North West London
opportunities; we have completely overhauled our maths curriculum. We invested time in researching the way forward by visiting schools where mastery schemes were being trialled, attending conferences and engaging with maths hubs. This enabled us to make an informed decision to invest in the Maths No Problem scheme – by the time it became recommended by the DfE, we had been actively utilising it for two years, and had witnessed the impact it was having in our school; we have been delighted with the results, which cause our teachers to rethink approaches to how maths is taught and how children learn. Decisions about our curriculum are always made collaboratively and grounded in research. Above all else, we make time for God; we are, at heart, a Catholic school. We aim to excel by following gospel values. This does not, however, exclude children of other beliefs; our current intake is approximately 75 per cent Catholic. A full pupil experience Academic success is important, but we want more than that for our children – we want them to be resilient learners. Pupils at the school take ownership of their learning, and the process is seen at every level as a partnership between teacher and pupil. After their time here, we want them to be fully prepared for the next stage of their lives, so our focus is on educating the whole person. We are passionate about enabling our children to contribute to the constant process of improvement. Team captains are voted into their posts and help to organise events such as charity days. In areas of the curriculum, children also have a voice – science lab technicians work alongside the subject leader to plan and deliver science week and create newsletters. Additionally, the school council gives children the opportunity to voice their own opinions and make important decisions about key issues.
Early years learning through play
Challenges and the future
As a result of falling admission numbers in our area, overall finance is becoming increasingly difficult – this has meant hard decisions including restructuring and some unfortunate redundancies; as staff leave, we cannot always automatically replace them. The largest challenge lies in maintaining current school standards and culture with fewer staff. This will require a school-wide mentality change; it will be impossible to provide everything we have historically delivered with a diminished staff team. A recent benchmarking exercise against other local schools displayed a clear understanding that funding is focused upon, as a matter of priority, ensuring high-quality teaching alongside staff learning and development. With a newly refined curriculum, outstanding models for professional development and an outward- looking attitude across all we do, we think the future is bright for Our Lady of Muswell. We look to further supplement our “outstanding” Ofsted grade in everything we do, and ensure that the school remains inclusive and all-encompassing and, above all else, retains its focus on our integral three- part mission statement.
Decisions about our curriculum are always made collaboratively and grounded in research
33 OUR LADY OF MUSWELL CATHOLIC PRIMARY SCHOOL |
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