Progress to Becoming a ‘Securely Good’ School
Dear Parents and Carers,
I wanted to take the time to share with you the improvements with Teaching and Learning, and with Behaviour and Safety. As you may know, Mrs Spall’s role is to lead on Behaviour and Safety and my role is to lead on Teaching and Learning, and ultimately Pupil Achievement.
In the New Year letter from Stuart Ellis we told you about the training staff had received about visible learning and Kagan Structures. Our team have been applying some of this training in their teaching which is having a really positive effect on learning. If you would like to find out more then please have a look at the following websites:
Senior leaders, including myself, Mrs Spall, Mrs Smith and Mr Ellis, as well as our English and Maths leads-Miss Bonner and Mrs Byrne and SENCO-Miss Last, are continuously monitoring the quality of teaching and learning, pupil achievement and behaviour and safety. Monitoring activities include observing lessons, looking at children’s books, talking with teachers and with children, evaluating the impact of interventions and looking at planning. In addition we have meetings to look at pupil progress and analyse achievement data and compare this with other schools. All of this together helps us to evaluate how effective we are as a school. We organise visits from inspectors and local authority advisors to check in on the progress we are making as a school. For example, last week we welcomed Mr Christofides-an Ofsted inspector- to our school who observed lessons, spoke with children, evaluated our plans and met with senior leaders. He has confirmed to us that our School Development Plan has the right priorities to get our school to ‘good’ in our next inspection and that “pupils were interested, motivated, wanted to learn and keen to participate, and understand about all forms of bullying.”
The key actions from the last Ofsted (June 2014) for teaching and learning were for teachers to have raised expectations of what pupils can achieve and use assessment information to plan work which identifies gaps in pupils learning and give them harder work more quickly. In addition, for teachers to give pupils clear guidance on how to improve their work followed by an opportunity to do so.
We have reviewed our Marking Policy and introduced a Presentation Policy to increase consistency across the school. As part of book monitoring we can see that assessment is rightly at the centre of teaching and learning with children having much greater ownership of this. We have developed a shared ‘language of learning’ where children can talk with increased confidence about growth mindset, making progress, targets, next steps and their learning journeys.
We are continuing to work hard on developing an accurate and informative approach to the new ‘assessment without levels’, introduced in September. Teachers in years 1, 3, 4 and 5 will be able to share with parents these assessments at the next parents’ consultations after half term.
Thank you for your continued support on this journey to becoming a ‘securely good school’. The school has moved a huge jump from the Ofsted in January 2012 placing the school in special measures (grade 4) to the Ofsted in June 2014 moving the school up to ‘requires improvement’ (grade 3). The last HMI visit in November acknowledged the school was continuing to make progress and observed many good features.
I am aiming to send a letter like this out each half term to update you on the progress the school is making. If you wish to ask me any questions or offer any suggestions, then I would be really pleased to hear from you.
Miss Sarah Hubble
Deputy Head teacher