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Impact Study: Foxborough Primary School, Slough UK

Post Ofsted comment from C Egerton Chesney, Headmaster

"Thanks for your most exceptional support, help and belief. You would have been proud at the really good number of lessons graded 2 with teachers using techniques and ideas you taught them. We are out of category, satisfactory overall with some good stuff. I look forward to our continued work together."

Foxborough is a large primary school in Langley, Berks. Slough is just up the road; the M4 a stone's throw off. It's a school on the up. I've worked with staff and children since 2009 and Mr Egerton Chesney (Ches) since 2002.

It has a diverse and nurturing community under thoughtful and creative leadership. You'll find a great mix of strengths and challenges (not least over half of Slough's most deprived primary age children - yes, all in one building). It was a pleasure to be a small part of their team.

Designing specifically for school needs I provided 2 levels of support: Whole school staff training and Leadership training. I integrated and embedded this work through sustainable coaching (2012-2013)

Whole School Training

  • A series of single, linked closure days providing inspiration and practical classroom tools to raise teaching standards and enrich pupil progress
  • Follow up observations and feedback sessions related to closure day themes
  • A three-day closure programme developing the professional learning community and creative classroom techniques
  • Themes included: Quality Communication; Thinking Skills; Talent Management; Leadership, Lesson Design and Inclusion

Leadership Development

Working with the LT I provided an expanded 9-day version of my Creating Extraordinary Leaders programme:

  • Day 1 - Understanding Leadership: exploring diverse definitions of leadership in educational and non educational domains then agreeing a set of leadership skills, attitudes and values that are right for Foxborough
  • Day 2 - Leading Others: trying out 'Foxborough Leadership' with teams and in class then honing the definition
  • Day 3 - Leading Others Through Change: Applying our evolving leadership skills to changes in school, locality and nationally
  • Day 4 - You: Reviewing progress and then creating personal leadership profiles
  • Day 5 - Relationships: Developing a more effective understanding of others through greater self-awareness
  • Day 6 - Leadership Backlog: Applying innovative progress techniques from business to help meet Ofsted deadlines
  • Day 7 - Talent Leadership: Initiating a whole-school talent management programme and applying leadership skills to its development
  • Day 8 - Talent Progress: Developing the talent management programme to put the spotlight on progress (teaching skills and minute by minute learning)
  • Day 9 - Talent +1: Embedding a talent culture for all children and all staff

Coaching

I used traditional and innovative coaching to embed and fine tune teaching and leadership techniques. I co-observed lessons with an Ofsted inspector and found a strong correlation between his grades and my philosophy: the more creative and pupil-led a lesson is, the higher its grade. Small tweaks easily raised grades and these tweaks became the coaching focus.

The programme was my usual 'done with' not 'done to' approach where staff could choose the type of coaching that worked best for them. This was anything from "observe with a clipboard and tell me what to do" to "use live in-ear coaching then ask me the right questions".

During my time working at Foxborough I was able to develop tools and techniques of Live In-Ear Video coaching with the Iris Connect platform. Here are some of the Foxborough teachers talking about its impact.