Home » Partner Blogs » Norris Bank Primary School – Tabitha Smith is the Inclusion Co-ordinator and acting Deputy Head at Norris Bank Primary School in Stockport.

 
 

Norris Bank Primary School – Tabitha Smith is the Inclusion Co-ordinator and acting Deputy Head at Norris Bank Primary School in Stockport.

 

Using Person Centred Thinking tools in the School Development Plan

At the beginning of the month, we had a staff training day where we used person centred thinking tools to inform decision making and planning.

Historically, the Head and Deputy have written the school development plan, and then presented it to the staff. This year, we wanted to adopt a very different approach; an approach that involved all stakeholders in the school, and an approach that put the leadership team in the background.

The process was started in an assembly, when we used the person centred thinking tools ‘working’, ‘not working’ and ‘important in the future’ with parents and children. We then moved this discussion on, to find out what their priorities would be for the coming year. This was very interesting, as there were similar themes running through from Reception to Year 6.

These ideas were collated and then taken to the training day. We had invited to this day Governors, support staff, midday assistants and parents, as well as the teachers and our school improvement advisor.

Having introduced the purpose of the day – to create a new development plan – we had the opportunity to write our own priorities on post-it notes. We then allocated these ideas to one of three categories:

  • Creating confident learners
  • Creating successful learners and
  • Creating responsible citizens

The group was then split into three, each group working on one of these areas. As a group, they had to go through all the proposed ideas, and to decide which would actually become a new priority on the development plan. Once these key priorities had been agreed, then clear success criteria were written, with a programme of actions that need to be done to meet these priorities.

During this process, the Head and Deputy were not involved in any of the decision making processes. The level of discussion from the group members was really high. Teachers, teaching assistants, parents and governors were all working alongside each other in a very productive, meaningful and informed way.

By the end of the day, we had a team of people who felt that their opinions mattered, a team of people who felt that they really did have a say in the development plan for next year.

From this starting point, we know that the development plan is not only relevant, but also that everyone will feel part of it, everyone will want it to be a success. We look forward to putting all their ideas into action.