Thank you to everyone who joined us and supported our junior swimmers during their house gala this afternoon. Congr…

Good luck to all of our junior pupils who will be competing in our annual swimming gala this afternoon.…

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☰ Guest Blog by AJ Padfield

Head's Blog

Guest Blog by AJ Padfield

Posted on April 03 2019

As Headteacher of Elmhurst School for Boys, I led the annual Learning Review this year at Forest Park Preparatory School. There are many benefits to being a part of the Bellevue Education group, but I believe that visiting other schools within the group and meeting like-minded leaders and teachers must be one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling of all the benefits. The annual Learning Review provides school leaders and their staff teams with the opportunity to share good practice as well as providing insight into how other schools are meeting the challenges we are all facing within school improvement and future development. The Learning Review is designed to provide each school with the opportunity to reflect on the progress being made year on year and to support Heads and Senior Leaders in their decision making over future developmental strategy, in an environment of mutual appreciation and professional respect.

I arrived at Forest Park early on a Monday morning to meet the review team for the first time. It is important that the review team comprises of teachers not only with expertise in different areas of the school but also people who are able to work collaboratively with others who they may not have worked with or even met, before. It was soon apparent from the initial conversations that we were going to be able to work together to give Mr Tucker and his staff team a meaningful and reflective report...and so we set to work.

We soon discovered, through learning walks, lesson observations, video analysis and teacher surveys that Forest Park has a dedicated staff team with one common aim: to make the learning experience of each and every child, the best it can be. We observed happy teachers delivering great lessons to happy children, willing to learn. It was evident that the teachers had embraced the targets set by Mr Tucker for the year and that they were working very hard to implement these effectively.

The Learning Review is a two-way process and what I was very impressed with at Forest Park, was the level of dialogue taking place between pupils and their ‘learning partners’ and pupils and their teachers. HOT (Higher Order Thinking) questioning from teachers also stimulated the cognitive processes that support learning. Pupils were receiving regular feedback through engagement in dialogue which was in turn, making their learning more visible.

It was a pleasure to have been part of the Learning Review at Forest Park and I look forward to my next visit!

AJ Padfield


Elmhurst School for Boys

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