Our School

In the context of Notting Hill, Thomas Jones is unique, in that it is the only community school with one form of entry. An advantage of this is that it frequently feels like a ‘big family’.

There exists a powerful nurturing frisson, with younger pupils knowing Year 6 well and vice versa. The Nursery and Reception are by far our most important cohorts, simply because this is where everything begins. Attending all assemblies, attired immaculately in the same garb as their older peers, they contribute much and are celebrated at every opportunity. Early Years practice is exceptional.

Over the last five years, the school’s aggregate attendance is 97.0%. We appear in the latest edition of the Good School’s Guide in glowing terms. Re-accredited as a ‘World Class School’ in June 2021, one of only five primary settings in the country accorded this award, we have been presented with 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 2020 we were, for a fifth consecutive year, identified by The Sunday Times as one of the UK’s ‘Top Schools’. Until the advent of the pandemic, as a Department for Education (DfE) designated Teaching School, we were frequently visited by educational leaders from around the country and abroad. Our academic results are amongst the highest 3% of schools nationally. Significantly oversubscribed (250 applications for 30 Reception places in January 2021), there are 150 children on our waiting list. The school has achieved ‘Healthy Living Gold’ status.

Thomas Jones’ pupils are robust, assertive and articulate. We instil in them an uncompromising set of values. Empathy is a key element. 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. Our choir, string ensemble and netball and hockey teams are impressive. Both of the latter have been Royal Borough Champions. Concerts and school plays are of an exacting standard. We have staged Robert Louis Stephenson’s Treasure Island, Romeo and Juliet, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and most recently Under Milk Wood. 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, we appear in a number of publications. These include ‘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 also features in the Ofsted promotional film Moving English Forward. The leadership team have afforded advice to the DfE about the development of the National Curriculum and our views pertaining to deprivation, the Pupil Premium, Early Years Education and the deployment of Support Staff have been sought. The current Minister of State for School Standards has visited on three separate occasions. Two Education Secretaries and former Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw have also visited. All have been effusive and complimentary.

December 2021