Our focus for training this week was to bring everyone together to consider strategies for getting on with the business of raising achievement, specifically with year 11 following their recent trial exams. We used the analogy of ‘two sides of the coin’ throughout the session. We had fantastic results last year and need to ensure we maintain/make further improvement this year.
Working across departments, staff shared with each other the exam papers and exercise books of students they are currently targeting in their classes. Using the data we had provided (subject matricies for trial exam and forecast grades, tracking spreadsheets, FFT dashboards, etc), staff pinpointed the students they wanted to work with the most. The conversation was rich and very specific, with staff clearly identifying the skills and specific questions that individuals needed to work on in order to raise their achievement. It almost felt criminal to interrupt and move staff into their departments such was the focus on sharing ideas and practice.
Once in departments, staff worked together to complete a template, identifying the students who are going to be their ‘non-negotiables’ over the remaining weeks. They had to come up with raising achievement plans for their lessons, the homework they’re setting and extra intervention before/after school. We also asked departments what they’d done to support students with revision; have they modeled how to do it?
There was a very focused atmosphere in the room throughout the session. All departments asked if they could take their template away and complete it during the department meetings we have scheduled for Monday as they really wanted to take the time to consider their strategies. Circulating around the room it was clear that staff know exactly where they want their students to be and they have some innovative ideas of how they’re going to get them there. Personalisation was the key to almost every discussion I overheard, with staff sharing ideas about what might make the difference for individual students.