Consultancy and Bespoke School Improvement Support For Primary Schools
My expertise is in school improvement. As a school improvement partner, this involves working directly with headteachers and senior leaders to untangle the complexities of school life and support schools to achieve excellence. I help leaders to diagnose issues, consider what might be holding back progress, think strategically, set out priorities and make the changes needed to secure improvement. Headteachers value engaging in high-level professional dialogue on school improvement, appreciate adding capacity to analysing data and reviewing the current picture, and welcome extra support in achieving whole school priorities.
In addition, I provide expertise linked to teaching and learning, particularly with an interest in removing barriers to academic success and enabling pupils to thrive in the classroom.
Analysis, review, problem solving, discussion, strategic thinking, planning, celebrating.
Headteachers, DHT, AHTs, Phase leaders, Subject leaders.1:1 & small group.
Full day, half day, twilights, package of events. Leverage research & tap into expertise.
Facilitating thinking and providing additional expertise for tackling a school priority.
"Thank you for a really useful day. I know the phase leaders, and myself, found it really inspiring." Headteacher - session designed to develop the role of phase leaders.
“Thank you for being so generous in your support. I have been inspired and energised to keep going. Truly a well timed and informative session that I can practically put into practice for IMPACT.” 1:1 support for Deputy Headteacher.
"I found the process on Friday so useful. It is some of the best CPD I've had for a long time and it helped me to be really clear about next steps etc. It was lovely to work with you as it is always." Headteacher following a review of pupil work and strategising on curriculum implementation.
“Thank you for all the support Vicky! All day you have been extremely knowledgeable in answering all my questions.” Deputy Headteacher related to pupil premium and closing the gap for disadvantaged pupils sessions.
"I really enjoyed the conversation and it's come at a key time! Thankyou for your clarity and kindness." Phase leader.
“I liked having time to really think about what I am doing well and what areas I still need to improve. I really enjoyed it.” Subject leader bespoke support. "We are really pleased with how well the inspection went - lots of hard work has been put in over the last few years, so great to get the report we received. Thank you for your part in it - the subject leaders were confident and knew their subjects inside out!" Headteacher (a mix of HT conversations, subject leader training, and 1:1 sessions across the year).
How can I support you? As a school improvement consultant with many years of experience, I am able to provide flexible training and support on a wide range of needs. As the majority of my work centres around leadership, it often cuts across different areas of school life, e.g. supporting a DHT with plans to close the gap for disadvantaged pupils, or working with senior leaders and subject leaders on curriculum implementation. The schools I support appreciate my wide ranging experience and knowledge base. I very much see school improvement work as a partnership which recognises and appreciates everyone's contributions, skills, talents and knowledge base.
I am particularly interested in how academic performance of pupils can be improved and how high-standards can be achieved in the classroom. I work with leaders to consider how whole school actions and leadership direction can bring about an improvement at a pupil level.
If you are unsure if my expertise is a match for you, why not email me your support requirements, discuss your needs with me by telephone or book a discovery meeting.
School improvement support can be purchased in blocks, e.g. a whole day, half-day or twilights. Additional 1:1 professional dialogue and coaching sessions can be added: 90 minute sessions. Discounts are provided for schools booking multiple days.
Support can be for individuals, teams or larger groups. However, impact tends to be higher when the group size is no more than eight people. If you have leaders from across a group of schools who wish to have training on a particular topic, why not get in touch regarding your needs.
Get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Making a choice as to who to work with can be difficult. If you have not worked with me before, why not book a 'discovery meeting' to see how I can be of assistance. Choose a date and time to discuss your requirements, ask questions about the service you can expect and see if I am the right fit for your school.
Or, if you are a school who has worked with before but you have a new project in mind, book a 1 hour discovery meeting to map out the deliverables.
Have you thought about support for...
Bespoke pupil premium support for your school
Support can be a short session designed to answer specific questions a leader may have, or you may wish to design a whole package of support spanning 12-months or more with a view to maximising the impact of pupil premium actions. Vicky can work 1:1 with the senior leader with responsibility for pupil premium at a frequency and intensity that is right for your school. Schools need different types of support - some might require a review, some want leadership sessions to increase their knowledge base of the most effective pupil premium strategies, some need support on action planning. Perhaps you would like support for just the senior leader, or perhaps you would like to create a team solution involving a range of other leaders such as the SENCO, English Leader, Phase leaders. Some schools want very specific support e.g. considering writing progression for disadvantaged pupils; considering progression in geography for disadvantaged pupils; considering the needs of disadvantaged pupils in EYFS. Why not tap into Vicky's knowledge base and create a plan that suits you.
Design your own middle leadership support package
Training sessions and 1:1 coaching can be a great way to develop middle leaders in school. Professional dialogue sessions can take into account the current skills and experience of each leader and the demands of the subject they lead. Subject leaders really appreciate the time to discuss their vision and action plans and to reflect on developments. Phase leaders value considering how they fit into the bigger picture and examining how their contributions can make a significant difference to how it feels to work in a school, how they can maximise the impact of resources, and how they can help to achieve whole school goals. Alternatively, design a group training course by selecting leadership modules, or set your own leadership objectives and Vicky will design a course to match your needs.
Vicky has significant knowledge regarding curriculum design. Vicky has worked with a variety of schools through face-to-face courses and bespoke support. Audits and development materials produced by Vicky have been published by 'The Key' and these have helped a number of school leaders and governors set out their vision and intent. Schools currently tend to be focused on the challenge of implementation and impact. Vicky can provide strategic leadership for senior leaders and more direct support for subject leaders depending on the needs of the school. Why not get in touch to discuss how Vicky can support the school in the goal to make the ambitions of the curriculum a reality.
Strategic leadership for teams
There are two types of strategic leadership training and support that can be provided. 1) a kick-start facilitation package (usually summer term) to help leaders assess the current situation and priorities. Schools often appreciate an external person being involved in strategic planning to provide a fresh perspective and find the 'facilitation' aspect of it enables everyone to fully participate in high-quality discussion. Or 2) support / training over a series of half-days to work on developing the SLT's strategic skill set (delivered any time in the year). Not everyone in SLT will have future orientation, strategic thinking, and problem solving in their top strengths and training can help colleagues harness tools that will help them think more strategically. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Coaching, mentoring & professional dialogue
There are different types of one-to-one leadership sessions that can be provided in blocks of 90 minutes.
Journey Coaching: Providing much needed headspace on a regular basis for issues important to you.
Strengths coaching & Performance impact dialogue: An incredible coaching programme that focuses on positive change by 'naming, aiming and actioning' your strengths as a leader. Achieve performance management targets and leadership development goals and thrive in your role. Even seasoned leaders are amazed at how their personal impact improves through strengths coaching.
Leadership development coaching: A mix of training, professional dialogue and coaching linked to leadership skills. Leaders choose one or more aspects of their practice to develop, e.g. emotional intelligence, communication, developing teams, challenging conversations.
Most of my support is provided remotely, but it is possible to book onsite support at various points in the year. These include curriculum implementation reviews, pupil premium reviews, teaching and learning reviews. I can provide support for leaders in data analysis and work with leaders on action planning. A variety of audits and evaluation resources can aid leaders in reflecting on the current position. School improvement can often be complex and multifaceted and therefore it is beneficial to have someone to work alongside to untangle the issues. Reviews can be an excellent way to validate excellent practice and identify next steps for development.
Word reading review
An initial half-day online meeting with the English leader / reading leader to help colleagues reflect on current strengths, identify quick wins, and plan a route forward.
Word reading speed, accuracy and prosody assessments - Assessments can be provided if you don't currently assess all pupils. Advice on interpreting and acting on results.
Leadership related to work reading.
Review of interventions - can gains be made by switching to high-leverage interventions? Consideration for best practice.
Implementing reading research related to word reading - a leadership perspective.
Ensuring KS2 day-to-day teaching maximises progress in reading fluency.
Vicky has spent several years researching, creating resources, writing think pieces and creating live and self-paced training courses for the development of reading comprehension. You can book leadership support or enable all colleagues to develop their reading expertise via an online self-paced course. Reading comprehension is essential for academic success, as well as equipping pupils with skills they need for the rest of their lives. It is particularly important to support pupils who are struggling in the classroom, and is an essential piece of the jigsaw in raising attainment for disadvantaged pupils. It is this latter element that kick-started Vicky's interest in resolving reading issues.
METACOGNITION in the classroom
TRY A SESSION FOR FREE: INTRODUCTION TO METACOGNITION ONLINE COURSE
Do you want to develop metacognition in school but are unsure where to start? Turn theory into reality with this practical course that focuses on harnessing the advantages of metacognition. Select a group of colleagues in school (or across a number of schools) to work together across a year. Participants will grow and develop a deep and thorough understanding of metacognition which they will then be able to use every day in the classroom. They will then be able to share their good practice with the rest of the school and lead on developments. “Useful resources and excellent activities that I have been able to use in twilight training sessions in school. Vicky is a very generous and engaging course leader.” “Really practical resources. Lots of activities to take back for immediate and long-term action.”
Developing a growth mindset school
Many schools have worked with Vicky to create and implement a successful growth mindsets strategy that has helped pupils to take greater ownership of their school and life successes. The work on growth mindsets very much overlaps with metacognition and memory research. Vicky helps leaders to harness the theory in a way that enables it to have impact. Schools do need to appoint a key senior leader that Vicky can work with. This person needs to be in a position to drive forward developments across the year and maintain the impetus beyond this. Vicky can also put you in touch with schools to see examples of how growth mindset theory has been put into practice. "The impact of the growth mindset work has been amazing."
Developing oracy (and thinking!)
Oracy is vital for academic and life-long success. Vicky can work with a senior leader or group of teachers to design and implement a school-wide approach to oracy. From oracy frameworks to practical resources, Vicky can help you turn theory into reality. Improving oracy is a key strategy in supporting disadvantaged pupils to thrive in the classroom.
Training days and twilights can focus on how teachers can build and utilise oracy in the classroom. Training on questioning can also be delivered for teachers and/or TAs. What are your favourite questions? What techniques do you use to elicit pupil learning? How do you use the power of questions to probe understanding, unpick misconceptions, and move learning forward?
There are many different elements of oracy that can be developed, e.g. oracy for effective collaborative learning, how to ensure group discussion are effective, how to improve individual pupil oracy performance, classroom structures and resources to aid oracy, interventions with a focus on oracy.
Vicky designed the oracy framework used in projects by Leeds School Improvement Team. She is passionate about the enabling pupils to be pro-active in their own learning through confidence and skills in oracy, through excellent collaboration skills, through systematic thinking skills, and well-developed metacognition alongside ensuring there are no barriers to learning.
This work also links to Vicky's commitment to closing the gap for disadvantaged learners. Many of the aspects of teaching development that Vicky is involved with link back in some way to the desire to ensure ALL pupils can thrive and no educational doors are closed.