//
you're reading...
Accountability, Assessment, Leadership

Real School Improvement Starts Here

Like many schools we are currently looking at the data from last year’s Year 2, 6, 11 and 13 cohorts via RAISE, FFT & ALPS.  The various documents have reinforced where we need to put our improvement efforts to ensure current pupils’ future success.  Invariably too much focus will be on the short term; success next summer.

poc-1

Reference: Hattie, J. (2015) What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise, London: Pearson.

RAISE and the FFT analyses are useful in terms of comparing performance against other schools and national norms but the real school improvement focus is often missed; “it matters much more which classroom you go to than which school”.  If we are ever going to create a great school the areas to address and solutions are right under our nose.

Much has been written about in-school variation, a major cause of underperformance, but politicians still spend far too much time and energy on structural reform.  School leaders spend far too much time looking over the school fence to see what is happening next door.  These things matter less than looking in real detail at the differences in pupils progress in the classrooms in your own school.

It’s not about snooping to identify a few underperforming or great teachers.  This is much more about identifying what elements of the curriculum a teacher is good at teaching.  And conversely, what elements a teacher is not so great at teaching.  By forensicly identifyind issues and securing improvements we will actually increase the number of great teachers quite significantly.  This process is the precursor to moving from imposed accountability to professional responsibility.  It is one small step for each teacher but one giant leap for the teaching profession.

John Hattie’s paper What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise provides a blueprint or roadmap for the journey.  It takes you deep inside the classroom and requires teachers and school leaders to re-imagine what and how they are working together.  It’s about cultural shift.  The paper’s section (the roadmap) headings are below and I’ve given you a mini extract from some of them.  If you are working or interested in education it’s well worth taking the time to read the whole paper.

Task 1: Shift the narrative

Reference: Hattie, J. (2015) What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise, London: Pearson.

Reference: Hattie, J. (2015) What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise, London: Pearson.

Task 2: Secure agreement about what a year’s progress looks like

poc-5

Reference: Hattie, J. (2015) What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise, London: Pearson.

Task 3: Expect a year’s worth of progress

Reference: Hattie, J. (2015) What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise, London: Pearson.

Reference: Hattie, J. (2015) What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise, London: Pearson.

Task 4: Develop new assessment and evaluation tools to provide feedback to teachers

Task 5: Know thy impact!

Reference: Hattie, J. (2015) What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise, London: Pearson.

Reference: Hattie, J. (2015) What Works Best in Education: The Politics of Collaborative Expertise, London: Pearson.

Task 6: Ensure teachers have expertise in diagnosis, interventions and evaluation

Task 7: Stop ignoring what we know and scale up success

Task 8: Link autonomy to a year’s progress

As the saying goes, we’re on the journey.  Our approach to assessment is taking us deep into the classroom and the impact of teaching on pupils’ progress.  We deal in the small grain, disaggregated data that identifies what pupils do and don’t know.  It also tells us what we have and haven’t taught well.  The beauty of this small grain size is any talk of “accountability” would be senseless; it pulls people into a desire to teach an aspect better.  Teachers taking greater responsibility and the trust that emanates from this is built.

Depressingly, however, we are only scratching at the surface of the potential impact of the system.  The challenge for this year is building the level of “collaborative expertise” required to improve teaching; sharing good practice as that which has been shown to improve pupils’ learning.  Enough time is the eternal problem and my biggest challenge.  Along with all the other school leaders we need to determine what can we reduce or give up and stop doing?  Real school improvement starts here, right under your nose, and it needs to start now.

Advertisements

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Real School Improvement Starts Here

  1. Reblogged this on rwaringatl.

    Posted by R Waring | November 14, 2016, 4:05 pm
  2. Fascinating and useful thank you so much for this article. I agree that you have to get right into the classroom to effectively assess. The three main challenges are: TIME (for leaders to get into class and time for the discussion that need to take place after that, time for teachers themselves to reflect aloud with colleagues on a day to day basis); a trusting atmosphere (so teachers feel they can discuss things that have not gone well without fear of judgement from colleagues) and finally the ability to drop and stop doing other activities in order for a new activity to be taken on board.

    I find that we are constantly taking on new activities in the hope that they will raise pupil performance BUT rarely do we have the opportunity to strip back others. The busier we get the less critical thinking we can do. Thanks once again @LeadingLearner

    Posted by @blueprintteach | November 26, 2016, 11:46 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

New Book: Liminal Leadership

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 21,181 other followers

Follow @LeadingLearner on WordPress.com

If you're interested in finding out more about how Mangahigh can support your Maths Curriculum please click me

The Teacher Development Trust a national charity supporting effective professional development (please click to find out more)

Blog Stats

  • 863,404 hits

COPYRIGHT LICENCE

#5MinMarkingPlan

It won't get your marking done in five minutes but will help your structure your marking so you and the students get the most out of it.

#5MinBehaviourPlan

Getting the behaviour of students right, in the class room, is the challenge for every teacher. This simple planner will take you through the main stages required to help you achieve a purposeful learning envionment

#Outstandingin10Plus10

Ideas and the thinking behind a professional development to help improve the quality of teaching and learning. Keep the learning tight, the lesson plan loose and focus on the learners

Planning to Get Behaviour Right: Research Plus Experience

The thinking behind the #5MinBehaviourPlan and our whole school approach to managing behaviour.

Education for Wisdom

Why the four knowledge dimensions (covering knowledge and skills) and a moral compass are at the heart of an outstanding education.

When Feedback Met Bloom

A look at the power of Feedback to students using Bloom's four knowledge dimensions

%d bloggers like this: