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May 2014

Is this the end for gifted and talented?

Welcome to the first edition of the new monthly education newspaper, brought to you by Herts for Learning. Inside you will find a roundup of this month’s news including new curriculum updates, Hertfordshire schools’ news and what’s on offer from your Schools Company.

Education this month

A fascinating assortment Pui Him Ip Herts for Learning Researcher Matthew Syed Photograph by Jessica Broadbent

Jessica Broadbent Herts for Learning Journalist

ResearchED: Cognitive Science in the Classroom Pragmatic Education ( )

or ‘growth’ mindset have a huge influence on the mindsets of their pupils. To be really successful, Syed argues that pupils must be taught and encouraged to embrace the growth mindset and their own transformability. Drawing from his own experience Syed claimed, “It is difficult to exaggerate what a great coach can do”. He urged teachers to carefully use each hour of their lessons to achieve quality practise from students. Intrinsic motivation is essential but teaching them to be resilient to failures when they face them is equally vital. “Self confidence is a waste of time if it is not robust to failure”, he said. Reeling from praise that suggests success is natural, Syed proposes careful use of language when commending young people. This philosophy means labels like ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’ need serious rethinking. He argues that labelling a group such as Gifted and Talented is not only detrimental to those who do not classify as gifted or talented, but to those inside the group as well. Irrespective of perceived talent Syed suggests one must think of the brain as a muscle, always ready to be stretched and grow. Growth is a democratic achievement not confined to members of Gifted and Talented or those who have inherited so-called superior qualities. Evidence from Dr Dweck’s studies shows that praise for effort and

perseverance achieves far superior results than praise for talent or intelligence. The latter pushes the receiver towards stagnant performance, afraid of where their talents will end and unwilling to take a risk. Again highlighting the importance of careful language use, Dweck writes that long term results were seen when students “were praised for doing what it takes to succeed” rather than the success itself. Syed’s message is clear. We need to build a growth mindset culture both at school and at home, creating a generation that isn’t afraid to fail but can harness and build on failure’s lessons. What Syed calls the “myth of talent” and the language associated with this is what stands in the way of future generations and their success. We are already developing some further work around this research through Herts for Learning; building the concepts into our Parent2Parent project and looking at the implications for Closing Gaps in outcomes through the Exchanging Excellence programme.

New Curriculum

The Pick


Herts Schools

The new National Curriculum brings various challenges to schools. Inside we discuss some of these challenges and what Herts for Learning is doing to help. We also interview the advisers who are leading on the primary curriculum developments.

Find out what’s coming up at Herts for Learning in terms of training, conferences and projects, plus catch up on any courses or events you may have missed.

Herts for Learning has welcomed three new Non-Executive Directors to the Herts for Learning Board. Nigel Ludlow and Robin Barrett have filled two new Co-opted NED positions, joining Headteacher Kate Beaumont as our primary phase NED.

A snapshot of what’s been happening in Hertfordshire schools, from early years settings through to secondary. Are you doing anything extraordinary in your school? Let us know! (for contact details see inside)





A number of secondary headteachers returned to school following a Herts for Learning (HfL) conference inspired to take a fresh look at their approach to Gifted and Talented students. At the conference ex-table tennis champion and journalist Matthew Syed challenged the view that some people are naturally talented. Syed, author of Bounce, argued that entrapment within a fixed mind-set could be disastrous to a child’s future success. Syed demonstrated the influence of extensive domain experience over natural superior instincts, arguing that flattery of the latter can be highly detrimental. Those who are credited with innate talent become easily complacent, expecting to input only minimal effort in order to achieve their goals. Relying upon talent removes the essential process of making mistakes and learning from them, Syed argued. He drew heavily upon the work of Dr Carol S. Dweck, who describes mindsets as ‘fixed’ or ‘growth’ as a way to understand our motivations and successes. She argues that one’s mindset affects the way in which we react to challenges at a very basic level, limiting or allowing for larger successes. For schools this is significant in two ways. Members of staff with a ‘fixed’

For more information on Matthew Syed and his work, see: References to: Michael Syed, Bounce (The Fourth Estate, 2011) Dr Carol S. Dweck, Mindset (Robinson, 2012)

ResearchED is an initiative that seeks to bring teachers and researchers together and find out ‘what works’ in the classroom. Speaking at the latest researchED conference, Joe Kirby explains how human memory works and how a scientific understanding of our minds can inform our teaching. Kirby presents two influential models of human memory used by cognitive scientists. It turns out that the crucial insight provided by these models is that “our teaching should minimise the overload of students’ working memories and maximise the retention in their long-term memories.” Teacher research: what’s the point? NFER ( Recently, Ben Goldacre (science writer) has called for the integration of evidence-based research in teaching. Comparing to the medical profession, Goldacre laments the lack of rigorous evidence behind teaching methods in education. More serious is the claim that an awareness of the need for evidencebased research to support what teachers do in the classroom is absent amongst teachers and education professionals. However, the skeptics or the pragmatist might say: “what’s the point?” In this article, Ben Dublin explains how to evaluate the role of research in Education and how research can be a great help for teachers to improve their teaching.

Inside this issue


Herts for Learning  Training Times

May 2014

New curriculum Head to Herts for Learning for your new curriculum needs In the run up to the implementation of the new National Curriculum, our advisory teams are working hard to provide support to schools. In a time of rapid educational change stretching beyond the curriculum, Herts for Learning is busy developing materials to smooth the transition to the new curriculum and to help schools review their current offer and enhance learning further. At Key Stages 1, 2 and 3, the Programmes of Study in the new National Curriculum raise the expectations and standards across all subjects. There is more freedom for schools and teachers to design their own curriculum. Although the changes pose various challenges for schools, they also provide an opportunity for flexibility and creativity to reinvigorate current frameworks. The composition of the curriculum remains unchanged. ICT has evolved into computing and there is the addition of a modern foreign language at KS2. Whilst the Programmes of Study in many subject areas are brief, at Key Stages 1 and 2 the core curriculum

subjects are mapped out in detail. The essential knowledge, skills and understanding are defined. HfL is tailoring assistance for primary schools at every level. Over the past few months, four successful primary senior leader conferences, ‘Taking control of your curriculum’, have been attended by over half of Hertfordshire schools. Word is spreading about their content and schools from further afield attended these. As we move further into the implementation and embedding phases, regular curriculum updates will be provided through Headteachers’ seminars and subject leader clusters which take place every term. For middle leaders, further support and guidance can be obtained through the wide range of training courses which tackle specific aspects of the new curriculum. Specific guidance to support classroom teachers’ preparations is also available. Courses in the summer and autumn terms will provide primary practitioners with ready to use classroom tools and resources. For primary mathematics and English, HfL are developing

Meet the advisers - primary Kerry Godsman

David Cook

Kerry is our Lead Teaching and Learning Adviser for Primary English, and has been with Herts for Learning (previously Standards and School Effectiveness) since 2007. Her role at HfL involves coordinating and delivering around forty training courses a year, various conferences and the five headteacher seminars that take place every term. She organises her team of English advisers and manages the twenty five Leading Teachers in the county. She is heavily involved in assisting schools with their preparations for the new curriculum as the new academic year approaches. For English, “writing stamina” is to be developed through pupils’ writing not just in English, but across the curriculum. Kerry is keen to show schools that this can be a time for positive change and an opportunity for reassessment. Previously, Kerry was a key stage one and two teacher. She was also involved with Teachers International Professional Development, a programme from the Department of Education that allows

David is our Lead Teaching and Learning Adviser for Primary Mathematics and has been with Herts for Learning (previously Standards and School Effectiveness) since 2005. David leads the primary mathematics team. He is currently focussing on the implementation of the new curriculum and is taking a look at how schools can

“time for positive change” teachers to travel to share and learn good practice abroad. After a study visit in North Carolina, she began supporting teachers outside her own school. In the past few years Kerry’s other projects have included leading the Primary National Strategy “Every Child a Writer” programme, and a heavy involvement with international study projects. She has taken groups of teachers all over the world to learn from differing educational practices, such as Mexico, Poland and Taiwan.

“Passionate about improving teaching and learning standards” respond to the Government’s changes in order to improve themselves. Previously, David was a primary teacher in several schools in London and Hertfordshire. Before becoming a qualified teacher he had a burgeoning interest in education and young people, with a background in special school education and a degree in educational psychology. Passionate about improving teaching and learning standards, he became an accredited Leading Teacher and then an Advanced Skills Teacher. Going into schools to share his expertise and enthusiasm for fostering mathematical thinking, he has always shown a drive to progress teaching skills. David now assists the Mathematics Specialist Teacher Programme (MaST) which is run in conjunction with the University of Hertfordshire. The two year programme works to develop teaching strategies via cluster trainings, to decipher the best ways of representing mathematics in the future. Photos from top to bottom; Kerry Godsman and David Cook

a suite of materials that help teachers meet the challenges of the new curriculum and ‘make it work in the classroom’. Mathematics courses, in summer term 2, focus on years 1, 3, 4 and 5 to help schools meet the statutory requirements from September 2014. A series of twilight ‘Maths snippets’ sessions will support teachers to develop subject knowledge and teaching strategies in key areas of the curriculum. Herts for Learning is currently in the process of developing an online subscription site for the primary curriculum and assessment resources. Further details about these invaluable materials will be available shortly. At secondary level GCSE and A-Level courses are undergoing a rolling programme of significant reform, making them even more rigorous and demanding, with increased expectations of school performance. At GCSE, there will only be ‘controlled assessment’ coursework in practical subjects or where the content cannot be assessed by examination and all courses will see an increased focus on examination performance and lengthier examinations. Grade indicators are set to change from A*-G markers to grades 9-1 for GCSEs, with the top grade of 9 being higher than the current A*. Whilst

it is currently expected that Grade 4 will be equivalent to the current C grade it is expected that, in time, grade 5 will become the expected ‘benchmarking’ standard. The first subjects to see this change will be English language, English literature and mathematics with information becoming available from examination boards in the Autumn term for implementation the following September. At A level, this increased rigour and challenge continues with reduced coursework, increased examination expectations and a complete separation of AS and A2 courses. This level of change at public examination level will pose challenges for schools but HfL’s secondary specialists will be on hand to support schools at every step of the way. We have a comprehensive suite of planned conferences, courses and workshops that will support key decision makers in secondary schools from curriculum design and choice of courses through to detailed planning to support effective implementation. Our Herts for Learning website will also become the host for additional support materials for our schools. More details on primary and secondary support to follow shortly.

To help schools get to know the people who are delivering their courses, consultancy and business services a little better, we will be talking to Herts for Learning (HfL) advisers in each issue to find out a little more about them.

Meet Kerry, David and their teams For more information and to book your place on one of the following courses please visit:

New curriculum: progression in reading comprehension skills 3rd July 2014 14ENG/025P (Hertfordshire Development Centre) This day will be full of practical activities for the teaching of reading comprehension. It will support you in exploring approaches to teaching the key knowledge and skills from Year 1 to 6 in line with the new curriculum. In particular, you will explore the issues arising around progression within and across the statements in the 3/4 and 5/6 programmes of study. The guidance states the complexity of texts used will need to be increased in each year group, so booklists will be provided. The teaching of key skills will be exemplified for different year groups.

The new National Curriculum for mathematics - making it work in the classroom This course is held at various locations throughout Hertfordshire on different dates for Year 1, Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5. For more information please visit: This one day course will provide teachers with all the information needed to ensure they are able to plan and teach effectively. The day will focus upon identifying the changes and supporting teachers to manage the transition to the raised expectations in the new programme of study. Effective teaching strategies and ideas will be developed. This course will provide teachers with all the information they need to plan and teach a connected and cohesive mathematics curriculum. Delegates will develop medium term planning documents which can be used or adapted for the needs of their class.

Herts for Learning  Training Times

May 2014

The pick Up and coming


The pick of the month. What’s on and what you might have missed.

Maths snippets algebra Our mathematics advisory team organise snappy practical twilight sessions covering key topics in the maths curriculum. These half termly sessions provide attendees with a range of effective teaching strategies to take back to the classroom, strengthening lessons to meet the increased expectations of the new curriculum. The next in this series focuses on early pattern and algebra, which pupils are expected to use confidently. It is a topic which is less explicit in the new curriculum framework but needs developing

Parent2Parent pilot launches Parent2Parent (P2P) is a new and exciting programme that has been developed and is being piloted by HfL, to help make a real difference to the learning of their children. As educators, we know that parental involvement in children’s education from an early age has significant effect on educational achievement, and continues to do so into adolescence and adulthood. Parenting programmes have been developed widely across the country for the last 15 years and in the main, have trained professionals to work with parents in a group setting. These programmes have been successful and are widely recommended.

throughout Key Stage 1 and lower KS2. The mathematics team has unpicked the guidance to provide bite size advice on developing secure conceptual understanding of pattern to help pupils reach the end of year outcomes regarding algebra. The course explores deepening learning through connecting to other areas of mathematics and developing rich opportunities to problem solve. The sessions provide useful materials and activities to use straight away in the classroom. These are explored in detail and are ready to use as a starter or as part of the main teaching. Suitable for years one through six, the sessions focus on promoting deeper learning within your maths lessons. For more information please visit:

What makes P2P different? P2P will explore some useful teaching techniques and will demonstrate how these can be adapted for use at home. The programme will be delivered by parents however, who will be specially trained by HfL’s expert advisers and will run as a series of practical sessions. The first P2P introductory meeting will be held at Hobletts Manor Junior School, Hemel Hempstead, on Monday 12th May. Parents and carers from all local schools are being invited to attend. Further details on P2P and the pilot launch will be included in the June edition.

The Business of Running a School HfL are introducing a range of new services to support, develop and complement the work of School Business Managers (SBMs). These will include consultancy and recruitment services and training. Consultancy, which will be available

later in the year, will assist schools with specific business related projects, whether a business manager is in place or whether full support is required. The recruitment service (already available) assists with the process of recruiting an SBM, from the initial stages of writing

What’s on this month at HfL

Cultivating independent learners Herts for Learning is excited to present an innovative approach to independent learning, Lifting the lid on learning: developing independent learners. The course is taking place in Stevenage on Wednesday 21st May. Making practical use of educational theory, the course provides innovative approaches to cultivating independent learners. It shows school leaders how to create a classroom environment where pupils learn because of a pride in self management, rather than because of their teacher’s direct input. Hannah East is our Behaviour for Learning adviser – working to develop practical methods of approaching learning behaviour. Whilst the national mindset is captivated by the ideas of those such as Guy Claxton and Dr Carol Dweck, Hannah foresees what these philosophies will look like in the classroom, developing them into concrete practise. With a background in teaching, special education and management she has a rounded perspective of how classrooms work. She led the implementation of the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning programme (SEAL) in Hertfordshire and continues to inspire teachers with her learning models. Using Claxton’s Building Learning Power as her bench point Hannah draws together the continual stream of research around letting children manage their own learning. Claxton, for example, advocates

a suitable job description through to being part of the selection day and successful appointment. We will be running training specific to the business of running a school

pupils gaining a set of skills that will prepare them for life beyond the school gates. Hannah uses a system of Behaviour for Learning Monitors in order to weave these ‘life skills’ into everyday learning. This technique gives every pupil responsibility for monitoring one thing such as tidiness or happiness. They are then asked to praise their peers for good work, rather than reprimand the untidy or the rude. Promotion of a positive working culture is just one example of a skill that pupils will have to replicate in their later careers. Hannah provides practical, accessible and most importantly, tailored solutions for schools. The impact of her work is measured by a behaviour for learning baseline, individualised through collaboration with each school. This baseline monitors the progression of social, learning and organisational skills in each individual pupil. Hannah has been working with our English and mathematics advisers in order to embed her work specifically within English and mathematics lessons. The course will give example exercises to get pupils thinking independently right from the planning stages of their literacy themes and units. Securing high expectations from these early stages helps pupils and teachers to encourage challenges within lessons. The course will outline sophisticated methods to take back to school and use in line with speaking, listening and collaborative work. Each of these themes play a crucial role in developing independence and self regulation within the classroom. For more information and to book your place on the course please see:

for anyone responsible for managing business related issues within their school. Summer term training courses are now available to book via The Grid. Our first SBM Conference is taking place on Wednesday 25th June - see: Further details on the service will be included in the June edition.

Recently at HfL

In case you missed anything…

Stonewall conference first to see new Stonewall campaign “No Bystanders” Attendees at HfL’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual (LGBT) conference, Completing the Inclusion Matrix, were privileged to be the first in the public domain to hear about the new Stonewall campaign, No Bystanders. Stonewall’s Head of Education Luke Tryl spoke about the campaign at the conference on Friday, 21st March 2013, the morning of its launch. The day celebrated our achievement of Stonewall Index Number 1, which was presented to Hertfordshire County Council for outstanding support to Hertfordshire schools on tackling homophobia. Signed by over 3000 members of the public since its launch,

Stonewall’s petition asks signees not to be a bystander when overhearing bullying language. Part of the pledge states: “If I hear it, I will call it out and if I can, I will stop it”. The year-long campaign tackles prejudice language and its use in everyday situations. It is spearheaded by a deliberately shocking short video which aims to provide a point of discussion. The video follows a set of abusive language reverberating through a slowly aging group of characters. It begins with small insults in the playground and escalates to hard hitting bullying and violence in the workplace. Narrated by Sir Ian McKellan, the video ends with the

tagline: What we learn as children can last a lifetime. Stonewall hope to see schools integrating their video into classrooms in the near future. The conference also heard from Professor Ian Rivers and LGBT role model James Wharton. The two spoke of the issues facing the LGBT society, and the way in which these affect young people today. James was the first gay man to appear on the front cover of Soldier Magazine and the first civil partnership in the Household Cavalry’s history. He gave an incredibly personal account of his journey in the British Army and beyond, as an LGBT inspirational speaker.

No Bystanders aims to give people the courage to stand up to verbal bullying in their day to day lives. It targets not only homophobic prejudice, but that of each and every targeted community. For more information about Stonewall’s campaign see:


Herts for Learning  Training Times

May 2014

A taste of our forthcoming courses Bid writing and income generation

Primary Assessment Manager 7

Developing scientific enquiry

15th May 2014

21st May 2014




With increased emphasis on financial self-reliance and entrepreneurialism, this half day workshop aims to encourage participants to develop a more confident, coherent and strategic approach to income generation. The workshop focuses on practical ways to ensure more successful bid writing as well as how the school can use its resources more efficiently and creatively to generate additional income.

Working in consultation with the primary advisers, SITSS is able to offer schools the ability to record pupil progress within SIMS AM7 and to reproduce distribution and tracking sheets. This will include the analysis of data based on information already held in the SIMS database, e.g. ethnicity, SEN attendance etc. By entering data once only, different types of analysis reports can be produced.

Do you want to inspire your pupils with more creative and innovative approaches to scientific enquiry? Do you want to develop the confidence of staff to assess scientific skills effectively and in a manageable way? Do you want to explore how to build progression and ensure coverage of the science enquiry skills across the key stages? Do you want to enrich the methods of communicating and recording scientific enquiries?

By the end of the course participants will have: • an understanding on how to develop an income generation strategy • information and advice on different funding opportunities available to schools • practical guidance on writing successful funding bids • considered how you might develop entrepreneurial activities, including within collaborative arrangements

Back to the future National ICT and computer science festival 2014 23rd May 2014 14ICT/021A This exciting event, hosted by the Hertfordshire Schools ICT Services team, focuses on learning and teaching in the classroom. Exhibitors will be showcasing software and peripheral devices. Our festival will enable you to see a wide range of innovative and leading-edge resources. Entry to the festival will also include the opportunity to attend the ICT litebite sessions designed to update and provide CPD across a wide range of ICT topics. By attending the course you will: inspire attendees with ideas and approaches to enhance their use of ICT across the curriculum • review a range of software and peripherals appropriate to your subject area or school phase • engage staff in the creative use of ICT to motivate and engage learners • have the opportunity to network and share good practice with colleagues

By attending the course you will: • understand how to create and customise a marksheet and enter data onto a marksheet • understand how to use target setting marksheets • be able to run SIMS assessment reports and analyse data • export and import marksheets

Wood machine safety course: S1HS, S7HS, S8HS (3 days) 3rd June 2014 14DET/001A This course enables teachers, NQTs, technicians and site managers to demonstrate, through practical activities, their capability in using the process of: • wood sawing machine (S1HS) - includes band saws, circular saws, power fret saws and radial arm saws • wood turning lathe (S7HS) • planer / thicknesser machine (S8HS) - please be aware that this machine should not be used by pupils in compulsory education Delegates will learn the correct procedures for using each of the above machines, routine maintenance requirements, the types, parts and functions particularly the controls and safety devices. By the end of the course participants will have: • the TTA and DATA Health and Safety qualification for wood sawing machines (S1HS), wood turning lathe (S7HS) and planer/ thicknesser machine (S8HS)

Lifting the lid on learning: developing independent learners

21st May 2014

If these questions apply to you then come along to a day full of hands on practical activities covering the full range of enquiry skills and providing lots of creative ideas to take away and use in the classroom. By the end of the course participants will have: • considered different types of scientific enquiry and their associated skills • explored progression in scientific enquiry through Key Stages 1 and 2 • considered creative forms of reporting and recording pupils work • developed confidence in assessing scientific enquiry skills in a manageable way

Preparing for the new primary science curriculum in Year 1 4th June 2014 14SCI/006P This course will enable classroom teachers and subject leaders to prepare for the new primary science curriculum in Year 1. This course has been built following the autumn conference and will help develop a programme of study for primary science. By attending the course participants will: • consider how schemes of learning need to be adapted to deliver the new curriculum • explore how to enhance the curriculum through pracitcal approaches • review how to embed ‘working scientifically’ • consider practical implications and how to personalise the curriculum for their own school • explore assessment opportunities within Year 1

21st May 2014 14ENG/012P Making practical use of educational theory, the course provides innovative approaches to cultivating independent learners. The course is embedded within the English curriculum, uniting your strive for independent learning with your plans for the new National Curriculum. It will give example exercises to get pupils thinking independently right from the planning stages of their Literacy themes and units. By attending the course you will: understand the important role teachers play in the establishment of an ‘enabling environment’ • examine the cognitive, metacognitive and affective skills associated with independent learning • explore how to structure your learning environment to promote effective ways to learn • build your personal toolkit of effective strategies for promoting independent learning

Independent schools forum physical development 4th June 2014 14EAY/011P At this term’s forum we will have Lucky Khera (Early Years Adviser) to talk to you about a child’s physical development and how this contributes to their learning and development. We will also have networking with other independent schools as well as the opportunity for consultation with Caroline Luck and an update on current early years issues. By the end of the course participants will: • gain an awareness of the importance of physical development as a prime area • understand how physical development impacts on children’s overall learning and development • reflect and engage on how to provide an environment that stimulates and enables physical development

Herts for Learning  Training Times

May 2014


For more information, to book your place or to see our full range of training courses visit: For further information about our training programme please contact Mark Green on 01438 844788 or

Teach your grammar

Personnel reporting

4th June 2014

4th June 2014



This half day course is aimed at classroom teachers working from Year 1 to Year 6. The session will introduce you to basic grammatical subject knowledge using terminology in line with the new curriculum expectations. You will examine the teaching of word classes and the use of resources and strategies that encourage learning to stick. Participants will receive a pack and a CD of resources for immediate classroom use. By attending the course you will: • gain an understanding of basic grammatical subject knowledge • examine strategies for effectively teaching word classes • investigate resources and strategies to encourage learning that sticks • explore grammar through engagement with practical activities

Effective team building for business managers 5th June 2014 14MAN/044A Leadership lite bites are short 1.5 hour training sessions designed to help both practicing and aspiring business managers, at any level, to develop knowledge, skills and behaviours to carry out essential leadership roles in schools. Delegates will look at how schools used to be led from the top down, but leadership is increasingly being distributed to teams. Effective team building is therefore one of the most important aspects of ensuring school improvement. By attending the course you will: be able to identify the characteristics of effective and ineffective teams • know the key skills you need to improve the performance of your teams • understand the different functions of team members • be able to select a team building model that could be used to raise performance in your school

End of year procedures secondary schools (academic)

This course will enable you to run, edit and create new reports from your personnel data. By attending the course you will: be able to modify existing reports • design new reports • learn how to edit templates • gain knowledge of user filters

4th June 2014 14SIT/009P

This course will ensure delegates can successfully complete academic end of year procedures in SIMS. By attending the course you will: transfer the timetable from Nova-T6 to SQL • manage staff codes in Nova-T6 and manage classroom stafflearn how to edit templates • set the academic year, set promotion rules and use the curriculum promotion wizard • learn how to allocate classes using export/import and learn how to manually assign curriculum classes

Growing learning behaviour module 2 5th June 2014 14BFL/009P Under the current framework, Ofsted have significantly increased their focus on pupil engagement, interest, concentration, determination, resilience and independence. This is the second in a new series of training modules designed to support schools and settings in developing a strong culture of learning behaviour. Each module focuses upon different aspects of learning behaviour which form the building blocks of independent learning. Participants will be taken through a series of accessible and practical activities, giving them the resources with which to lead one or more professional development meetings within their own school. By the end of the course participants will be able to: • support colleagues in expanding the range of roles and responsibilities available to children within their own class • help children engage with activities designed to enable them to reflect upon which roles and responsibilities are needed and why • support children in nominating themselves or others for roles and responsibilities and in appointing the ‘best person’ for the job • get a strong foothold on the learning behaviour ladder • confidently respond to Ofsted’s focus on pupil engagement and attitudes to learning

Personnel 4th June 2014 14SIT/014A This course is designed to support data managers in managing staff data in SIMS. It will cover entering data used by the School Workforce Census return and will explore the entering of more complex data such as contract information, staff training, qualification and staff absence data. You will also be shown how to run personnel reports which will facilitate the analysis of staff data. By attending the course you will: be able to enter staff contracts understand how to add training, qualifications, absence and reasons for absence • know how to add annual salary increments • learn how to provide a data source for the DfE School Workforce Census return • be able to run reports from Personnel 7

• •

InspiRE developing Key Stage 1 RE

Secondary Mathematics Conference

11th June 2014

1st July 2014



A practical and engaging course designed to explore inspiring RE at Key Stage 1. InspiRE training delivers a wide range of creative ideas and strategies for infant pupils. This visual and active course provides an opportunity to develop RE skills including enquiry, stilling and imaginative story telling, focussing on themes such as celebrations, belonging, sacred spaces, signs and symbols and the natural world. The main focus of the day will be trying out new ideas and activities and considering how to use them to support and encourage pupils’ curiosity and spiritual development and to raise pupil attainment. Teachers will experience and take away new skills and resources to implement and to inspire the Key Stage 1 classroom.

The conference will be delivered by various keynote speakers and will respond to national developments as they arise. A full detailed agenda will be published nearer the time. Jan Parry will deliver a session on pedagogical approaches to enhance the delivery in the new Key Stage 4 curriculum. We also have a representative from AQA delivering a session on teaching proof and the enhanced curriculum at Key Stage 4. All boards will be invited to present their specifications for the new GCSE qualification.

By attending the course you will: improve knowledge and understanding of changes to the revised Hertfordshire Scheme of Work for Key Stage 1 including an overview of the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus 2012-2017 • apply knowledge and understanding to RE skills and ideas for Key Stage 1 • be provided with practical and inspiring strategies for making RE more creative

By attending this conference you will: • be kept up to date with national developments around the new curriculum and assessment criteria • receive a set of resources to use in the classroom


Herts for Learning  Training Times

May 2014

Other news from HfL HfL supporting education in the British Virgin Isles Herts for Learning is stretching its outreach cross-continent to the British Virgin Isles (BVI) in the Caribbean. Liz Simpkin, Early Years Adviser and Liz Shapland, Lead Teaching and Learning Adviser for Secondary NQT Induction, made a trip out to the islands in February to answer the country’s call for school improvement advice. With an education system vastly different to ours, the BVI Minister for Education called for support from Herts for Learning to improve their existing system with specific focus on the early years phase and NQTs. This followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the BVI and Hertfordshire County Council in 2011. The memorandum was designed to strengthen links between the two parties, and supports the objectives of the government’s Overseas Territories strategy. The two HfL advisers have just returned from a BVI funded advisory visit. The trip was organised by Jillian Douglas-Phillip, BVI Chief Education Officer, who has visited

Hertfordshire on several occasions. Our advisers, joined by a working party of key personnel from the BVIs, made visits to schools and early years centres, gathering an overview of the systems in place and deciding where HfL’s assistance would be most beneficial. They then had strategy planning meetings where they planned a framework of expectations for schools and early years settings, which they advised should become statutory when possible. They ran a total of three conference training days with early years, primary and secondary principles, lead teachers and lead practitioners. During these sessions Liz Simpkin delivered training on how the statutory framework for Early Years Foundation Stage works in the UK to secure the safety, wellbeing and learning and development of children under five. Workshops focussed on the significance of play in learning and the importance of observational assessment to improve planned teaching and learning of all children. The BVI currently have no statutory assessment for early years and it is something they are keen to implement

following HfL’s visit. Recommendations were made to link registration of early years providers to quality of provision. This would be a major change for the BVI and would be significant in raising standards and improving school readiness. Liz Shapland delivered training and workshops on Hertfordshire’s NQT induction process and the set of standards we expect new teachers to work to. She also outlined the necessity for an appraisal system for existing teaches to ensure that these standards are maintained and developed. With limited training and development in place to support new teachers in BVI schools, Liz suggested an overarching strategy be implemented and a system followed by all schools, monitored by the Education Department. This will support, strengthen and assess the daily work of all teachers and look at ways to provide better support, such as formal mentoring and established minimum training. To conclude the week our advisers met with key figures to present a verbal report detailing how the BVI can go

about achieving their top priorities, and how HfL can help them. They also left behind a detailed written report and a suggested action plan and timeline to support the implementation of the key strategies agreed. We are now looking at ways to support the country remotely in the future, sharing our resources and wealth of expertise. Remote support will be particularly important in order to help evaluate the impact of the work we have been doing and ensure that continuing professional development in education is available to the BVI.

New HfL non-executive directors Herts for Learning is pleased to welcome three new non-executive directors (NEDs) to the HfL Board: Kate Beaumont, Nigel Ludlow and Robin Barrett. Nigel and Robin bring new skills and expertise to our co-opted NED positions, which are a new addition to the HfL Board. Nigel was also elected as Chair by the existing Board members at their meeting on Wednesday 26th March. Nigel and Robin both bring a wealth of commercial and board experience, having previously worked in senior management positions in the private sector. Nigel has spent 30 years working in marketing and management roles at The Economist, an environment that he believes holds many similarities to HfL. Both are learning organisations that combine strong moral purpose with commercial goals and he is excited to be joining a company that he feels is really energised by the work that it does. Nigel said of his appointment, “I am looking forward to working with the Board and the Senior Leadership Team to establish a growth strategy for HfL that unleashes the potential of the company and deals with the challenges that growth can sometimes bring”. “It’s a really positive team and there’s a lot of excitement and energy. It is clear

that the demand for Herts for Learning services is there, and I hope that my experience of working with companies that are enjoying high growth will be of value to the business”. Robin is an executive coach, with experience in financial services and IT. He was Senior Vice President of Technology at American Express following a role as Vice President heading securities processing business units at J.P.Morgan. With nearly 40 years of experience working in financial services he brings a sound commercial background to the board, coupled with strong leadership and motivational skills. Kate is the Headteacher at Manor Fields Primary School and was elected

“We are delighted to be joined on our Board by three such strong individuals”

by our primary shareholding schools to the role of primary phase non-executive director. She replaces John Grubb, who stepped down as a primary phase NED at the end of March. Kate brings a wealth of educational experience including overseas teaching, leading on curriculum innovation projects and working closely with the Department for Education on a range of consultations. Jan Paine, Managing Director at HfL said, “We are delighted to be joined on our Board by three such strong individuals. Each brings with them a vast amount of unique experience which will be invaluable in the delivery of our growth strategy over the coming years.”

Photos from left to right; Kate Beaumont, Nigel Ludlow and Robin Barrett

Are you struggling with your new curriculum planning? A new guide for primary English teachers’ long-term planning is now available for download on the Hertfordshire Grid for Learning website. Members of the English advisory team at Herts for Learning have put together a rigorous infrastructure to support teachers in their planning for the new National Curriculum, which comes into action in September 2014. The new curriculum demands that schools create their own programmes from the government guidelines, and must make these available online. Our advisers have proposed termly plans,

taking into consideration suggested texts from the English programmes of study and weaving in other text types and genres from across the curriculum. The scheme is divided into modules which encompass narrative, poetry and non-fiction. Suggestions are given on when and how to order these modules to effectively develop English skills. This linking of content allows pupils to build upon skills that will be subsequently used in other curriculum areas, reinforcing their knowledge and confidence. In addition to the familiar genres, the ‘Take one book’ module each term allows

teachers the freedom to choose a text and write for a variety of audiences and purposes, without the need to follow the teaching sequence for writing. Our advisers have designed the program with particular attention to ensuring pupil progress across the school years. The suggested outcomes focus on progression within text type and genre as well as providing relevant contexts for the required grammar teaching. This will help pupils gain an understanding of the multiplicity of genre and texts, alongside their growing grammar skills. Most importantly, they

will then be able to use their writing and grammatical skills within varying contexts. We are in the process of writing further details for each module, in order to assist you with your medium term planning. A variety of additional resources will also be available in the summer term. For more information and to download the new guide please go to: english/ks1_2/nat_curriculum/

Herts for Learning  Training Times

May 2014


Latest Herts schools news Where learning comes alive Jessica Broadbent Herts for Learning Journalist

As their motto asserts, George Street Primary school, in Hemel Hempstead is a place ‘Where Learning Comes Alive’. As part of their history curriculum the school became a castle for years one and two on Thursday, 3rd April 2014. The topic for history last half term was castles, which the pupils have been looking at in great detail. Year two classteacher Miss Moore organised this exciting day of medieval re-enactment to complement the work they have been doing in lessons. The session was run by History Off The Page, a company that are committed to the development of the arts, humanities and science through practical learning, storytelling and drama.

Their specialist team run various workshops for schools covering vast periods of time in history and catered to KS1 and KS2. They provide props and costumes to enhance a sense of authenticity. The day began with a meeting in the ‘banqueting hall’, dropping pupils right in the middle of normal castle life with the possible threat of attack on the horizon. Becoming ‘apprentices’ for the day they partook in craft activities from ten different craft stations, each run by ‘maidens’. These included candle making, weaving, quill writing and preparing cures with the wise woman. Each station gave the apprentices something to take away with them. The day was largely funded by the school’s enrichment budget, with a small cost to parents. For lunch the school provided a Norman banquet, with both classes seated at medieval style long tables.

George Street Primary School, Castle Day Photograph by Jessica Broadbent

New virtual ICT solution gives resilience, flexibility and energy efficiency Jessica Broadbent Herts for Learning Journalist

In a project costing over £40,000, HfL Senior Network Adviser, Jeff Hall, installed two new Dell servers during the Easter holiday at Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School. This compact pair replaced six old servers. They are smaller, more powerful, greener and, most significantly, they work as a cluster pair to support virtual servers. This is a long term investment for the school, providing a reliable IT core to support the users in the school and helping to reduce the school’s carbon footprint. The School IT Systems Support team (SITSS) have been working closely with Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School since 2011 when their own network manager left. After initially managing their IT system SITSS have gradually handed over to the school’s new technicians Carl Anderson and Chris Mason. This is part of the SITSS flexible ICT consultancy with SITSS now only providing high level consultancy support. Business Manager Debbie Daniel decided to upgrade the current servers, (the box shaped devices that manage input and output of signals to and from computers), after initial discussions about their efficiency with Jeff and the team. Coming to the end of its warranty,

the old system was using software over ten years old. The new servers are running Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2, the latest software. They are ten times more powerful than the old ones and have allowed the school to shrink their old server farm into the two hosts using Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 (see image). Debbie said, “We wanted to minimise the disruption to teaching and learning that we had been experiencing. We spent a lot of time constantly solving printing problems and restarting the servers, for example”. A virtual server provides higher flexibility. For some services, such as printers, it is useful to have a separate server and this can be easily accommodated in this design. This means that if anything goes wrong with the printing it can be handled with minimal disturbance to pupils and teachers. Only the printing service will be affected. Previously, adding a new server meant buying a new physical box to add to the existing ones. With the virtual server this happens at the click of a mouse, as the two new physical machines are able to recognise several servers doing different jobs simultaneously. Running virtual machines is also more efficient for the school. With smaller yet much more powerful microprocessors (the devices that process digital data) inside, the machine doesn’t

get as hot and therefore less energy is needed to cool it down. The fans don’t have to work so hard inside the machine and the school’s air conditioning system is put under less pressure. With two machines replacing the six old servers, less electricity is needed overall. The new servers are resilient and reliable, with seven years’ warranty. They are supported by substantial storage in order to ensure that all important data, such as coursework, is preserved. What this means for pupils is that their work is kept safe, with a robust back up system. There are twelve storage disks which manage the whole school’s data. Two of these remain unused in what is called a SAN (Storage Area Network), so in the

case of a disk failure one unused disk can take over without any disruption to the computers in the school or to pupils’ work. This gives the school and Dell time to replace the failed disk. Data is further backed up on two large tapes, which are rotated weekly and allow recovery of corrupt or deleted files for at least a year. The two host servers are in a failover cluster which means that if either were to fail then the workload of the failed one is transferred to the remaining one without the end users being aware. Thus even the failure of a host server will not cause disruption to the school. Jeff and HfL Network Service Delivery Manager, Ashley Turner, have developed a unique solution, allowing them to put computer systems such as this together for schools using the latest Microsoft software. Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School is the second in Hertfordshire to have received the SITSS upgrade, with several more schools in line. “I have been very impressed with the SITSS support,” Debbie said, “Once the solution was defined, the procurement and implementation has worked out very smoothly”. If you are planning investment in your IT and would like some assistance from SITSS please contact their Service Desk, 01438 844777 option 1 option 3 or email

HfL celebrates 2014 HQS award winners

Caroline Chalke, Early Years Adviser for quality and training, welcomes guests to the HQS celebration

Herts for Learning hosted 150 Early Years award winners at the Hertfordshire Quality Standards Awards Celebration 2014. These represented 44 of the settings who completed the scheme this year and were commended for their work in raising quality standards. The award is given to early years settings who have completed a self-evaluation process evidencing their continued commitment to high standards in their provision for young children. Our Hertfordshire scheme is a highly regarded award. Its completion

provides a reliable indicator of professional reflection within the setting, and commitment to self-improvement. The HQS process is led by the HfL Early Years Advisory Team and is co-ordinated by our Early Years Adviser for quality and training, Caroline Chalke. It is a collaboration between HfL and Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), who subsidise the scheme for the early years settings involved. All those who have completed the award this year were invited to the evening celebration event at Stevenage. Representatives included child minders,

day nurseries, schools and preschools. Each setting was given a certificate and small bear to take back and display with pride. These were presented by Jan Paine, Managing Director of HfL and Gillian Cawley, Assistant Director of Education at HCC. We have another 50 settings who are currently working towards their HQS award. The journey doesn’t stop for those at the ceremony either as the award, which is valid for 3 years, encourages continual improvement with an interim review to ensure that standards are maintained.

If you have any events coming up that you would like us to cover, get in touch with Jessica Broadbent at 01438 844331 or

Exchanging Excellence® Closing Gaps Conference 2014:

A synthesis of best practice! Monday 7th July 2014, 9.30am to 4.00pm Hertfordshire Development Centre, Robertson House, Stevenage, SG1 2FQ

This evidence-based cross phase conference is a must for ALL Hertfordshire schools as we bring together and celebrate best practice that is having the most impact in Closing Gaps and improving outcomes for pupils both nationally and across the county. National Pupil Premium Champion, John Dunford (pictured), will be our keynote speaker and delegates will be able to choose from a range of practical and inspirational workshops which will draw upon best practice uncovered through the research phase of the Closing Gaps project, led by David Birch and Marc Rowland. A detailed programme for the day will follow shortly. This conference will: • Provide you with effective, tried and tested strategies on how to close gaps for pupils eligible for pupil premium and improve outcomes for all pupils, both in Hertfordshire and nationally • Demonstrate the impact of projects that are already underway in Hertfordshire including the primary phase RANGe project (Raising Achievement Narrowing Gaps effectively) • Give you opportunities to engage with other Hertfordshire schools to hear what they are doing, exchange best practice and develop collaborations • Offer workshops from a range of schools in different circumstances and contexts that have discovered approaches that have really made a difference • Share our ideas and invite you to help shape Hertfordshire’s plans to take this learning to the next level The subsidised cost of attending this conference for Hertfordshire schools is £50.00 per person (including all day catering). To book your place at this event please visit using course code: 14CON/001A Exchanging Excellence® is our umbrella programme for all of the work we are doing and plan to do in the future, to find and share best practice and professional learning with our customers on a range of current and relevant topics. For further information:

@HertsLearning #HfLExchEx

If you have any feedback or suggestions about Training Times, or would like to include a news story in the next issue please contact Jessica Broadbent, at

Training Times - Issue 1 - May 2014