As part of my NPQSL course, I am required to keep regular blogs about the progress I am making and my personal developments with regard to the competencies I have to demonstrate. I appreciate that, for most of you who read my posts, they probably won’t be of much significance or interest. However, for me, they will be essential to further my development. So, I’ll prefix each of them with an NPQSL warning to avoid unnecessary reading!
When I completed the self evaluation form at the beginning of the course, I also asked 4 other colleagues to give their opinions on my performance. All 5 of us identified Information Seeking as an area of strength. I enjoy gathering information from a broad range of sources, whether it be from Government publications, data analysis, internet research or gathering opinions on Twitter. This blog has been an important vehicle for gaining information and for learning what to do with it. I believe I have a natural curiosity (or perhaps nosiness) which helps me to ask questions and to seek answers. Over time, I have become more confident in working out what information is important – online conversations and tutorials from Jamie Pembroke (data expert!) have helped me with this. I am now more able to collate data from a range or sources and combine it to provide a deeper understanding. An example of this is using RAISE online to identify a weakness in the performance of groups of children, and to then use school based data (from Target Tracker) on mobility and attendance to help to explain why the groups performed in the way they did.
Now that I am more proficient in choosing relevant data and looking at big pictures (rather than focussing too closely on specific groups), I need to develop my skills in using the data to solve issues. I need to identify trends in our year-on-year data, using both in school and national comparisons to identify issues. Using sources such as the DfE, Ofsted and the Education Endowment Foundation will be crucial for finding ways to overcome obstacles. As ever, my Personal Learning Network on Twitter will also be an invaluable resource, as there is a wealth of knowledge and experience available to those who ask for it.
Already this year, I have begun to develop this competency, as I have had some involvement in writing the school’s Self Evaluation Form. At first, I found this incredibly difficult, as I was unsure of what data to include in the Pupil Outcomes section of the form. However, I already feel better equipped to do this in the future, after working with the SLT, conversations with our school’s SIP and from conversations around this course. My increased confidence with finding useful data means that I can now focus on using the information I find to solve the issues identified.