Tracking Arts Learning and Engagement
Ark Helenswood is recognised nationally as a school that is at the forefront of arts education. At a crucial time for arts learning in the UK, we continue to recognise the arts as a vital part of our students’ learning and development.
We have been chosen to take part in a major national scheme which will track the effectiveness of arts education and the students’ learning and engagement over a three year period. The programme involves a partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Tate modern and Nottingham University and we have been chosen to take part as a recognition of the high quality arts work that we deliver.
The most recent blog from our first TALE assessor in the school can be read at TALE Blog.
Hastings Education Improvement Partnership
Education Improvement Partnerships (EIPs) are groups of schools working together across an area to improve outcomes for pupils at all schools. EIPs include primary and secondary schools. In some areas they also include post-16 colleges and early year providers. In East Sussex there are seven area based EIPs, and one EIP for the Special Schools; all schools are in an EIP.
All schools in Hastings, including the academies and Sussex Coast College, are now part of the Hastings Education Improvement Partnership (EIP)
Why do we need EIPs?
The national agenda within education has changed significantly over the last five years with an increased focus on autonomy for school leaders, the development of partnerships between schools and a changing role for local authorities. Central to this new agenda is the creation of a ‘self-improving school system’ where good and outstanding schools share their good practice and all schools work together to improve outcomes for pupils.
The establishment of the EIP is one way that the Hastings schools will be able to work more closely together by sharing best practice and organising centrally held training and development opportunities funded by the local authority. The EIP is also working with the local authority to provide, or jointly commission, support to specific schools in our area.
What is the Hastings EIPs doing?
The EIPs has planned and is currently running two major projects which are meeting the needs of the schools as identified through discussion with Hastings schools. These two areas of work are currently centred on the need to improve literacy and English from as soon as a child starts school. Poor literacy skills are a major barrier to a child’s chances of completing education successfully. The two pieces of work are:
- Providing training for a teacher from every school in Hastings to become an expert in the teaching of reading. The first cohort will be trained by April 2015 when training for the second cohort begins. This training is being led by expert teachers from Hollington School. As part of this training senior leaders are expected to support the teachers in ensuring that the strategies they learn are used widely throughout the school.
- A research and development project that seeks to involve parents and carers more in their children’s education. This project is being led by Christchurch school and is being supported by the University of Brighton. The findings from this work will be shared more widely throughout the Hastings area.
Plans for the future
Over the coming year the EIP will work to ensure that any improvements in the teaching of reading are embedded in schools and that more and more children will reach expected standards in reading at the end of each Key Stage.
The EIP is currently looking at ways in which it can build capacity in the EIP for schools supporting each other. The pieces of work currently underway are designed to do this but other avenues will also be explored.
We are expecting that we will use funding next year to improve maths outcomes for all children in Hastings. Exactly how this will be achieved is still being discussed but if successful we are hoping to see an improvement in outcomes for the young people of Hastings by the summer of 2016 and that this improvement will provide the basis for further improvements.