Paper on What Makes a Good School - Staff, Student and Parents at the Aspiration School Celebrating Their Recent OFSTED Report

Paper on What Makes a Good School - Staff, Student and Parents at the Aspiration School Celebrating Their Recent OFSTED Report

The staff, student and parents at the aspiration school celebrated their recent OFSTED report, with tea and cakes in the school hall on Friday the 25th November. Ofsted reported the school to be a much more effective school than it was 2 years ago. Through a determined and purposeful leadership and management the school is now effectively promoting good behaviour and positive attitudes and relationships. It is beginning to see the benefit of this approach in the standards achieved by students. Improved teaching has led to better attitudes and higher achievement.

The Ofsted report went on to describe what the school was now doing well:
Students’ attitudes to learning are good and standards are improving, assessment data are used well to identify priorities and meet students’ needs. Provision for social and educational inclusion is good.
Staff say the head teacher provides very good leadership, in particular with a strong team of senior staff. Staff feel well supported in their roles and are said to feel very valued as members of their school and community.
Employers are jumping at the chance to employ many of the year 11 students for apprenticeships etc. They say the qualities of students are much better than in other neighbouring schools.
Parents summarise the Aspiration School as putting the the students first, investing in the staff and nurturing their communities. They have been very positive about the progress made by their son/daughter. The improved attitudes is not only evident at school, but at home and in the wider community.

There are many criteria that are the basis of a good school. A good school caters for not only the students but also the other key stake holders: staff, media, employers, and parents.
Students
A good school goes the extra mile to make the teacher student relationship friendlier. It offers an academically challenging environment for all students and the teachers make the students developmentally responsive and are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence and respect the needs and interest of the students. A good school will look after all the aspects of their personality and bring all the good traits of the students to the forefront in raising the standards of pupil attainment and helping every child realise their potential.
It does all this by: creating more engaging lessons, getting the students’ interest and impacting on their progress and ensuring good effective lesson for all students as “there is a direct relationship between lack of variety in lessons and poor behaviour”
While doing this, all learning styles are accommodated in every lesson. Outside the lessons all students are traeated individually and a variety of interventions are in place to ensure the progress of all students.
Listening to students, valueing their views and reflecting and acting on them is another key element thet you will find is evident in a good school. Indivisual assertive mentoring should be part of the course too. Involving students in decision-making in the school and giving them responsibility is a key imperative in wanting to create a school ethos and culture that is filly inclusive

Staff

Good leaders are everywhere and Leithwood et al (1999) said ‘we are coming to believe that leaders are those people who “walk ahead, people who are genuinely committed deep change in themselves and in their organisations. They lead through developing new skills, capabilities and understandings. And they come from many places within the organisations’

This implies there are many potential good leaders in schools and that a good school looks for them, building their leadership qualities and good schools use them to help raise standards. Good Schools should all be concerned about how to share leadership, rather than how to hold onto it as a sole source of power and change. SLT are always looking at supporting staff and their career progression even if it does mean loosing those staff to proptions in other school.

Staff are alwas content when the school is creating and securing commitment to a clear vision, managing change so as to improve the school. A good SLT team are building a high performing team which is inspiring motivation and influencing staff and always leading by example and taking responsibility.
Listening to staff is key in order to develop an ethos where problem solving and decisions are taken, change is managed by consencus and democracy reather than autocracy.
All this does not happen by chance, but by highly reflective, careful planning and implementing strategies.

The leadership have clear and unshakeable principles and a sense of purpose, courage and conviction with an insistence on consistency of approach, individually and across the organisation and finally a belief in people
The good school tends to have a very strong team culture, which is so powerful that new staff are quickly assimilated into it. The school is seens as a joint venture that is as strong as its weakest link and both the quality and quantity of communication are considered important in maintaining this kind of culture.