Welcome to the second edition of the ‘Harrow Way Middle Leader Bulletin‘ a fortnightly digest of news for middle leaders at Harrow Way Community School. I hope this will streamline communication and help you stay up-to-date with the latest key dates, education policy, research and best practice.
We have open evening coming up on Tuesday. As normal we will be finishing at 12.45pm to allow departments to set up. Please take some time looking at displays in both classrooms and corridors. Below is a self-review criteria from our Harrow Way department scorecards.
I have walked the school on numerous occasions over the first few weeks and it seems very calm and purposeful. Could you remind your department at your Tuesday morning briefing the importance of meeting and greeting, with one foot out and one foot in, observing movement into the classroom and the corridor. Period 3 and 5 lessons need to start very promptly, I don’t want to see students waiting in corridors for teachers to arrive. We also need to ensure that all staff are following our year 7 ‘Classroom Voices’. If students have to work in silence as per guidance, that must happen and we must be very firm on those students not following these instructions. Consistency across the whole teaching staff is very important if this is to work effectively and support us in removing low-level disruption.
On Wednesday 20th September we had our twilight INSET. Over the years I have been involved in many appraisal meetings and literally read hundreds of sets of appraisal documentation. I read all the review and planning documents for every member of staff to make sure they are suitably rigorous, challenging and focussed. A few more frustrating hours were always spent chasing up the last few returns! Please do ensure the deadlines are adhered to. The timeline has already been issued by Caroline. Thank you.
The homework timetable was sent at the end of term. Can you remind your departments about this?
It is important that you stick to the timetable so that students have a balance of homework and are not over/ under loaded. Year 7/8 have their home learning booklets so can Curriculum Leaders send reminders to their departments to set these at the appropriate time. Any questions then please discuss with Caroline
Project Homework for Years 7 and 8. Can you ensure that all the deadlines as regards launch dates and hand in dates are adhered to and that the projects are also uploaded to Show My Homework. I would ask Curriculum Leaders to check on a regular basis to see homework is being set as per the timetable and uploaded to Show My Homework.
Year 7 Projects Autumn Term
Year 8 Projects Autumn Term
Supporting memory for terminal exams
Of significance with the new terminal 9-1 GCSEs approaching next summer in other subjects. How can we help pupils remember? Caroline is going to visit Durrington on Wednesday. Durrington High School has been designated as a Research School (from September 2017 onwards). The Research Schools Network is a collaboration between the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Institute for Effective Education (IEE) to create a network of schools that will support the use of evidence to improve teaching practice.
Sam Learning – Wednesday Briefing
Kevin has organised for Sam Learning to come in on Wednesday after school to do a presentation for staff. I would strongly advise that as many departments members as possible attend this briefing. SAM Learning provides award-winning online services, used by over 60% of secondary schools across England, to improve exam results. Last year alone, almost one million learners used SAM Learning! SAM Learning’s services have been independently proven to boost exam results. Research conducted by the educational charity, the Fischer Family Trust, confirmed that as little as 10 hours’ use of SAM Learning can lead to significant benefits.
SAM Learning is an e-Learning service accessible to all students, covering a wide range of subjects across the curriculum. It can be used both in school and at home, wherever you have access to the Internet. Students can log in and complete teacher-set homework, interactive tests and exam practice questions.
- Anywhere, anytime learning.
- Web based exam practice and revision.
- Improves exam technique, confidence and results.
- Continually updated with new content in line with latest curriculum.
- All students have their own logins to help them track their progress.
A resource or Middle /Senior Leaders
This resource includes everything you need to consider, to begin the process of reflecting on your next steps in education. Adapted to help the next generation of middle and senior school leaders, these resources are to be used as a personal tool for improvement – not for performance management or appraisal. Use the form below that is relevant to ‘your next stage’ in your career and reflect on the range of questions asked.
Deputy Headteacher Update
You should by now be in possession of your exams analysis document with data prepopulated and the paper comparison data looking at actual v predictions. You will be working on answering the questions raised on the document in preparation for your exam review meeting with Mike. Please ensure that you give Mike a copy of your analysis before the meeting to allow informed conversations. I am always happy to help you.
You will have noticed that SISRA (our data analysis tool) looks different now. SISRA Legacy is the original and now out of date version of the software, it holds leavers data and the last academic years predictions. Through this year we will be using SISRA EAP in which we are building current year 10 and 11 data. Running in the background will be our new long-term data system, 4Matrix which is really powerful and offers a user friendly interface for even the most data shy amongst us, I will start to introduce this to you after Easter.
Year 7 Settling in data starts on 25th September – please support new members of staff with completing this.
The first data collection of the year starts the Monday back after half term. Years 8 – 11 use the same system as last academic year, but please start to prepare how you decide and moderate year 7 data entry and plan for moderation across year groups in department time on Monday 30th October. The booklet given out during INSET will be helpful for this process. We will also deliver a short session on entering data into SIMS Programme of Study (PoS) before the entry starts.
These are now in for all year 7 students and can be found in marksheets. The summary report below for senior leaders is a helpful insight into the results. Please support staff teaching year 7 to use the CATS data when planning lessons, deciding seating plans and assessing student progress.
CATs v SATs
What is the difference? The best definition I have had:
Measure potential and give us an indication of future achievement
Measure achievement and give us an indication of future potential
CATs – An assessment of reasoning ability can identify where a pupil’s real strengths lie, free from the constraint of the curriculum and unencumbered by learning barriers.
What does CAT4 measure?
The Cognitive Abilities Test: Fourth Edition (CAT4) provides a robust, standardised measure of cognitive reasoning ability, without reference to curriculum-based material and regardless of previous achievements or first language.
With CAT4, you get invaluable insight into your pupils’ ability to reason across four distinct batteries: verbal, non-verbal, mathematical and spatial, as compared to the national average.
This allows you to address patterns and adapt your teaching methods to suit individual (or group, where a similar learning profile is shared) needs, ensuring feedback is appropriate and targets are achievable.