We are leading our schools through what has been described as ‘the perfect storm’ of change. There is a new curriculum to get our heads around, new assessment structures and new measures of accountability.
As a school we have been using these changes as an opportunity to unpick what really matters to us. What are our core principles of assessment? What do we want our ‘non-negotiables’ to be regarding our school’s curriculum? What does high quality learning and teaching look like?
It can be very easy to miss these opportunities to stop and reflect as we are on the constant hamster wheel of change and sometimes running faster and faster can seem like the only way to either catch up or keep out of danger. It can definitely feel like a case of fight or flight! That is why I think that it is imperative to stop and take stock, to meet with fellow professional colleagues and reflect on how much we are already doing well, what we need to stop doing and what we need to start doing more of.
The target that has been set for 85% of children achieving the equivalent of 4b+ is certainly a very ambitious one, as is the high level of pupils who will need to be making ‘expected levels of progress’. I think that these targets are highly commendable and the principles behind them are well-intentioned. However, it is also daunting. For me, it is about the quality of the teaching and the learning. If we can get that right in our schools then everything else will follow. This is something that we need to plan for, support and facilitate. We need to grow quality teaching and learning, rather than wish for it.
I am delighted to be leading a day on meeting the new floor standards. The more I thought about the content the more excited I got! This is the chance for us as school leaders to remind ourselves of the quick wins that really make a difference as well as to take time to plan out the longer term strategies that will have a lasting impact. We need to be excited about what we are aiming for, realistic about the time scales and prepared for the challenges that will be involved.
To find out more about Meeting the New Floor Standards, click here.