Mersey Vale Primary School is rightly proud of its ‘Outstanding’ ratings granted by Ofsted in 2007 and 2010 and its consistently high attainment and progress results. This is even more impressive as two thirds of the 230 pupils belong to minority ethnic groups, speaking some 18 different languages.
Headteacher Jayne Mullane says: “We’re absolutely committed to helping our pupils achieve their very best and the school was disappointed to receive a ‘satisfactory’ rating in 2001. When I joined the following year, I introduced a series of initiatives to boost staff development, which subsequently had the effect of raising standards in teaching and learning.”
Mersey Vale uses SIMS to record details of teacher observations, including from the school’s innovative ’Three stars and a wish’ performance feedback system. Jayne explains: “The feedback we gather from these observation sessions is stored alongside more formal practices conducted internally. We’re using the Staff Performance enhancements to SIMS Personnel to ensure these details can be accessed from a single, central location - this instant access will also help us prepare for our next Ofsted inspection.”
One key area for Mersey Vale is closing the attainment gap: “We’re delivering a number of initiatives to raise achievement for children eligible for pupil premium and other disadvantaged groups - it’s crucial for us to know they’re making a difference and with SIMS we can show that progress,” says Jayne.
The school’s attendance figures are greatly affected by the number of parents taking children out to visit family abroad, a further aspect where SIMS helps. Jayne explains: “During our Ofsted inspection we used SIMS Attendance to show that, once you extracted the figures for extended holidays, the general trend for attendance is good. That’s what’s so great about SIMS – you know your story, and why things are as they are, SIMS then backs this up, providing the evidence to show externally.”
“In a nutshell, SIMS helps me perform my role more effectively whilst helping the school support our pupils to achieve their very best.”
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