Welcome back to the spring term and a Happy New Year, I hope you all managed to have a decent break and spend some time with your families.

At the end of last term, I was delighted to receive a number of festive cards from colleagues in schools. One of those being a rather large envelope from Christ Church School, Hampstead with a 2019 calendar enclosed which has been created around the Happiness Project. The Happiness Project is a twelve- week positive mental health initiative, which was delivered across the whole school during the last autumn term. Each calendar month is dedicated to a given theme associated with the Happiness Project, each looking at a different way in which children could recognise and then have an impact on their own and others’ happiness. The theme for January is about the importance of setting goals for the year and understanding the steps we need to take to achieve these goals and how this can make us happy. If you would like to find out more information, see Christ Church School – Happiness Project.

In the final week leading up to the Christmas break, secondary Chairs of Governors met for their termly meeting, with the agreed focus on the curriculum. A discussion ensued on the shared research, the potential changes to the framework and its possible implications for Camden’s schools. The key points that were discussed was the stated intention of ensuring that inspection judgements reflected the wider quality of education in the school and supported a broader curriculum. Governors felt that a statement regarding Camden’s curriculum principles would be welcome. It was also agreed that certain principles were common to Camden’s secondary schools, including the desire to maintain as broad a curriculum as possible, including opportunities to study arts subjects, the need to reflect the environment with Camden/central London and to maximise the opportunities the borough’s location afforded to students.

We recognised that Ofsted would be trialling the new inspection framework and that they had approached some Camden schools to participate. If those schools choose to participate, then there would be the potential for some valuable shared learning, as well as informing a Camden response to the consultation on the new framework. No doubt, there will be more of this subject as we progress through 2019.

All the best for the year ahead.

Jon Abbey

Managing Director, Camden Learning


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