Message from CEO 24 September 2017
The Head teacher and Assessment Leads meeting this week was thought provoking and challenging. It prompted two questions, for me, of fundamental importance for us all: what makes learning happen and how can assessment support this?
In essence, people make learning happen. Every day, teachers, TAs, leaders and staff make learning happen in our classrooms, schools and Hubs. You make learning happen because your children know they are loved and cared for, they know they are truly valued. You make learning happen by celebrating success – giving praise, sharing feedback and providing opportunities for reflection. You make learning happen because your curriculum is exciting, challenging, engaging. It sparks pupils’ interests with moments of awe and wonder. It enables pupils to make connections. It support and challenges children to expand their horizons, to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding: academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Targets for our pupils are created from our understanding of each pupil’s previous learning journey, where they are now and where pupils with similar prior attainment have reached. Our targets are also aspirational – what you hope for each child’s future, for what they can achieve when, through making learning happen, you change how pupils see themselves and enable them to go further and achieve more than they thought possible.
Assessments show us missing jigsaw pieces in the ever-expanding picture of each child’s learning. Effective assessment enables us to see the next steps pupils need to take, the skills and knowledge they need to further develop, to move closer to their target. Then, as with all learning, it is your decisions, your actions and your relationship with each pupil that enables them to take those steps, and fill in those missing pieces, so their learning picture continues to grow.
SENCO Leads met this week to plan an exciting programme of development for our TAs that includes training, hub activities and a TA Conference in March 2018. EYFS staff in the Taunton Hub worked with Y1 colleagues, co-ordinated by Jane Exell and Sue Lucas, to explore and share best practice in Foundation Stage and Early Years provision and transition.
Next week, staff and leaders in Taunton have the first opportunity of this academic year to come together as a hub: to find out more about each other; to celebrate strengths and share priorities; to further strengthen the professional bonds, relationships and connections so important to successful collaborative working.
In my view, one of the greatest strengths of the BWMAT is our shared belief in the importance and value of learning – for our pupils, their futures and for the fulfilment of every person in our Trust. Thank you for the many ways you work together to nurture and promote the highest quality learning for every pupil, in every classroom, every day, ‘That they may have life, life in all its fullness’.