Chris Dyson

Parklands: A School Built on Love

Written by Chris Dyson, Parklands: A school built on love is a heartwarming account of Parklands School’s transformative journey towards becoming a safe, loving environment in which all of its learners can thrive.

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.

The pupils at Parklands Primary School, located on the Seacroft estate in Leeds, often face significant hardship. Children start at the school significantly behind their peers nationally, especially in terms of their language and literacy. Yet the school is famed for outstanding learning – both in terms of Ofsted judgement and, more importantly, in achieving amazing outcomes for its learners.

In this inspiring book, head teacher Chris Dyson shares the story of how he has 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.

Quotes from the book

"We believed that every child could achieve great things if they were given the love, support, and guidance they needed."

"At Parklands, we created a sense of community and belonging that made every child feel loved, respected, and valued."

"Effective leadership requires a commitment to creating a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration."

"We believe that every child is unique, and that their individual needs and strengths should be celebrated and nurtured."

What do we think?

"Parklands: A School Built on Love" is an inspiring and heartwarming account of how a school can transform itself into a place where every child can thrive. It is well-written, practical, and packed with valuable insights and strategies for creating a nurturing and inclusive school environment.