Monday, 3 December 2018

CPD Training with Pete Moorhouse

We were delighted to welcome Pete Moorhouse to Mead Primay School to deliver day 2 of our Vision to Provision programme. This was a fantastic opportunity for Havering's EYFS Leads to take part in some fantastic CPD funded through Havering Primary Teaching School Alliance. With 37 schools represented, we look forward to seeing how woodwork develops across the curriculum throughout the year. Pete will be back to join us for a final conference in May.
Pete Moorhouse is passionate about encouraging creative thinking in Early Years Education. He has over 25 years experience working with schools.
Pete is the leading authority on Woodwork in Early Years Education and has several journal articles and books published. Pete is an  Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol currently researching Creativity and Critical thinking in Early Years Education
Pete is dedicated to providing opportunities for all children to express their creativity and develop their creative and critical thinking skills, and firmly believes in narrowing the gap in attainment and improving outcomes for all children.

Friday, 2 November 2018

NQT Programme - Session 1

NQT Session 1 - Personal Wellbeing and Mindfulness

This week we started our first NQT session for 2018/19. The first session was to think about Personal Wellbeing and Mindfulness through discussion and thought provoking activities, led by AHT and facilitator, Georgina ward.

Katherine Weare Emeritus Professor, Universities of Exeter and Southampton report discusses that research identifies that the wider adult and workplace literature on the impacts of mindfulness, show:

  • reductions in stress, burnout and anxiety, including a reduction in days off work and feelings of task and time pressure, improved ability to manage thoughts and behaviour, an increase in coping skills, motivation, planning and problem solving, and taking more time to relax. 
  • better mental health including less distress, negative emotion, depression and anxiety. 
  • greater wellbeing, including life satisfaction, self-confidence, self-efficacy, selfcompassion and sense of personal growth. 
  • increased kindness and compassion to others, including greater empathy, tolerance, forgiveness and patience, and less anger and hostility. 
  • better physical health, including lower blood pressure, declines in cortisol (a stress hormone) and fewer reported physical health problems. 
  • increased cognitive performance, including the ability to pay attention and focus, make decisions and respond flexibly to challenges. 
  • enhanced job performance, including better classroom management and organisation, greater ability to prioritise, to see the whole picture, to be more selfmotivated and autonomous, to show greater attunement to students’ needs, and achieve more supportive relationships with them. 
We look forwrad to welcoming our NQT back for the seocnd session on Tuesday 27th November.

Monday, 1 October 2018

SSIF project: SLE Training Day 3

Today the Early Years SLEs completed their third day of training to support our Strategic School Improvement Fund project. SLEs from across our borough and from The London Borough of Redbridge came together to complete the Elklan Speech and Language support training for 3 - 5s, lead by Sarah Dunne. This level of intensive training will enable the SLEs to support in schools not only with the NELI intervention but to also support the wider provision to enable schools to become Communication Friendly. 

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Vision to Provision Returns!!

We are delighted to be able to deliver the Vision to Provision programme again this year, funded through Havering Primary Teaching School Alliance. This programme is free to all EYFS leads across Havering.

The programme is designed to facilitate continuing professional development for Early Years Leaders, focusing specifically on the establishment of a vision for everyday practice, the practical application of leadership strategies and the ensuring of a great start to school for all Havering Reception aged pupils.

This year's programme has been planned around feedback given from participants who attended the programme last year.

Please ensure that you book onto all the sessions and make sure that you bring your Headteacher to the conference days. Sign up on the Havering Portal!

First full day conference for EYFS Leaders and Headteachers: Friday 19th October - Keynote speaker: Sarah Dunne

EYFS Leadership training half day session: Monday 3rd December

EYFS Leadership training half day session: Monday 11th February

EYFS Leadership training half day session: Tuesday 2nd April

Second full day conference for EYFS Leaders and Headteachers: Thursday 9th May - keynote speaker: Pete Moorhouse

EYFS Leadership training half day session: Tuesday 2nd July

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Effective Listening

1. Listen with your whole self.
Maintain eye contact without staring or glaring. Concentrate on the speaker and lean slightly forward to communicate that you are open to what is being said. Nod, smile, or ask a relevant question if you need clarification. This way, you send a nonverbal message that you are “in the moment” and fully involved in the conversation. Don’t rush or hurry the exchange.Be wholly and fully present, and you’ll be long remembered.

Related: Listening Is an Art, and Mastering it Will Make You a Great Leader

2. Smile.
A warm, genuine smile is the most beautiful curve on the human body. Your friendly expression says, “I’m approachable and interested,” and it can immediately put others at ease. When you smile during small talk you let people know you appreciate talking to them and you increase your longevity.
3. Open up and relax.

We have a tendency to “fold up” when we feel uncomfortable or threatened. We cross our arms, legs or ankles, shift in our seat, put our hands in our pockets or even angle our body away from others.

These postures, in effect, “disconnect” or close you off from the person who is speaking. Body language expert Janine Driver writes in her bestselling book, You Say More Than You Think: “The direction our belly button faces reflects our attitude and reveals our emotional state. When we suddenly turn our navel toward a door or exit or away from someone, we subconsciously send the signal that we want out of the conversation and perhaps even out of the interaction.”

4. Be aware of nervous gestures.
It’s natural to feel tense in certain situations, but if you want to socialize and meet people you should try to conceal your nervousness as best you can.

Nervousness manifests itself in many ways. Common signs of unease include fussing with your hair, jewelry, or clothing, adjusting your tie, clearing your throat every few minutes, repeatedly clicking a ballpoint pen, wiggling your foot, picking at your cuticles, and biting your fingernails in public. Keep your body parts as still as possible without appearing stiff.

Try to relax and take a few deep breaths.

5. Initiate contact.
If people don’t seem to be approaching you, then take the initiative and be the first person to say hello. This demonstrates confidence and immediately shows your interest in the other person. As the conversation begins, nod, focus on what the other person is saying, and resist the temptation to interrupt or finish someone else’s sentences.

6. Ask questions.
People perk up when we demonstrate a focused and sincere interest in them and their story. If you take an active interest in the lives of those around you, people will remember and appreciate you for making the effort.

Active listening and being fully present for the other person will make you more memorable than you imagine. The willingness to step outside of yourself and your concerns happens when wisdom, generosity of spirit, and compassion are combined with your intent to honor another human being.

Read the full article here

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Perseverance: The Key to Turning Failure into Success

“Success is never final. Failure is never fatal.”

The above quote has two important truths about success: 
  1. don’t become complacent when you have it
  2. don’t give up on it when you stumble.
History is full of examples of people who failed and then went on to experience great success: 
  • Bill Gates’ first business flopped.
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from one of her first television jobs. 
  • Elvis Presley was told: “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”
More examples of successful people who overcame failure

Their stories show that failure should never be the end of the story. If you keep your goals in sight and persevere, you can eventually reach them.

We’re all human, so we’re going to face setbacks or make mistakes from time to time. The key is to keep moving forward toward your goals. If you approach your life with resilience and determination, you can turn any failure into success.

Monday, 13 August 2018

You're Only As Good As Your Team!

Amazing DELL facts:
  • At the age of 19, Michael Dell started PC’s Limited with $1,000 and a game-changing vision for the technology industry. 
  • In 2017 Dell was valued at $57.2 billion 
  • Customers’ growing adoption of Dell’s Intel-based servers has propelled Dell to the #1 position in the United States in Q2 2002 after entering the market in 1997 
  • Dell have seven manufacturing plants around the world, offices in 37 countries and distribution in over 190 countries.
1. Inspiring Leadership. 
Team members who say their leader is inspiring are twice as likely to recommend Dell as a great place to work and half as likely to leave the company. Dell invest heavily in leadership development and to ensure that the right leaders are in the right roles. Then we hold leaders accountable for their performance and their leadership.

2. Purpose. 
Everyone wants to feel valued for their contributions. Equally important, they want to contribute to something bigger than themselves. Dell team members volunteered more than 800,000 hours last year, putting their expertise to work for the communities and causes they care about.

4. A winning strategy. 
Develop a clear strategy, communicate it in a compelling way and diligently align your organization to it. Your team will live the strategy, execute and innovate in ways that are surprising, wonderful and drive even more winning. Dell like to say, "we’re not in a rut, we’re in a groove", and once you’re in the groove of winning, it’s the grooviest groove of them all.

Click here to read the full article

Thursday, 9 August 2018

5 Tips for Leadership

John Eades, from the Welder Leader program has some simple tips on how to develop your leadership. Here we have taken five of them and asked some supplementary questions. If you read the article, there are 5 more. Which of the 10 would be a target for you to work on over the next year?

1. Be Consistent
"The steadfast adherence to principles, truth or standards of behavior”.
Consistency is a vital part of being a leader. A steadfast adherence to principles and standards of behavior will make you the most successful leader you can be. When you lack these, you create a sense of uncertainty and doubt for your team that is almost impossible to overcome.
  • Do your team know how you will respond when they bring an issue to them?
  • Are you able to manage your emotions at times of stress?
  • If you were asked the same question on different days, would your response vary?
2. Communicate All the Time
The vast majority of conflict in a work environment or any relationship can be blamed on poor communication. Many leaders do not place enough emphasis on and put enough effort into clear communication. When a leader or team does not properly communicate, assumptions are made. This results in people being unsure about where they stand or how they are supposed to behave. 
  • How do you ensure people know what you mean?
  • Are there clear models that demonstrate expectations?
  • How often do you interact with different tiers of the school?
3. Focus on Relationships
The relationships you build as a leader must be based on trust and mutual respect. Where most leaders struggle is in understanding their responsibility to earn those two things. Long gone are the days of a title earning the respect of those you lead. In today’s workplaces, a title should only be a reminder of your responsibility to earn trust and respect from your people.
  • Are you highly visible as a leader?
  • Do staff feel that they are trusted to make their own decisions?
  • How do you recognise staff effort and achievement and show how you value them?
4. Be Purpose-Driven
The desire to be part of something bigger than oneself is deep within everyone. Being purpose-driven is the best way to satisfy this need. Knowing what it is you want to do, beyond making money, is such a vital part of being successful. Ask yourself, who do we serve? Why is it important? What greater impact can/do we have on the world?
  • When was the mission statement last revisited?
  • Are all members of staff equally able to identify the core purpose?
  • How much of your time do you get to spend tasks related to this purpose?
5. Define Core Values
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or an organization. These guiding principles dictate behavior and help people decipher right from wrong. A common denominator between all great leaders is the time they have dedicated to defining their own set of core values. You always know a core value not by the words on a wall or website but by seeing what a leader rewards, recognized and talks about.
  • What are your core values?
  • How do you demonstrate them on a daily basis?
  • Would members of staff identify the same values when they talk about your leadership?
Click here for the full article

Monday, 6 August 2018

5 Toxic Words To Avoid

The words a leader uses really, really matter. Even something said in jest or in the moment can stick with an employee for a long time.

1. Can’t

Never say something can’t be done – it’s harsh and often untrue.

Instead, explain why something can be difficult to execute. So, rather than, “we can’t record assessments in that way,” say “to get that information, we’d need to educate the entire team on a new approach to assessment.” That’ll provide more context and ultimately led to better relationships with your team.

2. No
Big clarification here – saying no is a big part of being a leader. Prioritization is essential. But, how you say no matters, and that’s by avoiding the actual word no.

“It's clear and to the point, but it's very often seen as too heavy, negative or even disrespectful,” Dewett said. “Instead, strive to offer a more informative comment about the decision that was made.”

3. Fault
This one is okay if you are talking earthquakes. But, telling someone something is “their fault” is a recipe for disengagement.

“Assigning fault might be necessary, but know that it's dangerous,” Dewett said. “The key is to be succinct, focused more on the team more than any one individual when possible, and framed positively.”

4. Never
A rule PR folks teach politicians – never say never. Well, same goes for leaders.

“When talking about the future, this word almost always feels like a door slammed in someone's face,” Dewett said. “It can reduce hope and thus motivation. You can't see the future, so let's resist saying never.”

5. Impossible
This is similar to never. And it’s rarely true – two hundred years ago, the idea of someone flying across the country at 40,000 feet at speeds of 550 mph seemed impossible. Now, it happens all the time.

“I'll admit that all of these words in small doses, framed constructively, are just fine,” Dewett said. “But remember, don't overindulge in their use and don't use them with a heavy, negative tone. Your words matter, so try to err on positive word choices if you really want people to listen.”

Romford Careers Fair - 22nd Sept

We are delighted to be able to promote a Careers Fair at the Havering Islamic Centre.

Date: 22nd September
Time: 11am-3pm
Venue: Havering Islamic Cultural Centre
Address: 91 Waterloo Road, Romford, Essex, RM7 0AA

This is a chance for Havering children to come and speak to universities and employers. There will be placements on offer for students who impress the exhibitors.

Monday, 30 July 2018

5 great ways to close your presentation

Six ways to effectively close your presentation are:

1. A short summary.
Simple, straightforward and effective.
For example, if your presentation has three takeaways, just summarize those three quickly. Or, summarize your main point.

2. The title close.
Have a clever title of your presentation that summarizes your main message?
Use it as the last line of your presentation. It’ll cement it in people’s minds.

3. A call-to-action.
If your presentation has a call-to-action in it, make it the last thing you say. That’ll again be what people remember and inspire them to take that next step.

The key here – make it clear. If you want people to speak to their Headteacher, tell them to speak to their Headteacher. Heck, give them a script. The clearer and easier the call-to-action is, the more people will do it.

4. A personal tagline.
Bergells gave the example of a sales manager who closed every sales presentation with “Sell value.” Russell Wilson, quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, ends every interview he does with “Go Hawks.”

Over time, this will build your personal brand and reinforce your message. Or, if there is a phrase you use again and again in your presentation, use it again as the closer.

“The constant drumbeat of a few choice words can make you and your message more memorable to your audience,” Bergells said.

5. A quote.
A quote can be a satisfying way to end a presentation, as it makes it both credible and memorable. Of course, the key is selecting a good quote, that is both unique and sums up the point of your message.

If done well, most people will walk away from your presentation remembering that quote and your message behind it.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Iris Lead Award

Congratulations to our Teaching School Director, who has become a certified Iris Lead practitioner.

At the Havering Primary Teaching School (HPTSA) we believe that video technology has the power to transform a teacher's awareness and understanding of their own pedagogy. To have senior leaders accredited in its use and application is a significant asset, both for improvement in our Federation and with schools we work with.

“The overwhelming majority of teachers believed that the intervention was a good use of time and had improved their teaching. There was also strong evidence that the programme changed teachers’ thinking and classroom practice.”
EEF Foundation Report

If you would like to get in touch to ask about how Iris Connect is used at the HPTSA, please contact Joanne:

Monday, 23 July 2018

LEAD! Course Certificates

We were delighted to see our first cohort of Middle Leaders and Aspiring Leaders complete our 6 part LEAD! course.

Leadership Exploration & Development! looks at leadership in three parts: leadership of self, others and the school. Enabling leaders to reflect on their own strategies and pick up new ones, the course emphasises how so much of the impact a leader has is derived from their own behaviour.

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the team I lead. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a leader, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”

All participants have shown that they have a sound grasp of these vital human qualities to leadership. The feedback from the evaluations has been extremely positive:
  • 100% of participants surveyed strongly agreed that it had strengthened their ability to compose and communicate an effective vision
  • 100% of participants surveyed strongly agreed that the course has has strengthened my understanding of effective improvement planning - both personal and school

Having a range of teachers from different schools worked well, as we were able to compare what we do and gain more ideas from one another. 

The use of real life examples from both Malcolm and other teachers was useful, as it meant we were able to either relate to them or imagine the situation more clearly.

Personal anecdotes from leaders to understand theories/leadership concepts through real life examples and reflections on leadership within our own context.

I feel more confident to apply for leadership roles in the future due to understanding more about what it takes to be an effective leader.

It has made me feel more confident about my practice. I feel that I now have more than one approach to tackle different situations I may face. 

I feel that I have begun my journey as a leader and I now have a clearer vision of the direction I want to lead my team in.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

SSIF Intervention Group

The NELI project - which is only possible due to the Strategic School Improvement Fund - is now underway in 15 schools. Pupils are getting access to five days a week of communication and language support.

The aim is to see more disadvantaged pupils managing to reach the exceeding expectations for the end of EYFS. Havering typically has very strong results with expected outcomes. However we don't see as many pupils reach the higher level - particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

It is already having an impact on their narrative skills. At the start the children were using less that 15 words to respond to a stimulus. They weren't confident with their connectives and the range of information contained in the talk was limited. So far we have seen improvement if 20%+.
A Pidgeon - SLE

It has also been a great vehicle for looking at the wider setting and how language can be improved in all areas.

  • Do all staff have the same expectations for an effective narrative - explanation beyond one sentence?
  • Are instructions given clearly by all staff?
  • Are pupils given thinking time to process their response?
  • Do you see adults modelling vocabulary that you want the pupils to be able to use?
  • Are verbs promoted as much as nouns are?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

DfE Visit to SSIF

We were delighted to welcome Alex Birkhamshaw - from the Department for Education - to come and see the NELI project in action.

The children were very excited to give a demonstration of their listening skills and show how they were able to handle the vocabulary that Mrs Mackman was giving them.

Specialist Leaders are making weekly visits to the focus schools to support the Teaching Assistants in the delivery of the intervention.

The weekly support has been so helpful. My SLE has supported my reflections on what I need to tweak to make the next session more effective. 
Teaching Assistant

It has also been great to see the support from Governors, who have attended the information sessions. It has made it more likely that EYFS outcomes will be championed at a Governing Board level and that the impact of the project will be sustained beyond July 2019.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

We're In The Paper: ITT Graduation

Engayne Primary School in Severn Drive, hosted the graduation ceremony on Friday, June 29 for 14 trainee teachers who passed the Havering Train2Teach one-year programme in partnership with the TES Institute.

Hornchurch and Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, and Steve Pinches, global director of TES, presented each graduate with a certificate at the event.

Mrs Lopez said: “The intensive support that trainees receive, in a school-led teacher training programme, is a huge factor contributing towards the 100per cent pass rate, which exceeds the national average compared to non-school led programmes.

Programmes like this are great for Havering, as they draw on the tremendous experience that our teachers have to offer and help people to become teachers in the borough.”

Trainees benefit from a mix of in-school experience, online learning, tutor support and mentor support in schools around Havering.

Jill Mackintosh, Havering Train2Teach programme director and assistant head at Engayne Primary School added: “I would like to thank our hugely talented pool of primary school teachers, from across the borough, who act as mentors and help our students achieve such great results.”

We are delighted to be able to support this programme as it provides a welcome supply line of teachers into Havering.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Big Business Mistakes - The Deadly Sins

Despite ranks of highly paid executives and advisors, big companies can take decisions that seem at best baffling and at worst self-destructive. So how do such big organisations, led by well-paid chief executives and with the money to hire the best staff and advisers, get into such trouble and what lessons could we learn that apply to the education sector?

Carillion - a huge construction company signed contracts with profit margins so fine, that delays resulted in huge losses.

Nokia, which once dominated the market for mobile phones, until it failed to recognise the challenge from the iPhone.

There are some classic traps that big firms are vulnerable to. Let's call them the "deadly sins" of the corporate world.

In August 2008 Gary Hoffman walked into the offices of Northern Rock in Newcastle.

He had been appointed chief executive of the mortgage lender which had been taken over by the government earlier in the year after almost collapsing.

One of his first impressions was the "palatial" offices and the even more luxurious headquarters that were under construction.

"The leadership had lost connection with the real world," Mr Hoffman says.

"They were in large offices, separate from their colleagues. It was physically difficult for their colleagues to speak to them."

"Leaders had got carried away with their own personal and corporate ambitions," he says.

In Mr Hoffman's opinion: "The higher you get up your organisation, it is even more important that you ground yourself."

"And if you're not careful, people will not tell you when things are going wrong."

Bill Grimsey is a veteran retailer, who has seen what a big company in trouble looks like.

In 1996 he was appointed chief executive of the DIY chain Wickes which was in danger of collapsing due to an accounting fraud. He raised fresh finance at the company and changed its culture.

One technique that he found helpful was to spend a week each year working at a different branch and finding out what problems the staff were having.

"You mustn't underestimate the influence of the leader on the business," he says.

He has come across chief executives who govern by fear, leaving their managers worried about losing their jobs and just "doing as they're told".

Under those circumstances Mr Grimsey said staff can resort to desperate measures, like faking the numbers to keep their boss happy.

"Anyone can grow fast," says Mr Hoffman.

"You have to make sure than when you are growing very fast your are not taking on too much risk," he says

He points to the low-cost airline business, where customers love the cheap prices, but maybe some airlines are just not charging enough to survive.

Last year saw both Monarch Airlines and Air Berlin both fail after racking up big losses.

Chief executives need to ensure that everything they do is "anchored in the principles of profitability", which sounds obvious. But Mr Hoffman says bosses can be blinded by growth for growth's sake.

In the retail sector, it's not uncommon for retailers to forget something else obvious - the customer

Mr Grimsey says: "It's when they become complacent, they keep delivering the same things day-in and day-out and fail to recognise that consumers change in terms of their style and interests and their behaviour patterns."

According to Mr Grimsey boards of directors spend too much time worrying about the pay and bonuses of the top executives.

"If you look at the history of the last 15 years in corporate Britain, particularly retailing, particularly public companies, these people have become greedy.

"You've got to stop being greedy at the top and start sharing. You've got to spread the rewards through out the organisation.

He points to John Lewis as a better model for paying staff. Each year shop floor workers get a share of the profits (even if, in March this year, John Lewis Partnership announced bonuses had been cut for the fifth year in a row).

In some companies "there is a lot of focus placed on creating a facade that makes things looks good," says Prof Spicer.

This can include spending excessive amounts of money on branding initiatives, or introducing management fads and fashions.

Both of those could involve spending too much on consultants, which in some cases "outsources responsibility", he says. Enron is a good example of a company that built a brilliant facade that hid deep problems, says Prof Spicer.

The energy firm had been lauded in the press for disrupting the energy industry, but had been hiding billions of dollars of debts and collapsed in 2001 - at the time the biggest failure in US corporate history.

Prof Spicer warns it is "far easier" to change a company's image than make real changes.


Thursday, 28 June 2018

The Leadership Challenge

Why 70% of middle managers fail to become leaders?

Harvard Business School scholar John Kotter has argued that there are three fundamentals processes for effective leadership that a lot of managers have failed to grasp.
  1. Establishing a compelling direction, a vision for the future and the strategies for how to get there. 
  2. Aligning people, communicating the direction, building share understanding, getting people to believe in the vision and then persuading and influencing people to follow that vision. 
  3. Motivating and inspiring people to enact the kind of change that you have articulated. 

Kotter further argued that finding people with leadership potential is much more difficult than finding people who are good managers. Since driving change is much more difficult than striving for efficiency and meeting near-term financial and nonfinancial targets.

"A leader is not simply someone who experiences the personal exhilaration of being in charge. A leader is someone whose actions have the most profound consequences on other people's lives, for better or for worse, sometimes forever and ever."
Warren Bennis

When you are responsible for managing and leading people, you have the opportunity to make a profound impact on your employees, but it’s up to you as the leader to recognize that your staff are your most prized asset.

Leadership is about people, it's about inspiring people to believe that the impossible is possible, it is about developing and building people to perform at heights they never imagine and it's about making a positive impact on your community, your school, your team, your staff and by extension your pupils.

Leadership is never about tearing people down and making people feel less than themselves. If you want to be a great leader you must first start with being a better human being.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

The Power of Positivity

Does your school fully grasp the impact of culture on performance? Do leaders understand their culture for what it is and are they able to identify what they want it to be while working to fiercely protect what must never change?

Not all are convinced by positive psychology and the power of positive thinking, but authentic positivity plays a vital role in aligning and strengthening a school’s culture. Schools that find ways to emphasize a positive outlook and attitude are more likely to see improved performance and motivation among staff. 

However strong leadership is more than having a charismatic head of the school. Yes, a strong leader is where it starts, but great leadership, in clarity, has the opportunity to inspire at a level that cascades across the whole school in order to embolden, motivate, and steer toward even greater success.

Is it a purposeful choice or an accidental consequence? 

Southwest Airlines and Apple have very purposeful cultures. Are there any tips on how we could try and develop that culture in our schools? Here are 10 simple ideas:

1. Give positive reinforcement
I appreciate the way you…
I’m impressed with…
I really enjoy working with you because…
Your team couldn’t be successful without your…
I admire the way you take the time to…
You’re really good at…

2. Show gratitude
Thank Someone for something they did but weren’t expecting to get thanked for – be specific about what it was and why it was helpful or important; be sure to coby their boss.
3. Spread happiness
Smile and say “Hi” to twice as many people as you normally would – but be genuine in your smile.

4. Celebrate wins
Start a meeting off by sharing something positive that is going on in your group, project, work etc. Encourage others to do the same.
5. Celebrate
Find some occasion to celebrate with others, whether it be a project milestone, birthday, new house, etc. Pass around a card for people to sign or make a sign.
6. Encourage positive thinking
Anonymously post a positive quote or picture by the copier, coffee machine or some where else that receives high foot traffic so that others can see.
7. Change the way you respond
When someone disagrees with you about something at work, think “how interesting” instead of immediately getting defensive.
8. Get moving
If you have a meeting with only one or two other people, make it a walking meeting; get outside and get your blood pumping.
9. Encourage fun
Add some light fun by picking a day for a dress-up or desk-decorating theme – ex. hat day, wild sock day, or decorating with flowers, pictures of tropical places, etc.

10. Engage in random acts of kindness
Do something kind for someone else (especially someone who wouldn’t expect it). Offer to help them with something, give them a snack or treat, or simply ask them how their evening or weekend was or about something going on in their life.

Excerpted from Leading Clarity: The Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash PEOPLE, PROFIT, and PERFORMANCE (Wiley, April 3, 2018).

Thursday, 21 June 2018

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Social Media

"Embracing social media isn't just a bit of fun, it's a vital way to communicate, keep your ear to the ground and improve your business."
Richard Branson

1. To share expertise.

Albert Einstien famously said, "a life lived in the service of others is worth living." Passing on your knowledge and experience to others that otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to do so is a gift of service you should take seriously.

2. To be human.
When leaders are social they get the opportunity to show they are human and can connect with their people on a human level. David Rubenstein once said, "What do most people say on their deathbed? They don't say I wish I had more money or I wish I worked more. They say, I wish I would have spent more time with my family and done more for my society and community." By being social, you can do more for your society, community, and the people underneath you.
3. To connect with your people.
Social Media provides a great opportunity to connect with people if you don't get the opportunity to do it in person. You have to know how important the digital world is in many people's lives and go be active with them.
4. To communicate.
One of the hardest parts of any leader's job is consistent communication. Social media provides an unbelievable medium to communicate with people across geographies, time zones, and demographics. about knowledge, life experience, vision for the team, or individual team member achievements.

5. To recruit talent.
Approximately 2 million people are graduating from colleges and universities this year and they spend 135 minutes a day on social networking sites. Using social can attract top talent from the competition.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Real leaders serve

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” 

This was what John F. Kennedy  implored in his inaugural address in 1961. 

Truly effective and inspiring leaders aren’t actually driven to lead people; they are driven to serve them. For a leader to be a leader, they need a following. And why should any individual want to follow another individual unless they feel that person will look out for them and their interests?

It is our job as leaders to help the people we lead or work with, be good at their jobs. This means helping them get the: 
  • resources
  • information
  • support 
they need to perform at their best. The more we do that, the more we will earn their trust so that when we need them to go the extra mile, they will ... gladly. 

Leadership is as much about environment as it is about practice. People should generally feel that we’re there to help them be the best version of themselves.  A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done and to succeed beyond what they thought possible.

Leaders lead not to serve those above them; they lead to serve those who serve them.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

How do I become a leader?

Have you ever had a teacher ask you...

"Make me a leader"

In response to this you may reply with "What do you mean... what are you lacking?"

Often their reply would be that they feel they lack authority and would like to be able to tell others what to do. However when the teacher is then challenged to list all the times that the Headteacher or SLT has directly told them what to do... when they feel they have been ordered around... often they cannot think of many examples at all.

It would be a painful day to day experience of leaders relied on their authority to work with staff.

Which brings us back to the original question

"So what do I need to do to become a leader, then ?"

Monday, 11 June 2018

Forget the mistake, remember the lesson.

Leaders do not need to be perfect. They need to be inspiring.

Do you have a healthy environment at work where people are not afraid to take responsibility for failures and mistakes? Rapid learning and progress are more likely to be made if the culture remembers the lesson and not the mistake.

In such schools there is no fear - only respect.

In such schools teachers are not expected to be perfect - the expectation is to be creative, energetic, supportive and helpful.

Nobody is perfect.

It all starts with leadership. Do you show that you aren't afraid to be open about your own imperfections, shortcomings and mistakes?

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Stephen King Writing Tips

Stephen King’s books have sold over 350 million copies. Here are our favourite pieces of advice for aspiring writers:

First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story. Your stuff starts out being just for you, but then it goes out.”

Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend. Consider the sentence “He closed the door firmly.” It’s by no means a terrible sentence, but ask yourself if ‘firmly’ really has to be there. What about context? What about all the enlightening (not to say emotionally moving) prose which came before ‘He closed the door firmly’? Shouldn’t this tell us how he closed the door? And if the foregoing prose does tell us, then isn’t ‘firmly’ an extra word? Isn’t it redundant?”

Don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes. The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story… to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all. “

Read, read, read. “You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do so. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

Turn off the TV. You must be prepared to do some serious turning inward toward the life of the imagination. Reading takes time, and the glass teat takes too much of it.”

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Cognitive Bias - are you aware?

What is cognitive bias?
A cognitive bias is a mistake in reasoning, evaluating, remembering, or other cognitive process, often occurring as a result of holding onto one's preferences and beliefs regardless of contrary information. 

Psychologists study cognitive biases as they relate to memory, reasoning, and decision-making.

What might cognitive bias look like in education?
The Hawthorne effect

This is named after an experiment at the Hawthorne Factory in the US.

Keen to find out how their staff could be more productive, the owners of the factory observed them. Knowing that they were being watched, the employees worked much harder and productivity increased. When they were no longer being observed, productivity returned to normal rates.

This has some interesting implications for teacher observations, as it is difficult to give someone feedback on how they are doing if your mere presence alters how they act. Having regular low-stakes observation that focuses on feedback rather than judgement should go a long way to remedying this.

Likewise, if pupils are undergoing an intervention to improve a particular area and they know they are part of an intervention, it will probably impact their subsequent behaviour. This is why subtle and stealthy interventions are likely to have greater impact.

Read the full article here

Monday, 4 June 2018

Leadership - It is not all about me!

One of the greatest things about leadership is that we all bring something different to the table. If you were to read articles on good leadership qualities, you would usually see factors like integrity, effective communication and influence. These are all wonderful qualities of a leader, but to stand out as a leader —you need to put people ahead of yourself.

Image result for leadership  images

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Profile of Women - Star Wars not yet groundbreaking!

Even in a movie where the protagonist is a woman, Star Wars is still biased towards male actors.

A new study has ranked the Star Wars films by the amount of time given to female characters – and the original 1977 movie is at the bottom of the pile.

According to Glasgow University lecturer Dr Rebecca Harrison, in Episode IV: A New Hope, women (a category which here includes female robots and aliens) get just 15 per cent of the film's screentime.

Explaining how she arrived at the figures in a blog post, Harrison said that non-speaking characters were not included, and that the definition of "women’s screen time" excluded scenes in which women appear in the background while men talk, or in a purely passive role as a "visual object".

The most recent film included by Harrison, 2017's The Last Jedi, comes top with 43 per cent.

The ranking: Star Wars films by women's screen time
  • 43% Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
  • 37% Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • 35% Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • 23% Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • 22% Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • 20% Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • 18% Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • 17% Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • 15% Episode IV: A New Hope

Friday, 1 June 2018

Marginal gains

Small changes that make a big difference to your teaching

Teachers can learn a lot from the world of competitive sports when it comes to making small changes to improve their practice, says this head of department.

When it comes to education, we are the professionals. We are the elite and the experts who can benefit from this level of fine tuning. Once we have got the basics right, we can look for those small tweaks to our practice that might not seem like much on their own, but as a combination could make a huge difference to the children we teach.

Read the full article here

Image result for rowing team  images

Thursday, 31 May 2018

SSIF Project: SLE Training

Our Strategic School Improvement Fund project launch is now entering the last phase. Having gone through the aims of the project with Headteacher’s, and trained the Teaching Assistants who will deliver the NELI intervention we have now spent two days with our SLEs.

These Early Years specialists will be responsible for supporting the target schools:
  • coaching the Teaching Assustant
  • collecting assessment and impact data
  • supporting reflections on the wider EYFS environment 
The SLEs from Broadford have been joined by leaders from Mead, Gearies, Clockhouse & Hilldene Primary. 

I am really excited at the opportunity to go and work with other settings and see this intervention in action!
C Tynan

Communication is such an important aspect of the Early Learning Goals. I am fully behind the aims of the project to improve outcomes across Havering. 
K Edwards

As the project progresses we will keep updating you on the impact that the NELI intervention is having. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Professional Development Days

The Havering Primary Teaching School Alliance is committed to providing high quality professional development opportunities for colleagues across our Federation, locally and further afield. We provide professional development courses through a range of expert educationalists as well as specialists working in or closely with schools.

Within our Learning Federation, we are continually developing a culture of continuous improvement. This culture drives progress in teaching and learning to ensure that our pupils’ socio economic background is not a barrier to their progress. We expect all of the children we work with to achieve personal excellence and become lifelong learners.

During our last inset day, we received high quality training that reinforces and develops the key learning approaches to RWI. These development days play a crucial part in ensuring our vision becomes reality; we believe our pupils should be reading confidently by 6 so that they can access a rich curriculum.

Click on the link below to read why Broadford is a Read Write Inc.Model School

Peer Review: Mid Year Meeting

In partnership with the Education Development Trust, our Improvement Facilitators (IF) met together to review the progress with our peer review model so far. 

What have we found?
The IF role is vital in helping to establish staff ownership of the improvement targets.
100% of schools reviewed agreed that the IF workshop empowered staff to make a personal plan of action.

Effective communication between the IF and the Lead Reviewer is key. Where workshops have not been as effective it is because the aim wasn’t clearly defined enough and the IF needed greater support. 

Who is involved?
There are currently two clusters of schools - representing over 15 Havering primaries. In the Autumn of 2018 there is likely to be a third cluster starting. In addition there is a group of schools who are using the NAHT Aspire model to support a self led improvement cycle.

What impact has been seen so far?
Feedback from Headteachers and staff  indicates that:
  • There has been greater staff buy in for the  improvement process
  • The CPD provided has really helped to strengthen the role and status of Middle Leaders
  • A culture of sharing and collaboration is now much more prevalent across the partner schools 
  • Staff believe there is a shared corporate responsibility for outcomes 
It has been really inspiring to see the growth in confidence of the Havering IFs. They have risen to the challenge and been a vital part of the success of this first year of the review cycle.
Maggie Farrar

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Teaching School Conference 2018

A huge thank you to the Teaching School Council for organising an inspirational Conference. As Broadford Primary is based in one of Havering's most deprived areas, the presentation from Sir John Jones really resonated.

Although we are very frank with staff and parents about the 40million words vs 10 million words gap by the time pupils enter into our Early Years Setting, the scale of the gap still hits you when the facts are refreshed.
Particularly upsetting is the 12:1 positivity ratio advantage that children from affluent backgrounds enjoy. Sadly many deprived children face have the opposite, receiving far more negative comments. Picking up their self esteem, building confidence and enabling them to see themselves as a success are real challenges.

Sir John's words rang very true. Teaching really is: 
A ministry of hope in the service of the young.
You are in the magic weaving business
Say that I’ll they’ll walk away
Say the former and they’ll run

It is even harder when you aren’t likely to see the results of what you do. But despite the revisiting of the challenges that we see every day, we left inspired to come back to Broadford & Mead to continue delivering on our vision that no child's future will be determined by their socio economic background.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Listening to understand... not reply

Listening is an art and too few actually do it well.

1. Putting our own spin on the purpose or content of the conversation.
Have you ever started a conversation and immediately put a thought or question out there that makes your point of view clear and fixed? Instead of giving the other individual time to formulate a response, we immediately re-phrase the question or remark and answer it ourselves.

2. Assuming their response and planning an answer
Even when we stop and wait for a response , we often don’t hear, as we are concentrating on our reply to what we assume they will say. The desire to be perceived as quick witted or decisive means we could be missing so much vital and crucial information.

3. Read the non verbal clues
Watch for non-verbal body language. When a person is excited they intuitively lean forward as if to say, “don’t miss this next point because it is very important”. Remain quiet, not just to hear every word, notice the inflection of their voice, whether they raise or lower the volume and the tone they use. Non-verbal hints can make up more than 90% of the communication going on in a conversation.

4. Wait before you respond... count to 8!
By speaking too soon you may cut off the other individual's response. Be smart and give the person  time to acknowledge your comment or statement. It builds respect and credibility. You also allow yourself time to hear and take notice of non verbal cues.

Read the full article here

Monday, 21 May 2018

7 mistakes even the most experienced leaders still make

Leadership is not an easy role. There are a multitude of ways in which you can make a mistake. However, if you are self aware then you can do something about it!

Fostering a cult of personality. 
It’s easy for leaders to get caught up in their own worlds as there are many systems in place that make it all about them. These leaders identify so strongly with their leadership roles that instead of remembering that the only reason they’re there is to serve others, they start thinking, ‘It’s my world, and we’ll do things my way.’ Being a good leader requires remembering that you’re there for a reason, and the reason certainly isn’t to have your way. High-integrity leaders not only welcome questioning and criticism, they insist on it.

Dodging accountability. 
Even if only a few people see a leader’s misstep (instead of millions), dodging accountability can be incredibly damaging. A person who refuses to say “the buck stops here” really isn’t a leader at all. Being a leader requires being confident enough in your own decisions and those of your team to own them when they fail. The very best leaders take the blame but share the credit.

Lacking self-awareness. 
Many leaders think they have enough emotional intelligence (EQ). And many times, they are proficient in some EQ skills, but when it comes to understanding themselves, they are woefully blind. It’s not that they’re hypocrites; they just don’t see what everyone else sees. They might play favorites, be tough to work with, or receive criticism badly. And they aren’t alone, as TalentSmart research involving more than a million people shows that just 36% of us are accurate in our self-assessments.

Forgetting that communication is a two-way street. 
Many leaders also think that they’re great communicators, not realizing that they’re only communicating in one direction. Some pride themselves on being approachable and easily accessible, yet they don’t really hear the ideas that people share with them. Some leaders don’t set goals or provide context for the things they ask people to do, and others never offer feedback, leaving people wondering if they’re more likely to get promoted or fired.

Succumbing to the tyranny of the urgent. 
The tyranny of the urgent is what happens when leaders spend their days putting out small fires. They take care of what’s dancing around in front of their faces and lose focus of what’s truly important—their people. Your integrity as a leader hinges upon your ability to avoid distractions that prevent you from putting your people first.

The bad news... these mistakes are common and they are damaging.
The good news... they are easily fixed if you are aware of them!

For the full article, click here

Monday, 14 May 2018

Education Today Article - Life Long Love of Science

Read the full article here

Wellcome article on Primary Science

It has recently been the topic of debate how Primary school teachers are facing a number of barriers in teaching science. Typically only 1 hour 24 minutes a week is devoted to the subject (according to a new report from CFE Research for Wellcome).

When teachers were asked what barriers, if any, they experienced when teaching or leading science the top four categories were: 
  • lack of budget and resources (35 per cent)
  • a lack of time and curricular importance (22 per cent)
  • a lack of subject knowledge (11 per cent)
  • issues relating to setting up space or access to resources (10 per cent).
In addition, more than 8 in 10 teachers think that maths (84%) and English (83%) are ‘very important’ to the senior leadership team of their school, but this number falls to just three in ten (30%) when it comes to science, suggesting that the subject isn’t seen as a priority for primary teaching

Here is an article about how Broadford & Mead Primary - in partnership with Empiribox - have tried to ensure that Science remains a curriculum priority for the their children.