Marginal Gains

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 Transition QLA – A Flying Start

What helps pupils make a successful Transition to Secondary School? We surveyed secondary schools up and down the country asking about Transition. Every school and area has a different way of working. Some involve days in school and others involve immediate testing. Some can involve both. However, if you are looking for a way to make immediate progress with your new Year 7 pupils - nothing beats Question Level Analysis. Your new Year 7 pupils have already taken six standardised tests in May. The KS2 SATs give a validated indication of each of your students strengths and weaknesses and the results are available every year - broken down to performance in each individual question. With appropriate analysis, this can prove to be a fantastic tool to help secondary staff bridge the progress gap that exists across KS3. A recent report into how data was used in schools showed that whilst 62% of teachers said that KS2 results are used to set...
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Ofsted Inspection Judgements and IDACI

On 14 January 2020 Ofsted released data regarding its latest judgements as of 31 December 2019. Now that 4 months have passed since the introduction of the new Ofsted Inspection Framework, there are sufficient schools to do a meaningful analysis of trends under this new framework. There is a correlation between deprivation and attainment, but is there one between deprivation and Ofsted's judgements, and has it changed from previous years? This article will use the IDACI measure as a measurement of deprivation. IDACI is the official Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index, which measures the proportion of children aged 0-15 who live in income deprived households in each area. The Ofsted data includes this data by dividing the country into 5 quintiles, going from least deprived to most deprived. This article will also largely consider Ofsted's Full Inspections only - more details are at the bottom of this article. This article has considered those inspections which resulted in an Overall Effectiveness judgement of Outstanding, Good,...
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Has Ofsted really gone off School Data?

The new Ofsted framework states that inspections will not examine any internal school data. But, in practice, what does this mean for schools? Feedback from Staff who have gone through the new framework stated that conversations were not data-centred but did assume you had a good working knowledge of the external data for your school. Data was discussed as an informer to the team’s approach, not as the sword of Damocles it has been. Context was investigated in thorough detail, giving us a chance to tell our story.DAN MORROW - CEO, Woodland Academies Trust However, when you read on, you see that the external data does inform what the deep dives look to see... Instead, the deep dives commenced with immediate observations of staff through learning walks (all accompanied by phase/subject leads) and through hearing children read: the year one children who had not reached GLD, the year twos who had not secured the phonics-screening check, and the year threes not...
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What makes a Good Question Level Analysis?

Over the last few years, Primary School Heads and teachers have been offered many different versions of Question Level Analysis to help with curriculum planning and future SATs preparation. QLA really is a useful tool. It helps teachers better prepare pupils and to refine the curriculum to secure those marginal gains. By looking at how your pupils performed, you can see exactly where you will want to make changes for next year. . What to look for in a good Question Level Analysis? Here are our TOP 10 Questions to Ask... . 1) Do you have to search in many places or is it delivered in one go? Remember the aim of this analysis is to save you time as a head/teacher so you are not searching through lots of data to find the answer. You need something that does all that for you. . 2) Does the analysis look at Individual Questions or just general topics?  Most Question Analysis actually only gives you the heads up around different topics but what if, you wanted...
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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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