A two year partnership with other Barnet Primary and Secondary Schools - The London Schools’ Excellence Fund Project
Two years ago, Barnet made a bid to the Mayor’s Fund for a significant amount of money to help raise standards in maths and English at Barnet primary schools.
At Holly Park we decided to sign up and engage with the project. We chose maths as our area to work on. Mrs Thomas joined up with a selection of other primary schools and Friern Barnet School to look at how we all teach maths.
In the first year, Holly Park staff undertook Lesson Study. Lesson Study is when teachers plan lessons together and observe their impact of teaching and learning on individual children. It is a very effective form of professional development as teachers learn from one another.
Teachers were given time to plan and evaluate lessons together and to moderate children’s work. This helped staff to plan next steps in learning.
In the second year of the project, teachers from other schools including Friern Barnet came to Holly Park to undertake Peer Enquiry. This is when Holly Park asks other professionals to look at a particular area of learning, investigate it by talking to pupils and staff, observe lessons and look in books. The idea is to tell us what we are doing well and some areas to develop.
We found both of these projects very useful. Maths results at Holly Park have improved over the last two years. This week we went to an end of project conference and received our certificate.
Barnet School Partnerships
In July 2013, Barnet Council published its ‘Education Strategy for Barnet’ which provides a framework for partnership working between the Council and all state-funded schools in Barnet.
The new approach to school improvement focuses on those aspects of the education strategy that relate most directly to school improvement.
It faces up to the key challenges faced by the education service and schools in Barnet and proposes practical measures to develop the more autonomous and self-improving schools system to which the strategy aspires, building on the principles set out in the strategy about schools being responsible for their own improvement. The proposed vision for what is trying to be achieved through the proposed new approach to school improvement in Barnet is:
Every Barnet school should be part of a formal school partnership with a number of other schools. Within these partnerships schools will work together and share best practice and the best schools and best headteachers will play a key role in enabling other schools in the partnership to improve towards outstanding. A self-managing, self-improving school system will become established where co-operation and structured and planned improvement are driven by school leaders, every school benefits and standards are continuously raised.
I am very pleased to inform you of an exciting new partnership which we have developed with some of our local schools. We will be working as a group with:
- All Saints N20 Primary
- Coppetts Wood Primary
- Hollickwood Primary
- Holly Park Primary
- St John’s N11 Primary
- St Paul’s N11 Primary
- Friern Barnet Secondary School
Each member school recognises the value in coming together as a group of schools. Our shared vision will enable our school staff to work together. For example, at our last meeting we looked at standards of, and ideas for improving, writing. We could also in the future share staff training. There will also be opportunity for professional challenge across the schools.
All seven schools will keep their unique ethos and will strive to promote and secure outstanding school improvement and raise standards for the children in their schools. Membership of the Partnership does not mean that we have become one school or a group of schools in an ‘academy chain’. Each school will retain their own identity, governing body and school budget.
Barnet Local Authority (LA) still retain a strategic and monitoring role and is responsible for ensuring the quality assurance of each partnership’s devolved school improvement functions. When partnerships develop to the extent that they effectively monitor and challenge each other, the LA may not monitor individual schools directly but check the arrangements within each partnership to ensure consistent quality, robust challenge and timely intervention across all partnerships. We will keep you informed of how our partnership develops.
Please see our Agreed terms of reference
We are working in partnership with Enabling Enterprise. We joined in April 2015. Our initial work will benefit all pupils but particularly our Pupil Premium children.
Enabling Enterprise want all students to develop the enterprise skills and experiences of work and aspirations to succeed. They do this by working in partnership with schools and businesses such as Santander, IBM, BT, Hamleys, Birmingham University, Virgin Active, London Business School etc. Enterprise becomes a core part of the school experience through special projects, trips and Challenge days.
Enterprise Skills are now communicated widely with the students so that they can identify their own progress in each skill:
- Working in a team
- Listening carefully
- Sharing ideas
- Using imagination
- Staying positive
- Aiming high
The use of a set of icons for these different skills helps to reinforce them and ensure that they are used consistently throughout the programmes.
We had a Challenge Day in May 2015 called ‘A Day in politics’
- We have a partnership with the Institute of Education and take students for work experience.
- We work with the Barnet school partnership for school sport to get involved with inter school competitions
- We are involved in cross Barnet competitions and festivals – music festivals, dance festival, athletics competitions, netball and football tournaments and matches
- We moderate our pupil work with other Barnet schools in order to ensure accuracy of levelling. We have worked with Brunswick Park School, Osidge School, Coppetts Wood School, Trent School to do this.
- One of our Reception staff is now part of the EYFS standards and moderation team. She is also a lead practitioner and visits other schools each week
- Our music teacher is also a lead practitioner and visits other schools regularly to support music
- We are part of Barnet Partnership for School Improvement and through this we have access to training, advisors and links with other schools
- We are part of the London School’s Excellence Fund in Barnet and through this we are part of a teaching and learning community with Friern Barnet Secondary School several other primary schools and a couple of nursery schools
Wroxham Transformative Alliance
In 2015 we became a member of The Wroxham Transformative Learning Alliance.
The Wroxham Transformative Alliance was set up by the Wroxham School in Potters Bar after it gained Teaching School status from the National College in 2011. The aim is to bring together schools to share practice and learn from each other.
Full membership of the alliance will enable us to work regularly together with other schools to support each other’s professional learning. Schools tend to be geographically close to Wroxham and do include some other Barnet schools.
The Alliance aims to organise a variety of professional learning opportunities linked to the teaching school at a range of school venues. It aims to offer sustained learning opportunities through a mix of expert input, action research and school to school enquiry.
The Alliance thereby seeks to achieve transformative effect through joint practice development. The Alliance aims to transform learning for children and adults through joint practice development.
The focus is on three main strands of research across our schools and will explore ideas within and between classrooms informed by educational research evidence.
The research strands are: a language for learning, a growth mindset within mathematics and school leadership. The alliance is underpinned by the core principles of equity, empowerment, expertise and excellence as defined by the Cambridge Primary Review Trust
Year 6 writing moderation
At the beginning of March we did some EYFS moderation with about 6 other local Barnet schools at Holly Park. The staff shared examples of special books and particularly focused on moderating writing and maths.
Towards the end of March we did some Year 2 moderation of writing with 3 other local Barnet schools at Holly Park.
The staff shared examples of writing that children had done across the different levels. They looked at several different genres of writing. It was a very useful exercise. We were particularly keen to look at examples of level 2A and level 3 writing from the other schools.