Presentation on theme: "Developing A Cohesive School Community Rachel Macfarlane Walthamstow School For Girls June 2009."— Presentation transcript:
Developing A Cohesive School Community Rachel Macfarlane Walthamstow School For Girls June 2009
Waltham Forest 15 th of the 354 LAs nationally in terms of socio-economic deprivation 4 th lowest of all London LAs in terms of adult skills levels 3 rd worst profile of all London boroughs for number of residents falling in top 40% wealth bracket Trident borough: significant levels of weapons & drugs related crime
What is community cohesion? “By community cohesion we mean working towards a society in which there is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities; a society in which the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued; a society in which similar life opportunities are available to all; and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools and in the wider community. “ Alan Johnson 2006
4 dimensions to CoCo The school community – students, parents, carers & families, staff, governors, community users The community within which the school is located – geographical area and those who live & work there The UK community The global community
3 ways in which schools are expected to contribute to CoCo Teaching, learning and the curriculum – developing understanding, valuing of diversity, shared values Equality and excellence – ensuring EO for all, removing barriers to access and eliminating variation in outcomes Engagement and extended services – links with different schools & communities, providing extended services, building positive interactions
Teaching, Learning & Curriculum Ongoing PSHE, tutor time, assemblies, RE, and other curriculum areas – Maths, Food, English etc, Ashiana Project Responding to events Series of lessons after August 06 terror arrests, EO sexuality training, Gaza talks, assembly after Mumbai bombing, Leyton Mosque workshops
Equality & Excellence EO policy & working party Extra curricular opportunities Disability Equality Scheme Monitoring achievements at all levels and ‘open’ action planning Targeting resources appropriately
Engagement & Extended Services The biggest challenge! Winning Hearts & Minds Engagement of: A. Middle & Senior Leaders B. Student Researchers C. Governors D. All staff E. All students F. Parents
A: The Middle & Senior Leaders (Dec 07) What is the community? Why focus on the community? What positive links do we already have with the community? How could they be developed further? Getting pledges SIP theme
Principles Schools need to know their community and understand the community context Schools need to understand and celebrate the opportunities but also understand and face the challenges provided by their particular community context Community links should be not just about reaching out to help the community but to learn from and make better use of existing resources in the community Schools and communities should create shared beliefs about what they can achieve together
B: Student Researchers (Autumn 08) What is your community like? What is good & what is not so good?
The Drive, Attlee Terrace, Marlowe Road, Northwood Towers Poorest super output areas in Waltham Forest In top 3% most deprived super output areas in the country Regularly subject to dispersal orders 2 or more people seen to be loitering or antisocial in their behaviour are liable to arrest Children under 16 seen out after 9pm by the police can be taken home
C: Governors Community Cohesion presentation and discussion - Nov. 08 Ongoing termly monitoring of the SIP through sub committees
D: All staff (January 09) Aims: To gain a collective understanding of what the school’s community is To familiarise staff with what we know of the local community context To consider reasons for developing a deeper understanding of and closer links with the community To reflect on how we can develop our knowledge of our students’ out of school lives To clarify what we mean by community cohesion and the school’s duty to promote it
What is the school’s community? All staff including supply, ex, visiting staff Students & Alumnae Parents & families Governors Local residents Local Authority & external agencies e.g. EWO, EP Local employers Local schools, including feeders & post 16 Other school users Local places of worship & political groups Geographical area – as far as the school’s ripples reach
The School Community You can’t understand the present without understanding the past. Likewise you can’t understand the student without some understanding of her out of school life and environment Our students are with us at school for just 9 minutes of every waking hour – we can’t make a difference unless we are concerned about the other 51 minutes
Discussion Point What appear to be some of the key issues in the local community? What are the implications for us as a school? What could we be doing more effectively to counter some of the issues identified?
Discussion Point What could we be doing to understand the out of school lives of our students more fully? As tutors? As subject teachers? As support staff? As a whole school? “The best schools are those where conversations are going on between staff and students.” Tim Brighouse.
E: All students What is good about the local area? What is bad about the local area? What do you do out of school that other students might be interested to get involved in? What do you think the school could do to improve the local area? (greener, safer, richer) What do you contribute to the school community? What do you contribute to the local community?
F: Parents Parent workshops Parent Forum Greensheet ICT and Arabic classes Parenting classes Community Liaison Out Of Hours Learning Coordinator (CLOHLC) post Community lettings
The Vision for WSFG at Church Hill All staff strive to gain a deeper understanding and knowledge of the local community and our students’ out of school lives All students, supported by the school, are contributing to and enriching the local community The facilities and resources of WSFG are utilised fully by the local community A wealth of local community groups are linked with the school and enrich our curriculum WSFG’s ethos permeates the local community