Welcome to the sixth edition of the ‘Harrow Way Middle Leader Bulletin‘ a fortnightly digest of news for middle leaders at Harrow Way Community School. (Curriculum Leaders, Year Leaders, Lead Practitioners) I hope this will streamline communication and help you stay up-to-date with the latest key dates, education policy, research and best practice.
The first section will be general messages for all Middle Leaders at Harrow Way. The second section will be focused on our ongoing professional development as Leaders. 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.
SLT Learning Walk
We will be continuing our SLT Learning Walk into next week as we have not been able to get into as many lessons as we would have liked.
I would like to remind everyone that our Year 11 ‘Boys and Disadvantaged’ students are our key priority for Year 11 this year. Below is the presentation from Monday as a reminder and as Nicola indicated, if we can pay particular attention to the “Blue diamond boys” on the right-hand side of the final slide, these are underachieving boys who had level 4s and 5s at KS2 and currently have very low Progress 8 (Estimated scores). HarrowWay MM
- Will McHardy
- Callum Dewhurst
- Josh Bosley
- Cameron Walker
- Liam Guiver
- Sam Kew
- Brandon Smith
- Callum Edmonds
- Michael Majid
- Shea Colville
Just a reminder also to Year Leaders that we would like to have a Data briefing with you on Wednesday 29th at 8.00 am in my office. Nicola and Paul have been able to put together some excellent data to support the progress leader element of your role.
Below is Caroline’s Classroom Voices document. Please let us know (SLT/Year 7 Team) where support is needed in helping to refresh any Year 7 classes on these expectations. As we said in September, this will take hard work and it’s a good job we have an excellent staff to take the job on. Classroom Voices
Over the last couple of weeks, we have had Christina Brown, Kelly Campbell and Rebecca Calder attending PiXL History and Geography Conferences. I would encourage you to look at the resources in Huddle for your subject area. On Monday 11th December we would like to invite all staff to the Auditorium for a meeting to share some resources, including some PiXL strategies, that you might find useful.
Please come to the Auditorium for 3.15pm promptly but do go via the staffroom so that you can pick up a festive treat AND it is essential that you bring your laptops.
This will be a ‘working’ session so please sit in departments
SISRA, SIMS and 4 Matrix
I would also like to draw your attention to Nicola’s e-mail below regarding the current state of play with the Autumn predictions.
“As you are aware we are currently processing the data from the latest data capture. SISRA has now changed to EAP which requires us to put in a “progress flight path” and this is proving tricky to get right as it works slightly differently than the way we use data. I am confident that this is robust for year 11 but less so for current year 10. I will be working on year 10 this week and will let you know when I am confident with the data. We are also starting to evaluate 4Matrix, a different data tool and I will let you know the outcome of how we will look at data later this year. You can also right click in columns in a SIMS mark sheet and look at grade distribution there for both predictions and targets at 4+, 5+ and 7+ if you cannot wait to get your hands on data!
A 1 min guide to get to your predictions in SISRA that was in the last Middle Leader Update
Middle Leader ‘Well Being’
Last year SLT and a group of Middle Leaders at Harrow Way worked with Maureen Bowes from People Intelligence where we looked at Resilient Leadership. She used a number of visual metaphors in exploring this. At this time of year, I thought I would share the self-care one with you.
”There’s more to do and not enough time to do it all. Things crop up unexpectedly – demands, distractions, and requests – you try to get everything done but at what cost? Start each day with a commitment to focus on today’s priorities AND to take care of yourself. Resilient people take care of themselves so they can perform well.
Middle Leaders at Harrow Way – Professional Development
Part 1 (5-15mins)
An EduBook Club group last year looked at Matthew Syed’s ‘Bounce’ and used this as a15-minute forum to go through the key messages from the book and explore the implications it has for teachers.
Natural talent is a myth – you’re not born good at something, you work hard to become better at what it is you do. Syed was the English number 1 table tennis player for many years and competed for Great Britain in two Olympic games. He attributes his success to four key things:
- His environment and opportunities – he grew up in an area with an excellent table tennis club.
- Practicing/training with people who were much better than him.
- Having an outstanding coach.
- PRACTICE – both the quantity and quality of practice.
Which of Syed’s secrets to success do our students have?
- Environment – yes, as they are fortunate enough to live close to and so attend an excellent school.
- They work alongside people who were much better than them (models- teacher and student/learning from top achievers)
- Having an outstanding/expert coach – they’ve got you, their brilliant teachers to push, nudge and challenge them along the way!
- PRACTICE- do we provide them with enough opportunity to do this well, in terms of quantity and quality? This is probably the area we need to focus on the most.
What does perfect practice look like?
- The goal should always be excellence/mastery. Even if some students won’t get there, that should always be the aspiration
- It has to be purposeful and focused. As explained by Vince Lombardi in the quote above, there is no point in practicing something poorly – you’ll just get the same poor performance. We need to make sure that they are practicing with precision…because practice makes permanent.
- It has to be challenging- practicing something easy again and again has NO impact. It might make you feel good about yourself, but if there’s no struggle, there’s unlikely to be much learning.
- The best results come from those who WANT to practice and do it well.
- GROWTH MINDSET is needed- failures must be seen as part of the path to success.
The group finished the session by summarising some of the key things that teachers in her book group took away from the book:
- High expectations are the key- excellence is the goal. Students will (usually) live up to (or down to) our expectations of them.
- Recognise that success looks different for different students – and so celebrate the small successes with them. This requires us to get to know our students.
- We must build time in for frequent practice/repetition (and not just with the fun stuff. It’s often the difficult things that need practice).
- Students have to ‘get it’ before we move on (otherwise they’ll be practicing poorly).
- In order to help students move on we have to know them really well. What is it that each student needs to practice?
- Motivation = progress = success…. and that success, then builds motivation. Build in small wins for students.
Part 2 (7mins)
David Weston, the founder/CEO of the Teacher Development Trust and the chair of the U.K. Department for Education’s Teacher Professional Development Expert Group, outlines how developing great teachers can change the world.