It has been great to hear from so many of you about the work that you are currently undertaking around curriculum development. It’s heartening to see schools taking control and considering how to use curriculum as a powerful vehicle for school improvement. What for example will be special and distinctive in your context? I’m particularly excited by those of you who have told me that you’re starting with discussions about the values that you want to underpin the curriculum. If you’ve not yet found time to explore, I’d encourage you both at board and staff level to commit to some discussion time to agree a way forward. Re-visiting last week’s e-Bulletin where we shared links to slides from Headteacher Breakfast Briefing meetings and the most recent Focus on Governance session might be a good starting point.
This week, we are lucky enough to welcome Sir Robin Bosher to the Learning Campus to work with a group of leaders. He is picking up key points from the proposed new Ofsted framework and will use his session to update colleagues and pose challenging and provocative questions. The bullet points below taken from his slides, might be a super starting point for discussion and/or debate.
Last week I encouraged you to keep an eye on Ofsted published reports to see emerging trends and steal ideas. I was reminded by Mark, the headteacher of Our Lady’s Roman Catholic School, that there was an even quicker way than going through the Ofsted website by visitingThank you Mark!
We are looking forward to welcoming delegates to the Spring term primary maths conference on Tuesday 12 March, 09.30-16.00 at the Learning Campus, Green Park. The day will be led by Sarah Hale, who used to work at Buckinghamshire Learning Trust as a maths consultant, and is now deputy headteacher and maths leader at Stone CE Combined School. She will be joined by Jess Beech, maths leader at High Ash School, who will lead and facilitate one of the sessions. The day will have a focus on ‘Challenge for All’ and will include the latest updates for maths leaders, strategies for identifying and supporting children with maths anxiety, practical ideas for challenge and tips for developing memory and vocabulary. There will also be the opportunity for colleagues to share best practice and learn from leaders still working in the classroom. If your colleagues have not already booked and would like to attend please e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, I was lucky enough to work with a group of Buckinghamshire governors one evening last week – a real privilege; sharing information about all things Ofsted related. It struck me again how much is asked of a group of volunteers, who give so tirelessly of their time, energy and skill set. The contribution governors can, and do make to a school is significant and yet I know, at times, the responsibility and amount of information you need to digest can feel overwhelming. At BLT we do value your commitment and dedication – thank you for all that you do. It is noticed and valued and, most importantly, makes a difference to children and young people. We are so lucky, as a community of schools, to have so many people prepared to give up their time to work to improve provision in schools by volunteering as a governor. Please don’t underestimate the difference your contribution makes.
‘The purpose of life… is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have a super week
Director of Education Standards
Additional Funding to Support Early Language Skills
The Children and Families Minister has announced that health visitors will receive additional training to identify speech, language and communication needs. Specialist training will be provided to 1,000 health visitors who work in the most deprived areas in an attempt to tackle the ‘word gap’ – the gap in communication skills between disadvantaged children and their peers.
Further details can be foundand the transcript of a speech given by Nadhim Zahawi to the School Readiness Conference on 28 February 2019 can be found
The Music Commissions: Retuning Our Ambition for Music Learning
The Music Commission has published a report exploring what it takes to make progress in music education.
The report, a result of an 18 month study, details 10 ambitions for music education in the 2020s and highlights that music teaching could be left behind if it does not keep up with technology.
The report can be found
Best Practice in Due Diligence
The Department for Education has published best practice guidance for due diligence processes for academy trusts, maintained schools and local authorities.
The guidance can be found
Maintained Nursery Schools: Contribution to Early Years Provision
The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has announced that the Department for Education is working with industry leaders to help make first class career-related learning a reality in all primary schools. Top industry professionals, including the British Chambers of Commerce and BP, will be involved in the careers education programme.
More details can be found