A week in summary (Marc Rowland)
6 October 2017
Author: Marc Rowland
This week, Head of Rosendale Research School, Marc Rowlands, provides an insight into the work of the research school and gives us a few things to consider over the weekend.
At the coalface…
- I have worked with six schools in North Yorkshire on their strategy to improve outcomes for disadvantaged learners. It is part of a year-long programme called Achievement Unlocked, commissioned by North Yorkshire LA. This is the second cohort I have worked with. The results of the previous group can be found in this report: https://marcrowland.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/achievementunlocked-report.pdf
- The range of schools is huge, from a small, isolated rural school with just three classes, a secondary in Harrogate and a small secondly in Goole. Whilst the contexts vary considerably, the fundamental challenge to tackle educational inequality is to enable disadvantaged pupils to access highly skilled, highly qualified teachers and support staff. There are geographical and in-school barriers to achieving this. The thing that binds all the schools together is the need to improve the oral language, articulacy and vocabulary of their most vulnerable learners, improving their ability to be active, independent participants in their learning. In my view, this should be at the heart of school’s self-evaluation as they plan their Pupil Premium strategies. Be wary of separating out pastoral and academic interventions. They should be intertwined like the plaited rope.
- Speaking with Antony Hughes, CEO of the Harmony Trust in Oldham, about the work that he was led to help create a culture of reading for pleasure in every pupil.
- An email exchange with Chris Robertson, Deputy Headteacher at Scalby School in Scarborough about how they have improved and sustained outcomes for disadvantaged learners in an opportunity area.
- Seeing two years of work starting to embed in Jersey, where we have been implementing a version of Pupil Premium. Sean O’Regan and colleagues there are fantastic. The work they are doing is a great story in the making. https://www.gov.je/education/schools/childlearning/pages/jerseypremium.aspx
- Recognising the value of partnership. People like David Bartram, Caroline Boswell, Rob Webster and Sarah Sezelnyov of UCL IoE, Katharine Bruce at North Yorkshire County Council, Marie Horton at Swindon Borough Council, Victoria Flynn at Hampshire County Council have been very kind in helping us get going as a Research School.
- The value of taking time to talk and share what you are pleased about, what you are worried about to someone you can trust. It’s fundamental to a successful organisation.
- The Life and Death of Dith Pran by Sydney Schanberg. It is an extraordinary story. Cambodia is utterly captivating and heartbreaking at the same time. But also a reminder that friendships don’t always follow a simple flight path. http://faculty.kirkwood.edu/ryost/hist201/Holocaust/Cambodia/Schanberg1980part1.pdf
- I have been thinking about whether it is appropriate to smile when giving difficult messages…:)
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