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Reflective Essay: Reflective and Analytical Account of Work Involving Statutory Tasks and Processes

Reflective and Analytical Account of Work Involving Statutory Tasks and Processes

This essay will look to reflect and provide analytical account of work carried out with my placement which involves statutory tasks and processes by identifying key elements that apply to the setting, provide definitions to the elements, how they apply as well as practiced in the setting, analysing value issues that have arose upon reflection and finally making a link between reflection on learning gained from the piece of work and its implication for future practice.
Our Policies are statements of intentions and actions that are meant to guide how a government, a department, a service or an individual works or behaves. Policies and procedures are subject to continuous development and review as they confide the statutory process for the practice. There are also local processes that are not recorded or documented and the part of the workplace/community service culture overtly.

Yeading Junior School is located in the London Borough of Hillingdon, which has over four hundred pupils being the largest junior school in West London and the school is part of a ‘hub’ which is made up of four primary schools, two secondary schools and a special education facility. Hillingdon is in Wave 6 of the national Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme for secondary schools in the south of the borough. This presents exciting potential opportunities in terms of co-location of primary and secondary schools / cross-phase developments.

Yeading Junior School is a community school which values its strong link with parents, local organisations and the surrounding community through a community house. Yeading Junior School is the extended schools hub for a collaborative group of 10 schools. There are 42 different ethnic groups speaking 37 languages at the school (Bucks new university, 2013).Seventy-eight per cent of pupils speak English as an additional language. The collaborative group has developed a wide network of community contacts and relationships and has been able to access a range of funding to enable it to offer an extensive range of activities for the welfare of the multi-ethnic society.

The history of the school as I have undertake to highlight the school’s status that Yeading Cluster Schools House was formerly a caretaker’s residence, which has been converted into a ‘safe space’ for parents. The house was conceived as a way of addressing the isolation and loneliness experiences by many parents from diverse ethnic backgrounds. It offers a wide range of activities, with regular sessions on health matters, weekly drop-in counselling sessions, a parenting programme and a family support worker, education welfare officer and police liaison officer. (Hillingdon Improvement Partnership, 2007)

The school has set itself towards the wide range of enhancement projects for the communities of diverse cultures. The Head Teacher, Carole Jones, established a strong link with the educational and community welfares to develop the core citizenship among the people minorities and ethnicity. The purpose for such is to enhance the community engagement and cohesion to break down the cross-cultural barriers and evolving the partnership between the school, parents and children to build the high level of trust (What is Every Child Matters? 2010).

I have found out during my analysis that the Training and Development Agency for schools in Hillingdon has a vast network of the special services for the schools which are dealing with the variable cultures and their involvement the community (Hillingdon Improvement Partnership, 2007). The major project (Transforming Lives, Extended services personal impact stories) has been developed in the year 2009 (What is Every Child Matters? 2010), that I’ve closely observed during my study at the placement setting, involved all of the primary and secondary schools and even the special education schools from the community to bring about the improvement. The key elements, I’ve brought about to my account were, ‘How schools, school clusters and their partners are using extended services to improve the life chances of children, families and communities’ and the policies for the developments.

Among the statutory tasks for the positive relation-building the HIP (Hillingdon Improvement Partnership, 2007) has set forth the policy of excellence cluster among the ethnic groups. The policy entitled ‘Hillingdon Improvement Partnership’, The Hillingdon Improvement Partnership commenced on 2002 as the Hillingdon Excellence Cluster. In 2006 the member schools agreed to develop the cluster into an Education Improvement Partnership.

There are currently twenty five schools (twenty primary phase and five secondary schools) located mainly in the South of the Borough, participating in the project for the improved citizenship, although an increasing number of the activities and services, I looked into closely to crystallised the reflection, are now available and implementing to other schools in Hillingdon. The Partnership is funded through the School Development Grant on a continuous process.

The framework of the strategy is the collaborative working to improve the partnership between schools and our local communities and other partners, including the Local Authority that would develop the capacity in our schools and remove the gaps between the highest and the lowest performers. The foremost important aim of the strategy is to develop the knowledge, understanding, attitudes, attributes and skills to be successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens of the 21st century.

The background of the project, in my opinion, solely depended on the case study or the aspect of the practice that our schools were willing to share with the other schools and the community services centres. In November 2006 a consultation was held with all partner schools to determine the future direction of the Hillingdon Improvement Partnership. Three strands of working were agreed: a) Learning and Achievements; b) Inclusion and Family Support; and c) Leadership and Management (http://www.equalityhumanrights.com).

In addition to the presented work of the strands, that includes support for gifted and talented, advice and co-ordination for learning mentors and learning support units, language and literacy development at Key Stage 3 and the Urban Leadership Programmes the expansion of collaborative working and sharing of good practice have been identified as the main strategies for helping schools to build capacity. As the active partner of the project, I must mention and reflect upon, Carole Jones, the Head Teacher of Yeading Junior School, highlighted the key strategic aspects to be developed among the children are:

(a) Supporting children with EAL needs; and

(b) Raising pupil self-esteem and self-confidence through Pyramid clubs.

(a): The highlighted area of enhancement is EAL (English as an Additional Language) for the children of the ethnic groups that have the English language as their secondary communicative language in the society.

It is worth noticing part of my analysis that the assessment framework of the project is based on the Personalised Learning, which recognises the quality learning shaped by the learners’ experiences, characteristics, interests and aspirations.

It also considers that high quality teaching explicitly fabricated on learners needs as well as on high expectations and good command over the teaching subjects. While the key components of the Personalised Learning have been identified as five core elements relate to a wide range of policies and practices. Currently the personalised learning has been linked to the ‘Every Child’s Matter’ agenda and is seen as having a particular role in enhancing outcomes for disadvantaged children although the approach is aimed at all pupils including the gifted and talented particularly from the cross-culture groups. Those five core aspects of the project are: a) effective teaching and learning; b) assessment of the learning; c) curriculum entitlement and choice; d) beyond classroom; and e) The school as a learning organisation/Organising the school (What is Every Child Matters? 2010).

The first aspect of the project, I’ve taken under my analytical account regarding the participation of the Yeading Junior School is EAL (English as an Additional Language), that is completely based upon the need based. As I’ve earlier mentioned the ground, on which the approach has been established, is the demography of the vicinity, population from diverse culture, and children from refugee families. About 75% of the children in the school have English as an Additional Language (EAL) needs. The crucial element of my reflective view is, there are also increased mobility in the school population and an increase in diversity. More children from South Asia and other areas are arriving having spent time in other European countries such as Holland, Germany and Sweden. In this context the school is aiming to raise standards of reading and writing at Key Stage 2.(JSNA, 2011)

Strategically process of the implementation of the approach: Few years ago an EAL Action Team was created which includes the EAL Coordinator, an EAL teacher, a Lead Bi-lingual Teaching Assistant and four EAL Teaching Assistants who are allocated to each year group. When pupils apply to the school the head teacher, the EAL Co-ordinator and the Lead Bi-lingual Teaching Assistant and an interpreter if necessary, hold a meeting with the parents. At the meeting assistance is given to complete any forms (Appendix A: CAF form) and as part of the Extended Services programme activities to the family if necessary. (JSNA, 2011)

Using this profile the EAL Coordinator and the Lead Bi-lingual Teaching Assistant identify the package of support needed by the child. This information is passed to the class teacher who is given up to three days to prepare for the arrival of the child if they have little or no English. The child is placed on the EAL register and the EAL Teaching Assistant with responsibility for the year group will track the child’s progress throughout the year. The child’s progress in reading and writing is also tracked by the class teacher and through observations by the EAL Action team. Children are taken out into small groups to be given the basic foundations of English by members of the EAL Action team. (JSNA, 2011)

Key successes of the Approach: The approach supports the newly arrived child so that he or she can settle more quickly and be more ready to learn. The class teacher benefits from the team approach as a number of people are involved in providing the induction package and on-going support for the child. During the observation I’ve closely studied that Staff, now feel very positive that they have the strategies and support to include a new child effectively and to begin to address their learning needs as soon as they arrive in the class.

Interventions and innovations of the approach: The approach is part of a holistic approach to community cohesion in the school which has been enhanced further through the development of Extended Services. Children are encouraged to speak in their home language as well as English including in assemblies. All faiths and cultures are actively celebrated in the school. Two members of the EAL team are also trained in the Triple ‘P Parenting Programme’ to provide further opportunities for supporting families of newly arrived children. (Creating a fairer Britain, 2010)
On a reflective part of the leading source which I must mention and appreciate the role of the head teacher. Carol Jones further discussed that the approach has been developed to meet the needs of EAL children. My micro study took an account of Teaching in mixed ability groups that allows children to learn from each other more effectively and for skills to be recognised and developed in all children. It is important to encourage home language speaking that allows children to feel included and to express them more fully, and enabling their needs to be met more effectively.
Implications for leadership and management in the process: The head teacher has led the development of the EAL Action Team as part of the school strategy to raise standards. The approach has encouraged the development of staff roles e.g. the Lead Bi-lingual Teaching assistant and the use of the EAL teacher in an advisory role with staff, drawing on her previous Local Authority experience with the Ethnic Minority Achievement and Support Service (EMASS) team. (Creating a fairer Britain, 2010)
The approach of the community enhancement has clearly shown in my reflective account that there is an on-going development of the staff recruitment and induction process to ensure that meeting the EAL needs of both children and parents is an integral aspect of all roles in the school. This will help, in my proposition, to ensure the sustainability of the approach and contribute to succession planning.

The approach of the community enhancement has clearly shown in my reflective account that there is an on-going development of the staff recruitment and induction process to ensure that meeting the EAL needs of both children and parents is an integral aspect of all roles in the school. This will help, in my proposition, to ensure the sustainability of the approach and contribute to succession planning.

Pyramid Club: The National Pyramid Trust is a national organisation which helps primary school children to fulfil their potential in school and life by building their skills, confidence and self-esteem. The school runs three Pyramid clubs each for twelve Year 3 children who are identified at a multi-agency meeting which includes the head teacher, class teachers, Educational Psychologist, School Nurse run once a week for one and half hours and involve a wide range of activities chosen by the club members. During my micro studies of the strategy it enhanced my observation that the clubs are run by volunteers, including members of staff from the school. (Hillingdon Improvement Partnership, 2007)

Transition Club: There is a club for Year 6 pupils based on the Pyramid model and for Year 2 pupils transferring to Year 3 with five weeks of the club taking place in each school collaborated with the Yeading Junior School under my observation. (Hillingdon Improvement Partnership, 2007)

Pyramid Parenting: This is a parenting programme developed from the Pyramid principles of building confidence and self-esteem in children and developing the ability to make friends and contribute to decision making.(Hillingdon Improvement Partnership, 2007) Key successes of the activity: The clubs complement the development of the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) and the Healthy Schools initiatives both of which the school has fully embraced. The project has also developed the confidence and skills of staff with seven members of staff trained as volunteers and now working in the clubs in partnership with other volunteers from secondary schools and Brunel University.

Approach’s components to support Inclusion: The Pyramid clubs have allowed the ‘invisible children to engage’ and be fully involved in the life of the school. The clubs have a high status in the school and children are confident to express the benefits that they have gained as a result of Pyramid. For further, the Extended Schools development a multi-agency Vulnerable Children’s Group has been set up which School Nurse, Community Action Support Home School Liaison (HSL) and Behaviour Support Team (BST) representatives.

Implications for leadership and management in the Activity: To make the approach a successful and practical, in my opinion, the leadership and commitment are the foremost priority from the leading person, head teacher. Carol Jones is totally committed to the approach and is now a national trustee. This has inspired members of staff and governors to become volunteers. The clubs are integral to the Healthy Schools initiative which is given a high profile in the school through the inclusion of the Healthy Schools Manager on the Senior Leadership Team.

Variations in Accomplishment of the Approaches with embedded Issues:

Generally, attainment is lower in wards in the south of the borough, as part of my analysis. There is a need to address this attainment gap, as well as raising attainment across the borough in line with national targets, that has been particularly highlighted in my essay. The Yeading Junior School along with the other community services centres has improved the variations proportionately to the implications of the projects. The Hillingdon School Improvement Service (SIS) has clear strategies for intervention, support and partnership working with schools. Key to further raising primary performance and narrowing the gap, that I’ve made it the focus point of my analysis, between schools is the intensive support programme offered by SIS to identified schools. For the approaches I’ve exclusively come up with the understanding that a successful cluster group models is in place and the LA will explore alternative models of governance, such as federations and trusts, where this is appropriate and will raise standards.

Capacity building and change management: The co-relation between the approaches and the essay findings is the ground fact that Education and Children’s Services will work with Head teachers and Governing Bodies on the rollout of both the programme as a whole and in relation to individual projects to bring about the overt changes in the community. As part of our consultation process a representative group of Head teachers has been set up to work with officers on the priorities and strategy. This group will continue to help shape priorities for Year Three onwards. Education and Children’s Services will act as the client for the overall programme and two additional members of staff are being recruited to act as client officers for individual projects. Further change that I studied during my analytical account of the work place that The Council’s Major Projects Team will be commissioned to lead on the procurement of the program.

Specific developments to support innovation in teaching and learning and the school, as a focal point of my study, for its local community to develop the enactment of the policies and our current performance have the inclusion of: Personalised learning, which is learner and assessment centred (including learning beyond the classroom), supported by ‘state of the art’ ICT (Information and Computer Technology). The effective use of ICT, including virtual learning that has been covering the whole community Development of internal and external spaces for the early years to reflect developments in the Early Years/Foundation Stage curriculum. There has been a greater continuity between Key Stages and Personal support to catch up – the three national programmes (Every Child a Reader, Every Child Counts, and Every Child a Writer). The most important component of the development is the introduction of the modern foreign languages and greater access to the development of creative arts.

The forthcoming national review, according to the mentor’s discussion, of the primary curriculum may have implications for the development of provision in future for the development of our community.

Consultation with Future Plans of implementation of the Approaches:

The LA is committed to on-going consultation on the development of primary education within the borough, including the development of extended and community services. Specific consultation on the Strategy has been undertaken. The development of the Strategy has also been informed by the outcomes of other relevant consultations e.g. on the Children and Families Trust Plan, joint working with schools on the ‘Hillingdon Primary Strategy’ and related action plan, and consultation with parents on education. However, a consultation plan has also been developed specifically for the primary strategy. This has included public consultation on the draft strategy, dedicated meetings with Head teacher groups, a Primary Strategy Working Group with Head teacher representation, Governor briefing meeting, newsletter items (e.g. childcare providers’ newsletter), pupil questionnaire and consultation with representatives of the local Dioceses. The Strategy is supported by primary schools and they have been consulted individually and through representative forums. The Schools Strategic Partnership Board (SSPB), which includes representation from primary and secondary schools, endorsed the draft strategy on 16th May 2008 (Bucks new university, 2013).

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