Emerging Senior Leaders – Quality Assurance

This week, I completed a task for my emerging senior leaders course, being run by the Cabot Learning Federation. It was based on the topic of quality assurance.

The objectives of the session were:

– To agree what we mean by quality assurance
– To understand the areas we need to monitor closely as a leader
– To develop a series of strategies to answer the key question of “How well are we doing?”
– To create a quality assurance calendar for the Academic year

I am confident that we do many good things in the PE deparment at Culverhay. However, this session really made me think about how do I know/prove we are doing a good job. I was really challenged to think about what consists of a thorough QA process. I immediately started to think how I could start to regularly QA the work we do in the PE Department (as per last objective).

Throughout the session, I developed a clear understanding of a simple structure that the CLF use to QA.

Below is an example of some action research  based on QA of an element of my leadership / department.

Leading the Quality Assurance of Teams
Simon Scarborough – Head of PE, Culverhay School
1.Identified area for improvement
Physical Education at Culverhay School is currently in a strong position. However, engagement at extra-curricular clubs does not always reflect the levels of engagement in other areas of the Department.
2.Why is it a challenge?
I believe it to be a key role of any PE Department to promote and encourage pupils to engage in a healthy and active lifestyle. Part of this duty requires the PE Department to provide the opportunity and provision for pupils to engage in a range of appropriate physical activities outside of lesson time that they will enjoy.
·         Increase the number of pupils attending
·         Increase the variety of activities on offer to cater for all pupils, not just ‘sporty’ pupils.
·         Increase the number of times a week pupils attend extra-curricular clubs.
4.“So What”
Of the 10 areas that depend upon high quality outcomes, I have identified that improving levels of engagement in extra curricular activities could contribute to improved:
·         Teaching and Learning – Encouraging pupils to make a choice to come to extra-curricular clubs can support the shift of responsibility of their learning from the teacher to the pupil, thus increasing engagement in lessons.
·         Attendance – if pupils are engaged with extra curricular activities that they attend out of choice, School can be perceived as somewhere more than just to go and work.
·         Behaviour – Enjoyment and a sense of ownership with a club can have a significant impact on a pupil’s attitude towards school and towards their peers, which can improve behaviour in all areas around the school.

5.Action plan
1.      Programme – a review of the current extra curricular programme needs to be carried out, with a revised structure that meets the needs of the pupils being created.
o   What activities are popular, what should be included, student voice.
o   Identify who is currently engaged and identify target groups.
o   Seek funding to allow external coaches to deliver specialist activities e.g. modern pentathlon, Lacrosse.
o   Link clubs to lesson / enrichment activities.
2.      Shift in attitude – create a shift in attitude about extra-curricular activity.
By focusing on personal skills in lessons, create a culture of taking responsibility for their own learning. Promoting clubs in lessons as an opportunity to accelerate progress. Move pupils from taking responsibility for their own learning (level 6) to become independent and resilient learners (level 7). Target for pupils to become motivated to improve and regularly practice skills outside of structured lessons.
Create a tipping point, where by the popularity of the club becomes the main motivation for other pupils to engage. Older pupils invited to sessions and encouraged to lead a group (social level 6), motivate and inspire others (social level 7) and on occasions, mentor and empower others (level 8). The involvement of the older pupil as a role model reinforcing the tipping point.

6.Key Performance Indictors
Average numbers for each club/activity exceeds 20 pupils.
Pupils actively seek more extra-curricular activity.
KS4&5 pupils support KS3 clubs as leaders.
Range of activities on offer allows opportunity for every pupil to engage on at least 4 out of 5 days a week.
Mix of competitive and recreational clubs.
Improved behaviour in lessons and around the school.
Pupils taking greater responsibility for their own learning.

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