What did members of Senior Leadership have to say…
…about assessment and grades?
“I will always say how much progress they have made. I will put a comment about whether or not they have reached … “expected levels” because you need to highlight to parents, they need to know, because if they are not hitting expected levels at the end of year 9 and, if we’ve never said to them all the way along that they are not reaching expected levels, it will come as a shock for them. And we don’t want any of our parents at the end of year 9 to go ‘You didn’t tell us’.”
“…a lot of parents…from the information that we have are …very results orientated, and for them, yes you can make changes but …to change to something that didn’t include specific levels they would find that a very difficult move. I have to say that, if you don’t do it for them, it would be complicated.”
“Assessment is ongoing… But [students] are still obsessed with the grades.”
“I try to get [the students] to focus on ‘What does it say you’ve done really well at? What does it say that you’ve got to improve at?’ and all they look at is the number at the top. ‘But, I’ve got this many and he’s got this many…’”
…about Democratic Education?
“ I wonder sometimes whether we underestimate kids’ ability to be discerning and the shrewdness with which they actually can see through things…”
“…we do tea parties here with all the children throughout the school and they give lots of really sound information about teachers. …they just give us really honest opinions about the teachers…
…about changing education paradigms?
“…we’ve got clients who buy into we do at the minute, which every year we try to do better and we do it better, hugely…”
“I think [some of our parents] are even more traditional than schools at home would be… We have parents …saying at the beginning of year 6, ‘What text book do I need to buy?’ ’You don’t need to buy a text book.’ ‘Why don’t you need to buy a text book?’ ‘Well, we’re not working from one.’ ‘What do you mean you’re not working from a text book?’ And they find it very hard to understand that you don’t just start on page 1 of the text book and work your way through.”
“Oh, there’s plenty to sort, but I think we probably could do it by huge tweaking… but we’re all limited within boxes, whether it’s the next school or the university or the parents or this or that. There’s all these boxes that we work within… I’m not so sure about the huge overhaul…if that’s the answer. I think huge tweaking is the answer… I think it’s probably needed but I think it’s a very scary thing to do.”