The key starting point for any learning is the recruitment and subsequent employment of high quality practitioners who put children first and subscribe to their own continuing professional development. The Trust expects all staff to engage in learning of their own. We are not into gimmicks or the latest fad in pedagogy, we endorse approaches that have been researched fully and have sustained impact in the classroom. The Trust is passionate about developing all types of intelligence and skill. We want children to experience every kind of learning and every kind of influential person and place.
Developing the people within the Trust and enabling them to learn from, engage in professional discussion and refine their practice will result in teaching that is as perfectly matched as it can be to every pupil. We will unlock the ability to acquire basic skills and provide a unique scaffold in resilience, courage and reflection to move beyond the basics and into the realm of life-long learning.
Support for leadership to enable such an approach is fundamental. The Headteacher of the school that wishes to join us would be paired up with the other Principals in the hub and would also have the support of the Executive Principal of that hub. This group would act as mentors and advisors and support the new school to implement the central systems of the Trust.
Our curriculum offer is inspiring, imaginative, responsive and engaging. It is based on the mastery principal that every child is capable of deep learning and understanding, given the opportunity. Our curriculum is broad and balanced but is based firmly on a set of metacognitive skills that transcend every field of human endeavour. It is fundamentally important to the Trust that all learners are supported to develop reflectiveness, resilience, and a love of learning throughout their lives.
Upon joining the Trust, we would undertake a risk assessment which is included in our due diligence processes. The impact of the curriculum on pupil outcomes and whether it meets the needs of learners would be included in this. In our experience, common themes in how the curriculum is delivered, that results in outstanding outcomes for children are:
- English and maths are taught in the morning (Maths is set from year 3 upwards)
- Early morning work that focuses on basic skills
- A structured and systematic approach to the teaching of reading, phonics, spelling and handwriting. Our preferred phonics programme is Letters and Sounds that is delivered using the Soundswrite methodology.
- Other subjects mostly being taught in the afternoons through a topic based approach.
- Music, language and PE lessons taught discreetly by specialists.
Where the risk assessments reveal concerns around the impact of the existing curriculum, we would work within the principle of ‘earned autonomy’ – if it can be demonstrated and evidenced that different approaches are have an impact on pupil outcomes then schools can forge their own approach.
As learning can and must happen within, after and outside of school hours we will work with you to provide high quality after school clubs and also childcare. We will seek to use the resources already available and collaborate with those professionals to "spot the possible" in pupils. We will commission services that are practical and on site so as many pupils as possible can gain access. It is our belief that our schools will be a lever to stimulate the creativity and imagination of children and young people.
We are experts in dealing with some of the most challenging behaviours and attitudes to learning and do not shy away from such a challenge. Our belief is that we must do whatever it takes to provide an education for all children and if this is not succeeding then it is us who must adapt and try harder. The pupil and is, and must always be, at the centre of everything we do. Being adaptable is one of the reasons the Trust is so successful at alternative or parallel provision. Educating a child is a team effort; if quality first teaching is not enough the Trust has the capability of providing targeted support and specialist services and training. As this is already well established, we believe this is one of our strengths.
Upon joining the Trust, we would undertake a risk assessment which is included in our due diligence processes. The impact of the provision on pupil outcomes and whether it meets the needs of learners would be included in this. In our experience, common themes in effective inclusion provision are:
- Few but well trained and valued teaching assistants who are often specialists in a particular area of need.
- Children who remain in the classroom for as much of their learning as possible so they experience every subject and every skill
- Highly skilled teachers who work closely with any teaching assistants and outside agencies to ensure the learning is as accessible as possible for individuals and provides them with the right level of challenge.
- Effective and systematic review of the impact of interventions on pupil outcomes – the provision is needs led and well co-ordinated by an appropriate person.
Where the risk assessments reveal concerns around the impact of provision for all learners, we would work within the principle of ‘earned autonomy’ – if it can be demonstrated and evidenced that different approaches are have an impact on pupil outcomes then schools can forge their own approach.
All staff without exception are accountable for their impact on pupil outcomes. The Trust has a robust approach to gathering performance information about how pupils are achieving and making progress. Evidence is triangulated through a systematic approach to pupil progress meetings, lesson observations, learning walks, book scrutinies, pupil interviews, and parent teacher meetings. This will feed into a rigorous but fair performance management cycle for all staff.
The difference between a good school and an outstanding school is close attention to detail in terms of systems and procedures, a clear understanding from all staff of our non-negotiable approaches to teaching, learning, assessment, and accountability and an uncompromising attitude to standards in the classroom. Our number one priority is quality first teaching. The resource and provision must be forensically matched to the needs of the pupils and this comes from reviewing how the child is performing in class and whether any interventions are having impact.
The people within our organisations who support our pupils are our greatest asset. We want everyone to succeed and will invest in you so that you can be the best possible practitioner.