‘Being at the forefront of educational innovation' and 'never standing still' are two phrases that describe my faculty and school well. After we moved from Requires Improvement to Outstanding after our 2015 Ofsted inspection, the very next day our headteacher began to use the phrase “beyond outstanding”.
In Estyn’s 2013 inspection report, there were 355 pupils at St Philip Evans R.C. Primary School. The school is in an English-speaking part of South Wales. About 40% of pupils learn English as an additional language, and speak other languages at home. About a quarter of pupils are entitled to receive free school meals. The school identifies 17% of pupils as having additional learning needs, nearly all of whom have moderate learning difficulties. No pupil has a statement of special educational needs.
You don’t deserve a medal for implementing new technology in school, but it can sure feel like you do at times. Buying into contracts with third-party technology suppliers is daunting; I’ve had to do it in my past, and there’s lots of pressure to make the right decision. As the edtech market grows more saturated, more and more firms will claim to offer the world. But with many of these companies not having been around for long, how can you be sure the technology you chose is right for your school?
Modern teachers are faced with large class sizes where students have a very wide range of abilities and styles of learning. As any teacher can tell you, it's hard to deliver tailored support when workloads are high and you are tasked with teaching 30 students at a time. This presents a challenge for schools: how can they ensure that each student is receiving the support they require within the framework of classroom teaching?
Can PE and Maths be mixed to achieve first rate teaching and learning? Surrey headteacher Steve Tindall has implemented the Maths of the Day programme throughout his whole school, to the benefit of teachers, support staff and pupils alike.
Does good leadership and an inclusive ethos benefit a school’s whole community? It is my view that headteachers and governors who lead the way when it comes to those pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), who share their practice and continue to champion SEND, see the benefits across their school.
Children today seem to be a lot more aware than their predecessors, and we mean this in the broadest sense possible. From a young age, they realise that they can easily talk to people from around the world, they question gender roles, they want to change the world and, most importantly, they believe they can do so. Indeed, children have realised that they already hold power to change the status quo.
This school year, Ysgol Cae Top Primary in Gwynedd will this year be maximising the use of a resource that in July won them ‘Best Tech Adopter’ at the prestigious Wales Technology Awards. The tech in question? eeZeeTrip - made by Gwynedd neighbour Semantise Ltd!
Measuring value for money isn’t easy, but for school leaders it has become essential. According to a shake-up announced by secretary for education Justine Greening, £1.3 billion is to be reallocated within the schools’ budget over the next two years. Nonetheless, school leaders around the country have many tough decisions to make about how and where to allocate budgets for the year ahead.