Sunday, 20 July 2014

Students or Systems?

A constant battle going on with my thinking is what do we start with? Systems or students?

Students are important?

Do systems support students or make life easier for staff?

It always comes back to "what will impact more positively for students?" How is this using a growth mindset? What are we thinking?

Over the last few weeks we have been doing a lot of self review. This has included reviewing our induction for staff, induction for students, reporting to parents, SENCO and pastoral care.

The challenge for us has been around the systems that usually dictate how these areas function. From our first conversations as a team, we were determined to challenge everything we would usually do, and not start with teacher or management driven systems.

The rational behind this was that generally systems are in place to support staff. Often they have no impact on students learning or growth. With this in mind, everything we have developed has come from a student centred approach.

This approach has caused some angst, however, starting with the students and forgetting about how it will impact on staff often leads to great conversations. It leads to co-constructing the systems or strategies together as a team. Looking for ways of impacting on the students the most with our practice.

An area we have just realised we need a stronger system around is tracking those students who aren't "at" the SENCO level but need challenge or support. We co-constructed a way of identifying the students and created a clear pathway for the practice of the staff to impact on these students. The system fell out of a need rather than driving it without a clear purpose. With a clear purpose, the buy in from staff improves and the use, fits the need.

Creating systems to meet the needs of students has been challenging, but, so rewarding, to still see the students being the key focus. The work around this is not more, it's just different.

ERO this week, maybe that will clarify some of the thinking?

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