Tag Archives: learning power

Governors news

Here’s an update from Bushfield’s governors on some of the things we were discussing at our last meeting in July. (Every meeting we’ll pick a few things, so you know what we’re up to!)

Miss Curtis has her last planning meeting with us

July was of course when the whole school said goodbye to Miss Curtis as Headteacher. Since school governors work closely with the Headteacher, and see how hard she works, we really wanted to say a big Thank You to her, just like all the pupils, teachers and parents did in so many brilliant ways. So at the end we gave her a surprise special present, with some very strange objects…


…and hoped that she wouldn’t miss us all too much in her new school, where she will meet a whole new team of governors!

Early signs of good SATs results

As you probably know, every May, Year 6 does special reading, writing and maths tests called SATs, so in July we heard from Miss Curtis some early clues about how they had gone. The answer is really well overall. We don’t have the final results yet, but it looks like Bushfield pupils do better on average than other pupils in the country, so really well done everyone, teachers and pupils!

Authentic Inquiry Projects

All Bushfield pupils learn about their ‘learning muscles‘ right from Year 3. This helps them remember that they can get better at learning anywhere, anytime! We’ve been testing some more exciting learning tools developed by scientists at Bristol University. Our Year 5 and 6 have tested ELLI (which stands for the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory) which is a web-questionnaire for staff and pupils to assess their ‘Learning Power’. ELLI creates a visual spidergram, showing how a pupil sees him/herself, which they discuss with their teacher, and try to improve. Here’s an example:


Example ELLI spidergram

ELLI is part of a whole new way of learning called Authentic Inquiry, where pupils are given much more choice about what topic to learn about. The teachers can’t be expert in every subject of course, but they help the pupils investigate it. At Bushfield we have branded this AIP (Authentic Inquiry Projects). At the end of each day, pupils write a diary entry reflecting on how their investigation has gone, in a kind of ‘learning journal’, which is actually a blogging tool called EnquiryBlogger, built at the Open University. A blog is a social media tool, which means that teachers and pupils can read each other’s blog stories, and comment on them. EnquiryBlogger shows the seven ELLI animals who help pupils remember the different ways of becoming better learners, so pupils can think about which aspects of their learning power they feel they’ve been working on.

EnquiryBlogger example

EnquiryBlogger example

While Yr6 started this in 2012, this year was the first time Yr5 have tried it, and they chose which aspect of a Fashion Show they wanted to help create. This was staged in the summer term and the whole process was hugely creative – see some of the blog posts from July!

So, the governors were hearing about how this experiment had gone, and will be doing their own investigation into its impact and how to do it even better next time. Thanks to all the staff and many parents who helped with AIP 🙂

Ofsted results are in

Ofsted declared the school to be “Outstanding” and “Good” (carefully defined terms) in all categories reviewed.

Some of the highlights of the report include:

‘Parents and carers are delighted with the school, and this is reflected in very positive questionnaire responses and comments.’

Pupils’outstanding behaviour underpins their very positive attitudes to learning.’

‘The outstanding curriculum is stimulating for pupils, and planned carefully to suit them.’

‘The school’s rate of progress has far exceeded the national trend.’

Ofsted confirmed Prof. Claxton’s conclusions that pupils “develop very positive attitudes to learning and a thirst for knowledge”, and leave with “a strong set of higher-order skills to sustain them for a lifetime of learning”.

Headteacher Andrea Curtis stated: “We are very proud of our achievements and delighted to have them acknowledged externally. There is a real and tangible team spirit at Bushfield between children, families, staff and governors that sustains our ambition to ‘be the best we can be’ ”.

Chair of Governors Simon Buckingham Shum spoke on behalf of all the governors, adding “It’s a privilege working with such an expert, dedicated team, who have created something special here at Bushfield. We’re delighted that the inspectors were able to experience that when they visited!”

Read the full report Bushfield Ofsted Report 2010.