Celebrate success: What school leaders can do
‘Celebrate success’ is the final part of a cycle of activity shown to be effective in primary and secondary schools to narrow attainment gaps for deprived learners. Here is a list of four powerful actions for school leaders to take.
Four key actions
1. Be clear about how your school identifies and celebrates children’s successes
Learners feel valued and proud of their achievements and learners in the target group have their successes recognised in a personal way. Younger learners are aware of these successes and see that they can achieve similarly. All in the school, from the teaching assistant to the most senior member of staff, celebrate with the learners and are more confident and motivated to continue to narrow the gaps.
2. Governors, parents/carers and the wider community are informed and involved with the celebration
The link governor responsible for Narrowing the Gaps and free school meals (FSM) briefs other governors on successes. Improvement in closing attainment gaps is celebrated at meetings and reported to parents/carers.
3. External partners are informed of and engage with the school’s successes
The headteacher’s reports identify the areas of improvement, and School Improvement Plans and the school self-evaluation record the outcomes and reasons for improvement.
4. The school dedicates continuing professional development time to review case studies
This review enables staff to share successful work through individual case studies, including information on progress data, outcomes, the learner voice and feedback from observation. These sessions allow the school to identify high-impact actions to feed into work with subsequent target groups, to reiterate high expectations and to identify opportunities for further development.
Consider the following questions.
- What are we doing already?
- Is it working?
- How do we know?
- What else needs to be done, by whom and when?