JPD and research informed practice to raise boys achievement

As part of a new series of posts we are reporting back the progress made on the Joint Practice Development Projects that ran last year.  We have sent out details of how you can request a JPD partnership this year with WSDN support (here).  Here is the second blog sharing the cross-school collaboration that defines our network and makes WSDN a unique and vibrant example of effective  and purposeful networking.

JPD and research informed practice to raise boys achievement:  Joint practice work in this area took place between The Forest School and Downlands School, here Downlands share their experience, outcomes and future plans.

So far our JPD work is moving forward nicely. We have an established Boys Achievement Programme embedded within year 11 and we are beginning to see a real impact with some of the students involved. We have also integrated a new behaviour policy that has been very successful.  Our JPD focus was boys achievement and behaviour. We worked alongside The Forest School to plan and implement new systems that would improve and enhance our current policies and provisions.  We have had reciprocal visits with Forest to share good practice and  review the systems in place at both schools.

Through this partnership we have also completely remodeled our behaviour policy. This has had a profound affect on behaviour; evident through our achievement and behaviour data. The short term impact has been pleasing but we feel that the full affect will be clear next academic year.

We have also implemented a new ‘Boys Achievements Programme’; this has involved targeting the 20 boys who are most below target across subjects. The main focus of the programme is competition and students work in groups to compete against other in an achievement league. Students also have regular mentor meetings in their groups to set targets and review progress. This programme is the result of our collaboration with the Forest and our research into boys achievement.

In addition to this we are also running an Expansive Education Network Programme for staff; this involves teachers completing action research projects with the support of the University of Winchester. This has linked in well with our boys achievements focus as one of the action research projects is based on the use of competition with underachieving boys. We have five staff involved and the projects will be concluded and evaluated by Easter.

There are a number of clear benefits to the programmes we have implemented; improved behaviour across the school, a clear intervention for boys underachievement and action research into some of our key areas for development as a school. The obvious challenge was for us to gain consistency across the school with the new programmes. An integrated introduction to all programmes has really helped to get this consistency and we are now in a position where all staff and students are familiar with the changes and the benefits are clear to all members of the school community.

It is clear that there was substantial benefit from this relationship, boys achievement is an issue that affects all schools potentially and it will be interesting to hear the outcomes of their programmes after Easter.  Don’t forget for more details of this year’s JPD opportunities, look at the blog page (here) and try to get your submissions in by close of March 27th (send to westsussexdeputies@gmail.com).

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