Dr Kulvarn Atwal is the Head Teacher at Highlands Primary School in Ilford, East London.
To create an environment where learners thrive, headteacher Kulvarn Atwal believes that all members of staff need to be creative, reflective decision makers who are also learners themselves. Here he shares his approach, which has successfully transformed two underperforming schools to thriving communities that have received ‘Outstanding’ ratings.
Kulvarn Atwal became head of Highlands Primary school in east London in September 2012. At the time, the school had just received a Requires Improvement rating from Ofsted. By the end of the year, pupil progress at Key Stage 2 was in the top 3% of schools nationally; by the end of the second year, they were in the top 1%. When Kulvarn took over, he firmly believed that by developing teachers within an expansive and collaborative learning environment, teachers will have the confidence to innovate and develop their practice. The simple premise was that through the empowerment of staff, children would flourish and their learning would accelerate. In this article he describes why he decided to create a dynamic learning community and considers the impact on staff.