Subject leadership monitoring is crucial if we are to make judgements about the quality and success of a subject. It is one of the most difficult things to arrange, given the time constraints and fact that there are many subjects to monitor.
Without monitoring a subject leader is unable to evaluate the impact of their action plan. Are you clear what is monitoring and what is evaluation?
Involves gathering the evidence and checking.
Is asking ‘so what’, what needs improving, what is working well, what are the next steps?
Subject leaders need some form of monitoring and evaluation if they are to assess the impact of their actions.
Subject leaders need to be aware of the full range of monitoring activities and select the ones most appropriate. Forms of monitoring include:
Lesson observations / learning walks
How effective is the teaching and learning in the subject you lead? What are the strongest and weakest elements and how do you know? What needs improving? Do teachers have good subject knowledge? Do teachers have high expectations?
How are assessments moderated? Are assessments accurate? Does moderation ensure impact on teaching, learning and curriculum delivery? Does moderation aid the evaluation of standards in the subject?
Scrutiny of assessments
How effective are assessment arrangements? How accurate are assessments? Do your assessment arrangements have a positive impact on pupil progress? What does the three-year trend in attainment tell you?
Is the subject valued by pupils? Do they enjoy the subject / lessons? Does pupil voice aid the direction of learning, progress and achievement?
Work sampling / scrutiny
How well do pupils achieve in the subject? Which aspect of the curriculum do pupils achieve best in? Is the curriculum rich, varied and cohesive? How does your subject impact learning in other subjects?
What proportion of pupils attain at and above age-related expectations? How many pupils make excellent progress form their starting points? What is attainment like for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, are there gaps between them and their peers?
Discussions with staff
Is there a drive to secure improvement? Do teachers have high expectations? Do teachers have good subject knowledge? Does the subject curriculum meet the needs of the pupils? Is the subject valued by staff? What subject specific professional development might they need? How effective is subject leadership? Do staff feel supported and challenged?
As a subject leader ask yourself how effective your leadership is, has your monitoring and evaluation rigorous? Think about what your evaluation has led to and what has been the impact? Make sure you share any issues openly with staff to ensure there are improvements.
Remember, all monitoring, needs to be conducted with care and sensitivity so that it contributes to learning and improvement.
This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer.
Did you know Schoolaspect enables you to manage any type of monitoring from start to finish? You can capture monitoring evidence, outcome judgements, reviewer and reviewee feedback all in one place. Choose from standard templates or create your own bespoke ones, and see progress made automatically updated in improvement plans. With Schoolaspect, monitoring is an easy, informed and fair process. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch.
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