Why have policies?
A few years ago, at Peafield Lane, the head teacher observed lots of good lessons in maths. The school's data, however, showed that progress was below that which was expected. How did good teaching lead to poor progress?
It turned out that many classes were teaching various maths skills, e.g. subtractions, using different methods. All of the teaching was good but each year the children were getting confused when they moved to the next class and needed to 'relearn' how to do their sums.
The solution to this was simple and straightforward. It was to create a 'whole school calculations policy' whereby we ensured every child was taught to do their sums using one common method. We then ran parent meetings in which we shared our approach to calculations so that there was no confusion and so parents could better understand and support their children at home. The impact was immediate and progress improved throughout school.
The calculations policy is one of hundreds of policies that we generate to ensure a consistent approach to the way we operate.
Policies provide staff with the guidance they need to ensure that their practice is in line with governor expectations; policies like the appraisal policy, for example, helps teachers to know exactly what they need to do and the processes they need to undertake to qualify for pay progression or promotion to a new pay band.
They also help parents to better understand how and why the school operates and what they should expect from the school as well as what we sometimes expect from them. The complaints procedure, for example provides precise guidance on how parents can air grievances, who to complain to and what to expect in terms of responses from the school.
The main beneficiaries of our policies are the children. Many of our policies focus on how we keep them safe or, like the calculations policy, ensure the curriculum matches their needs.
Many Policies are similar to those of other schools throughout the country and for those policies we tend to 'redraft and adapt' documents from publishers such as TRC Ltd to ensure they fit with our own needs and values. Some policies are highly individual to the school and can take several months of staff meeting time and governor meetings to develop and put into practice. Others are created by the head teachers of groups of schools, like the attendance policy, which ensures a consistent approach to tackling absences throughout the local community. Finally, a few policies are 'handed down' either by government or by the directors of the Flying High Trust that we must adhere to.
Whilst all of our policies are accessible to parents by contacting the school office, some key documents are also available to view below.