Thursday, 8 November 2007

"A culture of discipline is a principle of greatness."

I started the day at Brownhills Primary School...

I visited the school to talk to Alan Scott, the headteacher, about the challenges he and his team were facing and how we could help. We spent time talking about the children; the school population has changed significantly over the last few years. They now have 32 different languages spoken at the school!

We also talked about the monitoring of teaching and learning, target setting and the intervention strategies they are using. Alan told me about the very rich and exciting curriculum provided for the children which complements the work on literacy and phonics, numeracy and numicon. The school is a leading school for SEAL and they are a healthy school. To prove it I went out into the playground with Alan to take part in a really fantastic 'Wake Up and Shake Up' session led by the schools wonderful PE coordinator. The children loved it and Alan and I found it really hard to keep up with the pacey and fun routine!

The school faces a number of real challenges with high levels of mobility, high levels of free schools meals, a growing ethnic minority population and low standards on entry and at the end of Key Stage 2. However, this is a healthy and happy school with a calm, purposeful learning environment and a team who are very focused with good systems developing for tracking children's progress and intervening as necessary.

It is deeply encouraging to visit schools and see the developing rigour and focus in schools which is more personalised and more intensive than ever before. Increasingly I am certain that we know how to achieve brilliant outcomes; we need disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined systems, disciplined governance, disciplined resourcing and disciplined action .

And the order is vitally important because it is all about brilliant colleagues, self-discipline and ownership!

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