Selected as an exemplar, Thomas Jones appears in four publications: ‘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. When inspected, in 2006 and 2009, Thomas Jones was awarded outstanding grades in every category. Her Majesty’s Inspectors afforded validation of these judgements in 2013. In our capacity as a designated Teaching School, we are visited frequently by the Department for Education. The quality of that which is afforded was most recently validated in spring 2016.
In recent years the school has afforded advice to the Department for Education with regard to the development of the new National Curriculum and the school’s views pertaining to deprivation, the pupil premium, early years education and staffing have been sought. The Minister for School Reform has visited on three separate occasions. The Secretary of State for Education and the Chief Inspector of Schools have also visited. All were effusive and complimentary.
Significantly oversubscribed (there were nearly 300 applications for 30 Reception places in 2016), there are exceptionally long waiting lists for all our classes. Between September 2015 and July 2016 the school’s attendance was 98%. In 2016 97% of Year 6 pupils achieved the expected national standard in English and Mathematics, with 37% achieving beyond this in Writing. The average scaled score for our Year 6 cohort was 112.2 for Reading, 110.6 for Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling and 111.9 for Mathematics, all significantly above national averages.
Thomas Jones is one of only a handful of schools to be a recipient of the Mayor of London’s Gold Club award for a third consecutive year. We appear in the most recent edition of the Good School’s Guide. In 2016 the school was presented with a prestigious Food for Life Gold Award. Thomas Jones has also been presented with a Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Excellence Award and an Evening Standard newspaper London School of the Year trophy. In November 2015 Thomas Jones was designated as a Teaching School and the Head as a National Leader of Education. In February 2016 the Head was awarded an OBE for Services to Education.
At their best, Thomas Jones’ pupils are robust, assertive and articulate. We instil into them an uncompromising set of values. Empathy is a key element. Pupils are encouraged to take calculated risks. Emphasis is placed on beautiful cursive handwriting and writing per se is an area in which quality is second to none, especially in Year 6. The Nursery is by far our most important cohort, simply because this is where everything begins. Early Years practice is outstanding. Our choir, string ensemble and netball and football teams are impressive. Concerts and school plays are of an exacting standard. In recent years we have staged, Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, Paul Gallico’s The Snow Goose, and JG Barrie’s Peter Pan and, in summer 2016, Romeo and Juliet. 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. We promote a no excuses culture. 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.