Central to the success of The Island Free School is the appointment of outstanding staff to deliver our curricular and extra-curricular vision.
As the school continues to grow and develop we are working with universities to support PGCE teacher trainees and newly qualified teachers to develop our outstanding teaching team for the future. In line with our vision of the school and development of staff, support staff who already hold undergraduate degrees and show potential to offer outstanding practice will be supported in teaching roles via the assessment only university accreditation in partnership with local universities. All trainee teachers (PGCE, Teach Direct and Assessment Only) will be supported in lessons by a fully qualified teacher, maintaining our ethos that all teachers employed by the school will have qualified teacher status (QTS).
Our recruitment process includes requests for details of last three lesson observations, as well as progress and attainment data for the most recent classes taught. Shortlisted candidates for teaching posts who are invited to interview are asked to complete a number of tasks focused on lesson observation skills, writing and grammar, use of data, teamwork and presentation skills and given a formal interview.
All teaching and support staff engage fully with school life including the planning and delivery of high quality lessons, regular marking and assessment of pupils’ work (in line with the assessment and marking policy). They also eat lunch with the pupil body and engage fully as both teacher and learner in the extra-curricular programme.
Most teaching staff are expected to deliver a second subject area and the most senior staff take responsibility for running high quality professional development sessions for colleagues in areas such as Assessment for Learning, Differentiation, Data Analysis and Questioning Skills.
The appraisal of teacher performance takes into account the findings of the Sutton report and includes:
Progress analysis of all classes and by all characteristic groups.
Lesson observation data from formal observations (including work scrutiny).
Pupil and parent feedback via survey, marking and interviews.
Marking and assessment
Individual support in delivering the 7 visions of our school
Marking and work scrutiny
Teaching staff ensure that the marking in all pupils’ books is kept up to date with regular deep marking activities which are graded and recorded every three weeks. Staff are given opportunities to mark together in departments as part of their planning, preparation and assessment (PPA). This is recorded on staff timetables as PPA Department Marking.
Each member of staff runs termly surveys, known as rate my teaching surveys, regarding teaching and learning in the classroom. The findings of these are displayed in teaching rooms along with self-improvement targets set by the teacher. Key elements are displayed on the school website, and form part of the teacher appraisal process.
Each member of our teaching team is formally observed a minimum of three times a year. There is, each year, a minimum of one performance management (PM) observation followed by a peer/coaching observation and an agreed pupil observation. Additional sessions are seen as developmental tools and an opportunity to observe good practice.
Drop in observations are a regular occurrence with teaching staff encouraged to support one another’s lessons on a regular basis.
Reporting and recording
A teacher appraisal sheet for each member of the teaching staff appears on the school website and contains key information on the qualifications, background and year on year performance of each individual teacher. This includes the latest data on:
Progress made by individual classes taught by the teacher.
Progress made by SEN, FSM, G&T, LAC groups taught by the teacher.
Grades of any observations conducted.
The outcomes of latest pupil questionnaires.
Putting the staff appraisal documents on our website promotes transparency and understanding among parents and highlights that we are meeting the needs of our pupils. It is not possible to identify individual pupils from the data provided.
School improvement planning
At the end of each academic cycle, the school leaders, in conjunction with staff, parents and pupils, review the school’s progress against each of our visions. Using these key performance indicators, we then create an action plan to develop our processes for the following year.