It has been an extremely busy week, beginning with the London Education Partnerships meeting for our regular termly session, chaired by Christine Gilbert. I find this meeting very useful, it provides an opportunity to hear what the other London Education Partnerships are up to, gauge their progress against our own and where possible pick their brains over common topical issues. Our partnerships are at different points of maturation, but the shared learning is invaluable and Christine has organised us into a couple of working groups to look at peer challenge and also the Post 16 piece.
Camden Learning Board met this week, specifically to look at the Commission and progress with the White British Disadvantage Project, which has been in existence for a few years. The Commission clearly outlines the ambition that outcomes for White British Disadvantage improve at a swifter rate than those of all pupils, thus reducing the gap. Broadly, the data is beginning to suggest that there are improvements for WHBR at the end of KS2 and also at GCSE, however a stubborn gap still remains. The opportunity to present at the Board provides a chance for collective debate and suggestions enabling us to think about how this network progresses over the next period of the Commission. We agreed that an external review of progress to date would be useful, we could then use this to capitalise on the distilled practice and wisdom that exists, pointing towards co-production of a model, with parental engagement and pupil attendance at the heart this.
On Wednesday evening, Julian Turner (Chair at Acland Burghley School) chaired an engaging and enjoyable session with secondary Chairs of Governors around the topic of the curriculum. Increasingly, over the next few months, governors are going to be engaged in conversations with their schools over the intent, implementation and impact of their school’s curriculum. We acknowledged that much of governors’ time is spent scrutinising the data, but not necessarily the curriculum (including sequencing of learning, mapping and curriculum cohesion). There were some key themes and questions from the session, which included:
- How do we demonstrate (as governors) strategic thinking about the school curriculum?
- How does the curriculum capture the ethos and values?
- How does the curriculum promote progress of various groups of students?
- How does the curriculum benefit from the local community?
No doubt, this debate and work will continue and we in Camden Learning are beginning to consider how we outline and capture the essence of a curriculum approach locally.