A committee meeting at school today, where we had described how one now evaluates whether a pupil is likely to receive the exam results expected from the Key Stage 2 SATS. It’s quite complicated. It’s deemed that a child should make at least three stages of progress by the time of GCSEs and a good school should beat the national average, whereas an outstanding school should beat the national average at doing better than expected (so, if the pupil seems capable of it, they are encouraged to aim for four levels of progress). It’s all data driven and I can follow it and, given time, could even explain it, but I couldn’t enter all the data into the system. It does take a very good school to look beyond the statistics and think of the pupils as people. Ofsted is governed by statistics first and foremost, for the time being.
A new development this year is dialogic marking (which has a hard G, though it doesn’t look as if it has). Once a pupil writes an essay, he or she writes an evaluation of it, the teacher marks it and replies to the comments and the pupil can write back. It’s proving very interesting and helpful and really engages the children. Some examples were passed round and it was rather sweet that they all wrote ‘thank you’ after the teacher’s comments. Of course, it isn’t possible to do that with every piece of work, it would take far too long, but once in a while is very rewarding.
I’ve become a director of another company. Isn’t that absurd? It’s a subsidiary company of the academy, so it’s just another extension of being a governor. I never expected this sort of thing twenty-five years ago, though, when I first took on the job. It seems that this is a year of significant anniversaries of one sort and another, but I have little regard for them. Just another day, as far as I can see. A party is another matter entirely. That really is a red letter day.
By the way, Janerowena, you don’t know how to get here yet, do you? I haven’t any contact details for you, so do send an email.