Challenge Partners Report 2018
11th December 2018
Dear Parents and Carers
Re: Challenge Partners Review Report of Wyedean School
19th- 21st November 2018
As you are aware Wyedean School received its OfSTED inspection earlier this year in January as part of our regular inspection cycle from the Department for Education. Wyedean School has developed a highly effective school improvement strategy over the last three years to ensure our standards of education are measured against the very best of schools and we are continuously focussed on our commitment to be a high performing outward facing school for our local community that we serve.
We became a member of Challenge Partners to ensure as a stand-alone academy to be a part of a dynamic collaborative network of over 400 of the best schools in England working together to raise standards and aspirations of education for our young people, as well as giving our teachers a partnership to ensure they are involved with a range of schools seeing what the very best are doing in education. Challenge Partners originally started off as the London Challenge which was a unique collaboration of schools in the capital who developed a collaborative school improvement network which saw an astonishing rise in the rates of educational standards and outcomes for all those involved. The Challenge Partners approach consists of national membership as well as our membership of a local hub of schools that work together regularly throughout the year including all our senior leaders being trained and taking part in review teams of other schools. The school review takes place over three days every year and concentrates on school leadership, teaching & learning and educational outcomes. This is led by an experienced senior reviewer and supported by four senior leaders from other schools. The peer review consists of a critical challenge of the school through lines of enquiry taken from the school’s results, school improvement assessment and strategy, lesson observations, data and meetings. The Challenge Partners approach to school review consists of looking at “WWW” – What Went Well and “EBI” – Even Better If; “done with the school and not to the school. The Department of Education and OfSTED have looked at the Challenge Partners model closely as it reviews its own procedures on how to work with schools checking and supporting raising standards in school.
More details of Challenge Partners and our reviews can be found on our website please click HERE.
Please click HERE to visit the Challenge Partners website.
Wyedean School received this year’s review in November by a team led by Helen Cox and the review is now available for our school community. I am extremely proud of the findings that endorse the hard work of all colleagues, governors and students at Wyedean supported by our parents and carers. The strength of our school is our wider school community but also our common ambition to ensure that we never rest on our laurels and our commitment is to keep making sure we are improving the educational outcomes and opportunities through compelling learning and an innovative holistic curriculum for all our young people in our caring and inclusive school. I will let you read the report but I would like to share a few quotes that illustrate what we are proud of at Wyedean School.
The strong ethos for learning and the collective and collaborative culture that supports students and staff ‘the Wyedean Way’ is palpable. Leaders are determined to make sure that each individual achieves highly and benefits fully from the many opportunities offered. Wyedean is a very strong community, where expectations are high, learning is for all and engagement is the norm. Students and staff feel strongly supported and are rightly extremely proud to be members of the Wyedean family.
Students talk about the support and care that all teachers give them and are confident that there is always someone there to help them when they need it. For example, students value the very popular student support area. Sixth form students articulated this well: “The staff here really care about us and go out of their way to help us do the best we can. They’re more like friends really”. Equally, staff stay at the school as they know that they are valued and are encouraged and supported to become the best.
Teachers have high expectations of student learning in and outside lessons. These expectations are reflected in the quality of outcomes seen in students’ books throughout the school. Students expect to engage with the lesson from the moment the teacher greets them at the classroom door. Routines are very well established so starts and transitions are swift and orderly. Teachers have high expectations of behaviour too. Consequently, students settle down to work without fuss and stick to their tasks. Lessons are conducted in a purposeful manner. Well-planned lessons and very positive, supportive relationships also make sure that no time is wasted and that students’ active and enthusiastic engagement in learning is well promoted. Teachers use praise effectively and readily. Teacher modelling and scaffolding supports students to build their learning up in steps and blocks. In the best lessons, teachers use these strategies to develop students’ confidence and encourage them to gradually take responsibility for leading their own learning. In these lessons, vibrant learning environments and a range of resources are used to support learning very well. Students recognise and appreciate that teachers know their strengths and where they need more support. As a result, they rise to the challenge and want to do well for their teachers and the school, as well as themselves. Students take pride in their written work, which is of a high standard.
Thank you to all parents and carers for your continued support of Wyedean School. I am personally so very proud of what we are all achieving and have achieved together for our young people and community at Wyedean School over the last few years especially against an uncertain educational landscape. We don’t take anything for granted. We keep focussed on getting our school right recognising we do get some things wrong but together we learn, we reflect, we problem solve and in humility we have common purpose to ensure our students are at the centre of everything we do as a school with our families in partnership. Most of all I am proud of the incredible young people of this school and community reflected in this Review report and it is our privilege to have your trust to educate and nurture them onto the next stages of their lives. To read the full report please click HERE