Fresh ways of teaching and a new ethos are helping to turn a primary school around.
Education: Primary / Tue 26th Nov 2013 pm30 12:54pm
WHEN headteacher Gill Doyle arrived at Roydon Primary School two years ago, she started out on a journey to create a school Ofsted would class as first good and ultimately outstanding.
Her first challenges were to ensure all teaching provision was either good or outstanding and to develop a culture of positive behaviour and respect.
Now, children and staff are praised by parents and visitors for being happy, motivated and creating an inspirational environment.
Mrs Doyle said: “I think this school is fabulous. We have incredibly well behaved children who have immense energy for learning.
The team around me are very skilled, dedicated to the children and committed to the jobs they do.
“We are continuously appraising our position in terms of children’s progress and our teaching and learning. Everything we do is geared towards improvement, whether that be through discussions with teachers and the senior leadership team, exploring ideas with the parent forum, working with the governing body or valuing children’s ideas in class council and school council. Everyone in the school is on the same journey.
“Our children only have one chance at primary education so it is our duty to make it the best it can be.”
Teaching has taken on a far more pupil-led structure, with each class having three target levels on display for that day’s lesson. Children are given the responsibility of choosing which level they are aiming for, with three star learning being the most challenging.
Mrs Doyle, who arrived at the school, in Epping Road, Roydon, in January 2012, said: “You would think children would want to choose the easy option, take the one star level and get finished quicker. But, we find our pupils want to stretch themselves, they want to prove to themselves and everyone else they can achieve more. The sense of pride they have in that shows. Children come up to me during breaks and are so proud to tell me they have been a three star learner that day. The children have a powerful role in terms of their own learning.”
Every class now has a voice with class council and children know how to handle difficult situations and have trust in the adult team if they need support.
The children have selected eight values they feel sum up Roydon Primary School and these are illustrated around the school. They are –
Mrs Doyle said: “The school’s ethos is very aspirational and our expectations are high. That is starting to pay off. We are still on our journey, but now it is about strengthening the foundations we have put in place and making our systems even more robust.