ESW News 23 July 2021
Well, that was some academic year wasn’t it? In reflecting on the last 12 months of schooling in this last email from me of the academic year, I’m not going to talk about the ‘brilliance’ of government guidance; the uncertainty surrounding exam results or the joys of lockdown; I am going to talk about teamwork.
A special mention this week to Gail Weedon, a colleague who joined Stoke Fleming in 1991, first as an MTA, then as TA. Gail has supported children who have struggled with a range of differing needs, giving the pastoral care, support and individual attention they needed to boost their self-esteem and gain confidence in their abilities to succeed. Throughout her long career, she has embraced all aspects of school life, witnessing many changes. For 30 years, she has remained committed, dedicated and a great sport in every sense of the word and we wish her every success for her retirement.
There are about 800 people who work for Education South West spread across 11 schools, a teaching school, a Research School and a number of teams who work to support the delivery of our core business, namely educating.
The best analogy of teamwork that I have come across is motor sport but it applies to any great teams. As well as the hours upon hours of planning and preparation that a teacher puts into preparation for one hour’s lesson delivery in the classroom, countless hours are spent by others in preparing for this to be able to happen, every day. Cleaning; premises management; network maintenance and development; resourcing; outward facing presentation and marketing of the school; premises development; budget monitoring and planning; number crunching of particulars of contracts; data tracking of progress and personal details; attendance statistics and calls; pastoral support workers; catering; keeping up to date with the latest policy and guidance and risk assessments and testing regimes and so on and so forth. It isn’t the teacher alone, the Lewis Hamilton character if you will, who makes it possible for lesson to take place in a school environment, it is a team of individuals working together for the same goal.
Like pit changes which take place in a matter of seconds, the others in the Team of ESW operate in the background, until something goes wrong – we only hear of the pit crew really if something goes wrong (rarely do we talk about the good that is done, only when there is a problem). We only talk about the ‘back office’ crews when things aren’t perfect work, the rest of the time it just carries on. You only hear in the news about the mountaineer who has an accident descending Everest, what isn’t reported as widely are the thousands of people who climb Everest successfully each year.
This academic year we have done a lot of descending and climbing of many metaphorical ‘Everests’. Every single person who works for ESW has played a massive part in the success that we have achieved in keeping schools open, safe and functioning. And our schools and staff have done so much more than merely function! The time spent going the extra marathon, let alone mile, to put on additional classes; to come in at times when they are not contracted to; to ensure safety; to push the boundaries to try to ensure that every child has the best possible opportunities is something of which we should all be extremely proud.
So as we approach the end of term, whether you are taking some time off or working throughout the summer break, I hope that you will reflect upon the last year, breathe a big sigh of relief and spend some extra time with family and friends with a huge sense of pride for what has been achieved. Thank you.
Best wishes, Matthew
ESW CPD Team
We are delighted to be able to share our new ‘Teachers CPD’ Teams site. You will find this link on your main Teams page. It is our aim to develop this site to provide staff at various stages in their career with opportunities to learn from and to share good practice.
We need to celebrate the enormous amount of expertise within our family of schools. As part of his new role, Nick Banwell will be developing our CPD offer so you can expect to see this site develop from September onwards.
To kickstart the site colleagues have kindly produced some short vignettes of ‘top tips’ to start the new academic year. We hope you find them useful.
Teaching School news
From September 2021 we have evolved to become SWIFT South | www.Sw-ift-south.org.uk
Happening next term…..
- Teaching Assistants New to the Role | Tuesday 21st September | SWTSA/21/0006
- Kingsbridge Research School | Exploring EEF Feedback and Guidance Report | 24th September |
- Teaching Assistants Neurodiversity Training | Tuesday 5th October and 12th October | SWTSA/21/0007
- Leading SEND | starting 23rd November and continuing for 5 sessions | SWTSA/21/0008
- A whole School Approach to Neurodiversity | Fintan O’Regan | 5th October and 10th November | SWTSA/21/0012
- Mental Health First Aid | 14th and 18th October | NHS Livewell Academy | SWTSA/21/0013
Geography: Iain Freeland Thursday 14th October 3:45 – 5pm Teams
Book Geography here
Languages: Michael Wardle Thursday 15th July 3.45 – 5pm Teams
Book Languages here
English: Sarah Hubbard Thursday 30th September 3:45 – 5pm
Book English here (Secondary Audience)
- Kingsbridge Research School | Exploring EEF SEN in Mainstream School Guidance Report | 19th November 2021
- Charlie Waller Trust | Eating Disorders | 18th January 2022 | SWTSA/22/0009
- Charlie Waller Trust | Self Harm | 15th March 2022 | SWTSA/22/0012
From September we will be utilising a new booking system called WebBased and all SWIFT courses and events can be booked through the portal found: Here