Wider Leadership Impact

As part of our leadership training and support for other schools South Rise hosted a visit for Middle Leaders from around the country on Wednesday 18th November. The focus for the visit was The role of middle leaders in empowering others to lead on achieving 'outstanding behaviour without extrinsic rewards; seeing the theory in practice.'

The event was hosted at the South Rise and Wingfield Partnership, located in the Royal borough of Greenwich. These schools also form part of the Compass Partnership, bringing together seven schools to work collaboratively across the local authority.

The morning began with an opportunity to learn more about the context and history of South Rise Primary. The school has been on a remarkable journey. Led by innovative Executive Headteacher Sophie Powell, South Rise has moved from inadequate to good with outstanding features Ofsted (March 2013), and continues to build on its exceptional success as the school becomes increasingly outward facing and shares best practice.

Later that morning there were presentations from the Head of School, Hazel Brown and Deputy Headteacher Clara Daly, equally committed to raising standards and ensuring each pupil reaches their full potential. Driven by child centred outcomes, this impressive leadership team described the essence of phase leadership as having leaders that ‘translate the school vision, culture and ethos into practice, supporting teams in establishing an atmosphere that conveys the highest expectations of all’.

Both Hazel and Clara went on to discuss the school's core values and beliefs, explaining that at South Rise, they seek to develop intrinsically motivated pupils. As a result, pupils are not extrinsically motivated with stickers or certificates and teachers and teaching assistants work hard to foster a natural disposition of curiosity, self-esteem, and inner drive in pupils. Middle leaders are tasked with ensuring the planning and learning environment is irresistible and so inviting that pupils feel a sense of enjoyment as they embark on their learning journey.

The presentations were followed by a structured learning walk; visitors had the opportunity to see the themes discussed in the morning implemented at classroom level, and appreciate the exceptional learning environment that pupils are immersed in. Pupils at South Rise have the opportunity to take part in three whole school learning projects a year, their work is proudly displayed across the school and results in a clear continuum of progression in cross-curricular disciplines.

Pupils are placed at the centre of each decision made at South Rise, so it was perhaps unsurprising that the day finished with a group discussion with pupils. When asked about intrinsic motivation, Jason Gurung, year 5, confidently explained,

This way you know I’m learning because I want to, not because of a reward. It also means we’re all treated equally.’  


SSAT Middle Leaders – Feedback Comments – November 2015

‘Thank you.  I have got so many ideas to take back – can’t wait to have a go at some of them!  It has been so helpful spending the morning with your staff and pupils.  Sharing your excellent practice will make a difference in other schools as well as your own.  You should ALL be very proud indeed.’

‘Such a great learning environment’.

‘We were able to get a taster of the school environment and how there is a love and passion for learning, the teaching environment is key and the learning walk was a great way to see this in action.’

‘All of your teachers are passionate.’

‘A really brilliant course, so informative and plenty of food for thought, thank you.’

‘Walking around the school and then listening to the children speaking showed the impact of intrinsic motivation.’

‘The values that are important to your school are clear to me as a visitor from the moment I arrived.  It was great to hear the children sum up so eloquently everything that you had said in the morning!’

‘Thank you for sharing your fantastic practice!’

‘A fantastic school with excellent standards.  The children are highly motivated and I have learned a lot from today’s visit.  Thank you again!’

‘Very refreshing to attend a course where research is so confidently linked to practice and then to be able to see how this is embedded across the school.  Particularly interesting too to see how ‘wallpapering’ the classroom with display paper, rather than using display boards, creates a sense of ownership of learning for practitioners and learners.  A terrific morning!’