Great Marlow school is a high performing secondary school in Buckinghamshire. A recent OFSTED deemed the school good with some outstanding practice. Geralyn Wilson the Head Teacher is determined to maintain high standards across the whole school and puts learning at the heart of the school’s target setting. She observes that changes to the OFSTED framework mean we must work even harder to maintain excellence in learning and teaching ensuring that the learner is at the heart of our planning, delivery and assessment across every department in the school. The focus on a much more learner centred approach means that those teachers judged outstanding previously may only meet the criteria for being a good teacher, a teacher who’s previous grade was good may now only be satisfactory.
The Head and the senior management team spent time reviewing their School Improvement Plan and how it is translated into a set of aims and then objectives that will ensure targets are met and standards raised. A half a day together gave them time to consider how well the plan was communicated and whether each member of staff understands how they can contribute to ensuring the whole school works towards becoming outstanding. They chose to use our SCOPE coaching programme to help them towards their goals.
A group of twelve staff were trained in a variety of coaching techniques that they could use with teachers across the school to help them to reflect on their practice, celebrate success and look for ways to improve and find solutions to issues and problems.
The new term has seen the coaches putting their skills into practice. Firstly as part of a whole school INSET to set the scene and explain how the coaches can support teachers to find solutions, reflect on their own teaching, celebrate their successes and give them time to review their own targets for ensuring excellence and improvement in learning across the school. Secondly a series of opportunities have been arranged for coaching sessions with individual teachers or in some cases groups of teachers who work with the coaches to find their own solutions and put into practice agreed actions. Follow up sessions are arranged to review progress and to continue the learning conversations.
At all stages the coaches are also considering the training and development needs that are emerging as a result of this focus and beginning to devise a planned programme of mini sessions to ensure that teachers have the resources and the skills to deliver the targets they have set for themselves.