What did you learn, individually and as a school, as a result of the enquiry process?
The enquiry process for me has highlighted how essential it is for our learners to work together. The community we provide for our learners is essential in supporting their progress. We can do this by ensuring that their views are taken into account and by working with their parents, our leaders, our staff and governors. Further, the wider cluster work with The North Gower Partnership has been essential in ensuring that our curriculum offer at Llanrhidian is equitable and in line with the new curriculum. It is essential that we know our learners, we know where they are and we know where they need to go next, this is also true for our school as a whole. Taking on this project as part of a AoLE team for literacy has meant that the project extended far beyond its original purpose of improving reading. Instead it facilitated staff development and an understanding of whole school progression and consistency. The project also allowed us to understand the need to include both active and passive teaching approaches in our setting but as the research suggests, showed that implementation of these strategies is most effective when we know our learners. In this context, we know that our learners both enjoy and benefit from being more active in their GRaSp independent activities as they feel more challenged and more listened to. Finally, it has given additional confidence in our LUA approach, teaching pupils so that they learn, allowing them to practise so that they understand and providing opportunities for them to apply new skills.
What worked well?
This enquiry process enhanced the research skills and understanding of enquiry across our staff and pupils. It also allowed us to really start to embed new processes and look for opportunities to apply our learning in areas beyond the project, for example how to take this into maths or science. The project has given our AoLE teams an additional purpose and has allowed us to work with a range of data to provide a thorough and rich picture of reading and GRaSp time. Finally, it has given us information about progression in reading that will be invaluable moving forward.
What was more of a challenge?
Time is a challenge with projects, ensuring that we timetabled meetings and had our data collected an analysed in order to meet the project deadlines.
Steps to develop a culture of enquiry...
- All staff are leaders in curriculum areas
- Provide time and space to discuss and implement enquiries
- Create a non threatening culture for professional development in the school
- Provide opportunities for whole staff discussions
- Know where you are and where you want to be
- Be flexible with ideas and be prepared to change the plan
- Be honest about evaluations
- Include as many stake holders as possible in the process including the pupils themselves
Evaluating the impact of enquiry...
- Enquiry has allowed leaders across progression steps to work together more frequently
- Provided a whole school understanding of progression in reading
- Inspired ideas in other areas of the curriculum
- Provided a purpose for developing new ideas e.g., new engagement days for reading
- Provided opportunities for pupils to see they have been listened to and have impacted change
- Provided robust evidence for self evaluation