Harrow Way Middle Leader Bulletin Edition ‘8’ 15th January 2018

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Welcome back everyone and to the first middle bulletin of 2018!  As you will have seen this week Damian Hinds has replaced Justine Greening as education secretary – the 4th Education Secretary during my 5 Years as Headteacher at Harrow Way – Blimey! Justine Greening’s 18 months at the Department for Education mean that she had had one of the shortest tenures in the role, despite leaving a legacy of significant changes to school funding and primary assessment. Damian Hinds is the MP for North East Hampshire – I have invited him in for a visit.

So for us, we are straight back into the thick of it, I’m afraid. There is DTM – Department Planning & Development Session on Monday. Can I remind Curriculum Leaders that an agenda needs to go out on a Friday with your SLT line manager copied in. It is essential department members are aware of what will be discussed.

Search For Solution

With reference to Caroline’s email you will see from the Monitoring and Evaluation calendar we have Curriculum Leader work sampling/ learning walk and Year Leader Tutor METAL this week (w/c 15th Jan)

Year Leaders will be checking that tutor routines are in place, tutor period is being used productively, equipment and uniform checks are being made as well as lateness being challenged.
Curriculum Leaders will be focussing on the challenge for more able students. In lessons, are more able students being challenged and is their thinking being extended? Through work sampling (two boys and two girls from each year group) is the standard of work where you would expect it? Are students responding to feedback? Are they making very good progress?
Both of these blank forms are in Staff/ Monitoring and Evaluation 2017 – 18/
Please save them in your department areas by the end of the week.
SLT will be conducting a learning walk focussed on questioning.
We will endeavour to visit as many lessons as possible to gather information on how effective questioning is across the school to inform next steps on questioning- a key focus for the school for some time.
As you will aware Fae Dean completed her NPQH placement at Harrow Way in the summer term. Fae was promoted to Headteacher of Westgate from September and I was delighted to be asked by the LA to act as her mentor. When Fae worked with us during the summer term placement I asked her to carry out an action research project around questioning and literacy. It is always refreshing to get another opinion when reviewing the impact of a whole school strategy.

Thoughts – Questioning: there is a discomfort around hands up but Fae couldn’t sense a common approach to structuring classroom dialogue e.g. response partners/think pair –share/phone a friend/stop reflect and rewind. This didn’t seem to be habitual practice………….. This might be worth reflecting on with the department – remember the strategies from ‘What would Mark do?

At the start of 2018, I mentioned in my email the 3 areas I wanted at the forefront of our thinking.


  1. Year 11 Outcomes
  2. Year 7 Classroom Voices
  3. Consistency – Addressing every single detail (the small stuff!)

Year 11 Outcomes

We had a very positive turn out to parents evening and parents I spoke with were were very complimentary about the support their children were getting. Following on from this I would ask that everyone, but particularly Curriculum and Year Leaders, revisit the progress of your team action plans and the progress of individuals and groups of students on your Year 11 ‘hit lists’ and Year Leader 7-11 ‘hit lists’.

Year 7 Classroom Voices

See Caroline’s thoughts below in the Deputy Head section

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 15.41.35

Consistency – Addressing every single detail (the small stuff)

At the start of the new year, I mentioned the importance of your department drilling students again in your classroom routines, until they are second nature to them and you. I was really pleased to see this in action while walking around school in the first week.

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.

Wildly Important Goals for Harrow Way in 2018 – A reminder!


”A wildly important goal (WIG) is a goal that can make all the difference. Because it’s your strategic tipping point, you’re going to commit to apply a disproportionate amount of energy to it”

Progress 8/Attainment 8 Scores in line/above the National Average

English and Maths

English and Maths Grade 4+ and 5+ to be in line/ above the National average

(FFT Top 20%) English 4+ (75-78%) 5+ (54-57%) 7+ (16-19%)

(FFT Top 20%) Maths 4+ (75-78%)  5+ (54-57%) 7+ (20-23%)

English Attainment 8/Progress 8 and Maths Attainment 8/Progress 8 to be in line/above the NA

Basics – Achieving a Grade 5+ in English and Maths (46% – 52%)

EBacc Subjects – In line/Above the NA

Combined Science/Computer Science/History/ Geography/French & Spanish Results compare highly favourably with national and local averages in respect of new performance indicators and new grading system.

EBacc Overall –  Attainment 8/Progress 8 to be in line/above the NA  Open P8/A8 to be in line/above the NA

All other subjects – Results compare highly favourably with national and local averages in respect of new performance indicators and new grading system. Open P8/A8 to be in line/above the NA

Groups at Harrow Way

Continue to close the gaps between Boys/Disadvantaged students when compared within school and nationally.

Deputy Head Update from Nicola and Caroline

Classroom Voices

I’m sure that you have noticed SLT in your Y7 classes since January to support with Classroom Voices. We have been impressed with the behaviour and work ethic of the year group and we hope that the guidance and support has been helpful. Please ensure that your departments are using the language of Classroom Voices. Students should know what ‘voice’ they should be using at any time. Best practice is to include the correct voice on the board or indicate on your Classroom Voices poster. It is essential that this is consistent across the school so your support is much appreciated.


A reminder that we have Attachment Aware training during our Twilight INSET session on Wednesday. As a school, we all strongly believe in developing positive and trusting relationships- especially with our most vulnerable young people. The aim of the session is to develop your understanding of attachment issues and give you strategies to improve relationships with these students.

M&E Spring term

As I said in my Autumn Term Monitoring and Evaluation report- to my mind, monitoring and evaluation serves a number of purposes; it is essential in our quest for a consistency of effective practice, it is key in terms of judging the extent to which professional development has had an impact, it allows middle leaders and senior leaders to praise and develop their teams and it keeps the ongoing conversation about teaching and learning alive. The Spring term is just as busy with two SLT Learning Walks and two Middle Leader work samples/ learning walks (link to M&E calender). We also have four METALs in the Spring term (see below)

Spring ICT

w/c 22nd Jan


w/c 26th Feb

PSHE/ Carousel

w/c 5th March


w/c 12th March

Department Planning Sessions

Monday 15th January is the first Departmental Planning session of 2018.  A reminder that this time has been set aside for planning or feedback- your team should come away from the meeting with a buzz and LESS work to do!


Some tips were sent to parents last week on how to support with homework. The use of Show My Homework is embedded in the school and students, staff and parents can see the benefit of using the system. I have recently become very interested in knowledge organisers and self-testing homework- I will share my ideas with you soon or come and see me if you would like to discuss!

Multiple Choice Questions

Thank you to those of you that e-mailed me about my blog of the week on multiple choice questions. Like many teachers, I always thought that MCQ were too basic and too easy to guess. However, I have been trialling them with Y10 and Y11 and have completely changed my mind. Daisy Christodoulou, in her book ‘Making Good Progress’ says that “Twenty multiple choice questions … would give a teacher a far better understanding of a pupil’s specific strengths and weaknesses than one essay, and it would probably still take less time for teachers to mark and give feedback, as well as less time for pupils to complete”. So far they have helped me to wheedle out misconceptions and all students can access MCQs so no questions are missed out. I made students predict how many they would get right- all of the disadvantaged students underestimated their ability and were pleased that they had done so well.

Again, stop me for a chat about MCQ- this is something I will be returning to!

Middle Leader ‘Well Being’ – No 2

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.

The focus for this visual metaphor is ‘Glass half full’

Section 2 – Middle Leaders at Harrow Way – Professional Development

CPD 1 – What do leaders do that has the biggest impact on students outcomes (10mins)

Last year we subscribed to Leadership Matters. Part of the subscription is access to the unique online library of over 30 videos featuring Andy Buck talking about the leadership models and practical ideas that underpin his best-selling book Leadership Matters.

Each video is only 10-minutes. Click on the video below for the introduction to the model. 


The next Middle Leader Bulletin will look at the ground-breaking research by Viviane Robinson from the University of Auckland, the video examines the five top things that leaders do that appear to make the biggest difference to pupil outcomes. Why wouldn’t you want to know what she found?! Watch this space!

CPD 2  (2 mins Reading) Analyse School Performance (ASP) and Inspection Dashboard Summary Report (IDSR)


RAISEonline has replaced by Analyse School Performance (ASP) and the Inspection Data Summary Report (IDSR) .  In fact, IDSR went ‘live’ last Saturday – you know I love my data!  I will take Middle Leaders through this later in the Spring term.

Further details on the Ofsted website IDSR

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