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GLT: Keeping the Complex Simple

Posted on: 18th Jun 2020

It is virtually impossible to summarise all the great ideas contained in this awesome webinar in a short blog post but we thought we would have a go at writing a top 20!

Before that, many thanks to Izzy Ambrose, Ben Parnell and Will Smith from Greenshaw Learning Trust for giving of their time so freely and for providing colleagues across the country with a highly thought provoking and engaging webinar.

From Will the key take aways were:

* It is as much about what you are going to stop doing as it is what you are going to do, as you cannot do everything.

* Leadership at every level (governance, executive leadership in schools, middle leadership).

* "Name on the tin?" - Who is responsible for what in school?

* Behaviour, values and culture matters.

* Curriculum quality (what are you going to teach and why?)

* Develop the quality of teaching and learning.

* Fun and togetherness.

* Improve outcomes for young people.

From Izzy, the key take aways were:

* The school systems used at Yate are not ground breaking, they were "stolen with pride" from a variety of schools.

* What we do is 'simple' but not 'easy'.

* Keep the messaging simple. The challenging thing is doing the simple things right day in, day out.

* Be forensic and don't drop the ball!

* Attack every single task with passion and dedication!

* Bold mission statement "A better chance of success" with leaders (Izzy) regularly taking the time to unpick what it means.

* Very high expectations in terms of academic outcomes coupled with world class music, sport and character education.

* The five school improvement priorities have remained constant:
- disruption free learning
- improving teaching and learning
- examination outcomes
- improving reading
- fun, positivity and togetherness

* In terms of disruption free learning, leaders need to "hold the line" on standards - every minute, every lesson, every day.

* If you work at the school, you commit to being the best teacher you can be. You have a developmental drop in with an actionable improvement step every two weeks.

* As Headteacher, what Izzy makes important becomes important and the number 1 priority is improving teaching and learning. Morning leadership team meetings start with talking about teaching and learning.

* Rich reading programme: tutor reading, phonics and DEAR (drop everything and read) time.

* Forensic approach to improving examination outcomes: Period 6, champions hour, slick exam season.

As above, a short blog post cannot do justice to a super presentation but I hope this captures some of the key school improvement ideas. Watching the webinar is highy recommended! 

Thanks once again to Izzy, Ben and Will.