Happy New Year!
I hope you had a relaxing Christmas break and are looking forward to the term ahead. Welcome to Donna Robinson Curriculum Leader for Computing/ICT to our middle leadership team. Nicola Pearce will be her line manager and Nicola Gregson will be her buddy. I am sure you will make her welcome. She will be based in L3. With Katie’s promotion to Deputy Head, Nicola Pearce will be taking on the Inclusion Behaviour and Welfare strategic brief for the next two terms. Kiril and Rachel will be joining SLT as associate senior leaders and will be taking on aspects of Nicola’s work. Nicola Pearce will also take on the overview of Year 9 with Nic Reed. Mark Warren will have the overview of Year 7/8 Monday – Wednesday and Jay Mann will have this on Thursday and Friday. A summary of the changes was sent out last week.
There is a lot to look forward to in this calendar year and the rest of this academic year. We are ripe for some significant changes and improvements and we definitely have the will and the talent to push on to the next level.
In a recent SLT meeting, we discussed the equation performance = potential – interference that was created by Timothy Gallwey as a simple reminder that to improve performance, you need to realise (individual /team /organisational) potential and minimise or prevent whatever is getting in the way of that potential.
Here are 10 review questions based on Timothy Gallwey’s formula for achieving your potential in 2017.
When you reflect on 2016:
What are you proud of?
What are your accomplishments?
What risks did you take?
What were your low points?
What were your disappointments?
What did you shy away from or avoid?
What’s your main learning from this?
How can you turn that into your potential for 2017?
What small steps will you take to start?
What encouraging message could you use to keep yourself going on this throughout 2017?
These questions are great for a self-development review at the start of a new calendar year, and they’re just as valuable for your personal development at any time of year.
Start of term
During our INSET meeting at the start of term I provided all members of teaching staff with the ‘Postcard’ below. These are the main targets, themes and projects for 2016/17, which are designed, through reflective questions, to help us progress with our main priorities. hw-sip-2016-17
Start of Term
We agreed last year that the best way to ensure settled behaviour is to stick to routines and practice them, so students fully understand how to conduct themselves in the classroom. The ‘HWCS Checklist’ which middle leaders were involved in putting together, is attached. It might seem prescriptive but routines and rituals provide a sense of security. It serves as a reminder of what needs to be done and ensures consistency across the school. At the start of the new year, you need to drill students again in your classroom routines, until they are second nature to them and you.
By addressing every single detail (the small stuff), this will help sustain a culture of self-regulating behaviour from students, as well as a degree of consistency from all colleagues. It is essential that students are crystal clear that you (and every teacher) are following the whole school behaviour policy and supporting yourself, as well as your colleagues.
Please refresh department procedures and look through the behaviour for learning guide attached.
To go alongside this, at the end of term Mark sent out the autumn term teaching and learning report which summaries the information from performance management lesson observations, autumn term departmental METAL, SLT learning walks and work sampling activities. I would ask Curriculum Leaders to consider this in their department meetings on Tuesday.
There is a very busy two 1/2 terms ahead, coursework and exam preparation being at the forefront of our thoughts for the most part!
At Harrow Way, CPD is a real priority. As you know Caroline put together the INSET programme in the Summer term for the following year based on the priorities that emerge from our monitoring and evaluation and from our School Improvement plans (including DIPs). However, as we know, sometimes things have to change during the school year. Instead of the published INSET plan there are some changes.
Twilight 18th January 2017- Was a focus on Questioning and SEND will now be on Assessment Without Levels
INSET day 9th Feb 2017- Was on SEND, will now be on Assessment Without Levels
Twilight 15th March 2017- Was on Feedback, will now be on SEND
Caroline will explain why we have made these changes in due course.
Following my recent training and Ofsted revalidation, I have started some training with SLT and my governors. We’re very likely to be inspected this year so, it was a good time to revisit the framework together. Ofsted is there to be dealt with and I want my leaders to be able to take it in their stride without passing on the stress and burden to teachers and staff on the front line.
I would like to focus in this middle leaders blog on outcomes. In judging achievement, inspectors will give most weight to pupils’ progress. They will take account of pupils’ starting points in terms of their prior attainment and age when evaluating progress. Within this, they will give most weight to the progress of pupils currently in the school, taking account of how this compares with the progress of recent cohorts, where there are any. Inspectors will consider the progress of pupils in all year groups, not just those who have taken or are about to take examinations or national tests.
Below is the criteria for good:
Please also read through the criteria regarding groups:
- Inspectors will take particular account of the progress made by disadvantaged pupils from their starting points, especially the most able. They will consider the progress made by the end of the key stage compared with that made nationally by other pupils with similar starting points and the extent to which any differences in this progress, and consequently in attainment, are diminishing. In doing this, inspectors will take account of past cohorts and how well current pupils are on track to diminish any differences.
- For current pupils, inspectors will consider the impact of what a school is doing to reduce any differences in progress and attainment between disadvantaged and other pupils with the same starting points. In doing this, inspectors will take into account the progress and attainment of non-disadvantaged pupils nationally with the same starting point.
The most able
- Inspectors will pay particular attention to whether the most able pupils are making progress towards attaining the highest standards and achieving as well as they should across the curriculum. They will also consider whether the most able pupils are receiving the support they need to reach their full potential. For example, inspectors will consider whether pupils who had the highest attainment at the end of key stage 2 in English and mathematics achieve the top grades at GCSE in these subjects by the age of 16 and whether enough current pupils are on track to do so.
- Inspectors will consider the progress that lower-attaining pupils are making and the impact of provision for them on raising their attainment so that they reach standards expected for their age. Inspectors will also consider the impact of provision on raising the attainment of other pupils who have fallen behind so that they attain as well as they should.
- In evaluating progress in literacy and mathematics, inspectors will take into account the progress of those for whom the Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium provides support.
Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
- Inspectors will consider the progress of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities in relation to the progress of all pupils nationally with similar starting points. Inspectors will examine the impact of funded support for them on removing any differences in progress and attainment. The expectation is that the identification of special educational needs leads to additional or different arrangements being made and a consequent improvement in progress.
- Inspectors will consider whether any differences exist between the progress and attainment of pupils in resource-based provision and those with similar starting points who have special educational needs and/or disabilities in the main school. Inspectors will report on any differences and the reasons. When considering any whole-school published data on progress and attainment, inspectors will take into account the impact that a large number of pupils in resource-based provision might have on these figures.
- For groups of pupils whose cognitive ability is such that their attainment is unlikely ever to rise above ‘low’, the judgement on outcomes will be based on an evaluation of the pupils’ learning and progress relative to their starting points at particular ages and any assessment measures the school holds. Evaluations should not take account of their attainment compared with that of all other pupils.
Ofsted Subject Videos
Ofsted has 60 subject videos. How many of you have seen these? http://ow.ly/IkjN303Q6T5
Short Inspections Update
Last year, 2015, saw the introduction of short inspections every three years for schools judged to be good. Between September 2015 and March 2016 there were 978 short inspections, of which 47 per cent and 37 per cent converted to full inspections in the autumn and spring terms respectively.
Of those that converted in the spring term, 52 per cent of schools retained or improved their overall effectiveness judgement.
Clearly, instances of conversion from Section 8 to Section 5 are not uncommon. The goal for many school leaders is to retain their good judgement and avoid conversion to a Section 5
Ofqual Update January 2017
Maintaining standards in 2017
We have been asked several times about how standards will be maintained when moving from the A* to G structure to the 9 to 1 scale, and whether statistics used will relate to just 16-year-olds or entire cohorts (including resits).
Broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and above in a subject as would have achieved a grade C and above when the new GCSE 9 to 1 grading scale is adopted for English language, English literature and mathematics in summer 2017. But how will this be achieved?
Statistical predictions will be central. Whenever exam boards use predictions, the principle is always to compare like with like. The predictions that exam boards use for GCSEs in summer 2017 will therefore be based on 16-year-old students who can be matched to their prior attainment at Key Stage 2. And comparisons will be made with 16-year-olds in 2016, not with all students.
Predictions provide a common basis for all exam boards to use and so give us a way to compare grade standards across boards (see our inter-board comparability report published 15 December). Each board’s prediction is based on the same national results but reflects the prior attainment profile of that board’s entry.
Where all boards’ results are reasonably close (within 1, 2 or 3 percentage points, depending on the entry size) to their predictions, we judge that their grade standards are aligned, and that it is no more easy or difficult to get a particular grade with one board than with another.
Predictions are most reliable when they are based on larger numbers of students. With smaller numbers of students, they are less reliable. We and the exam boards take that into account. Our reporting tolerances are wider for qualifications with relatively small entries, and we do not set a reporting tolerance for qualifications with an entry of 500 or less. Where the entry numbers are relatively small, exam boards will balance the use of statistics with the judgements of their senior examiners.