We are invested in Leeds
Our commitment to the city and the emerging needs of its children, teachers and leaders is at the heart of our work. We will work closely with our partners from across the city to establish our priorities to promote and deliver exceptionally high quality CPD that is evidenced based. Our CPD offer will complement the training delivered through Initial Teacher Training, The Early Career Framework and National Professional Qualifications.
Through collaboration with local research and Curriculum Hubs we will develop teachers’ pedagogical practice and subject expertise with a relentless focus on developing the teaching quality across Leeds, particularly for less advantaged students.
Along with our obvious core responsibilities we are also very keen to make available to schools across the Leeds city region the strategies that we use in our classrooms which have such a profound impact on the progress of all pupils.
Positive Discipline, which is now extensively used across our country in order to promote exceptional standards of behaviour, was written at The Kings School Pontefract in 1998. At its heart is a determination to ensure that schools operate with consistency regarding young people’s behaviour and that significant time is spent each week promoting the values and approaches that underpin excellence in standards of behaviour.
It is our view that without such standards schools are unable to push forward effectively with any other school improvement strategies.
In every lesson across our trust a very important period of Purple Zone activity takes place. This period of time focuses upon the most challenging part of learning within the lesson and requires pupils to work unassisted and in silence for a set period of time. In their planning teachers think carefully about sequences of Purple Zone activity and the impact that those sequences can have on what pupils can do and can remember.
Purple Zone builds resilience and prepares pupils for the challenges of linear examinations. It also emphasises the importance of listening skills and, very importantly, allows pupils to demonstrate that which they are able to do independently.
We also recognise that Purple Zone maximises teachers’ control over their own learning environment and ensures that pupils take responsibility for consolidating and extending their own learning.
Forensic reading is a whole-school approach which involves putting language, critical ideas and imagery under the microscope to arrive at a deeper understanding of the text and of the world in which we live.
We have developed our own, unique set of reading materials – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, journalism and multi-media – in the form of six strands for pupils in Years 5 to 13 with the prerequisites that these materials are of the highest quality as well as being intellectually challenging.
The six strands have been realised in the form of beautifully designed anthologies, all of which are supported with high quality PowerPoints and teacher notes, to support the delivery of the texts.
We are convinced that this new approach to reading, which also deals with a range of important themes within the SMSC and RSHE curriculum, is central to the success of GORSE pupils regarding their performance in examinations.
Curriculum and Rubric Mapping
Five years ago we began a detailed analysis in every subject area of what we teach, in what order and for what duration. Essentially, we examined in detail every examination rubric and guidance across the national curriculum. Emerging from that process in every subject is a detailed map which supports teachers in long term planning. Those plans act as a guide and ensure that pupils’ learning is carefully weighted to ensure maximum progress and knowledge retention.
Against that detailed mapping process, we use Iterative Assessment. Importantly, Iterative Assessment ensures that pupils’ learning and knowledge is assessed over the long term, checking through the techniques of Iterative Assessment that critically important skills and knowledge are being carried forward by pupils in their learning. Our evidence suggests that where Curriculum and Rubric Mapping is expertly developed and Iterative Assessment is thoroughly undertaken then pupils perform in examinations at a level which is absolutely in keeping with the internal tracking of the school.