1 CURRICULUM FOR EXCELLENCE MONITORING 29TH OCTOBER 2011 WEST LOTHIAN COUNCIL RESPONSE
1. Every child and young person is entitled to experience a curriculum which is coherent from 3 to 18 Please consider progress around: Well planned, joined-up learning within the 4 contexts of learning Smooth and well-paced progression in learning Smooth transitions Evidence will relate to the HMIE characteristics: 3: Staff are working with increasing confidence with the Es&Os and know how to use these in taking a coherent approach to learning, teaching and assessment 4b: arrangements for ensuring good progression across transitions And QIs 5.1(The curriculum) & 5.9 (Improvement through self-evaluation). Evidence / evaluative statement covering a) positive progress & b) challenges: West Lothian schools and centres are making very good progress in ensuring that every young person experiences a curriculum, which is coherent from 3 to 18. The following outlines the impact and improvements in outcomes for children and young people related to this CfE entitlement along with the challenges that schools have identified. Well planned, joined-up learning within the 4 contexts of learning All of our schools have an agreed vision and a clear plan for change, based on self-evaluation. Staff development supports each schoolâ€&#x;s plan allowing staff to enhance their knowledge, support professional dialogue and spread practice at school, cluster and authority level. Most schools are building on effective partnership working with all stakeholders, particularly with Community Learning and Development and parents and carers. In early years and primary, very good progress has been made in ensuring well planned, joined up learning within the 4 contexts of learning. Staff are becoming increasingly confident and skilled in the planning and delivery of Experiences and Outcomes, including collaborative working. Interdisciplinary learning is well established in our primaries and in some secondary schools. In secondary schools teachers are becoming more confident in their use of the Experiences and Outcomes to improve learnersâ€&#x; achievements and develop high quality learning and teaching. Most schools are continuing to focus on ensuring a more coherent approach to planning the curriculum in its totality, learning and teaching and assessment. Guidance on planning, which includes planning of assessment which shows evidence of areas where learnersâ€&#x; Experiences and Outcomes have improved and can be used to inform next steps in learning, has recently been issued to all schools and this remains a priority for development in all schools this session. GLOW is being used effectively by most of our schools to help them to share resources, good practice, planning and delivery of Curriculum for Excellence. There is ongoing development of the use of GLOW to improve communication and support collaborative working and this is another key area for development. Smooth and well-paced progression in learning In all of our schools stage to stage transition is planned to ensure appropriate smooth and well-paced progression. Staff take responsibility for the monitoring and tracking of individual pupil progress. This forms the focus for planning meetings with management. Assessment of progress presents a range of challenges in terms of the balance between assessment for and of learning, consistency and moderation and parental expectation. Tracking coverage of outcomes across levels for individual learners, particularly in literacy, numeracy and health and well being across secondary schools, and agreeing standards of achievement remains a challenge for most schools.
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2 Smooth transitions In our school clusters there has been an increase in joint planning of learning across transitions. Approaches to joint planning are more established between early years and primary, however, secondary staff are beginning to work more with primary colleagues to ensure that they build on prior learning in their planning. Staff within schools and clusters have been meeting to share standards and agree expectations of levels in some curricular areas, such as literacy. Although personal support at primary secondary transition is very good, the challenge of ensuring smooth transitions at learning levels and between schools remains. In all schools pupilsâ€&#x; progress is closely monitored and next steps and pace of learning are based on sound assessment. Supporting professional dialogue is key and schools are using collegiate planning time to enable teachers to discuss evidence of progression and compare pupil work from stage to stage and school to school. One of our clusters has successfully gathered assessment data of CfE levels developing a P7 to S1 e-profile to track, monitor and report on pupilsâ€&#x; progress in terms of literacy, numeracy and health and well being. This cluster has piloted reporting on pupil progress in learning through our MIS system, Seemis. The teachers in the secondary now have access to electronic information of S1 pupil progress in learning from P7. This system is being rolled out to all authority schools this session. As an authority we are continuing to work with Seemis to develop a meaningful system of tracking and monitoring pupil progress, which supports learning. In many schools GLOW has been used in developing the P7 pupil profile and transition curricular programmes. 2. Every child and young person is entitled to experience a broad general education (up to end of S3) Please consider progress around: Provision of E&Os across curriculum areas Active and engaging learning and teaching Assessment and learning supporting breadth, challenge and application Progression through the CfE levels (Is there any evidence of improvement in achievement?) Achievements recorded in P7 and S3 profile Evidence will relate to the HMIE characteristics: 3: Staff are working with increasing confidence with the Es&Os and know how to use these in taking a coherent approach to learning, teaching and assessment 4d: a clear focus on the individual learner and their development and progress And QIs 5.1 (The curriculum), 5.3 (Meeting learning needs) and 2.1 (Learnersâ€™ experiences). Evidence / evaluative statement covering a) positive progress & b) challenges: West Lothian schools and centres are making good progress in ensuring that every child and young person is experiencing a broad general education (up to the end of S3). The following outlines the impact and improvements in outcomes for children and young people related to this CfE entitlement along with the challenges that schools have identified. Provision of E&Os across curriculum areas All schools are using the Experiences and Outcomes to carefully plan, particularly at S1 and S2, coherent programmes and courses to allow appropriate progression through breadth, challenge and application in learning. Increasingly in secondary schools interdisciplinary learning is planned which supports the development of skills in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing as the responsibility of all. Schools are working with teachers on approaches to strengthening the teaching of literacy and numeracy. All secondary schools continue to work on embedding the broad general education and establishing the platform for subsequent development work for the new qualifications.
Active and engaging learning and teaching Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ www.scotland.gov.uk
3 Most schools have made good progress in developing more active teaching methods to engage the interest of the pupils. This is well-embedded in early years and primary where children are increasingly active participants in their own learning understanding learning intentions, setting success criteria and using AiFL strategies to identify next steps in learning. Outdoor learning is well established at the early level. The challenge, particularly for our secondary schools, is to develop a whole school coherent approach to learning, teaching and assessment that ensures that all pupils are actively engaged in their own learning. Assessment and learning supporting breadth, challenge and application Staff are much more confident in using the Experiences and Outcomes in practice and embedding them in learning, particularly at S1 and S2, in planning coherent programmes and courses to allow appropriate progression through breadth, challenge and application in learning. In all schools summative, standardised and formative assessments are all used to feed in to next steps in learning. Some pupils in S1 and S2 have opportunities to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways, and wider use of AiFL strategies is evident and increasingly informs planning and next steps. Teachers and Senior Management Teams are seeking support with assessment and moderation. The challenge is in up-skilling some staff to develop a range of assessment techniques and strategies along with supporting appropriate professional dialogue, which allows staff to agree standards and expectations of learning, particularly at transitions. Authority guidance on approaches to assessment and moderation has recently been given to all schools. Progression through the CfE levels (Is there any evidence of improvement in achievement?) Teachers and Senior Management Teams continue to seek advice on tracking of progress and reporting based upon the Experiences and Outcomes, which give a clear, focus on the individual learner and their development and progress. Further work involving teachers working together to share standards and having access to high-quality exemplars is needed to enable teachers to be confident and skilled in agreeing standards and expectations against which progress can be measured. Some schools and clusters are making good progress and they are sharing their expertise with others. This includes those teachers who have been involved in NAR development. In all schools progression is tracked and monitored through the levels and used as a basis of discussion with teachers. This is particularly strong in the early years and the primary sector. At Early Level staff are monitoring progress using the â€žLearnerâ€&#x;s Journeyâ€&#x;. This tool for tracking and monitoring progress was developed within the authority. The evidence gathered shows improvement in achievement against targets set. In all schools senior managers have adapted tracking systems in line with CfE and some have developed electronic profiling. This information is used to gauge progression through the CfE levels. In some clusters schools have made good progress in engaging staff in the development of moderation of attainment. This is a good basis for further development in the tracking, monitoring and reporting of pupil progress. The authority is continuing to work with Seemis in the development of system that will more effectively track and monitor individual progression through the CfE levels. This is being rolled out to all schools this session. Once embedded, this information will be used to provide evidence of improvement in achievement. Achievements recorded in P7 and S3 profile Schools use various methods of recording pupil achievement and approaches to profiling following the guidance in BtC 5 are being developed. One primary and one secondary school have been involved in the NAR development of exemplar P7and S3 profiles and an authority group will be issuing advice to schools for production of the P7 profile in May 2012. Advice on S3 profiling will follow. Tracking and monitoring of individual pupil wider achievements is an area where schools would like support to enable them ensure that all pupils experience a broad general education. The authority is working on developments and advice for schools on approaches to e profiling through the use of GLOW blogging and recognition of achievement using our MIS system, Seemis.
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4 3. Every young person is entitled to experience a senior phase where he or she can continue to develop the four capacities and also obtain qualifications (S4-6 and ages 16-18 out of school) Please consider progress around: Range of provision and flexible pathways, meeting learners‟ needs Active and engaging learning and teaching Assessment and learning supporting breadth, challenge and application Learners developing the four capacities (Is there any evidence of improvement in achievement?) Evidence will relate to the HMIE characteristics: 1b: curriculum plans/structure/design; 1e: the plan maps out the stages in moving from existing to new arrangements, year on year And QIs 1.1 (Improvements in performance), 2.1 (Learners’ experiences), 5.1 (The curriculum) and 5.9 (Improvement through self-evaluation). Evidence / evaluative statement covering a) positive progress & b) challenges: West Lothian schools and centres are making very good progress in ensuring that every young person experiences a senior phase where he or she can continue to develop the four capacities and also obtain qualifications (S4-6 and ages 16-18 out of school). The following outlines the impact and improvements in outcomes for children and young people related to this CfE entitlement along with the challenges that schools have identified. Range of provision and flexible pathways, meeting learners’ needs Secondary schools have considered the planning for and development of the senior phase. They have been involving all stakeholders in planning for progression through the Curriculum for Excellence levels and into a senior phase to ensure a range of provision and flexible pathways to meet all learners‟ needs. The authority has taken an innovative approach to providing flexible pathways by creating an authority campus of provision with an e-prospectus. Good progress has been made across the Authority, working with partners, in establishing Policy and Strategy for the „Virtual Campus‟ in 2010/11 and further development is planned. Most schools are introducing a range of new courses, some in consultation with West Lothian College, to meet the needs and aspirations of the growing number of pupils who are staying on in school. Plans contain a diverse range of provision that will include flexible pathways, catering for both the vocational and academic elements. A challenge remains to involve partners, such as Community Learning and Development in planning around the CfE Experiences and Outcomes. Active and engaging learning and teaching In the senior phase some schools report that that students are actively involved in their learning through challenging relevant lessons, however others find that although they are extending active learning strategies into the senior phase classroom, there is pressure from learners to adopt a more didactic style. There is also be a challenge to remain focused on core skills, ensuring Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Well-being are features of planning across learning in the senior phase. Assessment and learning supporting breadth, challenge and application In developing new programmes of work, all secondary teachers have considered approaches to assessment and will continue with this work during the remainder of this session and next session. Approaches following the West Lothian guidelines on planning will ensure a coherent approach learning and teaching and assessment, which supports breadth, challenge and application. Secondary schools have considered curriculum phasing, to allow adoption of the new national qualifications in 2013/14. As new materials are published staff have been involved in the consultation exercises, during Departmental Meeting discussions. There is a significant challenge to be addressed Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ www.scotland.gov.uk
5 in managing the demands of internal assessment and verification as part of new qualifications.
Learners developing the four capacities (Is there any evidence of improvement in achievement?) In all schools there is an emphasis on the recognition of the wider achievement of pupils and on the development of transferable skills in a variety on contexts. Schools are widening the range of opportunities for pupils to apply their learning and skills in new contexts. Progress has been made trialling strategies to recognise the wider achievement of pupils through tracking and monitoring and reporting systems. The challenge to provide evidence of the development of pupilsâ€&#x; skills and abilities within the 4 capacities remains.
4. Every child and young person is entitled to develop skills for learning, life and work, with a continuous focus on literacy and numeracy, and health and wellbeing Please consider progress around: Skills for learning, life and work Literacy and numeracy Health and wellbeing World of work, enterprising activities and culture Evidence will relate to HMIE characteristic: 5: Strong and secure achievement in literacy and numeracy And QI 1.1 (Improvements in performance). Evidence / evaluative statement covering a) positive progress & b) challenges: West Lothian schools and centres are making good progress in ensuring that every child and young person is developing skills for learning, life and work. The following outlines the impact and improvements in outcomes for children and young people related to this CfE entitlement along with the challenges that schools have identified. Skills for learning, life and work In most schools teachers are beginning to take account of the development of skills for learning, life and work in planning, with staff recording in their planning skills development and links with the world of work. In some schools revised courses emphasise the development of skills as well as curricular content. Opportunities to develop and practise skills are in place through interdisciplinary learning. Students are becoming more aware of their strengths and targets, and the steps they must take to progress in skills development. Schools are increasingly using the community as a learning resource to give a relevance to skills for life and work. Inter-generational projects in one cluster have allowed young people to work alongside adults to learn life skills in a real context. An increasing number of business links have been developed by schools that support work experience pupils and work placements. Schools are beginning to develop specific skills such as thinking skills, problem solving and creativity from nursery to P7. Some schools are making good progress towards including key skills in progress reports at all stages. There remain challenges around assessment of skills and planning skills progression. Development of more rigorous approaches to tracking and monitoring skills progression within the CfE framework is a priority. There is an ongoing need to provide high quality CPD for staff to ensure staff can meet the needs of all pupils within the shared responsibilities, and time is needed to embed successful innovative practice and projects to ensure they work fully and effectively before they are rolled out. Literacy and numeracy In all schools there continues to be emphasis on strong and secure achievement in literacy and Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ www.scotland.gov.uk
6 numeracy with investment in resources at school and cluster level. Good inter-cluster working exists to support collaborative planning. Challenges are to develop appropriate moderation of literacy and numeracy skills across all areas along with the tracking and monitoring of progress in skills development. Health and wellbeing All schools place a strong emphasis on health and wellbeing. Some schools are making good progress in developing pupils‟ positive attitudes and resilience in preparation for work and life. All schools are health-promoting schools and several clusters are well along the „Rights Respecting Schools‟ journey. Health and wellbeing projects have been developed across most school and this has promoted good partnership working with police and other outside agencies. World of work, enterprising activities and culture In S4, all pupils have a work experience opportunity whilst an increasingly flexible approach to extended work placements is being taken for pupils in the senior phase to better meet their needs and prepare them for the world of work. Some S5 students have the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their employability course. In almost all schools enterprise in education approaches are embedded in the curriculum across all stages. Enterprise activities are wide-ranging and varied. All schools are creating opportunities throughout the session to make meaningful links with the community and the workplace. Some schools have strong links with the local community. The challenge is to seek out and foster community links and relevant experiences that enhance the learning. Most schools have established international links and emphasis global citizenship.
5. Every child and young person is entitled to personal support and challenge to enable them to gain as much as possible from the opportunities which CfE can provide. Please consider progress around: Learners reviewing learning and setting goals Enrichment and challenge around additional support needs Learners identifying and planning opportunities for personal achievement Partnership working to support learners Evidence will relate to HMIE characteristics: 4c: intervention where progress is not sufficient 4d: a clear focus on the individual learner and their development and progress 6: Effective partnerships and involving parents And QIs 5.3 (Meeting learning needs) and 5.9 (Improvement through self-evaluation). Evidence / evaluative statement covering a) positive progress & b) challenges: West Lothian schools and centres are making very good progress in ensuring that every child and young person receives personal support and challenge to enable them to gain as much as possible from the opportunities, which CfE can provide. The following outlines the impact and improvements in outcomes for children and young people related to this CfE entitlement along with the challenges that schools have identified. Learners reviewing learning and setting goals In all schools pupils are now taking more responsibility for setting targets for their own learning. Assessment information is used to set targets and learning goals. This work will continue to evolve. Schools are using more formal approaches on a regular basis to support learners reviewing learning and setting goals, such as review jotters and Personal Learning Plans which create regular opportunities for children to reflect on their learning and next steps. Learning logs are also widely used. These contain pupil targets both academic and in relation to all round achievement. They are discussed and are brought to pupil parent consultation evenings. In some schools pupils are supported in their target setting with teachers providing helpful words and phrases and tools. Schools‟ monitoring and tracking programmes ensure one-to-one support in reviewing student progress and target setting. Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ www.scotland.gov.uk
7 The challenge is to ensure that effective approaches are used consistently to enable all pupils to become more involved in assessing and gathering evidence of their own learning. The authority will support schools in the process of target setting for individuals to ensure this has a positive impact on their achievement. Enrichment and challenge around additional support needs In all schools issues which impact on pupil learning are promptly identified and effective, well constructed plans using West Lothian Council‟s Continuum of Support to support learners are agreed, ensuring individual needs are met. When pupil progress is reviewed, part of the professional dialogue process in our schools focuses specifically on the needs of the most and least able 20% in each class and how to meet their needs. A range of outside agencies provides guidance and care for those experiencing barriers to their learning. Clusters schools are working closely to face the challenge of consistency of approach. There has been a positive impact for pupils with sustainable support systems developed through collaborative funding initiatives at cluster level. There are effective enhanced P7 to S1 transition programmes for pupils with autism, learning and behavioural needs and those pupils deemed vulnerable and/or at risk. In the secondary sector, an increasing range of vocational courses are available such as Early Years and Childcare, Construction Skills, Rural Skills, Woodworking Skills, Uniformed and Emergency services, ASDAN, XL and school “in-house” alternative education programmes. Through the „More Choices More Chances‟ initiative young people most likely to need added support in order to achieve a positive destination post-16/17 or 18 are identified and supported. In addition nurture groups have been set up within primary and some secondary schools to support young people who are struggling to cope with school life. The challenge is to ensure that all teachers and support staff are skilled in meeting the needs of all young people and that they make full use of Additional Support Needs training in the classroom context (eg: dyslexia toolkit). Some clusters are focussing on further developing systems to support pupils with particular needs at key transition points in a more linked manner.
Learners identifying and planning opportunities for personal achievement Although personal achievement out with and within school is celebrated and recorded in all schools, there remains a challenge in most schools to support all pupils in identifying and planning opportunities for personal achievement. There is a need to record pupils‟ personal achievements in a more systematic way to identify strengths and next steps. In the secondary sector, our MIS system, Seemis, has been used by some schools to record and track pupil achievement, allowing targets to be set and opportunities to be planned. This initiative will be further developed and rolled out to all sectors. Partnership working to support learners Partnership working is established in all schools and in most this involves a wide range of agencies in supporting children and their families. Partner agencies report close working with schools and increasingly under the Curriculum for Excellence umbrella. This is an area for further development. School monitoring and tracking programmes which include genuine partnership with parents, pupils, teachers and relevant outside agencies ensure one-to-one support for children based on reviews of targets set in IEPs, CSPs and PLPs. Parental support in learning is recognised as crucial to partnership working. Most schools have very positive relationships with parents but improving real parental engagement in learning is a challenge. Where parental engagement has improved significantly the actions, which have brought about these improvements, are being shared with all schools.
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6. Every young person is entitled to support in moving into a positive and sustained destination (post 16) Please consider progress around: Range of learning opportunities, meeting individual needs Personal support, careers information, advice and guidance Appropriate financial support Complying with ASN code of practice around transitions Evidence will relate to HMIE characteristics: 4b: arrangements for ensuring good progression across transitions 4d: a clear focus on the individual learner and their development and progress 6: Effective partnerships and involving parents And QIs 1.1 (Improvements in performance: destinations), 5.1 (The curriculum), 5.3 (Meeting learning needs), and 5.9 (Improvements through self-evaluation). Evidence / evaluative statement covering a) positive progress & b) challenges: West Lothian schools and centres are making very good progress in supporting every young person in moving to a positive and sustained destination. The following outlines the impact and improvements in outcomes for children and young people related to this CfE entitlement along with the challenges that schools have identified. Range of learning opportunities, meeting individual needs To meet individual needs, all young people have access to a diverse range of learning opportunities and an increasing breadth of provision. This can including college, outdoor education, maui tai, fishing and bicycle recycling as some examples, in addition to the formal school curriculum. In the secondary sector, a number of pupils undertake courses outside school, making use of travel columns in the West Lothian Campus model for the senior phase. Schools have very good links with West Lothian College. Some pupils are attending courses at West Lothian College in their own free time on Friday afternoons. In one school Forth Valley college supports Science Baccalaureate students. These opportunities help some students with the transition to college or university. Several pupils undertake vocational work placements and schools have built firm relationships with several local employers. Vocational options provided by other partners and delivered outside the school provide appropriate choices and are having a positive effect on pupil attitudes, attainment and their focus for the future. The councilâ€&#x;s More Choices More Chances strategy backed up by transition to work co-ordinators in all our schools is increasingly tied to Curriculum for Excellence learning. Young people are very well supported by effective transition events at key stages and clear information as to ongoing support needs is shared to ensure smooth transition and continued support as required. However, the need has been identified for further development of learning and teaching approaches and partnerships to promote employability skills and contexts for learning which will enable all learners to achieve success and build for the future. The West Lothian Campus model, with the e-prospectus showing opportunities for learning across the authority, will be expanded to increase the range of learning opportunities for all. Personal support, careers information, advice and guidance All schools endeavour to provide young people with the support they need, including personal support, careers information and advice and guidance to make, take up and sustain post-16 learning choices. Schools have 16+ coordinators who provide valuable support to all S4-6 students, and a More Choices, More Chances development post holder who ensures opportunities for students from S3. Schools make effective use of authority-wide support such as the External Hub to ensure that all 16+ pupils have a positive and sustained destination. The External Hub is also known as the 16+ Supported Transition Process. The Hub was developed in line with the 16+ Learning Choices agenda of ensuring that all young people have an offer of further learning at their statutory school leaving date. The Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ www.scotland.gov.uk
9 external hub meets monthly and is attended by members from secondary and special schools and council services such as B4 and on2 Work (Ability Centre), youth justice, youth inclusion project (looked after young people), through care/aftercare and by external partners such as West Lothian College, Voluntary Sector Gateway and Skills Development Scotland. Individual cases of young people requiring support at transition are presented to the Hub members and referral to appropriate service is made. Education Scotland attended the last Hub meeting and commented positively on the level of partnership working and the GIRFEC approach. Secondary schools work closely with parents and carers and appropriate agencies to ensure there is a clear positive destination path. Schools closely track the data provided. Additional key workers for pupils at greatest risk of not achieving a positive destination have made a significant difference to vulnerable young people achieving a positive sustained destination. Sustaining the level of support provided by these workers, however, is a challenge. Appropriate financial support All young people can access appropriate financial support to make staying in learning a viable option. Complying with ASN code of practice around transitions Transition arrangements for those young people with additional support needs comply with the appropriate code of practice.
7. The following processes are in place to support delivery across the entitlements Please consider progress around: Planning to deliver the 6 entitlements CPD Leadership Assessment Arrangements Understanding, applying and improving standards Self-evaluation Evidence of planning to deliver the 6 entitlements relates to HMIE characteristic: 1: A clear plan, based on self-evaluation, is in place for getting â€˜from A to Bâ€™, of how and when changes will be achieved 1a: reviewing the curriculum as a whole and identifying implications for improvement 1b: curriculum plans/structure/design 1c: the plan includes a focus on developing learning, teaching and assessment practices Other evidence will relate to the HMIE characteristics: 2: Good quality support for CPD 7: Good leadership is essential at all levels with a vision for the outcomes of change 4: Effective arrangements to assess and track progress And QI 5.1 (The curriculum), and 5.9 (Improvements through self-evaluation). Evidence / evaluative statement covering a) positive progress & b) challenges: The following processes are in place to support the delivery of the entitlements across all establishments. The authority has a clear implementation strategy that gives guidance to schools on all of these processes. The following outlines the impact and improvements in outcomes for children and young people along with the challenges that schools have identified. Planning to deliver the 6 entitlements Quality Assurance visits ensure that HTs are focussed on all aspects of CfE. School Improvement Plans show clear evidence of opportunities to deliver the 6 entitlements. All schools have a three-year curriculum plan and sessional improvement plans showing how the curriculum is being taken forward in a structured and strategic manner. This involves all stakeholders in self-evaluation, appropriate Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ www.scotland.gov.uk
10 CPD and tracking/monitoring mechanisms. The challenge is to maintain the momentum of implementation of more detailed aspects of CfE. CPD To support CfE implementation, all staff are encouraged to take ownership of school developments and to also undertake regular in-service and CPD training. Schools have a strategic CPD calendar linked to the school improvement plan and personal targets. Staff have begun to evaluate CPD in a more focused and structured way. To support school self-evaluation and professional dialogue, some schools have staff participation in Learning Rounds and others are developing this approach. Other schools and clusters are developing Teacher Learning Communities and in some schools these are well established. In the Learning Communities teachers carry out self-evaluation of their own practice supported by a „critical friend‟. A challenge for schools is to maintain valued and high quality CPD and create networking opportunities for staff. Leadership Distributed leadership exists at all levels to drive improvements. Almost all staff in schools are involved in working parties to take forward full implementation of CfE. In some schools leadership plans are in place for all members of staff and each is valued as a leader in a variety of different ways. A number of staff take on leadership courses as part of their professional development and the authority maintains a number of leadership opportunities to support the implementation of CfE. Development posts exist for CfE in each cluster of primaries and associated secondary schools, along with posts in literacy, numeracy and health and well-being. Development posts in professional learning have just been created to develop learning communities. Assessment Arrangements GL assessments were carried out at all stages P3 to P7 according to the authority‟s recommended timescales. These are analysed by schools and used with staff to support learning. S1 CAT assessments are carried out and form the basis of the tracking and monitoring procedures within secondary schools. Development of approaches to assessment continues to be a key priority for schools this session and authority guidelines on coherent approaches to assessment and moderation have recently been issued. Understanding, applying and improving standards Schools are building on existing moderation processes to ensure consistency in agreeing and applying standards. Using the authority advice, they are trialling new approaches to moderation, which develop a common understanding of standards and expectations. Many clusters are currently working to agree standards and expectations, initially within literacy and numeracy, that will inform moderation activities at authority level. Staff are supported to work collaboratively to develop a shared understanding and consistently apply and improve standards and expectations, including through moderation, sharing best practice and benchmarking with other establishments. Schools reported on achievement of CfE levels last session and created information sheets for parents to support their understanding of standards and next steps. Parents evaluated this approach positively. Achieving a common understanding of standards at all levels of CfE across a school, cluster, the authority and inter-authority remains an ongoing challenge, as does the tracking of progress. Self-evaluation Quality assurance systems, which are robust and offer formative feedback to enhance learning and teaching, are in place in schools. They are focused on progress towards full implementation of CFE. Most schools are planning further development of improvement through self-evaluation that involves all stakeholders. A number of schools and clusters have adopted the „learning rounds‟ approach to self-evaluation to encourage professional dialogue and sharing of good practice.
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