Jill Sweeney, Headteacher of Aston Manor Academy in Birmingham, has visited a number of schools since joining the Midlands regional headteacher network for secondary schools. Here she outlines how one particular visit led her to revise her own school’s approach to improving outcomes for the more able.
“Sometimes you go to another school with a different demographic or in a different location and find they’ve got a way of doing things that you just haven’t thought of, and you can see immediately the benefits and impact.
That’s how it was when we spent a day at Caludon Castle hearing about their Take it Further initiative and seeing how this was embedded in the classroom through a learning walk, talking to students and looking in books.
The school was rigorous in asking us to look for evidence of how well this was working which we recorded and then fed back verbally, allowing for a rich discussion in the group around strategies which are having a positive impact on the learning of the most able.”
Back at Aston Manor Academy, Jill linked up a member of staff with the Assistant Head and Leader of the most able at Caludon Castle so they could share ideas and see how best to adapt the strategy for pupils at Aston Manor. The impact is borne out in their outcomes data, with above average 0.44 Progress 8 scores in KS4