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A message from the Headteacher

A warm welcome from Marie Gentles, Headteacher at Hawkswood Primary PRU.

At Hawkswood Primary we believe that all children deserve outstanding quality first teaching that is supported by excellent curricular opportunities and extended services that nurture and engage children. We aim to influence brilliancy in a stable and safe environment throughout everything we do and genuinely empower,and aspire the pupils to achieve their full potential. We want our pupils to feel valued and listened to in everything that they do and that they too have a 'voice.' We believe in providing every pupil and their families with the support and guidance to ensure a safe and fulfilled future, which in turn will implement the rest of their time within education and beyond. Parent and pupil voice is so very important to us and we treasure the relationships that we build and maintain with our parents/carers, in the best interests of the children. In June 2015 Ofsted judged Hawkswood Primary as 'outstanding.'

I am so passionate about equal life chances for all that I readily accepted an invitation from the Department of Education at the end of last year, inviting me to be a part of an Alternative Provision Stakeholder Reference Group. I am also commonly invited to speak at different events, the latest being in January at a conference hosted by 'The Difference,' that was focused on How does a leader change the story of inclusion? I will keep you updated on any developments!

Hawkswood Primary PRU & SEMH Provision provides opportunities for children who have struggled to cope in LBWF mainstream schools to re-engage in education. Hawkswood Primary PRU serves all the primary schools in the London Borough of Waltham Forest and offers a short-term intervention (typically two terms) for children aged 4-11 who are struggling to cope in mainstream school and whose behaviour puts them at risk of exclusion. Hawkswood Primary is a nurturing learning environment in which children are enabled to make personal growth, better manage their own emotions and behaviour, and make academic progress.  In addition, our Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Provision (8 spaces available) provides longer-term, high quality education for pupils who have an Education Health and Care Plan of special educational needs (SEN), and whose social, emotional and/or behavioural needs cannot be met in mainstream school.

 As many of our pupils have significant barriers to the learning, we offer the full National Curriculum, a robust assessment cycle, good or better progress against baseline entry levels and a behaviour modification programme all within an inclusive, nurturing environment where equality and opportunity for all is at the heart. During the time that they spend in the PRU, our pupils learn to better engage in and enjoy more of school life by acquiring the necessary attitude, skills and understanding to sustain their reintegration to mainstream school. Hawkswood Primary school is set on the boarders of Epping Forest in Chingford, E4. The school is in close proximity to the over ground lines which provide direct access into Central London. Our new school site is contemporary, fresh and bright with outstanding  facilities including large outdoor space and resources.

It is currently an exciting time for Hawkswood Primary school, in a period of rapid improvement with a new Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team, supported by an experienced Governing Body and staff who are passionate about the development of the school. We moved into our brand new, purpose built school building in November 2016 and both staff and pupils love the new facilities.  We now have a multi-purpose hall for sports and performing arts and a bespoke dining hall which makes the most of the natural light. We are fortunate to have access to Epping Forest at the perimeter of our school grounds, as well as a plethora of open green space. The pupils enjoy experiencing a range of visitors throughout the year, including deer, snakes, rabbits, dogs and even lizards!

Upcoming ventures this year include acquiring our Nurturing School Award. We are currently working towards this, with the aim of securing it by the end of the academic year 2018/19. We have worked closely with Create development and their inspiring programmes which aided us in improving our Physical Education lessons, and we will be creating a new School Council this term.  We believe in the importance of children’s well-being and happiness as much as their academic successes and we are proud to share that we continually work on our Growth Mind-sets across the school for both pupils and adults alike.

We have established a captivating and investigative curriculum that enhances the progress of every pupil. We deliver interventions such as Ruth Miskin’s Read, Write, Inc Phonics programme for teaching reading and phonics and precision teaching. Our investigative topics such as Science and History are covered by the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) which we ensure is creative and interactive to 'hook' and aspire our learners.

We have recently started a new Acapella Choir, which gives our pupils the opportunity to explore music as a form of expression. We teach modern foreign languages with Spanish taught from Year 3 to Year 6 once a week, and every KS2 child takes part in weekly swimming lessons. Unlike other Primary schools, we teach Physical Education (PE) four times a week. Physical exercise stimulates the brain, as well as other health benefits, and we have found that by starting the school day with PE, it supports our pupils in their academic development throughout the rest of the day. We are currently in the process of exploring the Daily Mile  from Year 1 to 6 on a weekly basis also.

Safeguarding is an area of key importance to us and one that is regularly reviewed to ensure that we continue to meet all areas of need.  We have developed a Safeguarding Suite of Policies and all staff receive ongoing safeguarding training.  In addition, we have named senior members of staff who hold specific areas of safeguarding responsibility. As part of our on-going holistic approach to safeguarding pupils against any threat to their health, safety and wellbeing, we support the teaching of traditional British values. In addition, we have ensured that we have procedures in place to identify and report the potential for realisation of extremist views and radicalisation. Our Anti-Radicalisation & Extremism policy statement sets out our beliefs, strategies and procedures to protect pupils from being radicalised or exposed to extremism. 

I understand that it can be very upsetting for parents to think that their child needs professional support with their behaviour or mental health and we are very sympathetic to the stress this can create for families. If you would like to see a visual representation of some of the work we do here at Hawkswood Primary, you can use the following link to view the exciting live broadcast that we took part in as part of the Victoria Derbyshire Programme in February 2018. 

The filming was part of a week-long special focus on Pupil Referral Units across the country, Please click here to view. 

They also did online news articles featuring Hawkswood Primary:

In September 2018 we were visited by Princess Beatrice, a member from the Royal family and Holly Branson, the daughter of Richard Branson! They were interested in learning more about how we maintain our outstanding standards and how our good practices can be developed across the country. 

We are immensely proud of every single one of our pupils and we aim to provide as much support as possible to help transform their lives. We have a relentless drive to improve the standards and attainment for every pupil and feel that this is reflected in everything we do. If you have any doubts or concerns about your child being referred to Hawkswood Primary I strongly recommend that you arrange a visit to our school and meet with us. I am confident that you will feel reassured that your child will benefit from a period of support and intervention from my outstanding team.  Many parents report a noticeable improvement in their child’s mood and behaviour at home after a relatively short time of intervention at Hawkswood.  Please take a look at the testimonials from parents on our Case Study page for further reassurance.

Yours Sincerely,
Mrs Gentles

Mrs Gentles Tea Parties 

Last Spring, I started hosting 'Achievement Tea Parties'. Once every half term, pupils are invited via invitation to join me for a celebration of their efforts and achievements.The criteria to be picked are pupils who have demonstrated a growth mindset in their leaning and their behaviour as well as evidencing that they can incorporate British Values into everything they do. At the tea party, pupils bring along their books and share their targets, progress and next steps. We know that in order to fulfil the potential of our pupils and encourage them to become confident and resilient learners, we must model the mindset of a learner who is not afraid of making mistakes, but who thrives upon them knowing that this is all part of the learning process. The growth mindset language is embedded across the whole school and at Hawkswood we celebrate making mistakes and deliver the message that perseverance is the key if we are to succeed. We learn from each other, we don’t compare ourselves with others, we challenge ourselves and take risks, and we remember that our brains are making new connections and growing all the time.

Congratulations to the following pupils who have all been invited to a Tea Party so far;


Nathan M, Odutola B, Billy G & Trae G


Barrington, Jacob, Andrew, Oluwatise & Kayden


Robyn, Rafael, Zakariya, Kairon & Max


Nathan, Jahmal, Alfie, Anniyah & Ishmael


Mason, James, Kassie & Callum


Luigi, Diego, Corey & Xander


Kymani, Jamil, Matei, Taylen