Welcome back everyone and I trust you have all had a restful half term.
Jenny Dunne (Director of Standards), Geoff Howard (Director of Teaching), our trustees and governors have been involved with the academic board this week. Briefly, all our curriculum leaders report to the board on issues that relate to their subject areas. They discuss the progress and achievement of the children and young people, changes made or that need to be made to the schemes of work, the quality of teaching in their departments and the use of technology within their subjects. The process enables our governors and trustees to be appraised on a termly basis on all of the above and to ensure our young people are getting the very best provision within the New Bridge Group.
As you may have read in the press or on various websites, the curriculum offer, the way schools assess progress and external accreditation at Key Stages 4 and 5, is subject to significant change. I’ll pick up on assessment in this blog. With respect to assessing progress, you may be aware that the Department for Education has removed the National Curriculum Statement of Attainments (Level 1,2, 3, 4 etc.) Up until now these have been included in your child’s reports (‘your child is working at Level 2’, for instance). These attainment statements which were best fit and allowed schools to moderate the children and young people have been replaced by ‘end of year expectations’, a series of objectives that a young person has to be able to independently complete when they reach a certain age. Clearly, for the majority of our young people who are not working at specific age levels, this is far from ideal.
At this point in time we have agreed, as a group, that we will still refer to levels when we report to you about your child’s progress. We are presently exploring how to accurately and meaningfully assess progress in the future. This leads to a further debate as to which areas we should assess! As we are no longer constrained by the National Curriculum subject areas we may wish to consider, alongside academic subjects, assessing other areas such as interaction with peers, independence, behaviour etc. We are developing this into a project called ‘The New Bridge dashboard’.
With regard to Medtia Square we are almost there. I am aiming to meet with the families and young people who are directly affected the week after next and I’ll forward some dates. We can start to use the time between now and the Christmas vacation to get the young people familiar with the area and begin to use the building. Many of them can help us plan the internal areas and it promises to be a very exciting time!
Our business team have had the auditors in all week – a little like Ofsted for our administration teams!! My thanks go out to Kay Price (Income Manager) and Rita Righini (Operational Director) for their work this week in ensuring all information has been made available for the auditors, and to Jean Thomas (Bursar) for her support last month. Of course, it goes without saying that our group would not be able to be as successful as it is without the undoubted skills of our many non-curricular staff. There are too many to mention and they often go unseen but they do a brilliant job in ensuring our children and young people have an outstanding offer. Thank you.
In next week’s blog I’ll talk about some of the changes that are occurring at Key Stage 4 around external accreditation and exams.
I’m looking forward to welcoming our Hollinwood Academy families to our first Parents’ Evening on Tuesday – see you then.
Have a great weekend,