Head teacher and Deputy Head

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Our 4 main priorities for achievement in the first 12 months: 2014-2015

 

Excellent Teaching & Learning

 

We want every pupil to experience outstanding teaching and learning every day they are at school.

This is a very stringent classification that requires every child to make excellent progress and for achievement to be at a much higher standard than the national expectations. We want the very best for the children at Holy Trinity. 

We want pupils to be taught by experts in their field, including specialist subject teachers.

 

Why?

Outstanding teaching and learning is the gold standard we must aspire to as a top-performing centre of learning.  Only by delivering excellence in the classroom every day can we raise standards of attainment overall and offer the very best possible education to our pupils.  Through outstanding teaching, learning and support we can give children the optimum chance of achieving their personal best outcome at Holy Trinity.

We believe primary school is the bedrock of every child’s subsequent educational experience so we must equip them with the tools for learning, broaden their horizons, maybe beyond their own family experience, and unlock passions.

 

Where are we now?

Currently we have a rigorous programme of continuing professional development for our teachers and support staff. This includes buying into local authority training sessions, using specialist consultants to give training tailored to our requirements and pooling the expertise within our own school to mentor staff and deliver individualised training programmes.

Each of our teaching staff has an assigned appraiser with whom they set their annual professional development targets. They meet frequently to review progress and have formal review meetings termly.

All teachers are formally observed in the classroom to ensure the quality of the children’s learning. These observations are carried out by the leadership team in the school and also by external educational advisors.

At the end of the 2014 summer term, 75% of our teachers were assessed as being ‘Good’ and the other 25% as ‘Outstanding’. Looking back to the spring term the ‘Good’ grade represented 64% of teachers with 13% ‘Requiring Improvement’ demonstrating that progress is rapid. Our realistic expectation, therefore, is that within this academic year we will achieve a level of 50% of teaching judged as ‘Outstanding’ and everything else at least ‘Good’.

The Ofsted grading of ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ are extremely demanding. In the teaching profession the bar is being continually raised. For instance, training videos released 6 years ago to demonstrate ‘Good’ teaching have now been withdrawn as the level of teaching demonstrated would now classify as ‘Requires Improvement’. If any one child is off task or not making progress the lesson cannot be rated as ‘Good’.

We already have a number of teachers who are recognised by the Local Authority as being exemplary in their teaching practice. They are:

Mrs Skivington in the nursery has been recognised as a lead teacher for Kingston and Richmond thanks to her excellent practise.

Helen Lascaris (maths co-ordinator) is part of a national excellence in maths teaching working group.

Penny Cox is a head teacher mentor and Early Years moderator for the authorities of Richmond and Kingston.

Lucy Ashby (deputy head) was an advanced skills teacher.

 

So what will we do differently?

This year we are working to ensure there is coherence and consistency in all our working practices and that the best is replicated throughout the school. We have designed a “Holy Trinity Primary School Teaching and Learning Essentials” checklist so that our expectations for all learning opportunities are clear. This is being incorporated into our appraisal and training system.

We are confident we can channel this in-house expertise into the creation of additional tailor-made programmes to help further develop and train our own teaching staff and standardise excellent practice.  We would embed our own house-style across the school, devising our own expert training/INSET days and individual staff development plans.

Holy Trinity has become a popular place to work. This has enabled us to become highly selective when it comes to recruitment. Over the next five years we will continue to appoint the best teachers, re-advertising positions when we are not satisfied with the standard of applicants. We will keep a balance of experienced and newly qualified teachers.

Moreover, we will actively seek teachers with additional skills/qualifications/specialisms such as languages, drama, PE and music.

We will survey our staff’s skills beyond the classroom to establish if they have ‘hidden talents’ that could be put to good use in extra-curricular activities or in after-school clubs to widen opportunities available to pupils.

We will use the expertise of external consultants to validate our judgements of our effectiveness.

 

And in 5 years’ time…

We will be known as a centre of excellence for learning and examples of our best practice will be shared and followed beyond just Richmond and Kingston. We will never cease to stop learning. We will have achieved an Outstanding Ofsted report highlighting our Outstanding Teaching and Learning. We will have on staff a specialist teachers where helpful.

 

Excellent Communication

 

We want to communicate effectively and efficiently with everybody involved in our school community through the most accessible media and in the most appropriate language.

 

Why?

In our fast-paced world everybody expects information at their fingertips. We must ensure there is easy and accessible two-way communication between school and parents and within the school also. We wish to encourage parents to interact with school and to give a clear picture of their children’s progress and learning.

It is important that we send out consistent messages and that our procedures remain as simple and streamlined as possible.

Good communication between class teachers and parents helps in supporting all aspects of home learning.

 

Where are we now?

The website is our principal means of communication with our community and should remain so but there is room for improvement with locating and naming of sections.  The head teacher sends a weekly newsletter to all parents via email.  Class teachers also write newsletters to their parents. We send “parentmail” texts if necessary. Information letters are also sent home in book bags. Teachers’ email addresses are readily available and email correspondence is encouraged.

Parents can meet with staff three times a year to discuss progress. An Annual Report is sent home in the summer term.  Reports contain information on the core subjects, maths, science and English, as well as assessments for the non-core subjects.

A survey is conducted annually among parents, pupils and staff.  This was sent electronically to parents for the first time in 2014.

 

So what will we do differently?

We will explore the introduction of electronic reporting to parents three times a year, available to view in advance of parent/teacher meetings.

At the end of each half term we will send home assessments of the non-core subject topics that have been completed.

We are also changing some of our internal practices to ensure that communication within the school is excellent.

We will expand the News section of the website to include a termly electronic calendar of events with advance notice of important dates, outings, changes etc

We will expand the Year sections of the website to include teachers’ newsletters, class timetables and other useful information.

We will provide model examples of how we teach certain aspects of the curriculum, such as maths, so that parents can support children with aspects of home-learning they may find difficult.

We will include model examples of good learning such as creative writing and other excellent literacy work. 

We will show models of age appropriate good handwriting and even include videos of how best to hold your pen or to sit in order to form letters correctly.

We will enable parents to log in electronically to see their child’s results.

The Head Teacher’s weekly newsletter will be revamped and the displays/screen in the school reception area will be reviewed to provide better communication with visitors.

From the autumn term the Community Cohesion committee, made up of governors and members of the PTA will expand their remit to include communication.  An audit of existing material and media will provide the starting place for the improved communications process.

 

And in 5 years’ time…

Parents and pupils will be able to access all the additional information they need remotely. Parents will be able to pay electronically for purchases such as school lunches, trips etc. Pupils will find additional support with learning available from computers/devices at home to help them achieve their best.

Communication will no longer be an area for improvement on the parent survey feedback.


Excellent Use of Space

 

We want to create additional teaching and learning areas within the existing grounds by being more creative with our use of both indoor and outdoor space. We would also like to provide a drop-in area that serves as a community hub and a focus for the PTA.

 

Why?

It is vital to excite and stimulate our pupils about learning over and beyond the core curriculum. In order to broaden what we can offer children and provide community space for everybody involved with the school we simply need more room.  Sadly, purchasing more land is not an option so we must think creatively about how we use existing space.

 

Where are we now?

The expansion and rebuilding of the school, which was completed in 2011 created 7 additional classrooms and our behaviour support unit. Our growth to two-form entry is now almost complete and the school will be at capacity in September 2015 so these ‘new’ facilities are in full use all of the time.

 

So what will we do differently?

The first step is to create a small working party made up of governors, the head teacher and parents with expertise in this area to establish exactly what is required and what might be feasible.  Their brief will be to think laterally and creatively about expansion. The working party will make its first report to the governing body before the end of the autumn term.  Thereafter, a timetable will be devised according to the scope and ambition of their proposals and the amount of funding required.

An amount, approximately £20,000, will be set aside each year from the school budget to go towards building work.  In addition, grants will be sought from suitable educational trusts and funding ideas explored with the local authority.

 

And in 5 years’ time…

More space will have been created to give Holy Trinity the potential to enhance significantly the way pupils learn and the breadth of opportunities on offer.

We will have space for additional facilities such as a science lab and/or a dedicated art room with pottery wheel/kiln and a community space.


 

Excellent Citizens

 

We want to nurture exemplary ‘citizens of tomorrow’ who will leave Holy Trinity as rounded individuals with high self-esteem and the courage to seize opportunities and try new things. Young people who seek to do something for others.

In keeping with our Christian ethos, we want encourage the type of behaviour that is considerate and responsible, caring about others and caring for the planet.

 

Why?

Our surveys suggest that parents embrace the school’s values and they are well embedded in every aspect of school life.

To be an outstanding centre of education should not mean that Holy Trinity neglects to value pupils’ performance and achievements outside of the classroom. It is important therefore to encourage and recognise the types of positive behaviour that reflect our values and ethos.

 

Where are we now?

Feedback from school outings is invariably positive about our pupils’ behaviour in public. Visitors, including inspectors and consultants, frequently comment on their good behaviour and attitude to learning in school.

Pupils always respond positively to initiatives like reducing food waste at lunch, saving energy, water coolers for Water Aid etc. They are generous in their giving to fundraising events in school.

The after-school Eco Club is well attended and is working towards the school achieving a Silver Eco Award.

The Head Teachers’ Award currently exists as a mini Duke of Edinburgh-style scheme for pupils in years 5 and 6 but there is not a high take-up and only one pupil has achieved the silver award over the last two years.

 

So what will we do differently?

We will adapt and expand the current scheme in order to reflect the ethos of the school, emphasising good citizenship and good stewardship. We will build on platforms such as Community Service, Health and Wellbeing, the Environment and Self-improvement Skills.

We will look for a small team made up of parents and teachers with experience of or enthusiasm for this type of scheme to spearhead the redevelopment of the award during this school year with the intention of piloting the new scheme next September.

We will look at extending the award to pupils in years 3 and 4.

We will raise significantly the profile of the award among pupils, staff and parents on an annual basis by creating an information pack, posters, badges, presentation, awards board etc.  This would require commercial sponsorship for which we would involve the support of the PTA.

 

And in 5 years’ time...

Our pupils will receive wider recognition for their achievement in the community.  Each year they will be presented with their awards by our local MP or a well-known local citizen and have their photo in the local paper.

The award will be respected by parents and held up as something for their children to aspire towards.

50% of pupils at the end of year 6 will have achieved the gold level for the Head Teacher’s Award. Children who receive the award will receive a special badge to wear on their uniform.

Other schools in Richmond will be looking to follow our lead and even adopt our version of the Award.

The school will have been awarded the Gold Eco Award.

Our children will be involved with regularly helping on a community programme.