During Monday’s assembly, last week, I did a maths quiz with the children as the theme for the week was Maths Day. I tried to fool them at the end of the quiz with that old favourite, ‘How long is a piece of string?’ but they were onto it straight away. No fooling our children!
On Monday, after school, our three Task Teams met. The staff work in one of the teams and each team is led by a senior leader. It is the job of each team to develop the curriculum subjects under their umbrella. The main focus for each team is to monitor the standards in each of their subjects and take actions to make sure they are the best they can be. It is my role to take a strategic overview of the work of all three teams and also work on behalf of each team to monitor a particular subject. For example, last term I conducted short lesson observations of RE lessons on behalf of the Humanities Team to inform their report on the quality of the RE curriculum.
On Wednesday morning, Mr Rhodes and I met with our School Effectiveness Partner, Mr Howarth, for our termly self-review meeting. During this meeting, we are held to account for our results and our actions towards improvement. In particular, we looked at the actions we have taken to improve our writing curriculum and the impact of those actions. It is very clear from our assessments, and from the children’s books, that our new approaches are improving the quality of writing across the curriculum.
Following our meeting, Mr Rhodes and I conducted a ‘ learning walk’ around the whole school. We visit each class and look at the quality of the learning environment and the work on display. Primary classrooms should be bright and stimulating, show-casing the children’s efforts. During a learning walk, we look at the displays and examples of children’s work to ensure that they reflect the learning taking place in lessons. Our staff have devised their own list of what should be contained in each classroom to enhance learning; when we conduct a learning walk, it is those elements we are looking for.
I went to a meeting with one of our governors on Thursday with representatives from the local authority and from other schools, to consider the range of assessment information we need from the local authority. From September, we will all be working hard to cope with a lot of change. As much as possible, when working in a time of change, it is important to collaborate and seek ideas from others before deciding to go your own way. As the changes come in to play next year we will endeavour to explain them but when it comes to assessment we are still very much in the dark. The government have stated that using the current system of ‘ levelling’ must change and that each school must decide for itself their own assessment system. Still a lot of problems to solve and decisions to be made!
After school on Thursday, the Attainment and Progress sub-committee of governors met. We looked at our provision for pupil premium and how we are using the funding we are getting. We also looked at our most recent assessment outcomes. It is during these meetings that we really consider how our actions as governors can affect pupil achievement. These discussions include teaching approaches, use of funding and staffing appointments and deployments. I am always very grateful to the members of the governing body who volunteer their time and energy to support myself and the leadership team in our decision making.
The week ended for me doing what I like best-supporting learning. I worked with a number of members of staff to look at children’s books and think about different strategies to use to help the children move on in their learning. This is the essence of my job and I love it!
[whohit]ways to improve[/whohit]