Head's Blog

Update on School Priorities

26 November 2021

I wanted to take a few moments to update you in some detail on the progress we have made on the 6 School Priorities for 2021-22 which I shared with all parents at the start of the academic year.

I have outlined the School Priorities and the progress we have made this term below.

Our Vision is to build within our children a lifelong love of learning, which will equip and prepare them for their individual learning journey to success.

We aim to provide a first-class individualised learning experience supported by outstanding teaching and pastoral care to help our children achieve their personal and academic potential.

 

1. Growing the Webber Nursery to become the first choice for busy professional parents looking for outstanding nursery provision in the Milton Keynes area.

• The focus this term has been on continued staff training on ‘In the Moment Planning’ and further developing our resources and the wider indoor and outdoor learning environments to maximize those ‘teachable wow moments’ for our littlest learners. The outdoor learning space has been upgraded and redesigned with an all-weather surface to allow continuous enjoyment and creativity in the outdoor space.

• Planned opportunities for Stay and Play Events throughout the year to allow our Nursery families to invite friends, family and colleagues along with their children to experience the Webber Nursery in a fun, informal and engaging series of themed play sessions. Our first Stay and Play session is planned for December.

• Full Nursery engagement in Wider Whole School Events and welcoming Senior Year 10 and 11 students into the Nursery for one-to-one play sessions and work experience.

• A planned programme of Engagement in the local MK community to widen the learning experience for our youngest learners through neighbourhood outings, trips and visits to places of interest and exploration of the wider world.

 

2. Supporting our busy working families by offering the Webber Holiday Club for Reception to Year 6 children.

• Initial meetings with Hot Shots external holiday club provider.

• Plans underway for Hot Shots partnership provision for Easter 2022 and Summer 2022 Holiday Clubs.

• Further details will be available in term 2.

 

3. Providing opportunities for all children to develop 21st Century foundational literacies, competencies and character qualities to become free-thinking and creative learners.

• An unintentional but welcome by-product of Virtual Webber during the 3 lockdowns has been the significant acceleration of all staff and students’ confidence with online learning tools, Students leading the learning, sharing their screens and collaborative working virtually through Google Meets. Students are using these technologies, e-learning and study resources across all subjects rather than e-literacy being restricted to IT and Computer Science lessons.

• Focus on Challenge for All and Higher Order Thinking Skills and Questioning. As part of the Summer Review we conducted Staff Peer to Peer lesson observations, Leadership Team Learning Walks and Book Sampling Review Cycles, looking at these aspects in particular to CODE (Challenge, Ownership Dialogue and Engagement). HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) piloted initially with Year 6 students and is being rolled out to the whole School from September with Staff sharing best practise and resources.

• Opportunities identified through the recent Bellevue 2025 strategy for children to engage in the Learning, Opportunity and Collaboration strands and explored how we can use this to broaden and deepen their learning opportunities by engaging with other Schools across the Bellevue network.

 

4. Relaunching an Enhanced Work Related Learning Programme with fully developed business links and parental involvement.

• I will be writing to all parents before the end of term to outline The Work Related Learning Action Plan and to ask all parents to sign up to support this programme.

• Mrs Le-Anne Barber is the new lead on Work Related Learning and has been key in launching the new ‘My Career Profile’ Programme for Year 10 and 11 with psychometric testing and virtual one to one family feedback meetings with the My Career specialist advisers which were very positively received.

• Year 11 Post 16 Information Evening, Unique Selling Point and Virtual Interview Practice with Mrs Marsden has been offered at weekends and evenings to all students and families with 21 out of 24 students utilizing this resource to successfully secure a post 16 place of choice last year and ongoing with current Year 11.

• Go to Work with an Adult Day Year 5 - Year 9, Year 10 Work Experience Week, Year 11 Internships, Careers Fair, New Apprentice Fair, Post 16 Open Days, UCAS events, Ed Talk Programme are all planned in the WRL Schedule for 2021-2022.

• Mr Preston (Math Lead) is building a Work Related Learning Parental Data Base for Work Related Learning support and placements and will be publishing the schedule of fortnightly careers EDTalks for the academic year.

• We are also keen to be a key part of the Bellevue 2025 Work Related Learning Creative Pathways Programme and are exploring these links.

 

5. Embed the Assessment Strategy using the GL Suit, monitoring and moderating systems and Pupil Asset to track pupil development with a focus on PAPA to impact consistently and visibly on pupil learning and progress to continually raise the quality of experience of pupils at Webber.

• All students are CAT4 tested and this forms the baseline for PAPA (Potential, Attainment, Progress, Attitude).

• All students Reception – Year 11 undertook PASS (Pupils Attitude To Self and School) in November 2020 and staff were given ownership of the data to review, year-on-year trends and intervention strategies were put in place for key students.

• All students (Years 2 – 6) undertook Progress assessments in English and Maths in October and in May we tested all Years 2 – 9 in both subjects. This assessment data was shared with teachers to use to inform their planning and teaching.

 

6. Working in Partnership to Focus on Continuing Staff Development and Collaboration.

Embed the Cognitive Coaching Model (using Swivl) across the whole School to enable staff to be reflective practitioners, to develop collective teacher efficacy and sharing of best practice against CODE criteria and to develop consistency across the School. 

•  Virtual Webber, Google Classroom and Meet platforms have undoubtedly helped staff to overcome any nervousness with engaging with on-screen technology, record, review and analyse their teaching and learning with a peer coach, another example where the pandemic has been a positive catalyst for change.

• The Summer Review Peer to Peer Observations have also helped to move staff further along this continuum starting cross age and subject professional learning dialogue and reflective practice using the CODE framework.

• CODE will continue to be a focus throughout the next academic year as it is not fully embedded as the fluent language of teaching and learning conversations as yet.

• We have 3 staff in School who have completed the Bellevue Coaching Programme and we have 2 more staff taking part in the current cohort of training. We are setting aside INSET and staff meeting time to share recorded lessons as best practice.

• 3 staff are enrolled on the Bellevue Senior Leadership Programme, 1 staff member has joined the Middle Leadership Programme and we have 3 staff who are training with Adam Atkins as Digital Champions.

• All Subject, Phase and Specialist staff are attending Twilight Bellevue Cluster Meetings across the 20+ schools within the group to network with peers and share best practice and resources between schools. 

• The New Cycle of Staff Appraisal Meetings is underway to agree 3 professional targets which will be revisited in Term 2 to review progress on agreed action points.

 

As you can see we have been extremely busy this term developing our School Priorities and the Learning Opportunities both inside and outside the classroom for our children and young people as well as importantly investing in and growing our wonderful staff to ensure their ongoing professional growth and challenge too.

I hope you have found this information useful and if you have any questions on any of the School priorities, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Mrs Hilary Marsden 

Headmistress 

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