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Looking Back to go Forward

Posted: 1st February 2019 | Category: Headmaster's Blog

It is sometimes hard to measure success and know that, as individuals, we are doing well in whatever it is that we have chosen to do; it is not always a quantitative measure like an exam result or a financial reward. As teachers, we are committed to making sure that the children are kept positive and engaged in their learning and give them the praise and recognition that they all deserve. Teachers have a habit of being very critical of their own performance as educators, and rightly so, it is our chosen profession. With this comes the responsibility to effectively reflect and not just trawl back through ‘what happened’ and pick out the bad bits but also to identify the successes. This ability to critique one’s practice is a habit we are hoping will become common practice for the children and I think it is starting to work.

As part of the school’s development process, we are visited annually by other teachers and Heads from Bellevue schools, who spend time talking to children, observing lessons, analysing videos, reviewing questionnaires and meeting parents. This is all done with one focus in mind - to ensure that the children are being given the opportunity to be effective learners. The children did exactly what all children do every single day, they came into school with smiles on their faces ready to learn. Skippers’ children are excellent hosts, be it for visiting teams, new pupils or parents and they continued this trend with the review team this week.

The children were engaged, reflective and fantastic at sharing their knowledge with each other and it was found that one of the major strengths of the school was how well the staff know the children as individuals and understand how best to work with them. The visiting team were very impressed with how reflective the staff were, reviewing lessons using video analysis and identifying further learning opportunities and how best to ensure that all children are making the progress that they can. The video coaching sessions that we are running with the staff are having a positive impact on the effectiveness of the lessons and as we move forward I hope that the children will have an opportunity to use technology to assess their own effectiveness as learners.

The learning review was a very positive experience for the staff and once the team have had time to reflect and compile a report, we will begin to identify the next steps in the schools’ development in ensuring that the children’s learning experience continues to be the best it can possibly be and, of course, share this with you and your children. Thank you to all the parents who spent time talking to the team and to the children for being themselves.

Matthew Minister, Director of Studies

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