Knowing our school

There are three points of focus that I’m taking during my school visit programme:

  1. Self-evaluation;
  2. Distributive Leadership; and
  3. Learning tasks.

I’m going out to Kingsmeadow Primary School tomorrow. HT Donald McGillivray sent me a paper which outlines how they know their school and how leadership is distributed right across the school.

It’s really helpful to get this kind of detail.

Self Evaluation – How I Know My School


  • SINATRA planning tool– regular access and written comments
  • Teacher’s PET tracking tool – regular access and feedback at…..
  • Target meetings and mgt/staff discussions. Review of assessment info.
  • Team leaders report back at…..
  • Management meetings – fortnightly
  • Staff Meetings – monthly
  • Support staff meetings
  • ASL review meetings: attend, read minutes,etc
  • Jotter moderation and comment
  • Surveys – pupils, staff, parents
  • Peer and management classroom observation and….
  • ED&R – tying the above into the process
  • Area meetings – participation/minutes
  • Involvement with parents via Parent Council and informally
  • Involvement in curriculum development – take the lead, eg, “Radiowaves.”
  • Annual whole school audit
  • Main author of development plan, drawing together from staff input and other sources
  • Ensuring continuous review of development plan via set-piece meetings and other activities contained within CAT calendar
  • Management team class involvement: timetabled, other than observation
  • Walking about and being seen


Leadership – How Distributive Leadership is Developed and Promoted


  • Staff encouraged to, and do, take leadership roles in development plan priorities
  • “Team Leaders” a feature at each stage, with PTs having a major leadership role for their year group/area
  • Staff   rotate chair all staff meetings and have right of access to agenda setting
  • Area meetings on CAT calendar allow staff to share issues and resolve problems by themselves
  • Collegiate planning at each stage is firmly embedded as a means of developing collective responsibility for learning and teaching [on CAT calendar]
  • School Advisory Group, made up from staff representing each stage, manage all ASL resources
  • Staff  have complete management of the school fund
  •  Staff all have their own budget for purchasing educational materials[ not texts]
  • Peer observations are a feature where staff agree a focus for class observation with another teacher who then carries this out and gives feedback
  • Timetabling for the session  is devolved to a staff group….with…..
  • RCCT being agreed and delivered within this same context




  • Prefect system in place, covering: playground, wet weather, library, computer suite,etc
  • PLPs allow some pupil control over their own learning
  • Existence of School Parliament, Executive Group, Pupil Council, Green Team, Health Group – pupils actively participate in all of these.  Membership via electoral process
  • School Bank run by pupils
  • House system in place with House Captains elected by pupils
  • Reward system that allows house points to be accumulated …and, also….
  • Personal success celebrated via award of certificates  – weekly, termly sessionally
  • Development of an enterprising culture via much of the above, as well as curricular, class-based activities that promote enterprise
  • Pupils run assemblies under the direction of the teacher
  • Golden Rules allow children to develop responsibility for self and others
  • Inclusion allows opportunities for pupils to be responsible for supporting /assisting other children [ wheelchair bound, Down’s Syndrome, etc]
  • Children teach other children [Radiowaves,etc] in order to pass on information/skills
  • In class, pupil peer/pair assessment is developing