Lewis Pollock has been Headteacher of Wentworth Primary School, Dartford, since April 2022, following five years as deputy headteacher of the school.  Below he has summarised his first terms as headteacher.

Stepping into the role of a headteacher for the first time has been an opportunity filled with rewarding experiences and unexpected challenges, along with moments of true learning and growth.  The responsibility that comes with the role is immense, with the need to support the wellbeing of 650 children whilst also ensuring the best possible educational outcomes for every pupil.  One of the biggest challenges has to be successfully guiding the development of hundreds of young minds to be ready for a future which is unknown to all of us. 

Pupils are at the centre of everything we do at Wentworth and every decision must consider our learners.  Our school motto is ‘achieving happily’ and this is something which I keep in mind at all times. 

Over this year, it has been a pleasure to see the sense of achievement that our pupils have gained in various ways.  Academically, our pupils have performed well in their day to day lessons, statutory assessments and local selection tests, displaying courage and resilience at all times, both of which are school values.

Beyond the academic, we also have a fantastic extra curricular offer at the school, with pupils being given the opportunity to take part in many clubs and experiences.  Our year 4 and year 6 pupils have attended overnight activity stays and our children have attended the O2 arena for a Young Voices concert.  Our school sports teams are among the most active in Dartford, and have had success in football, netball and rounders competitions.  I am particularly passionate about our children having a memorable primary school experience and I see these opportunities as crucial for their development.

IMG 1897 | Dartford Living

Den building on our Year 4 Residential trip

All staff at the school have a responsibility to inspire our pupils to learn each day and through assemblies and special visits we look to teach our pupils that there is no limit to what they can achieve.  We were visited by past pupil and Olympic Sprinter Adam Gemili who has always been a great supporter of his old school, and we even have a block named after him.

AG pic | Dartford Living

Adam Gemili

Another critical aspect of my role as headteacher is ensuring that we maintain our strong sense of community.  This is a particular challenge as the school has grown to be a 3-form entry school in recent years.  Despite this, our school has kept the small-school feel, where staff know the children and families well and have a strong home-school partnership. It has been a particular highlight to arrange the school-wide events that support this community feeling. 

Back in May 2022, the Circus came to Wentworth, which was the first whole school event of my tenure as headteacher.  It was truly a delight to see so many pupils enjoying the Big Top being set up on the field throughout the day and the evening performances.  We were lucky enough to benefit from a grant from the Reconnect scheme in order to put the event on, and it made for a great success for the children of Wentworth.  The school has also put on carol concerts in Christchurch, PTA summer fairs on our school field, music and choir events, nativities, sports days and more.  Our Easter visit from the local mayor and leader of the council, Jeremy Kite, was particularly enjoyable as our VIPs judged our annual Easter Bonnet parade.  At each of these events, it is so pleasing to see our community come together to make memorable experiences for children at the school.

Circus pic 1 | Dartford Living


Looking back on my first year as a headteacher, I continue to be in awe of the transformational power of education and the lasting impact of a positive primary school experience on a child’s early development.  During each week’s Headteacher Awards assembly, we come together to celebrate children’s achievements and it serves as a constant reminder of the pride we can take from supporting our pupils to gain new skills and knowledge. 

School is central to not only a child’s life, but also to that of entire families and communities.  I am always thankful to my staff for their unwavering efforts in supporting learners and providing the safe and nurturing environment that they do each day. 

As a bookend to my first year as headteacher, the school received a full OFSTED inspection in June of 2023.  The 2 days inspection graded the school as ‘Good’, with inspectors commenting on the high aspirations for pupils to succeed and the particular strengths in reading as a school.

Being entrusted with the education and well-being of a whole school community is an honour and a privilege.  I look forward to the opportunities and growth that lies ahead for both myself and Wentworth.

Wentworth is a 3 form entry primary school serving West Dartford and East Crayford.  If you would like to enquire about places for a September start, please contact the school office (office@wentworthonline.co.uk).  Please also visit our website for more information about the school (www.wentworthonline.co.uk).