Age range: 3–11
Number of pupils: 262
Self-review framework lead: Beverley Bessey, ICT subject leader
Self-review framework completion: Over 10 meetings
Headteacher Lynne Sproson is very enthusiastic about her school’s use of the self-review framework. She feels that the process gave staff a clearer view of how well they were doing compared with other schools, both locally and nationally.
“Using the self-review framework gave us a real boost. By helping us to identify and celebrate what we had already achieved, it raised the self-esteem of staff, helped to develop their practice with ICT and clarified our areas for development.”
Prompted by the then ICT subject leader, Beverley Bessey, Lynne considered how they might approach the review and decided to ensure that all staff had the opportunity to contribute to the process. The level descriptors and guidance were put into booklets and each element was then debated over eight staff meetings so that all views could be taken into consideration.
“This gave rise to much heated discussion. The levels that best matched the school’s position were discussed at length and all views considered carefully so that a consensus could be reached and summarised via the web tool online.” The whole process took about a term and a half.
“We considered a wide range of other evidence as well as staff opinions – including assessment data, action plans, termly monitoring reports (in all subjects, not just ICT) and lesson observations. Pupils’ views were also considered through discussions with small groups, and a parental questionnaire was used to gain information on pupils’ home access to ICT and what they used it for.”
Clear developments in the school’s ICT work have followed on from using the self-review as a result of staff working together to identify and prioritise what needed doing. These have included the creation of a media centre to make creative use of new media such as radio, TV and video. Daily news podcasts are now prepared each morning during the school’s breakfast club by a different group of pupils each day and include news in community languages such as Polish, Tagalog and Punjabi. The school has also extended its use of simple video cameras across all years (including stop-motion animation) and there is increased use both by teachers and pupils of video and still cameras to record work for assessment purposes.
Using the self-review framework has also enabled the school to develop its thinking in relation to broader agendas. Lynne says,
“We have considered how ICT can support the way we take forward the creative and innovative aspects of our curriculum. It has also helped us to improve our work with harder-to-reach pupils by motivating them to use media such as radio and TV.”
Lynne advises other schools to be well organised in their approach to the framework and to make sure all staff have the opportunity to have a say.
“The key is to have a well structured plan and a clear timescale. It is vital that all staff are fully involved so they have ownership of the process and have the opportunity to consider and celebrate what the school has already achieved in ICT terms, as well contributing to the identification of what is needed to move forward.”