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Mrs La Farge's blog - Engagement in Learning

As a senior leadership team and across the staff, we have been focussing on improving engagement throughout the school this academic year.  This is not only with the children, but also with and between staff and the parents at Gateway too.

A number of areas for specific focus and improvement have been identified.  One of which is ensuring the pupils are actively engaged with their learning and their school through listening to what the children have to say. All of the children take part in our termly mentoring programme, where they have the perfect opportunity to tell us what they think about their school experience and let us know how it can be improved. We use response marking so that pupils receive rapid feedback with their learning and are kept well aware of their next steps. Through the use of Google Classroom we receive feedback from the older pupils about their understanding of a topic and their learning. School Council and Eco-Council also work on a weekly basis with Mr Atkinson and Mrs Orbell to represent the Pupil Voice and help us to organise activities and developments at the school which pupils will benefit from. This is a powerful voice and one we are very pleased to listen to.  In fact, our Eco-Council presented their aim in assembly this week which is to help the school reach Eco School Status. There is an ambitious plan in place and all the pupils will engage with the various initiatives that Eco-Council introduce. 

As I spoke about at the Year Ahead meetings last summer, the teaching staff at Gateway this year are benefitting from meeting in small groups and are coaching each other in areas of classroom practice that they have identified as areas they want to improve. This very useful tool has helped many to learn from other teachers’ best practice and to explore different and effective ways to engage our learners.  The senior team have enjoyed visiting classrooms and watching Gateway children actively engaged in their learning, through an impressive variety of different activities. They might be set a tricky challenge, an active practical task, an open ended question, a discussion opener, the list is endless, all to hook them into their learning. This active engagement in lessons reaps rewards as we then see impressive progress in their learning by our children. 

We have also recently started a Staff Development Committee.  The idea of which is to create a more collaborative vision of school improvement that will have an impact on the children’s learning, for which all of the staff at Gateway have ownership and responsibility for.  

Have a lovely weekend.

Sue La Farge

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Gateway Pupil in music lesson