Whole School Transformation

Sue East – Headteacher St Andrew’s Primary School Bath:

“This whole school transformation project has revealed an alternate ‘5R’s’: Respect, Real Things, Relationships, Research and Relevance. The egg residency had reinforced beliefs that you have to ‘live it to understand it’ . The ‘getting it’ is the challenge.

The School Without Walls residencies took place twice with St Andrew’s, with two very different classes and two very different teachers. What they actually did there seems less important than what they became. They did very different things and worked in different ways but both became reflective about their practice in a very deep way and respectful and observant of the children’s own learning fascinations.

Both teachers had received outstanding Ofsted judgements in the past: they were both in my mind, excellent teachers – but this work, out of school, out of their comfort zones perhaps, experiencing a new setting at the same time as the children, seemed to push them to a deeper understanding of pedagogy. In addition, the children also changed, or grew, in their sense of self and awareness of others; in their understanding of their environment and awareness of their own capability and potential.

The world that opened up with the residency appeared so much more relevant to their true educational needs. Their confidence in themselves increased significantly and was observed in the way they talked to adults. They were also involved in reflecting on their own learning. They were given choices and could explain why and what they would prefer. One child said ‘This is how it should be. The teachers wait and hear our ideas and then we choose what we do. I think the children should always do this. It’s better."