15 Sep

It’s been a really productive week.

A number of colleagues have been working on our new assessment model, the Dashboard. As many of you know, all schools have had to redesign their progress and assessment systems as a result of the national system moves to a ‘life without levels’. I know at last year’s parents evenings many of you were briefed about our new system. When the staff trialled it at the end of the last academic year, the evaluation brought up many issues, particularly with regards to the ‘learning for life’ areas. This week, a number of colleagues have worked on combining subjects to make these areas easier for everyone to both use and understand. We have looked at the areas that allow our young people to succeed and have narrowed them into the following:

  • Attendance
  • Academic progress
  • Communication
  • Engagement with school
  • Behaving appropriately, being healthy and keeping safe
  • Being supported by appropriate people
  • Taking control of a curriculum that gives you the best opportunity to succeed

We have a really strong evidence base that conclusively proves that when our children and young people make progress in all of the above areas, they move on to the most appropriate destination. This week we have started to place last year’s learning into a revised model that will give our families, our young people and our staff useful and accurate information. It’s so exciting and I will ensure we roll out some sessions where you can come and look at the system for yourselves, hopefully in a few more weeks.

We have also been working on revising the timetables at Spring Brook and there have been quite a number of changes at Dean Street. We have worked on placing the children and young people in different classes and bases and early indications are very positive. We also received some good news earlier in the week from the local authority. They have agreed to recommission our new free school, the Springboard Project. This will mean that our youngsters who attend Spring Brook can, if they choose, stay with us until they are 19. This vocational offer will certainly ensure more learners move into our communities and into the world of work.

The pupils at Hollinwood Academy have settled particularly well. We have introduced our final group of children into the school and we have now met our admissions target 18 months before schedule. I am slightly concerned, however, about where all the mainstream children will be placed over the next couple of years. We don’t have many leaving Hollinwood!!

The new organisation at New Bridge has led to a really positive start to the year. We have restructured to include some more consistent Year 7 groups, some groups that centre on communication, extended Interactive Base and Autism Base groupings and a new work internship group.

A brilliant week all round – have a great weekend!


You can find all Graham’s previous blog entries here