What is it
The £140 million Strategic School Improvement Fund is a grant to support primary, secondary, middle, all-through, alternative provision and special academies and maintained schools, and pupil referral units. It is intended to further build a school-led system, and aims to target resources at the schools to improve school performance and pupil attainment; to help them use their resources most effectively, and to deliver more good school places.
St Giles has been selected by Warwickshire Council to be part of this project to receive extra support from the Department for Education. This will mainly focuses on improving the academic achievement for all students even further and we hope will continue into summer 2019.
How you can help
You will be kept informed via our website on the type of help offered, but we need your help to ensure that this project measures the impact we all hope it will make. Warwick University are asking parents/ carers to take part in a survey to gauge opinions and it will be used to look at learning in St Giles. Though they will ask for some of your details, you will never be named in the research and all information is confidential.
You can find out more about the research at this link.
What support is being offered by Warwickshire's SSIF
The project will run from September 2017 to March 2019. Existing evidence of what works will help determine the programme of activity that is likely to address the identified need. Bids will also be submitted by Coventry and Solihull, there will be several 'golden threads' woven through all 3 bids which will indicate our partnership working and strategic approach at a sub-regional level.
The 'golden threads' that will be woven through the Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull bids will include:
- Quality assurance. This could include funding for peer reviews and task group meetings.
- Research, in conjunction with Warwick University
- Coaching for leadership development
- Improving the achievement of white working class boys
What the SSIF looks like at St Giles
St Giles is being offered a variety of projects that have all been proved to the raising not only student academic achievement and progress, but will ensure that our students have the knowledge and skills to continue their ‘learning journey’ into secondary schools.
Power of Reading
The Power of Reading project has been delivered nationally and internationally for over a decade. It explores the core components of developing a vibrant reading community and supports schools in transforming their reading culture. This is an invaluable resource in supporting schools in developing a creative literacy curriculum and reinvigorating practice. Its aim to get every child loving books!
Maths No Problem
The Maths — No Problem! primary series was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it alone met the core criteria for a high quality textbook to support teaching for mastery. As a result, it is the only textbook which has been placed on a list of recommended textbooks for schools on the mastery programme.
The whole class works through the maths programme of study at the same pace with ample time on each topic before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum moves through the years.
Tasks and activities are designed to be easy for pupils to enter while still containing challenging components. For advanced learners, the textbooks also contain non-routine questions for pupils to develop their higher-order thinking skills. Lessons and activities are designed to be taught using problem-solving approaches to encourage pupils’ higher-level thinking. Based on Jerome Bruner’s work, pupils learn new concepts initially using concrete examples, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations before finally using more abstract symbols, such as the equals sign.
Over the summer, the staff were introduced to a new teaching method called Maths No Problem, and have been using it now to support your child’s understanding of maths from September. The Maths No problem focus is not on rote procedures, rote memorisation or just performing calculations but on mathematical understanding. Students are encouraged to solve problems working with their core abilities, such as picturing, gaining a broad view and decision making.
Our aim is to have students gain a greater conceptual understanding of number and calculation. They will be able to visualise and generalise more readily due to a more in-depth understanding. All learners will be fully supported through accessing real equipment and use of visual models to support understanding.
Confident learners will be challenged through exposure to unfamiliar problems, development of reasoning skills and by exploring multiple ways to manipulate numbers and solve problems.
Find out more about Maths No Problem by looking at the parent/carers videos:
Through the local Teaching Schools, St Giles will gain extra assistance on how to ensure that our disadvantaged students are supported well and start to ‘close the gap’. School leaders will be assisted to ensure St Giles' students achieve and progress beyond their expectations, and to see the good practices of other school in the Midlands.