Helena Brothwell Profile picture
Oct 4, 2020 8 tweets 3 min read Read on X
Consistency is a superpower: at @DRETnews we have a staff handbook for each school called ‘The Way’ and it helps to align staff as a team. It helps us to develop a shared language and outlines ‘how we do things around here’. Important pages:
Lesson visit protocol - it’s really important when building an open door culture that we acknowledge the privilege it is to enter a classroom. So we agree how this will look and this protocol is followed by everyone including the Deputy CEO who visits schools regularly:
Consistency - sometimes staff need a reminder about what happens when you let students off with something, it makes it so much harder for the teacher next door who may not have the years under their belt and actually need that rule to maintain order. We support each other:
Leading by example - we are always respectful and polite to one another and where this slips we challenge it because it undermines the culture and ethos we are working hard to create:
Senior leaders know that their role is to pave the way for great teaching. We are open that we must not ask staff to do things which don’t benefit teaching and learning, or that we wouldn’t do ourselves. This builds trust in our schools - everyone knows their role:
‘it is incredibly difficult for students to concentrate if we allow background noise as a norm in our classrooms. This is why we must insist on silence as our default position. This supports all students but in particular our most vulnerable’ - explains the ‘why’.
We believe that working together on such things gives our new staff and our less experienced colleagues a superpower - they have the power of hundreds of teachers behind them - so powerful.
And the questions we ask ourselves at Trust level are: What does it feel like to be a new member of staff in this school? What does it feel like to be a vulnerable child in this school. This is what drives us. #Worldclass #weareDRET

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More from @educurious2015

Sep 27, 2020
Just listened to @pna1977 and thinking about leaders’ responsibilities for managing culture in schools. What should leaders explicitly do to really make a shift in their schools? (Obviously buy ‘Running The Room’ @tombennett71).
At @DRETnews we started with a focus on systems:
Every system in a school should be set up to support teachers.
Consider the unintended consequences of your systems - if your system allows the return of a child to a class after they have been sent out by their teacher, you tell the class that children/others make the rules.
That is very undermining, so the likelihood is that teachers will avoid using the pathway in future and will reluctantly accept poor behaviour in their classrooms. Learning slows, students feel a vacuum of leadership and this is stressful for all concerned.
Read 13 tweets
Jun 11, 2020
If you really want something to put a fire under you, I highly recommend this book. It is powerful and provocative and each chapter is charged somehow. It’s pulse-racing stuff! @researchED1
Magnificent job @ClareSealy Image
Young writes ‘the most positive outcome of the last decade of reforms...is the idea that ‘access to knowledge for all’ is the primary purpose of schooling.’
‘We need to remember the scale of our task’
His chapter highlights the issues around the term ‘powerful knowledge’ and the issues around planning for one. It responds to critics of ‘powerful knowledge’ as a concept (and really takes a few swings) and I was on the edge of my seat by the end of it!
Read 5 tweets
Jan 19, 2020
Thread: Uniform - explaining to parents.
It’s important that we are clear why we ‘sweat the small stuff’ over uniform so much. If we don’t, then a culture is created that we may not even be aware of but that lives and breathes in our schools: What you look like matters.
We, of course, want students to wear their uniform proudly. It develops a sense of belonging which we know is so important in building communities. We know that uniform is important to parents too, and that a school where children look smart will be popular with parents.
So we work hard to eradicate fashionable trends, such as having gaps btwn trousers and socks, and piercings to name a few. We realise that these seem minor, but it is worth reminding ourselves that the purpose of uniform is to remove hierarchy, difference and status.
Read 8 tweets
Aug 2, 2019
Nicely volunteered there @GeographyJake
Thanks @MrMWilkinson for joining the team!
Read 5 tweets

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