| Head's Blog

Last month, a team of teachers visited Sherborne House for two days to carry–out a Learning Review. This is an internal peer to peer process, which affords members of Senior Leadership Teams and other school leaders and teachers from across the Bellevue Group, the opportunity to visit and work collaboratively with staff in a fellow group school.

Indeed, several of our own staff will be taking part in review teams in the coming weeks, and I will be leading a review at one of our London schools later in the year. The hosting school decides upon a teaching and learning focus for the Review, and tasks the team to find examples of effective practice within the given focus, and suggest ways in which these examples can be further developed.

In conducting its Review, the team spends time observing the life of the school and talking to pupils, parents and staff, sharing its findings after the two days. The team then gives an overview of both the school’s current practice and also makes some suggestions as to how areas can be taken forwards.

This year, Sherborne House asked the team to concentrate on our over-arching theme of challenge, and in particular, how pupils of all abilities were being encouraged, and enabled, to fulfil their full potential. I am delighted to share the headlines of the team’s thoughts, which demonstrate the continued progress of the school against its aims and objectives.

The team commented upon the high quality of:

  • The ability of pupils to think critically through open-ended, higher-order questioning, which challenged them to analyse, reason and justify their answers
  • Learning in Reception which is tailored explicitly to pupils interests derived from their experiences
  • The children’s enjoyment of their lessons, and their evident excitement about their learning
  • The breadth of opportunity given to all pupils to be creative and to generate their own ideas, working collaboratively in pairs and in groups
  • Effective use of teachers’ formative assessment to provide differentiated challenges for children of all abilities
  • Clear lesson objectives and expectations, which enabled pupils to have an excellent understanding of the focus of each task
  • The staff’s in-depth knowledge of the needs of the children in their care
  • The excellent relationships and the happy atmosphere around the school, which meant that pupils spoke very highly of their experience.

The report will help to shape our work on updating the school development plan later in the year, as we continue to reflect upon all aspects of the school’s work and how it may be moved forward.

Thank you to all pupils, parents and staff who supported the Review process, and to the team who came to Sherborne House and worked so hard and so collaboratively with us all.

Heather Hopson-Hill, Head Teacher