Published on: 26 Nov 2018

Creating effective happy learners

By Jill Wilson CBE, Headteacher at The Gleddings Preparatory School in Halifax

Whichever sector a school finds itself in and whatever the age of its pupils, its reason for being remains the same – to create effective, happy learners.

As teachers, we strive to make our lessons memorable, but to be memorable they have to be accessible to all of our pupils, all of the time.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) judges all independent schools on their success in meeting the needs of every single learner. Our mantra at The Gleddings is ‘Every child a learner every lesson’ - but how do we ensure this?

Standardised assessments play a vital role. We believe that we should know what our pupils are capable of achieving (using Baseline and CAT4). When we see what they are achieving year on year (using the Progress Test in English and the Progress Test in Maths), we can see if there is a match. If there isn't, we determine why, maybe by looking at pupil attitudes using PASS.

When we have that information, we can target our interventions, including counselling, and closely monitor their impact. By doing so, we can absolutely ensure that we make each child the best that he or she can possibly be.

In doing all of this, we are also sure of meeting ISI inspection criteria, where the focus is on the realisation of the potential of each pupil through identified support or challenge. GL Assessment’s data and diagnostics provide the ‘evidence’ required in both Regulatory Compliance and Educational Quality Inspections. Similarly, the data and narrative that GL Assessment can provide for parents meets the Regulatory Requirements to provide that information.

Academic progress and the personal, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and cultural development and wellbeing of learners are inseparable, and PASS proves itself over and over again as an early warning system. Having a ‘can do’ attitude underpins every learner’s achievement and identifying ‘can't do’ and then finding out why it is ‘can't do’ (or maybe it is ‘won't do’!), helps us, as a school, ensure maximum possible success for every child.

By creating individual pupil profiles, the needs of the learners can be identified and met, so children are engaged, they make progress and their behaviour is good. Happy learners, happy teachers and happy ISI - a ‘win’ all round.


The Gleddings Preparatory School is one of our Advocate Partners