At Scholes (Elmet) Primary, we regularly seek the views of others. Last month, we let you know about feedback from:
- children (see news article on 28 January, 2019, deriving from the Feedback Forms we ask our children to complete a couple of times a year)
- Leeds Health and Safety Advisors (news article on 31 January 2019, deriving from a Health and Safety inspection)
- Leeds Early Years Advisor (news article on 15 January 2019, deriving from a visit to Nursery and Reception classes)
In January, we also collected the views of staff for the second time in recent years. We asked staff to complete a survey with questions that Ofsted use during inspections (very much like the survey we ask parents and carers to complete in the Summer term). The survey was completed by 29 staff (in any role – premises staff, lunchtime supervisors, teachers, teaching assistants…). Here are some key findings:
100% of staff agree that our school has improved since it was last inspected, with 93% believing the school has improved a lot.
(These percentages exclude two staff members who are new to school and can’t comment on improvements since the inspection). Comments include: ‘Huge improvements to learning behaviours, assessment and especially teaching and learning.’ and ‘I feel that the school has a more positive vibe about it.’
100% thought the school was well-led and managed (of those who expressed an opinion).
‘There’s a clear and focused vision for the school.’ and ‘We are pushed to be the best we can be…’ were two of four comments made (all were positive).
100% approved how leaders support staff to manage behaviour (of those who were able to comment).
All the comments were positive: ‘Good whole school behaviour strategy which is monitored and maintained through regular discussions.’ and ‘Leaders regularly discuss keeping learning behaviour tight.’
We were also pleased to receive these two comments which came later in the survey: ‘I find the children take the warning system seriously and adhere to it.’ and ‘Over the 10 years working the lunchtime period, the children are better behaved than any other year.’
100% of staff agree that pupils are safe at this school, 83% agreeing strongly to the statement.
(One respondent didn’t feel in a position to comment and isn’t included here). Comments include: ‘With the use of weekly statements, living and learning ‘circle times’ and whole school assemblies, children know how to look after each other. Children have a range of ways to get help when needed.’ and ‘Children know what to do if they have a concern and who to talk to. The curriculum is designed to help children think about their safety in all aspects of life.’
96% of those who expressed an opinion agreed that leaders and managers are considerate of their well-being.
‘Senior leaders and a number of other staff members have been extremely supportive…’
100% felt that being in a federation benefits this school.
(A small group didn’t feel in a position to express an opinion). Comments include: ‘Planning can occasionally be shared between schools as well as ideas for learning in different contexts and environments.’ and ‘It’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off, and who understands when I need to off-load!’
We asked staff to comment in an open-ended question about the strengths of our school. Some of the many strengths they mentioned are:
- ‘Great leadership, continuously improving behaviour management, fun and new learning opportunities.’
- ‘A common sense approach to ensuring that things are done that lead to progress and not done for the sake of it.’
- ‘Trying to get every child to reach their full potential.’
- ‘Consistency across the classes.’
- ‘High expectations of excellence.’
- ‘Good behaviour policies.’
- ‘Team work and shared vision – most members of staff working together to drive improvement forward.’
- ‘Like the staff, children work together and discuss challenges openly.’
- ‘A strong leadership team that is supportive of all teachers.’
- ‘Individual children are valued and cared for. Staff are fully committed to the wellbeing of the pupils. Pupils and their needs come first and there is a high expectation for their intellectual learning too.’
- ‘A clear vision of what needs to be done to bring about improved outcomes for children.’
- ‘Leaders know what needs to be done and are implementing steps to continue improving outcomes for our children.’
We’re always wanting to keep getting better and better. Based on the survey, the areas to develop are to support teaching assistants more with performance management and professional development: ‘To continue to develop support staff to be fully effective in their roles.’ Like so many schools across the country, we also want to be even more mindful of teachers’ work-life balance to ensure their wellbeing. Others things mentioned were:
- ‘Pupil progress and how it is evident.’
- ‘To continue to build on progression within all subjects.’
- ‘To continue in the same vein of improvement and equipping staff to be amazing teachers.’
- ‘I feel that slightly more time could be spent celebrating staff and student successes whether it be work produced in books or on displays, lesson ideas/slides, fun learning games and so on.’
- ‘Consolidate the outcomes from 2018.’
- ‘Securing consistently good attainment and progress outcomes for our children, year on year.’
Finally, we asked staff if they had any other comments. These included:
- ‘I am very happy working at this school. I have positive relationships with my peers and senior leaders. I completely believe that Scholes Primary is very much on a journey to being considered an ‘outstanding’ school and I’m glad to be a part of that.’
- ‘The school has made rapid progress over the last two years.’
- ‘The school is a lovely place to work. Children are polite and staff are easy to get a long with.’
- ‘Staff have worked tirelessly and relentlessly to improve the areas identified by Ofsted, and others, hopefully ensuring the next inspection will be good or outstanding.’
- ‘The school is a positive place to work.’
- ‘2/3 years ago I didn’t think that the school particularly required improvement. However, seeing the changes that have been made since the inspection, there was obviously lots to be done! As a member of staff, I think morale is better than it’s ever been. As a parent, I feel my children are progressing well. Huge thanks to Mr Roundtree for turning this school around!’
- ‘The school has made vast improvements since our last inspection. As a middle leader, I now feel that I have an effective role in the school’s journey. The priorities and actions for my subject area are now taken into account by senior leaders and I feel that I have autonomy for my subject area.’
- ‘I am very proud to work at Scholes (Elmet) Primary School. The staff who I work with are great – they make a fantastic team.’
Thank you to all staff for supporting our school, and a special thanks to those who completed the survey.