‘Harrow Way Middle Leader Bulletin’ Edition ‘3’ 10th October

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Welcome to edition 3 of the ‘Harrow Way Middle Leader Bulletin’ a fortnightly digest of news for middle leaders at Harrow Way Community School.


Performance Management Reviews 2015/2016 and Objectives 2016/2017


Please can you ensure that all reviews and new objectives are now recorded in SIMs. See Caroline if you have any problems.  I do read every review and all the objectives for all teaching staff to make sure they were suitably rigorous, challenging and focussed.   I am hoping I don’t have to waste time chasing up any reviews or objectives!

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review


 Just a reminder that your M&E activities/learning walk should be completed by the end of the week. if you are planning a joint walk with your SLT Line Manager but could I please ask that your findings are in your department folder by the end of the next week, Friday 14th October. Access to this and indeed the blank pro forma with prompts etc is available at Staff on Mars/Department Monitoring and Evaluation/your Department or the form is a separate document. Any problems please talk to Mark.

The link below has the Monitoring & Evaluation Calendar for 2016/17.  This indicates what Monitoring & evaluation activities should be undertaken during the year and there are also hyperlinks to the relevant documents we would like you to use.

‘No GAPs, No Dips, No Excuses’


As I mentioned in my email last week I have enjoyed a series of highly professional and productive GCSE examination review meetings, with plenty of detailed analysis and some interesting conclusions and threads of learning. Please can you ensure any updates are made to your department scorecards by the end of next week.

‪Our current Year 11 is the strongest cohort we have every had at Harrow Way. The year group has 91 girls and 80 boys. There is little difference on entry between girls and boys (using KS2 average points scores) but we can already see with predicted Progress 8 and Attainment 8 scores in SISRA, that the girls are significantly out performing the boys. Could I ask all departments to reflect on the current performance of Year 11 boys in your subject area?

Below are two questions from the 1-page summary SIP that I issued on the INSET day in September.

  • ‪Am I striving for at least 3 levels of progress for every student that I teach, to ensure a positive Progress 8 score? (4 levels if they entered with a KS2 Level 5)
  • ‪I need to be particularly mindful of students who are Boys, disadvantaged and SEND.

Our Wildly Important Goals for 2017


  • Key Stage 4 August 2017: Progress 8/Attainment 8 Score in line/above the National Average.
  • English and Maths Grade 5+ to be above the National average: (FFT Top 20% English 5+ (58-62%) 7+ (18- 22%); (FFT Top 20% Maths 5+ (59-63%) 7+ (20-24%). Achieving a Grade 5+ in English and Maths (48-52%)
  • 100% gaining 5 A* to G grades
  • All other subjects – Key Stage 4 students making the expected levels of progress (3 levels) and above 70% + 3 levels of Progress 30% + 4 levels of Progress (All Level 5s at KS2 – 4 Levels of Progress)
  • Close the gaps between Boys/Disadvantaged/SEND students when compared within school and nationally.
  • Threshold and value added for the three EBacc subject pillars science, languages and humanities to be in line or above the national average

Professional Development HWCS SLT/Middle Leaders

Contemporary Issues we should be aware of (the 1st of 3 inputs I will make on this over the coming weeks)

As Headteacher of Harrow Way I am very confident that all Middle Leaders are as up-to-date as possible within their own subject domains. All should know the latest OfSTED position and be up to speed with exam specifications and assessment requirements. Subject knowledge and subject-specific pedagogical knowledge, are going to be key drivers of everything we do over the next few years

However, in order to fuel the collaborative effort of reaching the ambitious goals we have for the school, we’ll need to establish a shared conceptual language for talking about teaching/aspirations across the school as well as within departments. Inevitably, different teachers will have engaged to different degrees with certain ideas depending on the books they’ve read, conferences they’ve been to and blogs they’ve browsed through and the content of their PGCE or other ITT programme. It strikes me that it would be a huge benefit to us all if we’re more or less on the same page when we’re discussing contemporary ideas about pedagogy, learning, assessment, motivation, neuroscience and so on.

In this post I’ve gathered some of the videos that I’ll be recommending that all Middle Leaders enage with. Each one links to a key academic or thinker and their ideas. Of course, there is also the growing world of teacher bloggers and teacher authors to engage with too and I’ll be promoting general engagement with all of that material – especially the people I follow on Twitter @mserridge

However, to ensure we have strong common ground, I want to focus on a few key researcher-writers and their work:

Visible Learning: John Hattie – the idea of measuring impact

John Hattie’s work provides an important insight into the nature of educational research and the notion of measuring impact. The idea that some strategies can be shown to have had more impact on average over time relative to others is crucial and his general message about the implications for teachers and the profession is very strong. This video, (with a counterpart Part 1) gives a very good idea of Hattie’s thinking.

Glossary of Hattie’s influences on student achievement. This Glossary explains influences related to student achievement published in John Hattie’s Visible Learning for teachers (Hattie 2012; 251ff). You can find an older list of  influences related to student achievement in Hattie (2009) Visible Learning

Link to Hattie Glossary

Mathew Syed Bounce

Matthew Syed is a British journalist, broadcaster and author of Bounce, a book described as “a must-read for anyone interested in the science of success, and the mindset and culture that support it”. He has won numerous prizes for his writing including Feature Writer of the Year at the SJA Awards and Sports Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards. He is also a three-time Commonwealth table tennis champion and a two-time Olympian.


Daniel Pink

Examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward

Carol Dweck: Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset is so in vogue at the moment, it is natural for anyone who has been hit by a bandwagon to approach this cautiously. There is great power in considering the extent to which  student attitudes to learning are influenced at every level of the school – in all of the messages we give in public and in the classroom.  The issue of labelling students such that they have their horizons limited or are lulled into complacency is very common; we’re all guilty of it to some degree.  Here Carol is setting out the key ideas:


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