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5 on Sunday

Sharing 5 ideas / resources / links / commentary / work life on a Sunday. Sunday is for musing and reflecting and then relaxing. Reset for the week ahead. Think positively about what has been achieved. After contemplating the content whilst eating warm donuts on Herne Bay pier this morning, these are my 5 for the week. Enjoy!

This week's focus (22/05/2022):

1. Computing curriculum - following the latest Ofsted research review.

2. Leadership prompts - thinking about the second year of implementation.

3. Book - Usborne Minis 'Clouds to spot'.

4. Padlet - a great way to share documents with colleagues.

5. Keeping up to date - including link to 'Moving forward, making a difference' by EEF.

1. Computing curriculum linked to Ofsted's research review series

Published 16 May 2022, the review explores the literature relating to the field of computing education to identify factors that can contribute to high-quality computing curriculums, assessment, pedagogy and systems. There are plans to publish a report later in the year.

I have put together a collection of prompts and questions related to the Ofsted research review document and Ofsted guidance (plus own thoughts and National Curriculum related points). These can be used by primary school computing leaders for self-review or as a jumping off point for professional dialogue (perhaps with one or more members of SLT). Time spent in discussion can then pave the way for a comprehensive and effective development plan for the coming academic year.

You can access the prompts and questions on this Padlet board I have created.

Schools often ask me to meet with subject leaders on a one-to-one basis. Both new and experienced leaders often find it useful to have time out of the busy day to think, reflect and discuss current practice. These sessions are not about mock Ofsted interviews or deep dives, instead they are about support for strategic thinking. A mix of mentoring, coaching and professional dialogue to help colleagues plan forward. Sessions are designed to help leaders to think about what has been successful, why and how can the gains be capitalised on. Schools can book a day of support and break this down into sessions for different leaders. Get in touch if this is something that you think would be useful to your school.

2. Leadership prompts

As you start to consider the school improvement plan for the coming academic year, consider what started this year and needs to be further developed in the coming year. Introducing something shiny and new is more sexy than focusing on depth, consistency, fidelity of implementation, and quality - but it is these latter elements that turn new things into impact! A 'Year 2' implementation plan is vitally important. How will you build on what has taken place this year? Use this tool with colleagues to start mapping out key elements of development. Early dialogue paves the way for strong development plans.

Download this document as a PDF

Making growth deeper and stronger YEAR 2
Download PDF • 39KB

Look at each strand of your current school improvement plan. What stage is it at?

Then consider what action is needed to make development deeper and stronger?

Download these slides as a PDF document:

stage of development and next steps slides
Download PDF • 177KB
3. Book

JustOneMorePage@OneMorePageUk shared the Usborne's Minis 'Clouds to Spot' written by Kate Nolan and illustrated by Lucy Semple. What could be better than lying on the grass and watching the clouds go by? Pupils can delight their family and friends by naming cloud formations. The book might also generate interest in other books related to weather.

Stretch out on the ground and look up at the sky!

In addition, the book can help pupils consider description and vocabulary : 'ripples of cloud blowing high in the sky', 'thick cloud low enough to touch the ground'. In last week's blog I mentioned the Oxford dictionary of synonyms and antonyms. Here is the extract for clouds:

4. Padlet

Padlet is a brilliant online bulletin board that allows you to 'pin' text, documents, images, video and links. Padlet is a versatile product. You can set the board to be 'read only' or you can set the board so that everyone can contribute. You can set the board so that colleagues can like and comment on posts or block this feature.

I find it particularly useful for organising my thoughts and sharing ideas and documents with colleagues. Some of the schools I work with are using it to share actions from training sessions. Churwell Primary School in Leeds, for example, have been using Padlet to share their actions from their 'academic book club' with other colleagues in the school. As we approach the end of the academic year it is a great way to share extracts from pupils books and outcomes of projects.

Teachers can upload copies of planning, details of books they used for a topic, examples of pupil work, links to websites, useful video clips, notes on implementation etc - a brilliant way to get an insight into the wider curriculum and share practice across the school.

Padlet is a good way for subject leaders to share advice and guidance in preparation for the new academic year and a useful way to share resources linked to teacher training sessions. How might you use Padlet?

If you would like to find out more, get in touch to discuss your needs.

5. Keeping up to date

I spend a proportion of every week keeping up to date. This can be reading Ofsted publications (as in the Computer Curriculum document published this week as part of Ofsted's research reviews), DfE documents, EEF guidance; reading research pieces published in a variety of education journals; watching webinars; following twitter feeds; analysing test papers. This is an important part of my job. It enables me to provide advice, point colleagues in the direction of relevant materials, and be on the alert for common issues schools may be facing. Designing and delivering training has to be based on a broad and deep knowledge base and evidence. Over many years I have accumulated a lot of educational knowledge and work hard with colleagues to turn theory into practical action that can be taken in school. There is always something new to learn! It is hard for leaders and teachers to have sufficient time to study the wide variety of guidance and research that is published, and that can be one reason for having external support.

New out this week are a series of blog posts and reports linked to the impact of the pandemic and advice about recovery from EEF.

You can download a copy of EEF's new guidance 'Moving forward, making a difference' a planning guide for schools 2022-23 here:

Download PDF • 4.08MB

Many of my courses and training sessions are centred around a longstanding desire to close the gap for disadvantaged pupils. If you would like support for school development planning in relation to disadvantaged pupils, ongoing leadership support throughout the year, training sessions on key strategies for closing the gap - please get in touch to start a conversation about how I can help. Support can be short sessions or a year-long school relationship that offers substantial help - you decide.

Get in touch to find out more about live sessions or for online courses you can also visit the new shop:


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