The end of another week and one where our focus has been on behaviour for learning. That's not to be mistaken for behaviour but the two are linked. When we think about behaviour we often think of students either doing what they are told or not. But it's not that black and white. Behaviour for learning is behaviour that enables and embodies learning. Some of you will have been in meetings or conferences and looked around the room for a moment. Who are the people who are fully engaged? Usually they lean forward, ask questions, make notes, nod and so on. And what about the others? They lean back, cross their arms, doodle, drift off. The same happens in schools. But our job in schools is to ensure our students are the ones engaging with learning and not drifting. That word drift suggests a lack of direction and control of our final destination. Without positive engagement in class, this is what happens in lessons.

We didn't see much drifting this week thankfully. But we didn't see as much of the positive behaviours we would have liked. The bar, therefore, is going to be raised. I challenge our students to take a risk in class, get something wrong, offer an opinion, ask a question, take part in debate. All of these actions (and many more) are behaviours for learning. They generate thinking. And when thinking happens, learning normally follows. The onus however is not just on the students; it is on us too. It is our job to create the climate for thinking and for making mistakes and for questions to be welcomed so we will be raising the bar with our teachers as well! Our mission is to ensure every student is actively engaging and learning in every lesson because if they do, they will make swifter progress than ever before.

Looking forward to next week and we will continue to drop into classes to get a feel of the learning and to look through the students' books. This is a vital part of our evaluation of the school and gives us some brilliant insight the student experience. In most subjects the books are the evidence of learning and feedback and this dialogue between students and teachers is vital. It's also great to see students helping each other in books and often we see evidence of peer marking, guided by the teacher or a mark-scheme. This type of learning works particularly well. It really focusses students in on actively collaborating with their peers and engaging with a clear success criteria. From all of this work we can establish our next steps and plan how we can improve that experience even further.

To help us improve in other ways, we will also be asking for feedback students in the coming weeks. These will be sent out in the coming days and will work in tandem with 'The Big Ask', a national survey designed by the Children's Commissioner. Mrs Eastham leads on student voice and  equality and diversity and she will be writing to parents with more details shortly.

Lastly, I want to thank my staff for all their work in resetting our standards this week and pushing embed the INSPIRED values we hold dear at LECA. The school is looking refreshed and welcoming to our students and the efforts they have made to safely welcome them back into normal classrooms has been immense. I am, as always, really proud of all them.

 

Scott Gaskins

Principal, LECA