Saturday, 18 June 2011

William Booth Primary School!

I started the day yesterday at William Booth Primary School where I was talking to all the teaching and learning team at the start of a training day. I had been asked by Andy Mattison, headteacher, as Chair of the new Interim Executive Board, to talk to the team about the National context, the challenges facing the school, what we want to achieve over the next year and how we do it!

William Booth Primary School is in Special Measures following a critical OFSTED Inspection last December. The school is also going through the transition from being a two form entry infant and nursery school to become a one form entry primary school. All this of course within the national context of Academies, Free Schools, a revised OFSTED framework, a fundamental review of the curriculum and savage cuts to the public sector!

However, the challenges facing the school are simple by comparison. How do we continue to build on the real strengths in the early years. How do we develop literacy policy and practice to ensure that every child is a listener, communicator, reader and writer. How do we develop numeracy policy and practice to ensure that every child is a counter, can calculate and is confident with numbers. Critically we also need to focus on discipline, behaviour and building character to prepare young people for secondary education and life!

There are fantastic opportunities at William Booth Primary School to build a great primary school from the strong foundations in the early years and connect it with powerful Key Stage 2 practice. A young enthusiastic and committed team make up a learning school where colleagues want to do a great job. We need to build a strong performance management and a coaching culture where everyone has access to training and personal development. We need to help everyone improve and continuously develop their practice drawing on assessment for learning and the intelligent use of data to ensure that every child is provided with the curriculum and the opportunities to reach their potential. We also need to recognise the key role parents and carers play in all this and work to develop and support parents as partners in learning.

Most importantly we must communicate and think team!

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