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How do we know that we are doing well?

Posted: 2nd February 2017 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

Although we are delighted with our recent successful inspection, the cycle of self-evaluation and professional development goes on and this has been the main theme of our ongoing work this academic year. For the past few days,  all at Skippers have offered a warm welcome to this year’s peer review team from other schools in the Bellevue group as we benefit from being part of a wider group of schools with common aspirations and interests.

My assembly to the children on Wednesday kicked off this year’s annual review by asking each child to reflect upon their learning and, specifically, how their teachers share the learning intentions with them. What mechanisms do the teachers use to help them understand the steps they must take to achieve the task in hand? How do teachers give feedback on how well they are doing? I have to say I was very impressed with the understanding that the children showed of these meta-cognitive processes and it is clear that teachers are embedding this into their daily practice.

Across the school lessons have been observed; pupils, staff and parents have been interviewed and pupils’ progress has been discussed. We have been looking in particular at how well we engage the children in their learning and the quality of the dialogue between pupils and teachers. You will not be surprised to learn that the team found clear evidence of excellent practice across the school as we encourage our pupils to be active participants in their learning, building independence and their ability to self-reflect.

The staff have engaged in the process with warmth and energy, a testament to their professionalism and desire to seek the best outcomes for their pupils. A number actually expressed mild disappointment when their lessons were not observed! The cycle of ongoing development and learning is important for all members of the school community; this review will provide a valuable perspective for the leadership team on pupil, staff and parent experience as we continue to review our processes and structures to deliver the highest quality education for every individual at the school.

Well done to all on the hard work that has gone into a highly successful week!

Mark Hammond

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