Kewaigue School recently received an external validation of its self-review processes, which involved confirming the judgments the school has made about itself. The validation of the SSRE covered the full range of the school’s judgments, but focused on three specific aspects. These were:
• Teaching for Learning
The validation team agreed with the school’s judgment that this area is ‘effective’.
Attainment in the Foundation Stage is ‘effective’ as a very large majority of pupils achieved the Early Learning Goals in all of the Prime Areas and the Specific Areas of literacy and mathematics. If the school’s literacy score had been 2.5% higher the judgment would have been ‘very effective’. Most pupils exceed the Island’s benchmarks with 80% reaching a Good Level of Development (GLD) in the Prime Areas.
Attainment in Key Stage 1 is ‘effective’ as the school was above the Island’s benchmarks in four areas (reading, writing, mathematics and science) and in line with the other area (speaking and listening). This was close to being ‘very effective’.
The school has used the SSRE criteria very well to make a correct judgment of ‘not yet effective’, based on 2017 year 6 outcomes. Attainment at the end of KS2 was above the Island benchmark for level 4 in reading and speaking and listening, in line in writing and below in mathematics and science.
The broader evidence provided by the school indicated that attainment is above that expected throughout all of Key Stage 2 in all aspects of English and mathematics.
The validation team concurred with the school’s judgment that Leadership should be judged as ‘very effective’ overall. As initiatives become embedded and sustained there is potential for leadership to be judged as ‘inspirational’.
There is a collective vision for the school community which teachers can passionately articulate and this provides a clear direction for the school. Leaders provide opportunities for effective professional development and this is enthusing and inspiring colleagues in the school.
The school improvement process ensures that all staff are fully involved and this has led to the priorities being owned by the staff. One priority, to increase child-led learning, has impacted on teaching in the school and pupils report that they have more opportunities to lead their own learning.
The school’s commitment to inclusion has resulted in teachers reviewing their provision to ensure barriers are minimised.
Teaching for Learning
The validation team agreed with the school’s judgment that Teaching for Learning should be judged as ‘very effective’ overall.
Through assemblies, displays and teaching the school is creating and embedding a growth mindset culture. Pupils informed the team that they love learning and see making mistakes as a positive part of their learning. This culture is contributing to the large majority of pupils being very engaged in their learning and welcoming challenge. The school’s monitoring and the validation team’s visits to classrooms indicate that most pupils are aware of what they are learning in lessons and know what they need to do to be successful. Teachers regularly give detailed and accurate feedback to pupils in a variety of ways against the learning objective.
Other Areas Considered
As well as the three specific aspects of the SSRE on which it focused, the validation team also considered other judgments and examples set out in the SSRE. It agreed with many of these, including:
• The large majority of pupils are happy and caring; they build and maintain positive relationships and achieve very well.
• Achievement against prior attainment is ‘very effective’ in all parts of the school
• Teachers are very clear about expectations of them and procedures to follow.
• The governors are involved in school self-evaluation.
• The vast majority of parents report that the school works well with parents to support pupils’ learning and well-being.
• All decisions regarding Safeguarding are based on comprehensive risk assessments and policies.
The validation team was pleased to note that the school is held in very high regard by pupils, parents and staff and that children’s behaviour is very good.
The SSRE is a clear document that demonstrates that the school knows itself well. It is in a very good position to plan for further improvement. With a few additions from the evaluative evidence it has, the SSRE would be an exemplar of good practice.
Mr Adrian Shorthouse Headteacher April 2018