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Spotlight- Broadfields School

I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Robin Archibald, Headteacher and Leonie Jackson, ICT co-ordinator from Broadfields Primary School in London. I also spoke to some of the school’s pupils and parents.

Broadfields has been shortlisted for the TES Best use of Technology award this year. 

You can listen to their episode of ‘Spotlight’ on Saturday 28th August at 5 p.m. or Sunday 29th August at 1 p.m. on Teacher Hug radio through Alexa, the free App, or the Teacher Hug website. 

Spotlight Broadfileds

Broadfields is a primary school in London which has been built in the unique shape of a question mark. On one side of the school, there are fields and on the other, it is an urban setting so they get the best of both worlds.  One of its strengths is that it has a very multi-cultural intake of pupils that creates a wonderfully diverse school community.   

The School values are:

  • Equality – Every human life has equal value and must be respected, no one is better or worse than anyone else.
  • Freedom – The power to think, speak or act as one wants, as long as our thoughts, words or actions do not harm or hurt another person.
  • Justice – The need for democracy, and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
  • Tolerance – Believing that everyone has a right to their own opinion and belief (even if you disagree with that opinion or belief).
  • Fellowship – We are all brothers and sisters in our human family.

At Broadfields, they provide a foundation for life in a happy, high-achieving school, where all individuals have high expectations of themselves, respect each other and fulfil their true potential. They are a school to which the whole school community, children, staff, parents, and governors are proud to belong. Broadfields trains their own teachers by providing a teacher training programme. This enables them to have a body of staff who all understand the values and vision of Broadfields from the start of their career.  

The school uses the wellbeing theory of Professor Martin Seligman to support their work on wellbeing and mental health. This focuses on five main elements: 

  1. Positive emotion 
  2. Engagement
  3. Relationships
  4. Meaning
  5. Accomplishments 

These components make up the PERMA model, which is used to support the school’s work.

Broadfields also has a very creative curriculum.  They have carried out a Guinness World Record for the largest human electrical circuit! They encourage a growth mindset, where pupils are encouraged to take risks and understand that making mistakes is a process for learning. They have a large outdoor space which enables them to carry out a range of activities to deepen the children’s understanding of the natural world and carry out forest school activities.  Due to their close proximity to London, they are able to facilitate their broadening minds programme.  This enables the children to learn about art, science, drama and dance in a range of wonderful venues around London.

The school was shortlisted for the TES Best use of Technology award due to the fantastic virtual lessons they provided through Lockdown.  They used Google Classrooms throughout the whole of Lockdown to provide a comprehensive remote learning package.  They also used a range of programmes that provided instant feedback for the pupils including Google Quiz Forms, Kahoot, quizzes, and Edpuzzle. A range of collaborative tools were also used including, Wakelet, Flipgrid, Padlet and Jamboard. They also provided training on remote learning for other schools within their local authority.  

Before the school was closed last March (2020), teaching staff learned how to use Google Classroom and other online platforms in the event schools would be closed. This training programme was led by Robin Archibald and Frazier Andrade (ICT technician). They also ran practice meetings with parents in early March. This in-depth preparation ensured children, teaching staff and parents were ready to switch online at any moment. This paid off because by the end of the first week of lockdown their online participation was well over 90%.  The school’s Chrome Books were lent out to families who didn’t have the technology and families were helped with extra internet data where necessary.

The pupils I spoke to were all digital leaders within the school.  This role involves them supporting their fellow pupils to stay safe online.  They have carried out a number of initiatives in order to achieve this aim, including performing a play which highlighted the dangers of the internet and how to avoid them.  The pupils found that the remote lessons during Lockdown really supported their engagement and progress.  They all love the fact that their school is so diverse and they appreciate the school community.  They were all very excited because they were going to be attending a residential trip to the Fellowship of Float where they would learn to sail.  

I also spoke to two of the parents. They were very complimentary of the school and felt that the online lessons were of vital importance for their children, not only to enable them to continue learning but also in terms of how it supported their mental health and wellbeing.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog about the Broadfileds Primary School episode of Spotlight.  It is great to be able to shine a light on their good practice and learn from their experiences and ideas.  If anything resonated with you please give me a call, email or.  Please tweet me on @teacherhugradio or @ArkinstallNikki or send an email to or call on our free phone number – 0800 246 1555 and leave me a message so that I can contact you.

There is a brilliant line up of shows every weekend for you to enjoy listening to on Teacher Hug Radio – the soundtrack to your teaching career.

Broadfields school

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The author

Nikki is a Deputy Headteacher in a primary school in Birmingham with over 20 years’ experience. Her primary school is a National Lead School and English Hub. She is currently studying a Senior Leadership Masters with the National College of Education, which she has found incredibly inspiring. She is Lead DSL and also Art, Music and DT lead. She is an experienced NQT mentor and has carried out the NQT courses for her Trust and partner schools and will be facilitating the Early Careers Framework in September. She is the host of ‘Spotlight’ a show on Teacher Hug Radio which shines a light on fantastic schools, teachers, teaching assistants and business leaders to celebrate what an amazing job they are doing in education. When Nikki is not working she loves to spend time with her husband, children, friends and family. She is also a governor at her daughter’s primary school. She loves travelling (when allowed), reading, listening to podcasts, watching Netflix series and swimming.

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