Independent Education Consultant Visit
For assurance the Trust Board contracted the services of an independent consultant to gain a view of school and Trust effectiveness. The visits were undertaken in November 2022.
The consultant reported,
'the golden threads for the Trust, and the priority given to these is palpable in each school'
- The Trust’s vision and values are embedded across each school through corridor and classroom displays. The SIP priorities are driven by: Teachers, Leaders, Governor’s, pupils will be the best they can be. Priorities for each school reflect the current position in the school and focus on addressing barriers to under achievement, as well as those areas that will have the biggest impact on school wide improvement, pupil outcomes and well- being. The key question: what is in the best interests of our children?” drives the Trust but also each school.
- A culture of high expectation and aspiration is modelled by senior leaders who are passionate for what pupils can achieve and determined to put in place strategies to achieve this. Everyone working in the school is provided with excellent opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills, and practice. Systems and processes are embedded. The schools are well resourced and equipped. Both these factors are significant contributory factors in teachers being able to “do their job” and focus on ensuring pupils learning experiences are the best they can be.
- Behaviour is a strength. Each school is calm, orderly, and purposeful. Pupils have a positive attitude to learning, and each school ensures that appropriate strategies are in place to support those who may struggle with this and to develop good working habits. The learning values of ROAR underpin this work, and this features as an embedded golden thread across the curriculum.
- Reading is given high priority and there is a determination that every pupil will learn to read with every opportunity provided for them to access rich texts to support their enjoyment of reading. Each school has a well-stocked library with a librarian. The schools create an excitement about new books and authors: with new releases being celebrated and systems in place for pupils to reserve these anticipated releases. The English curriculum is underpinned by well- informed choices of class texts which act as a stimulus and models for developing writers.
- Each school in the Trust has migrated to the same synthetic phonics programme, and each school is in the process of implementing this in Year R- Year 2.
- From Y1 onwards, when pupils have appropriate phonological awareness, along with reading fluency and reading stamina, they are introduced to “Accelerated Reader” This forms the basis of home reading provision. Incentives and rewards are in place for pupils who achieve agreed challenges: e.g., million- word reader and this is highly motivating for pupils because all teachers and leaders give this a high priority.
- The White Rose Scheme for mathematics is the chosen scheme across the Trust
- Care and attention has been given by the Trust in maintaining school accommodation to a high standard, The schools are light, attractive places to learn and work. Classrooms are well resourced. This extends to the grounds and outdoor classrooms for the youngest pupils.
Trust Feedback from the Chair of Governors at Sunny Bank
The Chair of the Local Governing Body was asked in a Trust Board meeting if the Governing Body felt supported by the Trust.....
Of course, you and the Trust are better than anyone we have had before but so much more than that, you made us feel that you WANTED to support us right from the start. You had the vision to see what could be achieved and the knowledge to get us there and were not afraid to make difficult decisions if necessary.
You supported myself and the GB at a difficult time, providing strength through 2 experienced governors from the other GB and Trust staff have always been made available to us as a school whenever we have needed their help and experience. I am sure COVID would have had a much bigger negative impact on our school without the guidance and support from the Trust and am not sure the New Building and Nursery would ever have been delivered.
We are in a so much better place now and to get an email with those comments from a parent shows the impact the Trust has had on every aspect of our school, helping every child 'to be the best that they can be.'
Please pass on my gratitude for all the Trust has done for Sunny Bank .