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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning): 10th October, 2011

 

Report of the Director of Learning and Development

 

Jenner Park Primary School Progress Update

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To respond to a query about the nature of concerns at Jenner Park Primary expressed in a school inspection report which took place in the Spring Term 2011.

Recommendation

That Members note the issues raised and request regular half termly progress reports in line with arrangements set out in the Partnership Agreement with schools.

Reason for the Recommendation

To ensure that Members are kept fully informed about progress in preparation for the revisit to the school by Estyn in Spring term 2012

Background

2.             Jenner Park was last inspected in 2005. The recommendations were:

·               Raise standards in ICT, DT, history, geography and music in Key Stage 2 and address the shortcomings in other subject areas;

·               Identify key skills more precisely  in planning, in order to improve their use across the curriculum, particularly in writing and ICT;

·               Further develop marking, assessing and recording pupils’ achievements and use outcomes to lead to improved differentiation;

·               Improve pupils’ bilingual skills and provide greater opportunities for the development of Cwricwlwm Cymreig, diversity and global citizenship;

·               Develop the role of curriculum co-ordinators in monitoring teaching and learning and ensure that individual targets are more specific;

·               Involve all interested parties in self-evaluation processes that clearly identifies the school’s strengths and shortcomings.

3.             The Headteacher retired in July 2010 and the new Headteacher took up post in September 2010.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The school was inspected in the Spring term 2011 under the new Common Inspection Framework (CIF) introduced the previous September.

5.             The new CIF is a significantly different framework to the previous one as outlined in previous reports to Members.

6.             The new CIF is very much ‘standards led’, consists of 3 key areas instead of 7 and has two new overarching judgments about performance and prospects for improvement. Also, judgments about standards in individual subjects other than literacy and numeracy are not inspected.

7.             Judgments about prospects for improvement are arrived at by the team considering a number of aspects about the school, one of them is concerned with the success school has had at securing progress since the last inspection.

8.             Jenner Park was deemed to have not secured the required improvements since the previous inspection and this contributed to the overall judgment for prospects for improvement.

9.             The recommendations from the Spring term inspections were:

·               raise pupils’ standards, particularly in literacy and numeracy, consistently across the school

·               ensure consistency in planning and teachers’ expectations across the school

·               ensure that the recently introduced system for self-evaluation focuses clearly on standards

·               further develop the role of the senior management team in monitoring standards; and

·               further develop the role of the Governors in self-evaluation and school improvement.

10.        Specific areas identified as not having been progressed enough appear to be related to the following:

·               concerns associated with aspects of planning;

·               senior staff involvement in monitoring standards;

·               the role of Governors in self-evaluation.

11.        Standards in the school, in all but literacy in Key Stage 1, have been maintained and in some cases improved since 2008. However, concern would have been raised by a decrease in standards in June 2010 i.e. from 88% to 68% (see Appendix 1). This was recognised by the Advisory Service and plans implemented. These plans are available on request.

12.        Over the last two years a significant amount of support has been allocated to the school for literacy, numeracy and to support the Foundation Phase. Plans are available on request.

13.        Link Adviser recommendations in May 2010 clearly state that the way forward for the school is to:

·               Develop the role of the Governing Body in school self-evaluation and development planning;

·               Use the SMT and GB to begin to develop a current Se report driven by the new CIF and

·               Develop a timetable for MER which incorporates PM targets together with priorities from the previous SDP.

14.        It is a requirement of the local Authority and identified as good practice that that Link Adviser reports are shared with the full Governing Body of the school.

15.        The Link Adviser report for Autumn 2010 (one term before inspection) scrutinised the school's response to Adviser led questions about progress since the last inspection.

16.        School's response is listed as follows:

R1 – raise standards in information technology, design technology, history, geography and music in Key Stage 2 and address the shortcomings identified in other subject areas.

17.        School response:

The school now has subject co-ordinators in place across the school. Design technology is currently in the process of being updated. Geography has been completed with a revamp of the skills and a new planning format. A new IT suite has been introduced with ICT Alive scheme in place from Year 1 to Year 6. Assessment has been built into the scheme of work. Music and Art have both been completed with new schemes of work in place. A new design planning format has been introduced across the school and this is currently being embedded across all subjects in both Key Stages. History scheme of work is being updated with a new co-ordinator leading the subject.

All staff have been involved in the use of available data across the school and the Head anticipates that this will lead to an improved understanding of the use of data to improve standards across all subjects across all the school.

A new tracking process has been introduced in each class. Currently this is focusing on the core subjects, using NFER data and pupil attainment information together with SEN Register information. This will be further developed in the next School Improvement Cycle.

ICT Alive has a built in tracking and assessment process, as does the new music scheme of work. Geography scheme has been based on skill development for each Key Stage so staff are more aware of the skill development within the subject.

Book monitoring is in place. During the summer term subject co-ordinators are responsible for the process. This has been built into the SIP. Subjects have been prioritised, with English as the priority for this cycle. Portfolios for standardisation and moderation work have begun.

18.        R2 - identify key skills more precisely in planning, in order to improve their use across the curriculum, particularly in writing and information and communication technology

19.        School response:

Key skills have been identified and included within the new planning format which has just been introduced and takes into account the new orders. There is constant ongoing evaluation of the planning format. There has been and will continue to be termly assessment and collation to pull together the new planning format. In writing the school has taken on board the Pie Corbett approach in Oracy with an impact on writing. The school will be in the next cycle of the Big Writing project which is being led by the LA. This will occur in April 2011. The school has been involved in the Rapid Writing pilot for Basic Skills and will continue to be school involved in the use of this intervention with ongoing support from the LA Basic Skills officer and staff.

In ICT the school has moved to a more cross curricular approach and are currently considering the Becta Award. ICT Alive has been introduced across the school.

20.        R3 – further develop consistent and manageable procedures for marking, assessing and recording pupils’ achievements and use the outcomes to lead planning and improve differentiation.

21.        School response:

A more thorough tracking system has been introduced since September 2010. The marking policy has been updated and implemented. Both of these are being revisited with the Headteacher monitoring books and the deputy Headteacher responsible for planning for more effective differentiation across the curriculum. The deputy Head has also taken over the role of the school SENCo. There have been a series of staff Insets sessions focusing on consistency of levelling pupil work. This cycle of training will be built into the SIP. Assessment for Learning strategies are more apparent across classes with a more consistent approach which will impact on the school marking policy. Each class teacher has identified an area of AfL they would like to improve upon this will be feedback at staff training in the summer term 2011.

22.        R4 – improve pupils’ bilingual skills and provide greater opportunities for the development of Cwricwlwm Cymreig, diversity and global citizenship.

23.        School response:

Athrawon Bro are heavily involved at the school and work across all classes and have delivered a series of training events for all staff. Assessment of Welsh in Year 6 showed good results and there has been very positive feedback from the two secondary feeder schools on pupil performance in Welsh. Inset has been delivered n the use of assessment of Welsh in Year 6. A review of Welsh across the school will be completed by the end of the Spring term 2011. Emma Durmedy from the AB team has been advising on the use of Welsh in all subjects. The school are considering reintroducing a phrase of the week for Welsh to further enhance its use in school.

24.        R5 – develop the role of the curriculum co-ordinators in monitoring, teaching and learning and ensure that individual pupil targets are more specific.

25.        School response:

Subject co-ordinators’ roles were introduced from September 2010 and are now in place across all subjects across the school. Staff identified this as an area for development from an initial staff meeting with the new Headteacher. Staff identified their strengths and areas for development. Class teachers in discussion with the Headteacher and deputy Headteacher came to joint decisions on the nomination of coordinator roles. Currently the following TLR structure is in place at the school. TLR for Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 and ICT. This is to be reviewed in Autumn 2011.

26.        R6 – involve all interested parties in a self evaluation process that clearly identifies the school’s strengths and shortcomings.

27.        School response:

The Vale training and sharing of information on the CIF has been initiated at the school. A course led by Mr J. Loxton on Family school data, CIF and SER has been attended. Staff have been involved in a whole day together to look at the self evaluation process in Autumn 2010. Staff were given the opportunity to look at the CIF key questions and to then identify strengths and areas for development. The deputy Head and Headteacher then grouped these suggestions so that emerging priorities could be identified. SMT have discussed all these areas and have used FSD and school data to look at standards across the school. This is an emerging development for staff at the school but fully supported by the Headteacher.

28.        KS1 / KS - identified performance-related priorities for 2010-11:

Key Area 1 – Standards and wellbeing

Emerging priorities from the SER are:

Standards – develop reading in Key Stage 1 to improve end of Key Stage 1 English Level 2+ results

Standards – develop the use of Thinking Skills and Assessment for Learning within the school

Wellbeing – improve transition between Year 2 and Year 3.

29.        Key Area 2 – Provision

Emerging priorities from the SER are:

Learning Experiences – development of the Foundation Phase outdoor provision

Teaching – development of History, PE and English schemes of work

Care, Support and Guidance – to continue to develop the work of the School Council to ensure the ‘pupil voice’ is heard

Learning environment – development of the Foundation Phase outdoor provision.

30.        Key Area 3 - Leadership

Emerging priorities from SER are:

Leadership – development of the self evaluation process and improvement of the performance management process

Resource management – availability and management of the teaching resources

Improving quality

Partnership working.

31.        In summary, it is clear that there were key areas related to the development of staff in monitoring standards, self-evaluation, standards and school improvement planning that were not sufficiently addressed by the school during the time period between the two inspections i.e. 2005 and 2011.

32.        It is clear, that advice provided by Advisers in the previous two terms before inspection, confirmed that progress needed to be made in these areas.

33.        It is clear that standards were sufficiently low in June 2010 to signal advice and implementation of a support plan for the school. Both were given to the school. Full copies of all reports are available on request (Appendix 1)

34.        Regarding the most recent inspection in Spring term 2011; a progress report against the Post Inspection Action Plan is attached (see Appendix 2). It is evident that the new Headteacher is keen to address all recommendations identified in the most recent report.

35.        The Advisory Service will continue to work with the school to secure the necessary progress (Appendix 3).

36.        It is clear that under the new administration, progress against identified priorities is being made.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

37.        Council employees will continue to support and advise the school.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

38.        None.

Crime and Disorder Implications

39.        None.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

40.        None.

Corporate/Service Objectives

41.        Supportive of our Vision for Education: Education 2015.

Policy Framework and Budget

42.        To be met from within existing resources.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

43.        Scrutiny (Lifelong Learning)

Background Papers

44.        Estyn Guidance for the Inspection of Primary Schools.

Contact Officer

Lynette Jones, Head of School Improvement

Officers Consulted

Andrea Davies, Link Adviser to the school

Responsible Officer:

Bryan Jeffreys, Director of Learning and Development

 

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