Staff briefing: 26 April 2020

I hope you have been finding the time to catch the sun and take part in some of the competitions or activities that have taking place across our community. Here is a video of my latest staff briefing.

Thank you for adapting your teaching this week to the new structure and continuing to innovate the way in which you are delivering lessons. By doing so when students return it will be far easier to get them back on track and into our usual routines. 


On Friday, I issued a survey to all year seven to ten students asking their views about what is working well. The results already indicate for the majority we are getting the work we set and the challenge about right. The more interactive the work the more students are finding it easy to engage. A number mention how useful live lessons, recorded videos and interactive presentations are. They are enjoying the interactive platforms such as kerboodle but equally are enjoying the opportunity to read a good book as well. They are finding scanned worksheets and textbook pages without explanation difficult to engage with. For more challenging work, they are really appreciative of videos or feedback which explains a particularly difficult aspect.  Overall, the new structure seems to be working well with the vast majority of students in year seven to nine finding the work accessible and manageable in the time given. In year 10, we need to maintain the challenge but need to consider further how we can best support students with the more difficult GCSE work; students particularly single out the approaches being taken in physics and maths as being effective. Please do continue to innovate, try different approaches and ask students for feedback about what is working best for them.

We will also be sending out similar surveys to Catmose Primary parents and Harington year 12 students and will feed them back as well.


We will this week release guidance around performance reviews and how we will modify our approach to fit the current situation. We are endeavouring to sustain a robust approach but also want to ensure that we don’t increase your work load when you are already dealing with significant change. I also want to be able to recognise at the end of the year through PR the incredible work you are now doing and the efforts you had already made before we closed.

Therefore. if you have already been observed this year the grade will count twice, for example, if you were grades ‘good’ you will be given for the purposes of the objective target two grade of ‘good’. If you were unhappy with your grade you can still ask for another observation. This methodology will apply to support and teaching staff.

For those staff who request another observation, or have not yet been observed we will be sending out an updated teacher observation protocol to reflect the working from home arrangements. We will focus an observation on work you are setting for year 10 (although other groups may also be chosen) and will look at SMHW we’re all work should have been set to inform our judgment around implementation. We will however also look at schemes of work and how this links with the work set on SMHW. We will also ask you to submit to us from that group work from half a dozen students who we will choose from across the ability spectrum to support the impact judgement. We will also take into account how you are used sleuth, SMHW, house points and internal tracking data before the lock down as we normally would. We will diary a teams meeting to discuss to feedback and when appropriate give you an opportunity to provide further information to support the final judgement.

For support staff Natalie will release similar guidance and wherever possible an observation will be carried out on the work you are carrying out at home.

In respect of your attendance we will use the data up until we closed as a result of the lockdown, anyone who needed to self isolate will not be penalised.

For the results grade we will use the centre moderated  predicted grade. Please be aware that the grades you submitted may change as a result of the internal moderation taking place. We are not going to use the Ofqual result issues to students as we can’t be certain of the reliability of the comparable outcomes statistical model they are using.

The other targets for your PR will be judged as usual and I would encourage you to look at them and ensure you are finding time to ensure the work needed is carried out to the usual high standard we aim for.

We will brief team leaders more fully on this in our Tuesday meeting and they will feedback to you when they next meet. Any questions should be fed back to your team leader and then through your link VP please. 


We started just before closing a significant project to update our management information system across the Federation. This project will continue during closure and will result in a smoother changeover to a much improved experience around the way in which we manage and share information across the three academies.  It will impact on the way in which we enter, analyse and share information such as for academic reports for all three schools. It will impact on registration, student records and how parents can access their child’s file. After the next break we will start to roll out training for all staff so that when we return the new system can be used effectively in the new academic year. More information about Cloud School can be read here.

CPOMS (new safeguarding and behaviour tracking)

We are also in the process of transforming the way in which we track issues around safeguarding and behaviour incidents which will be implemented in all three academies. This also will be implemented by the summer term and will lead to a significant change and improvement in our processes around reporting and analysing safeguarding and behaviour concerns. This will also result in a training programme to support staff and their usage. More information about CPOMS can be read here.


Thank you for all the work already completed on providing accurate predictions for students. The next stage will be to confirm student ranking across a subject and we will be talking through the methodology of this with team leaders in order that they can accurately moderate the ranking of students. This work is critical to ensure the grades students are awarded in the summer are as accurate as possible given the circumstances. We will need teams to provide evidence of how the ranking was carried out and the evidence which supports the predicted grade. In particular we will also need to understand any student whose predicted grade varies significantly from that indicated by their KS2 data as these results are most likely to be challenged by the exam boards and OFQUAL.

It might be necessary as a result to ask that some staff attend College with their team leader and other subject teachers in order to moderate student rankings. If this is the case your team leader will arrange this with you and in agreement with their link VP.


We’ll launch this week the process for head students which will remain similar to the last few years. Students in year 10 will be asked to apply by creating a short one minute video spot lighting their talents in order to support their case for becoming a head student. They will be able to ask two teachers for references, so please be prepared for requests, references should be sent directly to Alice ( with a copy sent to the students for their own record. We will have look at the applicant’s academic progress, house points and behaviour record alongside the reference and video in order to short-list the successful applicants who we will interview using ‘teams’ in the last week of this term. Following that we will laugh the usual survey for students to apply to become prefects and other positions of responsibility. Thanks for your support in this process.

I will update you further next week on this aspect and look forward to speaking to many of you through ‘Teams’ over the course of the next few days.




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