Thomas Jones’ pupils are robust, assertive and articulate. We instil in them an uncompromising set of values. Empathy is a key element. Pupils are encouraged to be tenacious. Emphasis is placed on beautiful cursive handwriting and the quality of writing per se is second to none, especially in Year 6. The Nursery are by far our most important cohort, simply because this is where everything begins. Early Years practice is innovative. Our choir, string ensemble and netball and hockey teams are impressive. Both of the latter, have in recent years been Royal Borough Champions. Concerts and school plays are of an exacting standard. We have staged Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, Romeo and Juliet, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and last summer Treasure Island. The curriculum is richly varied and affords opportunities for each and every pupil to shine. Our ethos is firmly focused on intellectual challenge. Rigour and a desire to continually improve are integral. Attention to detail in regard to uniform, demeanour and the use of Standard English are strengths. Aspiration and a climate that ensures pupils are consistently kind and friendly are absolute.
Selected as an exemplar, Thomas Jones appears in a number of publications including ‘Reading by Six, How the Best Schools Do It’ (Ofsted), ‘Building an Outstanding Reading School’ (Oxford University Press), ‘Narrowing the Gap’ (also Oxford University Press) and ‘Closing the Gap’ (Pathways Education). The school features in the Ofsted promotional film Moving English Forward. The school was consecutively awarded outstanding grades in every category by Ofsted. The Department for Education (DfE) further validated these judgements when Thomas Jones was designated as a Teaching School. In this capacity we are frequently visited by educational leaders from around the country and abroad. The school has afforded advice to the DfE on numerous occasions about the development of the English National Curriculum and our views pertaining to deprivation, the Pupil Premium, Early Years Education and the deployment of Support Staff have been sought. The Minister of State for School Standards has visited on three separate occasions. The Education Secretary and Chief Inspector of Schools have also visited. All have been effusive and complimentary. Significantly oversubscribed (eight applications for each Reception place in 2019), there are exceptionally long waiting lists for every class. In the context of the local area, Thomas Jones is unique, in that it is the only community school with one form of entry (1fe). One the advantages of this is that it frequently feels like a ‘big family’. There exists a powerful nurturing frisson, with younger pupils knowing Year 6 scholars well and vice versa. The Nursery are integral. Attending all assemblies, attired immaculately in the same garb as their older peers, they contribute much and are celebrated at every opportunity.
Between the beginning of September 2018 and the end of June 2019, the school’s aggregate attendance was 98.0%. In the previous school year, all of our eldest pupils achieved the expected national standard in English and Mathematics, with 37% achieving beyond this in Writing. The average scaled score was 112.2 for Reading, 110.6 for Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling and 111.9 for Mathematics. These astonishing academic outcomes are within the top 2% of schools nationally. In 2018, 97% of our Year 6 pupils achieved the expected national standard in English and 100% in Mathematics, with 48% achieving at Greater Depth in Writing. 66% of pupils achieved the higher standard in reading, 79% in grammar and 83% in Mathematics.
Appearing in the latest edition of the Good School’s Guide in glowing terms, Thomas Jones was in 2019 accredited as a World Class School, one of only a handful of primary settings in the country to be awarded this prestigious accolade. We have been presented with a Food for Life Gold Award, a Royal Borough Excellence Plaque and an Evening Standard London School of the Year trophy. The Head is a National Leader of Education and in 2016 was awarded an OBE for Services to Education. In November 2018 we were identified by The Sunday Times as one of the UK’s ‘top schools’.