What Is A School?

Education   Primary Education  

After having worked with Billesley Primary School over a number of years on a wide variety of different creative projects, in 2018 we decided to take a slightly different appproach. We worked across the whole school to create a book together called ‘What Is A School?’ Our book takes a philosophical look at schools and education and celebrates all the amazing work that happens not just in Billesley but in all our schools.

During the project each year group took responsibility for researching and creating a different chapter. The pupils talked to politicians, teachers and each other. They worked with historians, architects and artists and visited other schools to help them understand how schools work and to think about the importance of education. An editorial board made up of a number of pupils helped to recruit a graphic designer and worked with her to think about how the book should look. The book was launched in July 2019 on the same afternoon that the school celebrated achieving its ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED report.

The Chapters…
Chapter One: What do schools do? (Year Six)
Chapter Two: Is a school a building? (Year Three and the Resource Base)
Chapter Three: What are schools like in other places? (Year Two)
Chapter Four: Have there always been schools? (Year Five)
Chapter Five: Why do we have a uniform? (Reception and Year One)
Chapter Six: Will there always be schools? (Year Four)


Project devised by: Craig Stephens and James Yarker
Graphic design and illustration: Maxene Brown

Thanks to: Roz Shabazz Johnson, Alison Davies and Richard Woods (Urban Fabric Architects), South and City College, Pete Haylor, Ming de Nasty, Steve McCabe MP, Stottesdon Primary School, Dame Ellen Pinsent School, Saint Jean De Monts School, Anthony Ruck, Lucy Nicholls, The Elliot Foundation Academies Trust and all the staff and pupils at Billesley Primary School

For Stan’s Cafe: Roisin Caffrey (Executive Producer) and Laura Killeen (General Manager)

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