Welcome back to a new school year. As always the weather has brightened up now the holidays are over but I hope this finds you rested and smiling.
So…. new curriculum now for all, and the opportunity (and the freedom!) to use assessment more wisely. Whilst the much anticipated report from the Commission on Assessment Withou Levels has been delayed whilst ministers take a look, the leaked version in July indicated that its recommendations are absolutely in line with the policy and practice that INSPIR.ED has been advocating to schools for the past eighteen months.
The report states clearly that schools need to move away from ANY notion of levels or “run the risk of failing to put in place the conditions required for a higher attaining, higher equity system.” The development of new systems by schools is seen as “an opportunity that must not be missed” and one that over time will “avoid the need for unnecessary tracking and recording.” This is music to our ears!
The Inspir.ed document “The Principled Use of Assessment in a Standards Based Curriculum” soundly advocates all that the report advises and the 2015 version of the “Model Draft Policy for Assessment, Recording and Reporting” that came out of the work with schools in Somerset 2014/15 can be seen to be really valuable to all schools that have adopted it. Each of these publications can still be obtained from INSPIR.ED both in hard copy and electronic format at a cost of £10. Just order by e mail, be fully informed and then tailor and tweak to your own requirements. You won’t be disappointed!
As a follow up to all the associated work in 2014/15 on Mastery , we have now put together another useful publication upon which much developmental in service training will be based in 2015/16. It is called “Working and Learning in a Standards Based Curriculum” and explores a number of practical suggestions for best practice in classrooms that draws on research into the use of LEARNING CONSTRUCTS by learners and DELIVERY STRATEGIES by adults working with them. This will really support the move to Mastery approaches and develop outstanding teaching and learning in the new contexts as well as fully support the formative assessment of attainment and progress in terms of providing evidence. Again available on request at a cost of £10 from INSPIR.ED, but also available as INSET in the form of a couple of staff meetings or a day.
Other INSET on offer in this academic year include:
- B4L (Behaviour for Learning) –The move from a policy of successful MANAGEMENT of undesirable incidents to the successful DEVELOPMENT of strategies to use that encourage teacher and learner understanding of cause and effect in the classroom where outcomes are more positive.
- Unit planning for Mastery-employing a range of strategies throughout a cycle of learning that moves learners from concrete to abstract thinking and from novice to master.
- Understanding the new ROL and Dashboard information –something for head teachers and also for Governors struggling with the format!
- Mastery and Standards for Governors-includes a handy practical booklet for reference.
If you feel that any of these are what you need just contact us and we can talk.
The ever popular CASE and KEEPING Ahead networks will continue this year with three meetings between now and the end of the academic year. Watch the website and your e mails for details of the content planned but if you want to join and are not already on my contacts list make sure you let me know as soon as possible as renewal notices will go out later today.
The Autumn meetings of these two networks will provide time and opportunity to explore the use ofSOCRATIC SEMINARS in the classroom, a new LEADERSHIP MINDSET that describes leading a school in the 21st Century as “more like jazz participation than conducting an orchestra” and will examine in detail the government’s response to the Commission on Assessment Without Levels Report. Also there will be the usual updates and resources to receive as well as the cake and quality tea and coffee!
Our NETWORK FOR NEW HEAD TEACHERS that began last year is to continue by popular demand- it will take the form of a day long meeting each term to look at issues that affect new head teachers or those in an ACTING capacity temporarily. You pay by the session and it operates like a bus-you can get off when you feel you no longer need the support it provides!! Our Autumn meeting is on 16th October at a venue yet to be confirmed . I contact local new headteachers of whom I am aware , but again if you want to join or would like more information please do contact us and we will be happy to talk to you.
I wish you all a happy start to the term and urge you to consider the dates for diary on the webpage. Additionally you might be interested in a Di Pardoe and Tom Robson day in November :
Mastery and Mindset: Supporting and guiding young learners to become the best versions of themselves.
This one day course will be held on
Friday 6th November 2015 at Engineer’s House, Clifton Bristol
More details from www.tredu.co.uk/