Duncombe Primary School, Islington has just had some press coverage...

David Barry's picture
..in the TES

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Rebecca Hanson's picture
Sun, 11/11/2012 - 21:01

Thank you for posting this David.

It's an inspirational story - a delight to read.

The only thing I would criticise is the way in which the author or the article superimposes views onto this story which I feel detract from it. For example:
........characterising children as “disadvantaged” becomes self-fulfilling.....

I find that such a patronising comment having worked in schools in challenging areas where teachers' only motivation in discussing the reality that the children they are teaching are disadvantaged is to understand them properly and to reach them and help them precisely as they are. And yes - sometimes those conversations lead to the insight that we can't solve the problems of a particular child at a particular time with the resources we have. That doesn't mean we are doing anything wrong. It means we are recognising precisely where we are which is an essential component of the process of working towards doing things better in the future.

Janet Downs's picture
Mon, 12/11/2012 - 11:24

The story of Duncombe Primary School, Islington, is inspirational. And it's success has nothing to do with academy status - it's a community school - but more to do with inspirational leadership from a long-standing head of 23 years, local influence, supporting the local community, professional skills, reducing class sizes, adequate financing, and a relentless focus on outstanding teaching. As the article makes clear:

"...the recipe is simple: investment, high-quality teaching and leadership, and a commitment to the wider community. Teachers give children confidence and ambition, as well as the important skills they need to defy the educational odds."

Ricky-Tarr's picture
Mon, 12/11/2012 - 12:12

Yes, Janet .... but Duncombe does rather blow away your {I use the word in a broad sense} arsenal of excuses for why other, poorly performing schools don't do well.

Rebecca Hanson's picture
Mon, 12/11/2012 - 12:33

Is that the comment that not all schools have yet had 23 years of stable outstanding leadership with sufficient resource and support?

Or did you have something else in mind Ricky in which case do tell.

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