Name; English Debate
Date; Monday June 18th 2018
Venue: Balcarras School
Time; 9.00am – 3.35pm
This event is an opportunity for More Able Year 9 students from schools across the teaching partnership to have the opportunity to work together and participate in a high level debate in front of an audience.
The ideal would be for each school to bring 4 students who will be mixed with students from other schools. Students will then have the time to get to know one another before being assigned debating topics and preparing their arguments. The debates will be conducted in front of an audience with judges and prizes will be awarded for the winning pair of each round.
Last year’s stretch and challenge debate day was a huge success and the student’s had a really enjoyable and stimulating day. We hope to build on last year’s success and use this as an opportunity to build links between departments and also for the students to have the opportunity to meet and work with new people.
Name; Acting up! Dramatic Approaches to Set Texts
Date; Wednesday 6th June 2018
Venue; Balcarras School
Time; 13.30pm – 17.00pm, includes lunch
The teaching of texts, whether novels, plays, poetry, or non-fiction, form a major part of both the primary and secondary curriculum. This course will explore ways in which we can use drama in the classroom to engage students and enable them to access texts more fully.
This course will be led by Fiona Ross. Fiona is a theatre director and drama practitioner who has worked extensively in the field of education. She is an associate artist /practitioner at the RSC, leading insets for teachers both nationally and internationally and she also continues to work directly with young people in both theatre and school settings.
The course will cover a variety of active approaches to the teaching of literary texts. We will focus on a set text, but reflect on how the exercises are transferable to other literary forms. Participants will be guided through practical activities that can be used in both the primary and secondary classroom. Please wear comfortable clothes that you can move in and flat shoes as this will be a practical session.
See course Flyers at the bottom of this page for booking information
The first Music Network organised by the Partnership took place on Wednesday 4th July 2018. Colleagues from both primary and secondary sectors attended.
The intention of this first meeting was to give people the chance to meet and talk and to decide on the way forward for the Music Network. We have agreed to look to meet once a term with the next meeting before October half term when we all start to get swamped by Christmas!
Possible foci that have been suggested for future sessions include:
- assessment (perhaps including Ofsted angle and 'building' from KS2)
- KS2-3 transition including understanding what primaries may be using e.g. Charanga and what inspirational ideas there might be out there to aid transition and so forth
- General sharing of resources (but perhaps needs a more specific focus?)
- GCSE and A Level focus
- Pupil Premium - and maybe differentiation as well?
There is potential for visiting speakers for at least some of the above as well.
Please feel free to 'spread the word' about this network. It would be fantastic if it could grow and include both primary and secondary colleagues. Other ideas for foci for this group are also very welcome.
Please email Helen Chong, Director of Music at Balcarras, firstname.lastname@example.org with any thoughts, ideas or questions.
'On Wednesday 6th June we were lucky enough to work with Fiona for our department INSET afternoon. The session was superb! Despite initial apprehensions, Fiona made everyone feel at ease and we all enjoyed taking part in a range of exciting, stimulating drama tasks. The thought provoking session focused on Shakespeare's Macbeth (one of our GCSE texts) and really brought the text to life - hopefully something we can take it to our own teaching. There was a real buzz in the atmosphere and we all left feeling inspired and with some engaging, practical ideas to take in to the classroom. '
Hannah Wranosky, Balcarras
‘I thought the session was great, Cara spoke confidently as normal and it was really interesting to hear her views on the new specification. It was also really useful to find out what other teachers thought about the new specification and to discuss ideas’
K. Dowdeswell, Cotswold school
‘The NQT programme has been great - as a group, we met frequently throughout the year to discuss pedagogy but it was also an opportunity to get advice from colleagues. We also met with NQTs from other schools which gave us the chance to find out how others in our position were getting along. In my department, I had weekly meetings with my NQT tutor who helped me survive the year. I gained invaluable advice about how to deal with Sixth Form students, and how to navigate the wider school system’
S. Load, Balcarras school
On 17th October 2016, the 6th form network met to discuss Level 3 Value Added and the implications of this data for OFSTED inspections in the area. We looked at a full debrief of a recent OFSTED inspection at a partner school, as well as round table discussions on post-16 curriculum design and EPQ delivery. This network is a great chance for all sixth form and post-16 providers in the area to share thoughts, ideas and best practice. An ever growing group has been joined by schools as far away as Bath.
The middle leaders forum met in the spring and summer terms of 2016. During the initial forum middle leaders from both primary and secondary schools decided on their priorities for future meetings and had an opportunity to network across school and phase. The key issues raised were dealing with difficult situations as a head of department and life without levels. The summer forum saw a group of over 20 middle leaders from several primary and secondary schools ask Bob Lacombe, an experienced head of department from Balcarras School, questions about difficult issues they had faced. The group had the opportunity to talk about how they would deal with these situations. A group of middle leaders from Woodmancote Primary School then talked about their experience of life without levels and again the forum had the opportunity to share ideas. In the feedback from these forums the opportunity to find out what is happening both across schools and phase has been highlighted as a real benefit.
A very informative and exciting presentation from Unifrog and FutureLearn explaining the ways in which we can best support our students’ applications to higher education. Sessions were held on personal statements, the right University choice, online courses (MOOCs) and all they can offer, as well as the importance of destination data and the role we can play in collating and storing this.
Sixth Annual Teaching Conference
The sixth annual teaching and learning conference was held on 24th November 2017 at Balcarras School and was attended by over 250 colleagues from our partnership schools. Phil Beadle started the day with his keynote address what makes a transformational teacher? focussing on the five key values that a teacher might want to hold if they were to have a transformational effect on the life chances of the children they teach. Our second keynote address was delivered by Dominic Salles. Dominic’s keynote covered key questions and suggestions for transforming teaching.
There were 11 workshops to choose from this year; the organisers attempted to appeal to a wide range of needs so there would be something for everyone to enjoy. The sessions included an EAL workshop, classroom behaviour management, how to get the best out of your trainee teachers, stretch and challenge, A-Z of pastoral, transition from year 6 to year 7, dealing with the adolescent brain and many more. Feedback from the sessions was extremely positive and it looks like our visitors took something useful away with them to transfer to their classrooms. The seventh annual conference will take place on November 30th 2018,
Balcarras as a Teaching School
Balcarras was designated as a teaching school in May 2012. Our aim is to create and develop a professional learning community where teachers from across the partnership feel able to share practice and learn from one another. To some extent this is inspired by the work of Michael Fullan in Ontario, but it also emerges from the considerable partnerships that have been established between Balcarras and other schools in recent years. Our partnership is genuinely cross phase and we have over 30 schools and various other organisations as members.
At the heart of our partnership is a desire to improve teaching through sharing practice, facilitating opportunities for research, identifying common areas for development and acting as a ‘hub’ to tie all of these different elements together. We want to be action centred so that teachers feel that there is a real impact on the ground. We are open to ideas from all partners and see this as vital in establishing a lasting partnership where all partners feel that they have an input to give, as well as receiving tangible benefits from their role in the alliance.
We have already established a number of projects which have impacted on the quality of provision within our schools. Since May 2012 over a thousand people have attended events organised by the partnership. Below is just a flavour of the work we have undertaken so far.
We have networks established in the following areas:
|Jess Heather||Literacy Networkemail@example.com|
|Georgina Bruce||Digital Technologyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Patrick Sexton||History Networkemail@example.com|
|Liz Cullis||Geography Network and KS3firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Catherine Williams||SEN Networkemail@example.com|
|Richard Cook||Computing Networkfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Nicola Masters||Differentiation Researchemail@example.com|
|Janine Hockenhull||MFL Networkfirstname.lastname@example.org|
We have run a number of CPD courses in the following areas:
- Aspiring senior leaders
- Improving your teaching
- Leading a department
- Lesson observation
- Literacy in every classroom
- New heads’ training
- Promoting higher order thinking
- Teaching School NQT Programme
- Pastoral conferences
- Improving students’ mental health
- Stretching Gifted and Talented students
|Liz Cullis: Teaching School Coemail@example.com|
|Dominic Burke: Headteacher, Balcarras Schoolfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Roxanne Adams: Assistant Teaching School Coemail@example.com|
|Nicki Harrington: PA to Headteacher of Balcarras Schoolfirstname.lastname@example.org|
School Partnership Contacts
|Andoverford Primary||Lou Bennetemail@example.com|
|Balcarras Secondary||Liz Cullisfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Belmont Special||Kevin Dayemail@example.com|
|Cam Hopton Primary||Melanie Skidmorefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Charlton Kings Junior||Lee Pajakemail@example.com|
|Cheltenham Festivals||Phillippa Claridgefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Cheltenham Learning Partnership||Kate Shepherdemail@example.com|
|Chipping Campden Secondary||Dominic Sallesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dean Close Secondary||Mark Tottmanemail@example.com|
|Dorcan Secondary||Mrs P Morleyfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dormston Secondary||Ben Stitchmanemail@example.com|
|Eastcombe Primary||Claire Jonesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Farmor’s Secondary||Steve Shawemail@example.com|
|Glenfall Primary||Anthony Mitchellfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Gloucester Road Primary||Gayle Fletcheremail@example.com|
|Gloucestershire County Council||Sandra Parker
|Holy Apostles Primary||Gareth Daviesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Leckhampton Primary||Sam Porteremail@example.com|
|Maidenhill Secondary||Pam Wilsonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Naunton Park Primary||Richard Humphreyemail@example.com|
|National Centre for Maths||Steve Lomaxfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Pittville Secondary||Karen Foster||KFoster@pittville.gloucs.sch.uk|
|Ralph Allen Secondary||Sarah Hetenyi||S.Hetenyi@ralphallenschool.com|
|St James’ Primary||Lisa Harfordemail@example.com|
|St John’s Primary||Juliette Moxhamfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Swindon Village Primary||Johnathan Dyeremail@example.com|
|Thomas Keble Secondary||Chris Patrick
|University of Gloucestershire||Steve Winstonfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Winchcombe Secondary||Sarah Teagueemail@example.com|
|Woodmancote Primary||Gary Tuckerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
If you are interested in the work of the partnership the newsletter, which, are sent out every term will give you a flavour of our work. See below for the latest edition.
If you would like any information about the partnership please contact us. Several schools have joined the partnership in the last year and we are open to the possibility of new members joining. Equally if any of the programmes we run interest you please do get in touch because several of them have been attended by non-partner schools.
The partnership has its own website which has more detail about our members and our programme.