In this episode, Toria talks to proud Headteacher of Parklands Primary School in Leeds, Chris Dyson , about how building a school on love can yield the most amazing results. Chris believes that If anything can bind together nearly 400 pupils and 100 school staff in challenging circumstances, it’s love. And love is in plentiful supply at Parklands.
Chris was brought up in a single-parent household and received free school clothes and free school meals himself as a child, which has meant that the connection between his early life and that of Parklands’ pupils is built on understanding. He believes that education is the key to making the future brighter, and he is fuelled by a desire to provide his pupils with the best education and opportunities possible.
Chris has recently written a book - Parklands, A School Built On Love - in which he recounts the story of how he steered the school towards the seemingly impossible educational dream of high achievement, personalised support and complete inclusion. He explains how the school setting can be a place where there is love but also hope and relentless ambition for children, and reflects on the steps that he and his staff have put in place to make this a reality for Parklands’ pupils.
Chris delves into how this culture and climate of love drives behaviour and decision-making throughout the school – and, as a result, how this creates a safe, loving environment in which all of its learners can thrive.
Chris also provides insights into how the leadership team goes about raising funds for the school, and how they choose to spend it on both curricular and extracurricular projects. And, furthermore, how the school broadens its pupils’ experiences and cultural capital by means of residential trips, in-school productions, and sports and arts provision.
Parklands Primary School