Ysgol Brynhyfryd, Ruthin – Planning and assessing for Progression of Literacy and Numeracy skills

School profile

Ysgol Brynhyfryd is a secondary school in the small market town of Ruthin North Wales. Just over 1000 pupils attend the school which is naturally bilingual and has Welsh Medium classes as well as English Medium and a class for those not yet fully proficient in Welsh. A new head teacher has just been appointed to take over from the acting head teacher, and he will be joining the school from Birkenhead after half term.

  • 1% statemented pupils with 15% needing further support
  • 6.9% FSM
  • 1,061 on roll with 189 in the sixth form

What were we asked to support?

The school had recently been through an Estyn inspection where recommendations were made to improve Literacy skills across the curriculum and standards of attainment at KS4 in all subjects. The school was also keen to explore how they might effectively track pupil’s progress in Literacy and Numeracy across all curriculum subjects and use that information to write user friendly reports for parents.

What did we do?

We worked with the school to identify external and internal data that would help them identify what their pupils’ weaknesses were in terms of Literacy and Numeracy skills. We helped the school to create a process for using data efficiently and effectively across all departments, including detailed support on analysis and management of this data. We coupled this with our diagnostic activities that all subject specialists will use in order to accurately identify where teaching should start for each child in the identified skill. Having set up with staff this understanding of how data from a wide range of sources should inform planning, we then looked at identifying high priority skills that the whole staff would focus on with all pupils in order to have the greatest impact on standards both at KS3 and KS4. A major issue for the school as for many secondary schools was the breadth and depth of the challenge to fully embed progression in Literacy and Numeracy learning across the entire curriculum as well manage the demands of the need to record and report skill acquisition and the current progress of each child. Our support focussed on Welsh Government statutory guidance and best practice that would create impact and achievement for every child. The day culminated in a final session that allowed Senior Leaders time with our support to create a strategic plan to deliver improved standards for Literacy and Numeracy and address ARR actions required across the school.

Expected Impact

  • All staff will know what Literacy and/or Numeracy skill enhances their subject and how to plan effectively to progress that skill within their subject.
  • The school will have a strategic plan for the development of priority Literacy and Numeracy skills identified through analysis of a wide range of data that will be reviewed, evaluated and revised on a rolling programme throughout the year in line with Estyn expectations and WG’s guidance.
  • There will be a clear system of pupil self-assessment linked with the priority development targets that will give pupils ownership of their learning and reduce the workload burden for staff.
  • Parents will receive clear, effective, user friendly reports that are in line with WG’s guidance. Next steps for the school

The school will be putting in place a rigorous assessment process that staff will be asked to use to record pupil progress in Literacy and Numeracy. Senior leaders at the school will be using Impact resources to identify clear success criteria for a school tracking system and discussing with SIMs how their package can be adapted and developed to deliver what the school needs.