Creating a climate of excellence through collaboration
Collaboration is at the heart of our work as a trust. In seeking to improve life chances for all of our pupils, sharing expertise in teaching and learnng is key. As a reflective learning community, our trust seeeks to engage with current research and educational thinking to enrich learning opportunities for all our pupils and staff.
“The power of collective capacity is that it enables ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things” – for two reasons. One is that knowledge about effective practice becomes more widely available and accessible on a daily basis. The second reason is more powerful still—working together generates commitment.” (Michael Fullan, ‘How the World’s Most Improved Systems Keep Getting Better” p 72)
Southport Learning Trust Communities of School Improvement
To support the development of pedagogy and curriculum across the Trust curriculum leaders in all areas work collaboratively as Communities of School Improvement.
The aims of our communities are to: –
Develop as a collaborative wider team to support curriculum development and outcomes
gain knowledge of strengths and areas for development in Trust schools
Develop curriculum plans and wider opportunities
develop and share effective pedagogy and support workload for us and our staff
develop an understanding of all through approaches in our subject from nursey to sixth form
develop an understanding of successful strategies for our pupils especially SEND and disadvantaged students
access and use latest evidence-based research.
The Autumn Term 2021 focus for communities have been: –
Education research that supports teaching and learning in your area and building our Teams area to support you
Sharing curriculum planning and wider opportunities
The latest OFSTED research and how it translates to your curriculum planning and catch up strategy
Disciplinary literacy in your subject area and how you can develop your students’ vocabulary and help close the gap
Linking business effectively with your subject to support wider aspiration building of our students
Developing bespoke targets for future meetings collaboratively.
The sessions are led by Ian Raikes (CEO) and Siobhan Whittaker (Teaching and Learning Director) and are held both virtually and face to face.
Below are some examples of our recent school to school support:
English Collaboration with Stanley High School
In December, Mrs Abram and Mrs Rae visited Greenbank for the day with a focus on collaboration and support during the current period of staffing issues within the English department at Stanley. The day involved some lesson observation of more able Key Stage 4 groups, some planning / prioritising for year 11 and identifying ways forward for future collaboration.
The role of Firefly was central to the planning session, and colleagues from Stanley were given full access to the English area, including; the curriculum rationale and maps, assessment documentation, revision resources and all of the schemes of work for Key Stages 3 and 4. The benefits of a common VLE platform within the trust became evident and a log in for the Stanley staff has been created to allow this access to continue. The availability of quality assured schemes of work for Key Stage 3 was also helpful to Stanley staff in ensuring consistency of standards for classes being covered by supply staff.
Stanley staff raised some concerns about the coverage of the Shakespeare text, Romeo and Juliet, which year 11 had experienced. To develop exam readiness, Jo Wasilew (Assistant DOL English) visited Stanley on 11th January to offer a two hour ‘masterclass’ focused on developing pupils’ understanding of writing about the text in the (closed book) exam. Joanne has been an examiner Feedback from pupils and staff was extremely positive, and Stanley staff are planning to use Joanne’s resources across year 11 in the near future.
On Friday 18th January, eight of Stanley’s highest performing year 11 pupils visited Greenbank for a ‘top swaps’ session. When they met with some of our year 11 pupils to discuss revision resources and techniques. Pupils shared their assessments and discussed how they reacted to feedback in order to improve their grades. Again, the VLE was a key focus, with Greenbank pupils showing Stanley pupils how to access the revision area and the wealth of resources it contains.
On Monday 4th February, Mrs Whittaker visited Stanley to offer a workshop on English Language Paper 2, following her experiences as an examiner of this paper. This time the focus will be on Pupil Premuim students who are currently underperforming on this paper. Before half term, she will also meet with Mrs Abram and Mrs Rae to revisit planning and to organise some moderation of PPEs after half term.
School to School support: Greenbank and Maghull Geography Collaboration
Mrs Sharon Naughton, Director of Learning for Humanities at Greenbank has been collaborating on improvement work in Geography, with the subject leader from Maghull Mr Graham Donnan.
The main area of focus has been GCSE: improving AQA experience for current cohorts and moving to EDUQAS for the new cohort.
Work has focused on :
Schemes of Work:
Assessment Model and data tracking:
Powerful and effective delivery in every lesson
Both departments are enjoying the collaborative work and the chance to share experiences and expertise.
School to School Support – Case Study
Ms Davina Aspinall, Head Teacher at Mughull High School has produced the following case study to outline the process invloved in joining a multi-academy trust.