Harrow Way Middle Leader Bulletin Edition ‘11’ 5th March 2018

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Welcome to the 11th 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 blog is divided into 2 sections – 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.

Section 1 – Middle Leaders at Harrow Way – Updates



We never make the decision to close the school lightly – our intention is always to remain open when safe and practical to do so – but on Thursday and Friday the weather has defeated us! However, we fully expect everything to be back to normal on Monday, so please plan accordingly. We will, however, review conditions on Sunday and will email staff. It may not be possible to make a final decision until early on Monday and all are asked to check the website/emails before leaving for school. Thank you for setting work as per my email.

Summary SEF February 2018 – Strengths and Areas to Improve

There is evidence to suggest that the most effective leaders are able to pinpoint key strengths as well as areas for development, working at these with a sense of focus and rigour.  They understand their context and shape their strategy accordingly. With this in mind, I have updated our Self Evaluation documents.  Below is the executive summary I would ask you to read through.

Summary SEF

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 10.05.23.png

Ofsted Updates


Sean Harford has recently spoken about Ofsted’s ongoing research and emerging findings on the curriculum.  Ofsted Curriculum Slides

There are some excellent webinars and short videos on the Ofsted Youtube channel. Areas covered include online safety, feedback and marking and Ofsted myths. Ofsted YouTube Channel.

Tuesday and Thursday Department/ Year Group Briefings                       

These 5-10 minute Harrow Way Tuesday and Thursday briefings, in a morning, are a great way to share key messages with Department/Year teams, give reminders, celebrate and say thank you and build the school’s ethos.  A little treat at a briefing, even if it’s every now and again, can show staff the school’s appreciation of the work they do. These simple plans are really useful and might help with your planning. Word and PDF Versions below.



Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 13.07.19.png

Further details: https://leadinglearner.me/2015/08/22/the-5-minute-staff-briefing-plan-by-leadinglearner-and-teachertoolkit/

Spring Termly Progress Review Data Collection (from Kim. Nicola and Paul)


The deadline for completion of the mark sheets is 9:00 am on Monday 5 March and the following data is required:

**YEAR 7 :  Programme of Study Marksheets to be completed  –  Please note that you must select Spring and NOT Spring HT in the ‘Choose your term’ drop-down box.

‘CASC Subject Overall’ grades to be completed using M/S/D/E in Programme of Study.

Subject Eff/Att’ grades to be completed – using M/S/D/E/as per descriptions in “A New Way to Assess Your Child’s Progress” (leaflet was given out in September).

**YEAR 8 : All Subjects

Effort / Attitude grades to be completed:  1 to 4 where 1 = Outstanding and 4 = Inadequate.

Autumn Term A/0/B grade (this indicates whether you feel a student is overall currently working Above, On-line or Below their target pathway eg 1-5, 5-7, 7-9).

**DCA + CC:  Could you please ensure that all Art and D&T staff are aware of exactly which marksheets and columns they are required to complete.

YEARS 9 / 10 / 11 :  All Subjects (except Core PE and Carousel)

Effort / Attitude grades to be completed:  1 to 4 where 1 = Outstanding and 4 = Inadequate.

Spring Term Predicted Grade: the professional judgement of grade student will achieve at end of Year 11 if they continue to work as they are currently.

Report Target data no longer has to be completed for any year group. If you need any further information about what is required or help to complete the mark sheets, do please let me know or speak to your line manager or NPE, particularly if you are a new member of staff.  JPT is also able to give guidance regarding the completion of Year 7 data using the Programme of Study mark sheets.

Many thanks for your efforts in completing this data.

Performance Management Mid Year Reviews

Two men try to reach across the divide

As you will have noticed on the calendar we are almost at the middle of the year (where has that gone?!) so it is mid-year review time in the Performance Management cycle.

Over the next two weeks can you please meet with those that you line manage to review the year and your progress against your objectives so far. The deadline for this is Friday 2nd March. I am going to suggest we extend this to Friday 9th March

Key points to remember:

1) Performance Management is an entitlement for all teachers- please allow enough time for meetings and make it a meaningful dialogue

2) Please discuss whole ‘performance’ rather than just objectives- it is a good time to be reflective about how the year has gone so far

3) PLEASE do read the attached guidance on how to record your review in SIMS. Every year we have errors that take ages to be fixed!

4) It is not expected that objectives are all met by this point in the year, just that you have planned for them. Most objectives will be partially met.

If there are any questions then please let me or Tracey Roberts know. Thank you Caroline

Section 2 – Middle Leaders at Harrow Way – Professional Development

CPD 1 – Sir David Carter – The Schools Commissioner. Middle leadership in a nutshell!

Last year I attended the BETT show.  I went to a presentation by Sir David Carter – The Schools Commissioner. Middle leadership in a nutshell!

I would hope that at Harrow Way there is clear and welcome consensus about the importance of middle leadership. The goals we all share for all our students, but especially the most disadvantaged, to achieve their potential cannot be achieved without good middle leadership.

In his presentation he mentioned

‘People, not structures, are the most significant drivers of improvement and change in our schools.”

He went on to discuss that high-quality middle leadership is about more than managing a subject or an aspect of school life. Middle leaders are enthusiasts for their subject, good managers and administrators – but to be truly effective they embrace the more challenging characteristics of leadership, which are to do with vision, strategy and a drive
towards improvement.

He summarized by saying that effective leaders have a clear vision of what they are trying to achieve. They are absolutely determined to ‘get it right first time’ and to give children in their settings the very best start. They have high expectations of children and adults alike; this is a hallmark of their work.’

The slide is an excellent summary and great reflection tool.


CPD 2 – Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth

Filmed in April of 2013, viewed by roughly 1.6 million on YouTube, and by 8.5 million viewers on the TED Talks website, Angela Lee Duckworth’s Talk brings some level of scientific rigor to a character trait that has rarely been measured thusly.

Often millennials are disparaged for being soft and entitled. If this criticism has any basis in reality, Duckworth’s concise Talk is something today’s students and parents need to watch. Duckworth argues that we need to achieve a better understanding of students and learning from a motivational and psychological perspective. She contends that schools are only really effective at measuring I.Q. and asks if success in school and life require more than just being able to learn quickly.


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