Links with others
Links with Other Schools
There are currently two projects taking place involving staff from YsgolDerwen, St Johns, Barkers Lane, Watts Dyke. This group is self-led and self-motivated by the headteachers and staff from the four schools who are working together towards common school improvements. One of the recommendations following the Estyn inspection May 2015 was to improve collaboration with school from outside the Authority. As a result the headteacher looked for schools who were in the “Green” category and had similar pressures and targets to YsgolDerwen. We have now been working with these schools (along with many other established groups) for the past four years.
As there is a new curriculum being introduced from September 2019, most of the work to date has been to prepare for the new changes with any real impact being recorded over the next few years. These projectsis ongoing and will be part of the school development plan next year.
Castell Alun Collaborative Working – There are a number of well-established working groups which work incredibly hard to improve standards across the consortium and in the individual schools. The focus for the groups is decided by the heads annually following a review of standards across the consortium and with particular regards to the Year 7 intake each year. Common areas for development are discussed and these can then become the focus for each of the working groups.
4. Castell Alun Maths Group - Raising the % of children attaining a Level 5 at the end of Key Stage 2 – Workshops held at Castell Alun led by primary and secondary colleagues. Improving children’s knowledge of times tables. Producing and sharing resources. Moderating standards. Ongoing transition activities devised by the group for Years 5 and 6. The headteacher from Ysgol Derwen leads on this group.
Progress and impact -Children taking part see an increase in confidence with mathematics and all achieve a Level 5. Work brought back from the workshops to share with the class also has an impact on other children with regards to Level 5 attainment. Staff have a much better understanding of what is required to achieve a Level 5.
A new initiative the group have been working on this year is to try to give more opportunities for our most able learners (Estyn recommendation). A new workshop will be introduced in the next academic year targeting Level 6 maths with a particular emphasis on algebra. The work for the sessions has been devised and will be trialled on pupils from Derwen and delivered by a maths specialist from Castell Alun before formal introduction to the consortium.
5. Castell Alun English Group - Raising the % of children attaining a Level 5 and Level 6 at the end of Key Stage 2 – L5 and L6 Workshops held at Castell Alun led by primary and secondary colleagues. Producing and sharing resources. Moderating standards. Mrs King represents Ysgol Derwen on this group.
Progress and impact – Schools share common approach to assessment and moderation.Children taking part see an increase in confidence with English writing and all achieve a Level 5. Staff have a much better understanding of what is required to achieve a Level 5 and 6.
6. Castell Alun Science Group – Devising and undertaking transition projects for Year 6 pupils aimed at increasing % of Level 5 at the end of Key Stage 2. Devising a matrix of attainment so all schools across the consortium have a common approach to investigations and moderation. Miss Ellingham represents the school on this project.
Progress and impact - Staff have a much better understanding of what is required to achieve a Level 5 in science which has had a big impact on increased standards at Ysgol Derwen. Miss Ellingham has gained so much confidence through the meetings that she now teaches science to both her own class (Year 4) and also to Year 6 (Mrs King does a swap and teaches Welsh to Year 4).
7. Castell Alun Welsh Group – Sharing good practice. Devising common assessment materials. Refining moderation procedures. These activities are arranged and led by a member of staff from Ysgol Derwen. Mrs Jones from Derwen leads this group.
Progress and impact– Agreed approach to moderating all aspects of Welsh as a second language. Valuable input from Welsh Athrawes Bro with regards to levelling. Very good standards of Welsh at Ysgol Derwen.
8. Castell Alun MAT Group – Devising a common approach to the identification of More and Most Able Pupils. Devising tasks to help extend the learning experience for these pupils across the consortium. Use the expertise of the high school in identifying and providing work for these pupils. Updating school MAT Policies in line with joint working.
Progress and impact – All schools have undertaken audits of MAT provision at their schools and used this data to help drive forward MAT across the consortium. A common approach to the identification of pupils has been agreed by all schools. Activities have been planned for groups of pupils and some have already been implemented.