 2015, we carried out a piece of work called ‘2020 Vision’, the conclusion of which was simply that we want to be the best school in the world. Whilst ambition is important, knowing what the best school in the world looks like is not so straightforward. Our 2013 Ofsted visit suggested we had quite a long way to go, but their criteria seemed rather
narrow. The Osfted team didn’t want to see Forest Schools, had no interest in the Year 6 leavers’ show and only wanted to see teaching and learning in maths and English. Whilst we know this is important, surely the best school in the world needs to offer more?

Having given this issue a lot of thought, my conclusion is simply that the best school in the world is the one where people want to be. Teachers, because it’s the best place to teach, parents because it provides a wonderfully supportive community and children, because it provides a great education where exciting things happen every day. By this measure, and
seeing how beautifully the children have returned to school for the new term, I think we’re doing rather well.

So, how will we get to top spot in the world schools league table? At Highgate Primary there will always be a project to get excited about, be it the outside stage or a major upgrade of the school library, however, it’s the school community that makes the biggest difference. We are fortunate to have an incredibly strong school community and with everyone playing their part, we’ll be getting quite close to number one spot by the end of the year.

William Dean

Headteacher