How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice?
The learning journey of this school can be used as a stimulus to explore possible improvement actions that can be taken in your own establishment.
- What partnerships are we developing to ensure a curriculum that engages all learners?
- To what extent are staff empowered to develop inclusive practice?
- Calderglen invited a parent to contribute to professional development. What opportunities are there in our school to engage parents in a similar way?
Explore this exemplar
Calderglen High School, a mainstream secondary school in South Lanarkshire, is part of a learning community with its campus school Sanderson High School which caters for young people with moderate and complex additional support needs. It was selected to take part in a Raising Achievement project in 2014 which was run by the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education.
The other two Learning Communities involved with the school-based work were from Italy and Poland.
The three Learning Communities identified some key issues as a focus for the practical work including:
- Sustaining school development
- Increasing the capability of the workforce
- Developing a curriculum and pedagogical approaches that motivate and engage all learners
- Increasing the learner voice in assessment and learning
- Working with parents and the local community
The positive outcomes which emerged from the activities of the Learning Communities included:
- the development of strategies to increase staff engagement
- increased parental involvement
- closer collaboration with the wider community (e.g. neighbourhood schools, universities)
- the examination of pedagogy for deep learning
- the implementation of the 'growth mindset' learning approach
- cross disciplinary teaching to provide a more relevant curriculum
- an increased focus on self-review and an examination of the 'quality' of inclusive practice
- professional development for staff.
At Calderglen a variety of initiatives were established following a review of inclusive practice.
Calderglen High School have reported an increase in the attainment levels and positive post school destinations of the pupils whose attainment is in the lowest 20%, attributed to work undertaken as part of the project.
Involvement in the project has allowed the school to learn directly from others promoting inclusion and inclusive learning across Europe. Elizabeth White, Headteacher of Calderglen High School explains:
'Involvement in this project has allowed us access to a wide range of sources and resources on inclusion, many of which have been used to further support classroom teachers in meeting the needs of all. As well as networking with educators from across Europe, we have also benefited from Skype meeting with two specialists in inclusive education from the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education and their invaluable support has shaped our plans for improvement.
Ms White spoke about how the school has embraced a number of new approaches such as the introduction of a new mentor system, the use of parents in delivering in-service training to all staff and the increased sharing, planning and design of new courses and assessment standards across schools.
There are also plans for joint Rights Made Real Initiatives across the two schools outlining rights and responsibilities in pupil, staff and parents charters.
The journey of the learning community is captured in this PDF file: Calderglen High School's Journey.
The following videos and PDF’s highlight some of the work undertaken during the project.
Professional Development of staff
A science teacher explains how his membership of a staff group 'Meeting learners Needs' helped him to improve differentiation in his classroom and led to increased confidence in supporting young people with a range of additional support needs
Link to video on YouTube - Working Groups: Meeting Learner's Needs.
A parent of a young person with additional support needs shares her perspective on transition and partnership with school staff
Link to video on YouTube - Meeting Needs from a parent's perspective.
Developing a curriculum and pedagogical approaches that motivate and engage all learners
Meeting learners needs and raising achievement through widening the curriculum.
Link to video on YouTube - Working Groups: Meeting Learner's Needs through the Curriculum.
The implementation of the 'Growth Mindset'
A support assistant describes the personal impact of the Growth Mindset approach.
Link to video on YouTube - ASN Assistant: Adopting a Growth Mindset.