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Injecting some Wellbeing into our Teaching + Learning and considering the importance of Mastery Lear

It's the start of another academic year and Putney High School is back with new motivations and invigoration after the summer break.

We are looking at three key themes this year: Breathe/the environment, Entrepreneurship and Digital Innovation, amongst other things but given the importance of wellbeing - both for our students and staff - we thought it would be good to start the year with a Teaching and Learning session reflecting on a wellbeing research project conducted by a member of the History Department:

"How well do we promote the wellbeing of parents at Putney High School?"

Bryony Gough, the author, began by determining what wellbeing is and why it is important.

‘Responsibility for health is seen as individual rather than collective’ where the ‘definition of health’ is simply ‘the ability to adapt and to self-manage’, which includes the ability of people to adapt to their situation as key to health’. https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/26/3/412/2467172

‘the economic benefits of mental wellbeing are broad, deep reaching and societal... They include employees who are creative, adaptable, resilient and productive.’ https://www.fph.org.uk/media/1644/better-mental-health-for-all-final-low-res.pdf (p15)

Using a range of data sets to help provide a base line for her enquiry (for more details see below), and while her results suggested that we were providing well for our staff-parents, she was also able to identify a variety of recommendations of us, as a school, to develop. Some of these included:

•Create a one-stop shop for all policies on the HUB

•Training for line managers

•Greater support for male parents within the workplace

•Flexible working arrangements

•Greater utilisation of the coaching network that exists in school

Knowing we have such a strong sense of wellbeing within the school and know its importance as a tool to help a school flourish, it seemed only right that we begin our year by reflecting on these important issues.

Following this presentation, our Head of Classics, Peter Maskell, presented his initial research into Mastery Learning:

The concept involves:

  • Subject matter divided into units.

  • A high level of ‘mastery’ (80%) expected at end of each unit.

  • Those who do not meet this level are given additional tuition.

  • Some studies also delay the completion of a unit if necessary.[if ppt]

And the reasoning behind it includes:

  • Potentially more impactful than ‘individualised instruction’ (EEF)

  • A useful way of classifying and integrating things we already do.

  • Arguably less time consuming?

  • A model especially suited to a selective school cohort?[if ppt]

The project is being conducted with Year 8, across two out of four sets.

Stay tuned for the results and outcomes later in the year.

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Bryony Gough, Data Sets:

PUTNEY HIGH SCHOOL

35 Putney Hill,

London, SW15 6BH

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