Over the past year staff, pupils, families and the wider community have been working hard to improve our school. Feedback from pupils, families, staff and visitors has already shown us that our children are more motivated and engaged in their learning, we are able to support our learners more effectively, parents and families are more involved and willing to participate in the life of the school and their child’s learning and we are developing a real ethos based around our vision of ‘Team West Barns’ and our values and aims.
It has been necessary to implement many changes at West Barns in a short space of time, most of these were carefully planned from the outset, but a few have evolved from developing needs within the school. As part of our ongoing self-evaluation process we decided to take a step backwards and look at how well we are developing as a school in line with a Curriculum for Excellence and our own vision, values and aims. This would give us a clear picture of our strengths and help us identify our next steps.
We decided to do this through comparing the two documents side by side, discussing each element, identifying how we were meeting this and making links between the two documents. We used Post-it notes to record our thoughts.
We discussed how we could evidence what we have achieved and identify our next steps.
This was a very powerful process. As a staff we could clearly see how by developing our learning and teaching through the introduction of initiatives such as Cooperative Learning, introducing our Learning Journeys, new programmes of study and joint planning and teaching sessions we were delivering many elements of the curriculum and our own school aims more effectively. Similarly, by introducing our Nurture Group, Paired Reading, Maths Recovery, Developing Emotional Resilience Group, joint planning sessions and working more effectively across classes we were providing the support to help all our pupils achieve. We were also able to identify areas for further development, including supporting P7-S1 transition through arranging cluster small schools learning days from P4 onwards and re-developing our interdisciplinary learning topics through a different approach.
We have begun to collate this information through a pupil-friendly PowerPoint and now want to engage pupils and families in helping us evidence the impact our curriculum is having on our children’s’ learning and the life and ethos of the school. We also want to work with our families to find an effective way of sharing this information across Team West Barns.
Below is a copy of our our draft ‘Building the West Barns Curriculum’ PowerPoint – still a work in progress. We still have to add some of the staff evidence then share it with the pupils. This will give us an opportunity to discuss impact and evidence and next steps with our learners.
Building the West Barns Curriculum