At Unsworth we not only recognise the value of looking beyond our own school to reflect on our practice, but also relish the opportunity to work in partnership with other schools to develop collaborations and support networks. This has been part of the reason we co-founded Oak Learning Partnership in April 2019 with Elms Bank Specialist Arts College.
Our school is led by an experienced leadership team who all have clear roles and responsibilities. As a school and Multi Academy Trust we have a well-understood vision and ambition for both the school/partnership and its community, which centres around our motto of “Together we Build Understanding”.
Throughout the school and wider partnership high expectations are communicated to all staff through a developmental approach to CPD which is based on outcomes, the School Development Plan priorities and the individual’s needs at all stages of their career. Great care is taken to develop leadership capacity across the whole staff. This ensures that staff are skilled and motivated in their work with pupils and in their partnerships with each other and parents.
Our Director of School Improvement and Executive Head Teacher of Oak Learning Partnership Christine Reynolds is a Local Leader of Education, member of Bury Teaching Schools Alliance Strategic Partnership Board (BTSA), National Professional Qualifications Facilitator, Pupil Premium Peer Review Lead and mentor for newly appointed Head teachers. Currently she is involved in the development of School Improvement programmes and opportunities across Oak Learning Partnership.
Our Head teacher Andrew Rhodes is a Specialist Leader of Education, Basic Skills Quality Mark Assessor, OLEVI Outstanding Teacher Programme/Power of Coaching Facilitator, National Professional Qualifications Facilitator, member of Bury Children’s Safeguarding Board and a board member of BEST. He is currently involved in planning and delivering the Bury NQT programme and leading Schools Direct Sessions in collaboration with the BTSA.
Both have been commissioned by the local teaching school and the LA to give school to school support across a number of Bury schools. Between the academic years 2014-2018, both leaders presented the schools bespoke assessment system to Head teachers and developed three Joint Practice Development Programmes entitled “Leading Assessment” , “Leading Learning” and “Embracing Technology” which were accessed by 50 local primary schools. In addition, some of the materials produced have been utilised by over 40 Bury schools as a starting point for the development of their own assessment systems. Additional sessions were led with the Additional Needs Team, to develop a wider understanding on the changes to the national picture of assessment.
Our Reception teacher Martine Ashton was designated as an SLE for EYFS and Phonics in March 2019. She currently runs EYFS training through the BEST Trust working alongside Liz Palmer, who is a specialist consultant in EYFS. One of our Assistant Head Teachers Tahseen Ali is a Maths Lead Practitioner and a TEEP Level 3 Practitioner. Both members of staff have been working with other schools to share and develop practice, whilst accessing up to date training on both these key areas of the curriculum.
Our other Assistant Head Teacher Wendy Sinclair is a TEEP Level 3 Practitioner and is currently working on the development of the schools approach to Enterprise through her links to Enabling Enterprise. Our Year 4 teacher Matthew Garside completed his Forest School Level 3 Qualification in Autumn 2018 and established Forest School Provision across Unsworth from Reception to Year 6. This has enabled all of our children to experience a half term of provision and has further developed our approach to Learning Outside the Classroom.
Our Year 1 teacher Alex Dooley completed her Elklan Qualification in Autumn 2018 and is developing use of the materials across the school. In addition, Alex currently mentors and supports BTSA Schools Direct Students, NQT’s within school and coordinates school placements
Our Year 6 teacher Mrs McLoughlin has been developing PE across the school through use of the Sports Premium Funding, which has resulted in partnerships with sports coaches, new equipment and the development of a Lunchtime Leaders Crew. The crew is made up of children across KS2, who meet on a weekly basis to plan and develop opportunities for sport across the school.
The experience, systems and work outside of the school has led to rigorous planning for continual improvement. A growing part of this work has been the development of training and support packages for other practitioners and schools across a number of different areas of Education. We frequently conduct Learning Walks with other leaders and teachers from across Bury, as well as offering leadership placements and year group observations/commentaries linked to specific areas of the curriculum.
We developed our own training space in 2015 to enable us to develop our capacity to further develop collaborations and develop staff. This space has allowed us over time to provide staff within the partnership with an area of school where they can take time to reflect and develop their own practice, whilst also giving us a place to both develop/run the training and support packages we are involved in.
This area of our website aims to explain the different training courses and support packages that we offer, as well as sharing an insight into the impact our support has had.
“Thank you for allowing us to have a look around your school. The whole environment is warm and inviting. The pupil voice is clearly evident throughout the school, in the variety of displays and within the culture of each classroom. Truly inspirational. Thank you.”