Trip down memory lane: Portsmouth MP welcomed back at former school

Stephen Morgan MP visits former school after it joins Thinking Schools Academy Trust

Penhale Infant School celebrated a special moment last week as it welcomed Portsmouth South MP – and former pupil – Stephen Morgan for a visit.

Pupils and staff were delighted to offer their local MP a full tour of the school he used to call his own – after it recently joined the high-performing Thinking Schools Academy Trust (TSAT).

By joining the Trust, Penhale has strengthened its ties with nearby Newbridge Junior School and The Portsmouth Academy, offering parents a clear curriculum pathway to secondary school and benefitting from shared best practice across the Trust. The school, in the heart of Fratton, is rated Good by Ofsted.

The MP toured his former school and met with pupils to see for himself the positive impact the move to TSAT is having across teaching and learning. 

He also met with senior leaders at the school and Trust, including Kate Keller, Headteacher of Penhale Infant School, Stuart Gardner, CEO of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, and Claire Stevens, the Trust’s Director of Primary Education.

They discussed the benefits of Penhale becoming embedded in the ‘Thinking Schools’ philosophy, which enhances the cognitive capacities and learning habits of pupils. Pupils are supported to develop ‘thinking skills’, which help them shape their own cognitive habits to improve learning.

TSAT is a family of 14 high-performing schools across the South East.

Kate Keller, Principal of Penhale Infant School, said:

“It has been a terrific day for us at Penhale Infant School – it is not every day that a former pupil returns as a Member of Parliament. It was wonderful to host Mr Morgan, and the children were delighted to have such an eminent visitor.

We are delighted to embark on the Thinking Schools journey, and to offer Mr Morgan the chance to witness for himself the benefits, including the cognitive approach to learning encouraged by the Trust. We are very excited for the future and look forward to staying in touch with Mr Morgan.”

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“It has been a brilliant trip down memory lane re-visiting my former school in Fratton, and I would like to thank the pupils and staff at Penhale for welcoming me back.

It was excellent to see for myself the transformation Penhale is undergoing by joining the Trust, including some of the innovative teaching and learning methods used.

I look forward to seeing it go from strength to strength as it serves our community.”