General Staff Meeting and EDT Report

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

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In the afternoon of Wednesday, 6 April, Principal Gray spoke to all staff at the General Staff Meeting, at which he thanked colleagues for their fortitude, stamina and resilience throughout what has been a very difficult three months for everyone at school. He congratulated colleagues on the school reports which he found, on reading them and adding his own comments, extremely informative and helpful to students and parents. Almost without exception they commented on content of the teaching, the quality of student performance and the ways in which students could improve very specifically in each of the subjects they were studying. He is grateful to colleagues for having adopted this new system of reporting with an emphasis on commentary rather than grades. It will, in time, prove to be invaluable for the parents and students who read these reports. He also talked to staff about changes in security on campus, on behaviour of parents who chose not to be courteous and how this should be dealt with, and on the Governing Body’s intention to look carefully at salaries and allowances for 2022-2023 imminently.

He finished by commenting on the draft report of the Educational Development Trust. The inspector, Robin Attfield, who visited the school a couple of weeks ago was very impressed by changes which have been introduced, by a much more focused approach to learning by students, by the introduction of the Cambridge programme and approaches to critical thinking, by the introduction of the PSHE programme, the founding of the Support for Learning department and the monitoring and identification of learning difficulties in our students through a comprehensive screening programme. Overall, the report reads extremely well and once the Principal receives the final report, he shall circulate it to Governors and Staff and pick out highlights for parents. He pointed out that the inspector, whom we can regard as a critical friend, identified as considerations for the next year, to revive work on differentiation especially in the Primary Sections, to consider how the work of teaching assistants can support learning in the Infants’ Section and the Primary Sections, particularly for students who find learning more challenging, to review the use of space across the school to serve emerging needs and, in the Upper School, to provide a suitable learning environment which reflects on our plans before the lockdown and the collapse of the currency and to transform Upper School classrooms. He also identified as concerns to work on, to continue to support staff development and inclusion, to consider the appointment of an academic coordinator support to support progression from KG up to Grade 6 especially in terms of the Cambridge curriculum and to develop a formalized method of target setting and tracking progress for individual students. Principal Gray shall write further about Mr Attfield’s comments once he receives the final report.