There are two schools in the Trust, Northwick Park which became an Academy in December 2014 and Leigh Beck that joined the Trust as a sponsored Academy in March 2015.
The Trust has recently expanded by appointing two additional Directors, one has financial expertise and the other an Education background. The Northwick Park Governing body has seven members. A separate Governing Body has been set up at Leigh Beck from January 2017. All Parents have a voice through the Parent Councils. Both schools also have Staff Councils, School Councils and Learning Ambassadors. Parent surveys are conducted annually. Whole school and phase pupil surveys are regularly carried out. The Academy website is linked to the schools separate websites (these are currently being updated).
The Head Teacher of Northwick Park is the Executive Head Teacher of Leigh Beck and has responsibility for the strategic development and running of the schools. She leads the Senior Leadership Team of an acting Head of School, an acting Deputy Head Teacher and an Assistant Head Teacher. The Senior Leadership Team at Northwick Park is a substantive Deputy Head Teacher (part time), an Acting Deputy Head Teacher and five Assistant Head Teachers. One of whom is currently seconded part time to the Royal Opera House Bridge.
Both schools are fully staffed, staff turbulence is low and recruitment and retention of staff is not an issue. The Trust also works closely with several ITT providers.
Members of the individual SLT’s are also members of the MAT SLT. This meets regularly to ensure consistency across policy and procedure. School improvement priorities are reflected in individual Performance Management targets and are set across the MAT taking into account the individual characteristics of the schools. For example pupils expected rates of progress are similar but end of Key Stage outcome targets reflect the differing starting points of pupils.
Monitoring and assessment cycles are the same in both schools. The assessment cycle is every 6 weeks and data updated following moderation and pupil progress meetings. All pupils have an individual provision map that is shared with Parents/Carers three times a year. Moderation is across both schools and for writing across all Canvey schools. Five members of the SLT are external moderators in Foundation, Key Stage one and Key Stage two.
Subject Leadership runs across the Trust.
School Improvement is organised in four parts.
- Maintenance Plans.
These are for areas that are not a current priority, they have generic non-negotiable and individual agreed action points.
- Priority area across the trust.
For example, Science, as Northwick needs to be reassessed to maintain its Gold Science mark and Leigh Beck is working towards Silver Science Mark.
- Individual School Priority.
- Eight weekly plans.
When Leigh Beck was subject to special measures the EHT worked closely with HMI, HMI reported that the progress of the school to remove itself from special measures was exceptional. Using this short focused model of rapid school improvement over eight weeks, the EHT and HMI wrote a training programme. Following a successful pilot at Northwick, the programme has now been delivered in North Essex, Norfolk and Southampton.
We continue to run this model of School Improvement across the trust, we started in September/October with Pace, Challenge and Growth mind-set and are currently working on Maths. Reading will be the focus in January.
The trust actively supports the development of the creative curriculum. Music is a priority in both schools. Northwick runs four choirs, provides all children the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and has an ever improving Rock Band! The Leigh Beck Infant Choir has successfully achieved recognition in an Essex competition as the most promising choir in all classes.
The grounds are developing to encourage outdoor learning, both schools have forest school sites and level three trained staff to lead sessions. Children experience sessions throughout the year.
Both schools run an extensive programme of extra curriculum clubs that children are encouraged to attend. All children are members of the Children’s University. We actively promote opportunities to participate in sporting activities with many pupils (including key stage one) participating in a competitive sport both within school and against other local schools.
Priorities for 2016/17
Improve outcome for all groups of pupils.
Strengthen Governance in both schools.
Strengthen the Senior Leadership in both schools with a view to expansion/succession planning.
For both schools to be soundly good in all areas.