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What was done?
Each of the four schools involved identified numeracy as a shared focus for their work based on whole school self-evaluation processes. In addition, analysis of the SSLN results identified key aspects of numeracy which aligned with development needs highlighted in school data.
Agreement from the school leadership team that the school has capacity for peer visits is essential. In this exemplar, one school had very good peer visit processes well embedded and this informed the model chosen. This involved two teachers and one DHT / HT visiting classes for observation and reflection on a rotational basis.
As the approach requires both collegiate time and INSET time, it is essential to build plans into the school Working Time Agreement. This particular plan did not rely on practitioners using Non-class Contact Time to support the visits. As the visits needed to take place during the school day, additional supply cover had to be funded and sourced. In this case, 29 teachers each undertook 3 reciprocal visits with a cost of approximately £8,000 attached.
Practitioners needed a shared understanding of key approaches and expectations so joint sessions were planned on action enquiry, lesson study and How good is our school? (4th edition) (HGIOS?4), particularly quality indicators 1.3 Leadership of learning and 2.3 Learning, Teaching and Assessment.
Teachers were grouped into trios from across the four schools. These were by stage rather than level.
Two supported planning sessions took place on an INSET day and during a twilight collegiate session. Teachers identified appropriate aspects of numeracy to develop further. Evidence used included teacher observation, analysis of standardised assessment, SSLN results and teacher professional judgement. Common themes of fractions, %, graphs, data all featured repeatedly in trio plans. A detailed lesson was planned using the NAR flowchart structure with a high emphasis on Higher Order Thinking Skills and plenaries.
All teachers collaborated to consider the three key questions all groups would consider and reflect upon and identified any additional Challenge questions pertinent from HGIOS?4.
The programme of visits began where the planned lesson was taught by each teacher to their own class and then a reflective conversation took place between the teachers using the planned challenge questions. There was a clear focus on children’s outcomes throughout.
The process is being evaluated and responses collated.