I recently had the pleasure of leading a Learning Review team at Gateway School. For me, the Learning Review is one of the many benefits of belonging to a group of schools such as Bellevue. It is a peer to peer process, which allows Heads, other school leaders and teachers in the Bellevue Group to work closely in one of our sister schools each year on a focus of their choice around teaching and learning. It is a very thorough process where we spend time in classrooms, talking to pupils, staff and parents and then share our findings, both to affirm where the school is and to give some tips on ways to move forward. It’s a collaborative and collegiate process which schools find very supportive and useful.
It didn’t take very long for the team to feel the sense of what makes this school such a wonderful place to learn, grow and achieve. Gateway School exudes a very strong ethos, which pervades all the work it does. Throughout the school, it is evident that every individual matters. A deep understanding of the needs of each child is supported by an emphasis on pastoral relationships and inclusivity, within an extremely caring and kind environment. Behaviour of all children was exemplary and is very well managed, children are extremely positive about the experiences and opportunities they are given, with a high level of variety of engagement within teaching and learning. This ethos is exemplified by a strong community structure with a very supportive parent body who evidently trust the school and its leadership.
The great privilege of conducting a review such as this is the learning that we as educators can take away. We will all certainly take back to our own schools the variety of ways in which children were engaged in their learning, through whole class, discussion, debate, groups and paired work, the chance to form and present opinion and the level of confidence children showed within this. It is important to never stop learning and to question and rationalise throughout our lives. This was so evident at Gateway throughout the school, and was incredibly impressive.
Sarah Evans Headteacher at Weston Green School