Primary aspirations

Schoolchildren from Anchorsholme Academy have been telling us about their experience of school and what they want to be when they are older.

The year six pupils talked about their hopes for the future and why school is important.

We want children to dream big, have ambition and go as far as their talents will take them.

Watch the video below!  

Transition Week success

And that’s a wrap!

After spending the week at different high schools across Blackpool, it was easy to see how much hard work and effort had gone into organising the five days of introductory lessons and activities for year 6 pupils.

From poetry sessions, history lessons and creative arts to circus skills, flame tests and water rockets, the pupils sampled a range of taster activities at their prospective secondary schools.


Initial feedback from both pupils and teachers suggests that the taster week has been a big success.

Pupils enjoyed the opportunity to familiarise themselves with daily life at their new school, make new friends and start to learn their way around the building. After feeling nervous and overwhelmed at the start of the week, many pupils grew in confidence once they had met their teachers and explored their new surroundings.

The well-planned visits, events and activities will help primary school pupils transition confidently to high school. The coordination between the primary and high schools has been key to the smooth running of events this week, ensuring that the year six pupils can prepare for their new milestone.

Well done to everyone involved!

Transition Week continues

High schools across Blackpool are continuing their timetable of activities and introductory lessons for year 6 pupils today.

Over the course of this week, pupils have been taking part in a selection of taster lessons to enable them to familiarise themselves with daily life at their prospective secondary school.

Transition week is designed for all students to get to know their new classmates and explore their new environment. The induction process enables the year 6 pupils to feel confident about the new routines and ready to start their journey at high school.

As secondary schools can be a daunting experience for some, earlier this week we asked a couple of students for their thoughts on the week ahead at Highfield Leadership Academy.

Urooj - Highfield

Urooj, 11, from Revoe Learning Academy, said: “I felt a bit scared when I got up this morning and was nervous as I didn’t know what to expect.

“I feel more relaxed now that I’m here. I am enjoying moving around the classrooms and exploring the school. I am looking forward to making friends this week.”

Levi - Highfield

Levi, 11, from Baines’ Endowed said: “I don’t really feel nervous about the move to high school. I am ready for it.

“There’s a big difference in size from my school to this one so I’m looking forward to finding my way around.

“I am most excited about doing PE and making friends as I’m the only one from my school coming here.”

Transition Week 2019

Today marks the start of transition week.

Primary schoolchildren have kickstarted their week with a range of activities today at Highfield Leadership Academy including a poetry class, history taster and an anti-bullying ambassador session run by pupils.

The year 6 pupils were also taken on a tour of the school to help familiarise themselves with their surroundings and give them a taste of life at high school.

Keep checking back here for updates throughout the week.

Transition Week Highfield 2019

Highfurlong School Shortlisted for a TES Award 2019

Pupils at Highfurlong School are benefitting greatly from the amazing and innovative work by Mr. Birtles. Each student has an iPad, making it easy to share and connect their education milestones with their classmates.

Parents can also log on to the safe, secure and private ‘social network’ to see their child’s progress and daily achievements. With over 80 children successfully using ‘Seesaw’ – (the programme that has helped in the quest of creating this movement), but also a total of 91 parents regularly logging on to see dedicated content of the school day.


Mr. Birtles and a few pupils from his class; the tree and planting project is just one example of the activities his class have completed and shared with their network. 

Over 24,000 pieces of data were manually inputted personally by Mr. Birtles, and additional to the front-facing social network side – teachers can map progress data in line with the curriculum. Parents can see their own child’s information, as well as ask questions, see progress and have an insight into the school day at a level they ordinarily may not have had an opportunity to understand prior to this being implemented. 

The hard work and dedication hasn’t gone unmissed – Highfurlong School has been shortlisted for a TES Award under the category – Innovative use of technology to influence outcomes.

The award ceremony takes place in London on the 21 June 2019.

Everyone here at Blackpool OA wish you the best of luck. Fingers crossed!

Teach Blackpool leadership coaching programme

The PTI is delighted to be partnering with AfL to deliver the Teach Blackpool Leadership Coaching Programme. This programme offers free Leadership coaching and training for Heads of schools in Blackpool, together with selected members of their Senior and Middle Leadership Teams.

Its aim is to support Schools Leaders in raising attainment and progress in Blackpool’s schools and to aid the recruitment and retention of quality teachers within the town. These cannot be achieved in a sustainable way with formulaic or quick fixes, and so the Programme focuses on the fundamentals of good school leadership. It will give School Leaders a forum, frameworks, and training for them to crystallise their thinking on what is most important in their schools, how they can use an enriched curriculum to deliver improvement, and how through effective coaching they will nurture their staff to be better teachers. The Programme consists of three elements:

Element 1:  Setting your school’s objectives – PTI Leadership Residential course

At these national school leadership two-day residentials, the Head and a member of SLT will have the opportunity to hear from top speakers and reflect with peers from across the country on what counts most in their schools. Participants will be given the time to crystallise their thinking on their school’s ethos and enhance their school development plan in the light of this.

Element 2: Enhancing your coaching skills to work towards your objectives – 6 days of coaching training by Alliance for Learning/Independent Coaching

During these six days of coaching, participants will develop their leadership potential and those of others through enhancing their coaching skills.  They will learn through tutor modelling and observation, through first-hand experience of working with a coach, through guided and carefully structured skills development in small groups and with online tutor support.

Element 3: Reviewing and celebrating progress – PTI National Schools Leadership Programme Day

At this cross-phase leadership forum, as well as sharing the successes and challenges from other school leaders from across the country, participants benefit from a one-to-one consultation with a PTI Leadership Development Partner.

Getting your school involved

Places on the Leadership Coaching Programme are free of charge for Blackpool Schools, but must be booked in advance. Please visit to secure your school’s involvement in this project.

Please contact the PTI office by email ( or telephone (020 3174 1235) to discuss any element of the programme.

Project Updates

The Blackpool Opportunity Area Programme is delighted to announce that two new initiatives are underway within Blackpool.

Team around the School project will provide additional capacity within schools and the Early Help Hubs, offering targeted support to a group of young people who are at significant risk of disengaging with their secondary school. Read more


The Careers Journey is co-ordinated action from a range of partners to help all our young people here in Blackpool prepare for work. Learn more about the project

Teach Blackpool

We will shortly be launching Blackpool’s very own Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy, ‘Teach Blackpool’, which will focus on supporting teachers across the town. The emphasis is providing support for newly and recently qualified teachers, in addition to in-school coaching available to all teachers.


This will align to the national DfE Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy whose overarching aims are to:

  • Create the right climate for leaders to establish supportive school cultures that allow teachers to focus on teaching
  • Transform support for early career teachers
  • Build a career offer that remains attractive to teachers as their careers and lives develop

Elements including

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Changing Horizons

Building on from the events in 2017 and 2018, Civil Service Local North West successfully delivered the ‘Changing Horizons’ event in Blackpool on 7 February 2019 at the Winter Gardens to school years 5,6 and 7 pupils.

A fast paced event, it was designed to raise the aspirations of young people in areas of low social mobility, allowing them to discuss and practice the skills required for life and work.  You can view a video of last year’s Blackpool highlights here:

Department for Education colleagues designed and hosted an activity table to show pupils how the skills they have translate to the world of work – focusing on the Department’s current strategy to recruit, develop and retain the next generation of inspirational teachers.

The strategy sets out the Department’s plans to champion the profession and will build on the 30,000 classroom teachers the government aims to recruit each year, support the 450,000 teachers already working in schools in England and commit £130 million a year to boost development for new teachers.

Pupils were asked to think about the teacher who has had the most impact on them, and to think about the skills that teacher demonstrated. The pupils gave some fantastic responses on what makes a great teacher, including – ‘challenge you to be better!’

Lots of the children said they’d like to be teachers in future, which was great to hear!


Boundary awarded Silver Quality Mark in Geography

Boundary Primary School have been awarded the Silver Quality Mark in Geography, from the National Geography Association.

One of only 21 schools in the country to be given the award – what an achievement! At Boundary, they have made foundation subjects a priority over the last few years, teaching them through a topic based approach to provide an in depth, creative and challenging curriculum to facilitate curious, inquisitive learners.

Geography has flourished through this approach and the profile has been raised throughout school. Amongst other things, children enjoy going on fieldwork trips, learning through Digi-maps online, making use of the floor to ceiling interactive world map corridor display and exploring questions and problems which need to be solved. Creating an in depth, exciting, geographically rich curriculum, which the children strive from enabling them to reach their maximum potential.