Thank you for Term 1 – let’s make Term 2 a time to push forward with the many exciting changes that are coming our way.
We have now experienced the first new style Subject Review/Quality Assurance at SBL. You can find the full final report above but I have copied our targets below for easy referral.

Short Term (To Dec ’14)
• Year 11 progress
• Identifying “skills” and where pupils should use them
• Achieve consistency in: marking / feedback and pupils’ responses/ expectations of presentation / use of seating plans
• Embed regular, rigorous standardisation and moderation – including of Key Stage 3 levelling
• Secure opportunities to discuss and agree strategies to address pupils’ learning deficits
• Review lesson observations summary and student voice report as a department

Medium Term (To July ’15)
• Focus on Progress
• Develop understanding of what 3 LoP and 4 LoP look like at KS3 and KS4 (Flightpaths)
• Learn how this feeds back into planning and teaching cycles
• Improve learning outcomes from the teaching of writing and structuring responses to gain marks
• Develop differentiation practice, including by the diverse methods suggested above for higher attainers
• Contextualise learning outcomes in terms of exam questions and grade descriptors
• Address student voice concerns about skills acquisition to address exam questions and particularly those of the written papers

• Review what happens as a result of tracking – ensure impact is effective
• Interventions: focus and appropriate addressing of learning deficits
• Roles and responsibilities need clarification and job descriptions formalised and written
• Review staff feedback, discuss with the English team and identify the priorities that can be addressed / funded
• Review PBL structure and non-specialist delivery of English
• Clarify a shared vision for the teaching of English at Sir Bernard Lovell School

We need to be more consistent and develop more strategies for enabling students to talk about their learning and for them to be able to articulate their next steps for improvement. I think we sometimes expect students to be able to do this naturally when in reality it is a skill that needs revisiting again and again. We know from performance management meetings that we find it difficult to put into words what we need to work on and we are meant to be the experts!

A key area is standardisation and moderation. We need to change the focus of our work scrutinies so that they are more about standardisation – please feel free to join us every other Tuesday after school for extra time to moderate work and join in our conversations about assessment. This Tuesday the focus is Yr 11’s coursework.

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We have come a long way in our approaches towards feedback but we still need to develop how students respond to our feedback. This is another skill that needs revisiting again and again. It is essential that it is built into your lesson plans and our schemes of learning.

An area in the leadership column that we have not addressed recently is our shared vision for the English department at SBL. The Hub is gradually becoming more of our space – what are our next steps? What do we want our students to experience and learn? How do we want them to feel in our classrooms and on leaving our classrooms? How can we put our vision into words?
As you know this website is entitled ‘A Bigger Boat’ – I wanted a title that expressed my feelings that we are always moving forward despite knowing that we will always need more time and more resources. I don’t mean this in a negative way but that we should approach the future as an exciting if terrifying challenge that we can meet successfully if we work together. Perhaps we need a fleet of bigger boats…?
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