Aerodrome Primary Academy in Croydon achieves Flagship School status.
Values and Ethos
The Reach2 Academy Trust identifies its values and ethos through its Cornerstones and Touchstones. The Touchstones reflect the seven principles which make the academy’s unique – Inclusion, Learning, Leadership, Enjoyment, Responsibility, Inspiration and Integrity. It was evident from the review that at Aerodrome those seven principles are reflected throughout the school. One of the examples was the approach to Leadership with the development of teams – Headship team, Safeguarding team and Phase teams which promote the shared leadership approach. During the Review different members of the teams spoke about the work of the school and it was clear that they all had a clear understanding of the direction of the school.
Inclusion, Responsibility and Integrity
The Pastoral team approach across the school promotes the school’s own values as well as demonstrating the Trust principles of Inclusion, Responsibility and Integrity. The established systems and approach to behaviour has supported the children in being able to take responsibility for their actions. The Pastoral Lead explained the impact of the half termly meeting that the team had to review the children using the “Traffic Light system to consider if they are Red -Level 4, Amber – Level 2/3 or Green – staff keeping an eye on them.” This approach has seen the numbers of children being monitored “decrease brilliantly over the last two years”.
The school has an established Behaviour Trail in each classroom which until this last academic year would have children’s names on the board as they moved to warnings and possibly to visiting the Learning Mentor in school. This year the team has adapted the trail to display the expectations of behaviour. Teachers are now having a quiet conversation with an individual child if they are struggling to maintain the rules. This approach reflects a move away from a child having the humiliation of seeing their name on a board. The approach also acknowledges that often poor behaviour reflects a social and emotional issue that needs to be addressed. The Learning Mentor updates records weekly which the Pastoral Lead is able to review and monitor. The team “go with the needs of the child and have conversations all the time to meet their needs”. The school encourages parents to be involved with resolving any issues and an established system is in place using meetings, home school booklets and easy access to staff. The Headteacher is always available on the playground each day along with the Assistant Head and Learning Mentor.
The school has developed its use of Visible Learning based on the work of John Hattie over recent years. During the last academic year, the team has developed the use of the Learning Pit within the classrooms. The Deputy Head leads visible learning across the school which includes the development of the pupil Learning Council. Pupils on the Learning Council are identified by class teachers and have an ability to be “open and honest about learning as well as an understanding of the difficulty of the learning process”. The aspiration for Visible Learning across the school has been that
“All children and staff at Aerodrome Primary Academy to use a common language of learning to accurately articulate how they are learning, their own progress and next steps. All children to show a 0.6 or greater effect size in reading and maths”.
The school has focused on
• Learning intentions and success criteria.
• Developing a shared language of learning across the school.
• Provide opportunities for children to develop and reflect upon learning dispositions.
• Use of effect sizes to measure progress.
Children Take Ownership
The impact of the Visible learning work has been very positive with children taking ownership of their class Learning Pits and developing the language of learning. A survey undertaken by the visible learning team looking at learning objectives identified that often they did not make sense to the children. A discussion took place which led to the development of a learning journey objective which staff noted had made a huge difference to the quality of the learning. Children are able to self-assess against the criteria and feedback has been far more effective and there are clear next steps shown as part of the feedback. The impact of engaging the children in the process of change further reflects the importance of inclusion across the school.
The school uses the Lesson Study model to develop practice across the school. Each year during the spring term the focus of staff training is through lesson study. This year the focus was Flexibility which enabled staff to look at the clarity of learning objectives as well as the effectiveness of feedback. The approach has enabled staff to develop their skills and begin to teach “more in the moment” adapting the learning for all the children to access more successfully.
The Acquisition of Vocabulary
The school team has begun to develop their approach to the acquisition of vocabulary using a Rainbow and Rocket system. The use of colours has helped children to begin to develop their knowledge of high frequency words and support the development of their working memory. The development of vocabulary is a high priority across the school which has led to the identification of it as the proposed Flagship Project.
A Context Approach
The school continues to use a Context approach to the curriculum which engages the children and develops their love of learning.
Developing Lifelong Skills
The team at Aerodrome has instilled the principles of the Reach 2 Trust in their approach with the visible learning and curriculum approach demonstrating the three principles of Inspiration, Learning and Enjoyment. At the centre of all the decisions the team make are the children and how they can develop their lifelong skills as effective learners and citizens. The school team demonstrated their commitment to inclusion, and I would recommend that they become an IQM Flagship school.
Find out more about the IQM Inclusive School Award
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