I am just reflecting on the start of the new year and thinking ‘what an exciting place Roding Valley High School is at the moment, especially if you are the type of teacher who loves to experiment and try new ideas in the classroom’
As Paul Banks said ‘it has been an incredibly positive start to the year’
We have just had a record set of GCSE results, the highest ever. We are free of the Ofsted fear factor for a while, our teaching is good or better in the majority of our classrooms, our progress rates are good and improving and the behaviour by the majority of our students is exemplary.
Now is the time, but how do we ignite their learning, how do we become outstanding?
We now have the freedom to push the boundaries in our classroom, we will have the technology to inspire the students and we do have the support systems in place. We must all learn from our best teachers, we need to accept that we all need coaching, support and praise and the best teachers appreciate that teaching is a continual learning process.
The world is changing at a rapid pace and we need to match that pace in the classroom.
We do have to continue with the basics just to remain good, our key factors Differentiation, Assessment and Zest need to be present in every lesson. We have made huge progress as a school with the assessment and marking and the use of data is becoming second nature to us all. We have been experimenting with all forms of assessment including video feedback and talking essays!
As a group of experienced practitioners we have collectively recognised that it’s the students who now need to grab hold of all the amazing feedback we are giving them and use it to make accelerated progress. To encourage them to do this we have launched our ‘Closing the gap’ initiative. Teachers are on board, now we need to get the students on board with us too. We plan to deliver a series of assemblies within the next few weeks; we intend to use drama and the students themselves to demonstrate the potential benefits in this initiative. The teachers have seen the posters that the students designed in response to this initiative, they got it straight away. We don’t need to battle with their acceptance; we just need to do it.
Giving pupils clear and effective feedback was considered to have “a very high impact on student progress”. (Sutton Trust Report.)
The Mathematics faculty have invested a lot of time in the maths mastery programme for our current year 7’s , this is a totally different way of teaching Mathematics and the maths faculty has had to open its very experienced mind to adapt to the new methods. We all agree that conceptually it can push students outside the box and is great for developing true understanding and dealing with misconceptions. The Humanities faculty have launched a brand new curriculum for the year 7’s, pulling all the subject areas together.
These are just a couple of the many exciting curriculum changes evolving in our school. We are lucky to have such proactive, self-reflective and forward thinking middle leadership.
An external consultant has come in and just started to work with some of our great teachers to help increase the amazing pool of outstanding teachers in our community. You can’t help but be excited by this, what amazing fresh ideas will he have, how much potential can he help us to unlock? He also helped us to look at the ‘art ‘of giving feedback in a constructive and consistent way. Feedback is gift, even if sometimes in the past it may have felt like an unwanted Christmas present!
I am currently experimenting with ‘flipping’ and loving it, it really does improve the pace and challenge of your lessons. With the access to YouTube it’s an amazing addition to my standard tool kit of teacher resources.
We all have a tool kit and we all like to use our trusty hammer but sometimes it nice to get out a shiny spanner!
Come on, our goal is 90% good or better lessons, we can achieve that….. leave your door open…… try something new…….. take a risk…invite someone in to your classroom…be proud of your work……
Every lesson, every day good or better…..
Together we will be outstanding…..please write on the RVHSTLblog.. share your ideas and experiences…
AHT Teaching and Learning
- RVHS Teach Meet Presentations and Resources (rvhstlblog.com)