When you walk into Three Bridges Primary School - Southall, you're immediately immersed into an institution of excitement. There's a huge panda made out of clay by the front entrance and the walls are filled with photos of the children captioned; "#HappiestSchoolOnEarth".
Three Bridges is not only the "#HappiestSchoolOnEarth" but it's also in the top 1% of schools nationally and has progress measures in the top 3%.
On congratulating Head-teacher Jeremy Hannay on his recent promotion from deputy, I felt compelled to meet with him and find out more about makes this school thrive.
- When you walk into Three bridges, you're immediately immersed into the culture. Tell us more about that and how it impacts the children... (Jazz)
Our culture of happiness allows staff and pupils to flourish and to be deeply immersed in the excitement of learning. We knew that our staff training had to reflect how we want to teach the children. For this reason, all of our staff training is implemented through collaboration, not direction. (Jeremy)
2. Being in the to 1% nationally is a great achievement, what's been the route to success?
The first thing is we've built a culture of trust. We don't spend excessive time scrupulously looking at unnecessary data such as planning and marking. These things are necessary for some teachers, but very few. For most teachers, excessive reporting stifles their growth.
3. When did you start the Singapore Maths programme and why?
I've spent years scouring best practice all over. I spent 10 days in Singapore researching the worlds best before steadily introducing the vision over a 5 year period.
The Singapore Maths programme was a no-brainer because it works on the fundamentals of:
a. pupils being presented with a problem
b. pupils discovering different ways to solve that problem in their own terms
c. journal-ling the task and their methods
d. reviewing the text book to find the master methods and how they are broken down; giving more precision and sophistication.
Pupils can then compare their methods to the master methods and discover differences in order to improve.
4. You teach practitioners to embed understanding, as opposed to embed knowledge - why is that distinction so important?
The methodology of Singapore maths combines independent with collaborative study whilst developing critical thinking which is essential to operate in the 21st century.
The ability to critically analyse is more important than throwing numbers at pupils and getting them to remember them. It's crucial to our success as educators that pupils learn to discover and build upon knowledge in order to apply it effectively.
It was a great pleasure to meet with Jeremy and to share this article on what makes Three Bridges such a happy and thriving school. Every Child Deserves an Excellent and well-rounded Education.
P.S - Despite teacher shortages, Three Bridges Primary has no staff quitting or leaving this year. They're currently looking for an incredible Deputy Head to join their family. Click here to apply. #HappiestSchoolOnEarth