Marginal Gains – Significant Increase

Back in 2012, at the heart of London Olympics, Sir Dave Brailsford repeatedly told people of his belief in the marginal gains principle. Speaking to the BBC, he said “The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of, that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.  There’s fitness and conditioning, of course, but there are other things that might seem on the periphery, like sleeping in the right position, having the same pillow when you are away and training in different places. They’re tiny things but if you clump them together it makes a big difference.” Brailsford believed that if it were possible to make a 1% improvement in a whole host of areas, the cumulative gains would end up being hugely significant. This principle has guided and driven the cycling team to great heights and Brailsford’s...
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Year 7 Catch-up Premium

How well is your school using the additional funding for pupil premium and Year 7 Catch up? Ofsted will be looking for how you are supporting your new Year 7. The 2019 Ofsted Inspection Handbook says: In evaluating progress in literacy and mathematics, inspectors will take into account the progress of those for whom the Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium provides support. [In Outstanding schools,] Governors systematically challenge senior leaders so that the effective deployment of … Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium … secures excellent outcomes for pupils. In Outstanding Schools.. The following quotes are taken from Ofsted Inspection Reports of Outstanding secondary and all-through schools in 2018/19: Leaders use additional funding very effectively for disadvantaged pupils and those in Year 7 who need extra help to catch up with others. … Year 7 pupils who join the school with low starting points are provided with targeted support to improve their reading. Pupils benefit from work that closely matches their abilities and...
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Year 7 Transition QLA – A Flying Start

Why every school can benefit from a good Year 7 Transition Question Level Analysis? We surveyed secondary schools up and down the country asking about Transition. Every school and area has a different way of working but - to help make immediate progress - nothing beats Question Level Analysis. Firstly, your new Year 7 pupils have already taken six standardised tests in May. Why not use them? You can get the analysis from these tests before your pupils have set foot in your school. If you choose, you can then supplement them with additional in-house tests – but in the meantime, you already can be acting on the results of the Transition QLA. These tests can be used as an accurate baseline for your new starters. As Peter Maddock, Head of Maths explained in his article in TES: Three ways to solve the problem of Year 7 maths Wait before you baseline pupils – if you are in a school that routinely...
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Ofsted Curriculum: Intent and Implementation

The new Ofsted Inspection Framework speaks a lot about Curriculum. Whilst the new directed focus has been welcomed, there is a lot of misunderstanding about what this means in practice. Schools are buying in help from outside sources against Ofsted Advice and Ofsted are constantly claiming there is no "Ofsted curriculum". So what will inspectors be looking for in your school curriculum from September 2019 onwards? What do they mean by a good or outstanding "quality of education"? In this article, we hope to help answer these questions by looking at Amanda Spielman's recent speech, the results of the Ofsted research project and the Ofsted School inspection Handbook. Amanda Spielman In a recent speech (10th July) at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Amanda Spielman was discussing the Ofsted research into Curriculum and what this means moving forward. The quality of education judgement does consider how well pupils are doing in national assessments and qualifications. But this should be the reflection of what children...
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Progress 8 Bandings

In early 2017 the DfE categorised schools into 5 different Progress Bandings: But it is easy to get things wrong. BBC News website The BBC News website did so on 16 April 2019, when it said: A school's performance is measured through pupils' progress, called Progress 8, via a scoring system of between -1 and 1, with the average being 0.A score lower than 0 is recognised as not achieving the minimum standard expected by the government, with -1 being well below average. There are three things are wrong with these two sentences: Firstly, Progress 8 is not a scoring system of between -1 and 1. There are no such arbitrary limits, and in 2018 there are 70 mainstream schools with a Progress 8 score below -1, and 50 schools above +1.A score lower than 0 is not recognised as achieving the minimum standard expected; that would be -0.50 (but only up to 2017/18).A progress score of -1 is not the threshold of "well...
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