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The GAL Friends Newsletter: Winter 2011/12   

Education: @gal_education: GAL 4 U:

 Bew  EYFS  SEF 

 New  Publications  Products   GAL Friends 

Firstly, we’d like to say a big ‘welcome!’ to all our new GAL Friends. To our ‘older’ friends, hello again – we hope you are enjoying the benefits of being a GAL Friend. Don’t forget all of the great discounts on conference places, products and publications. A lot has changed since our last newsletter and there are still more changes afoot. If you have any questions or comments about the issues affecting education, we’d like to hear back from you. Contact us directly on our website through the contacts page or by responding to a blog. Alternatively, we can be found on twitter @gal_education and on Facebook. If you have looked through the new RAISE  Education: Online report you will have seen this Bew: A Review emphasis shift with the inclusion of new by TGKG indicators of the progress made in KS2 by Following an independent review of KS2 low, middle and higher attainers. testing, assessment and accountability by Lord Bew earlier this year, the Government responded with proposed changes that will affect schools in the future. Their response was published in July, but we thought we’d draw your attention to the proposed changes again – just in case you missed them during your busy autumn term. A full GAL Education summary of the report can be You will also have noticed the downloaded from our website. disappearance of contextualised data, The key points that the DfE picked out both for KS1 and KS2. The omission of this from the report included accountability data follows the clear stance the DfE and progress. made in their white paper (2010)

Quite rightly, schools are increasingly going to be held to account for the education of their pupils through the use published league tables.

‘It is morally wrong to have an attainment measure which entrenches low aspirations for children because of their background. For example, we do not think it right to expect pupils eligible for free school meals to make less progress from the same starting point as pupils who are not eligible for free school meal... We should expect every child to succeed and measure schools on how much value they add for all pupils, not rank them on the make-up of their intake.’ The Importance of Teaching 2010

Public information about schools’ performance has always sparked controversy, where low attaining schools have been victimised and high attaining schools celebrated – irrespective of the progress their children have made during their time in the school. This is where the greater emphasis on progress will affect future overall judgements on performance, leading to more accurate use of public league tables to rate schools. Print me and put me in the staffroom please!

In summary, you – the school leader and consequently, your teaching staff - will be 1

GAL Friends Newsletter Winter 2011 Compiled and edited by TGKG

made increasingly accountable for the progress made by every child in your care, without the use of context to support your arguments. This opens up room for a lot of debate and discussion. If you have anything to say, please drop us a line...

closer match to KS1 to support effective transition to Year 1.

For support in this area you might want to look at our forthcoming publication mentioned later in this newsletter or contact us to discuss your options. Don’t forget to tell us you are our GAL Friend!

Parents will get much clearer information, with a new progress check for every twoyear-old in early education, aimed at picking up any problems at very early stages. Parents will also benefit from much more flexible entitlements for the 15 free hours of Nursery education.

A Focus for EYFS by Liz Greensides Dame Clare Tickell has recommended reforms for the Early Years’ Foundation Stage which are likely to significantly change practice in many areas for this age group. The DfE has agreed to the majority of these reforms, which will come into place in September 2012.

Although the reforms will not be statutory for another year, it is likely that many schools will want to have an eye on the future, and to make early preparations for change. Check out our course/consultancy: Get a Handle on Early Years on the GAL Website for more details.

The main focus of the report (and reforms) include: 

Slimmed down curriculum for 0-5-yearolds  More focus on getting children ready for school  Free childcare entitlement to be more flexible for parents

The GAL Super SEF by TGKG Liz had this great idea about a month ago...

In reality, the first two elements of reform support each other – ensuring that the main focus of the EYFS is to form – literally – a foundation for future learning. In this respect it will encompass personal and social development, to help children to learn how to learn, physical development, and communication and language. Problem solving and reasoning (PSRN) is not singled out, but is likely to be encompassed within the “Learning” elements of PSED.

“I know Tom”, she said, “let’s give away our SEF template...for free!” “Pardon?” I spluttered. “You heard – FREE!” So I got to work formatting and editing the form to make sure it looked the business, read well and was ready for national distribution. Barbara in our Huddersfield office was responsible for the initial email advertising the Free SEF Template and sent it out, not anticipating the inundation that was to follow...

For assessment and teaching purposes, the new curriculum radically reduces the number of early learning goals from 69 to 17, which will still be assessed for five year olds. Learning goals will have a much 2

GAL Friends Newsletter Winter 2011 Compiled and edited by TGKG

...In the space of 2 hours we received over 150 emails requesting access to the form and since then, hundreds more requests have poured in. Russell, our marketing manager, then had the unenviable job of sending a personal reply with the form attached to every last school!

her home. Since that time Jonny’s role developed from ‘General-Dog’s-Body’ to managing the day to day running of the office – responsible for many aspects of GAL’s administration. We’d like to publicly thank Jonny for his commitment to the company and all the support he gave to Liz over the years. We wish him all the very best for his future career as Property Manager. You will be missed Jonny!

- Great idea Liz! So the form was an immediate success, but we think there are some schools missing out on this fantastic offer.

So, we needed a replacement – and fast: Mrs Barbara Hardie, please take a bow. Barbara has been with us since September and has taken to the role with enthusiasm. She has already managed to put her stamp on things, bringing fresh new ideas to the way we operate here at GAL. Any questions for us? – then give Barbara a ring.

When Liz mentioned the success of the email at a recent conference hosted by GAL Education, 2 thirds of the delegates hadn’t even heard about it. Meaning that there must be many head teachers out there who need this type of support, but are not-so-blissfully unaware of its existance.

That leads me to my final bit of news – as we have outgrown our old premises, GAL EDUCATION HAS MOVED OFFICES!! Our new address and contact details are as follows: 1st Floor Offices, Millfields House Huddersfield Rd, Thongsbridge Holmfirth HD9 3JL

If you know of anyone who is required to write a Self Evaluation and would benefit from our FREE SEF Template, please point them in our direction!

T: 0845 521 37 18 F: 0845 521 37 27


Got yours yet? Why not? It's FREE & NO obligation, NO catch, NO charge. We look forward to hearing from you!

 @gal_education: So what’s new with us @GAL? Things continue to change with us here at GAL. Since our last newsletter there has been a change of staff and an office move!

RAISE Expectations: Great Expectations

We were sorry to say goodbye to our long serving Office Manager, Jonathan Coates, who was with Liz from the early days of running the business from a small office at

Price: £99.95 – 10% for GFs!

With the implications of the new RAISE Online report and the new Ofsted Framework, Liz Greensides is developing a 3

GAL Friends Newsletter Winter 2011 Compiled and edited by TGKG

publication that is designed to guide leaders through the new data and links closely with the Ofsted framework to help you identify the key issues affecting your school presented in your report and other school data.

service to evaluate the effectiveness of your SEF against your RAISE data.

The publication will help you to:  consider achievement as Ofsted perceives it  make judgements on the achievement of ‘polar’ children  pay attention to variations in achievement between different groups and subjects  compare the new data in RAISE to the school’s own data  evaluate achievement outcomes against the school’s own provision  interpret the new 2011 data and evaluating outcomes against Ofsted’s new framework  ensure accurate, consistent and robust analysis and evaluation of key outcomes  become proficient at evaluating and analysing provision against outcomes

A trained Ofsted consultant will use both documents to analyse and evaluate your judgements and supporting statements to ensure that your Self Evaluation covers all areas and that it is accurate and complete in all of its evaluations, the questions that it poses and the summary areas fro development it reaches.

Submit your completed GAL SEF along with your most recent RAISE Online summary and we will evaluate your evaluation!

Price: Only £275 with 5% discount for all GAL Friends

 GAL 4 U: GAL Friends

Implications for Self Evaluation The last academic year brought us the retraction of an ‘official’ SEF with more additions to RAISE and this year, with a significant change in the way data will be presented, evidencing positive changes might prove more difficult to some schools without the use of contextualised data.

We are pleased to announce that we reached our 100th GAL Friend Earlier this year. We sent a free copy of our successful publication, ‘The Highway Code for Teachers’ to a head teacher in Warrington on her request. Please spread the word and help us towards 200!

This publication will support those schools where the use of contextualised data has had a major part to play in self evaluation in previous years, and where that can no longer be the case … and will also develop the understanding of those who make good use of RAISE, but who want a ‘heads up’ on the new content.

Get in touch We value your thoughts and opinions and we want to hear from you. Please get in touch to let us know what you’re thinking...

Products The GAL SEF Template has already been mentioned in detail, but GAL also offers a 4 GAL Friends Newsletter Winter 2011 Compiled and edited by TGKG

Newsletter Winter 2011-12  


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