Learning Development Plan 2021-22
Overview for Parents and Carers
Our Learning Development Plan is reviewed annually to enable the headteacher, leadership team, governors and the MAT trust board to analyse how well the school is doing and to identify areas where improvements are needed. Our plan is based on an action-research model and is underpinned by the key questions that we are trying to answer following a detailed analysis of recent outcomes for the children in our school.
2020/21 was a unique school year which highlighted the following key questions and areas for improvement. These areas form the four key priorities for our current 2021/22 Learning Development Plan.
Quality of Education
Priority 1 –To refine our curriculum design, ensuring a clear focus on recovery, intent and planning for skills progression across all subjects.
Why? – We offer a unique and diverse curriculum but do we clearly articulate how our curriculum is designed and why? In 2018/19 we began to explore the introduction of Harmony principles within our curriculum. It became evident that these provided a powerful tool to ensure that the intent behind our curriculum was clear and that there was a meaningful and logical link between subjects and children’s wider learning experiences. Outcomes for children include awe, wonder and a focus on resilience through a greater understanding of their place within the natural world. At a time when this learning is more relevant than ever, we want to ensure that we share this with you more clearly.
Desired Outcomes for Children – Pupils are excited by learning in its many and varied forms. All children, including the more able and disadvantaged make at least good progress with the majority making better progress. All children access a broad, balanced, bold and courageous curriculum and are able to articulate what they are learning about and why.
How have you influenced this area of development? – Feedback from our parents in July 2021 indicated that the curriculum that we provide and our targeted provision for children with specific needs are highly valued across our community. Parents demonstrated a significantly proactive engagement with Harmony during our lockdown assemblies and remote learning experiences which needs to be sustained. We want to ensure through strong leadership that we remain ambitious in the design of our learning experiences and that our programme for professional development equips all staff with the skills needed to sustain such a valued, effective and stimulating curriculum, underpinned by a focus on skills progression, strong shared values and principles which are understood by all.
Priority 2 – To further develop our understanding of what constitutes outstanding teaching and learning, with a particular focus on our provision for phonics and post-lockdown recovery in maths and writing.
Why? – We know that in order to increase the proportion of ‘outstanding’ teaching and learning in our classrooms we need to ensure that further research-focused professional development opportunities are available to all staff so that no child is left behind and that the most able pupils are challenged to deepen their thinking and reasoning skills. Phonics has been prioritised following the introduction of a new accredited phonics scheme in YF and KS1 and a renewed focus on accelerating reading success to allow access to a full curriculum offer. Our excitement about the success of Maths No Problem is now being translated into other curriculum areas. However, outcomes in maths and writing have been significantly impacted by lockdown and targeted work is now needed to aid recovery whilst maintaining a focus on high expectations, pace and progression.
Desired Outcomes for Children – All children will access high quality, targeted and effective teaching and learning which is underpinned and informed by robust, accurate assessment data. The progress gap for disadvantaged boys will narrow and all children will benefit from greater parental engagement and a refined focus on establishing ‘equity’.
How have you influenced this area of development? – We want to use what we know about the value of greater parental engagement, our learning from lockdown and the effective use of virtual contact to ensure that the achievement gap begins to narrow further for targeted groups.Following feedback in July 2021, it is clear that some parents feel that communication around pupil progress could be improved. The use of remote learning and virtual contact during lockdown was welcomed by many parents as a means of effective communication between school and home, and the learning from this has been significant. We want all parents to feel confident in knowing how best to support their children’s progress and to engage in a regular learning dialogue and will be promoting this through the development of a number of virtual projects and further workshops this year.
Behaviour and Attitudes / Personal Development
Priority 3 –To evaluate our whole-school Relationships policy / Mental Health and Wellbeing strategy and to explore a more refined approach to targeted interventions to address a sustained approach to improving mental health and wellbeing at child and family levels.
Why? – Although we are confident in our use of effective behaviour management techniques in school we are increasingly aware of how these may differ to what parents perceive as ‘discipline’. As a school we are facing an increasing number of challenges linked with mental health and wellbeing issues within children and their families, particularly as a result of a global pandemic. We now need to ensure that the application of our behaviour / relationships policy reflects our research in this area, our focus on therapeutic behaviour management, our expectations of all staff and that this is communicated well to parents. In addition we need to ensure that our mental health and wellbeing strategy is understood and accessible to all.
Desired Outcomes for Children – Pupils’ impeccable behaviour is consistently evident outside as well as inside lessons. Skilled and consistent therapeutic behaviour management is evident from all staff groups and all stakeholders are able to articulate the key principles of our whole school ‘Relationships’ ethos. Children’s mental health and wellbeing remains a priority in our curriculum design and provision.
How have you influenced this area of development? – Feedback from our parents in July 2021 indicated that although parents felt that behaviour was good overall many of our parents said that they didn’t know what the school did, particularly in terms of anti-bullying strategies as their child had never been bullied. We hope that through further development of this work there will be a greater level of communication about our policy and approach, and a shared understanding of our mental health and wellbeing strategies and how these can be used to support families at a time of significant challenge.
Leadership and Management
Priority 4 –To further develop and strengthen the role of strategic leadership and governance in securing improvements in teaching, learning and outcomes for children with a particular focus on curriculum design, disadvantaged pupils, wellbeing and recovery.
Why? – Recent years have seen a significant shift in the focus of leadership within our school and in September 2021, leadership responsibilities have been further adapted to allow the Headteacher to play a role within the development of the Wessex MAT. Further work is now needed to ensure that improvements are sustained and that within the structure of the Wessex MAT, both middle leaders and governors begin to play a more significant role in securing accountability within specific focus areas across the school.
Desired Outcomes for Children – The Wessex MAT, Governors and middle leaders make an effective contribution to the overall leadership and management of the school leading to improved quality of teaching and outcomes for pupils.
How have you influenced this area of development? – Your feedback in July 2021 indicated that over 99% of you were confident in the leadership and management of the school. We are incredibly proud of this and want to ensure that this is sustained. As we now establish our place within the Wessex MAT and our Headteacher’s role in further developing support for others within the MAT, we hope that parents will quickly realise the ambition behind this and the positive impact of this decision on our own school.
To read our Learning Development Plan in detail please click here.