The Halas Collaborative Trust was established by the three Head teachers of Cradley Church of England Primary School, St Margaret’s at Hasbury Church of England Primary School and Halesowen Church of England Primary School in the academic year 2012-13. All three schools had ‘Good’ Ofsted inspection judgements and ‘Outstanding’ SIAMs inspection judgements.

To support the development of the Trust, a bid was secured from Dudley Local Authority based on developing teaching skills, narrowing attainment gaps between groups of children and leadership of the new curriculum. Since then, we have effectively worked together through developing a programme of shared professional development for staff and leaders.

Have all schools in the Network benefitted?

All three schools have benefitted from the Network and this is due to the planning process and the ways in which we have attempted to build relationships together. In terms of implementing the 2014 national curriculum, we have all benefitted from the training and support that we have put in place for curriculum development. Staff’s increased knowledge in teaching the grammar, punctuation and spelling element of the English curriculum, maths and computing has impacted on teachers in each of the three schools which has, in turn, impacted on the quality of provision that the children are receiving, particularly when considering our first priority of improving quality first teaching. Equally, senior and middle leaders have developed their leadership skills as they have sought to work in collaboration for the benefit of all three schools.

Will the Trust continue?

The Trust is already showing its worth and there is a commitment from all three Head teachers to develop the Trust further. We are aware of the need to ensure our collaborative work shows impact on standards across our schools and we are already looking at quantitative ways in which we can evidence this as a Trust. However, we recognise the value and need to work together as we build expertise and capacity to meet the challenges and opportunities of the changing educational landscape.

As a Trust, we have effectively worked together through developing a programme of shared professional development for staff and leaders.

The Halas Collaborative Trust

Has the focus of the Network changed?

Following the Head and Deputy Head teacher strategic planning meetings the direction of the Network move towards recent changes in primary education. Shared resources and training on the grammar and computing has enabled each school to share good practice as well as up-skill middle leaders within each school - they have had the opportunity to plan and deliver training on a large scale knowing that, in this time of change, each school expects to see impact.

Working with others

Some of the measures and the impacts so far

Measures so far Impact
Head teachers meetings (half termly) – strategy Planned strategic direction based on our three schools’ school improvement plans. Shared ideas about developments in a tracking system to monitor and evaluate pupil standards and assessment procedures in line with new national curriculum requirements.
Heads and Deputies meeting - termly Deputies contributing to forward thinking of the network – growing leadership and capacity.
Collaborative planned measures to improve the quality of teaching: Shireland/ EEF funded ‘Flipped Learning’ project Improved standards in maths - Y5 and Y6 - teaching based on children’s increased focus on timing and quality of homework, particularly in Halesowen and Hasbury, where issues around the use of IT were overcome, and where pupil progress was accelerated as a result of ‘flipped learning’. Evidenced through observation, staff discussion and external monitoring and evaluation of the project (York University).
Collaborative training day - 2nd June 2014. Held at Halesowen School – creating identity, building networks, sharing good practice, identifying future development. Building of Network identity – Halas Collaborative Trust - but keeping each school’s individuality. Staff know each other, know who to ask for support/ advice in light of recent changes in primary education. Building confidence, trust and capacity by working together to improve outcomes for children in all three schools. Staff ownership of the Trust.
Grammar, punctuation and spelling training for English leads in all three schools (Pie Corbett – summer term 2014) – training for all teaching staff in all three schools through follow-up joint staff meeting lead by Trust’s English lead teachers held at Cradley School. (Autumn term 2014) Increased competence and confidence of staff and pupils’ grammar, punctuation and spelling knowledge as evidenced through discrete teaching sessions of these skills and through writing sessions (learning walks/lesson observations, pupils’ books). Staff development of engaging ways to deliver word and sentence work.
Developing the computing curriculum - staff meeting for the three schools – held at St Margaret’s and lead by ICT lead teacher sharing Shireland Academy training with all teaching staff. (Autumn term 2014) Staff’s increased knowledge of ways to deliver new computing curriculum. Increased knowledge of Ofsted expectations. Sharing of computing and coding resources. Schools able to evaluate and plan for development in computing.
Purchase of curriculum resources to support the introduction of the National Curriculum 2014. Curriculum resource used in varying ways in all three schools – used as a starting point to plan new curriculum.
Mastery in the Maths Curriculum - staff meeting at St Margaret’s lead by maths lead. Developments in the Foundation Stage curriculum and practice – EYFS staff. (Spring term 2015) Staff developed knowledge of new maths curriculum and a better/shared understanding of what a mastery curriculum means and looks like.
Joint INSET day - June 2015 Using samples of their children’s work in English and maths, staff across the three schools, shared, discussed and came to agreed judgements about these pieces of work against 2014 national curriculum age related expectations. The day enabled staff to feel more confident in their understanding of the new mastery curriculum and the standards expected.
Joint INSET day - February 2017 Anthony Reddy Whole school INSET day with acclaimed mathematician Anthony Reddy around the use of practical resources in mathematics. The day enabled staff to feel more confident about using manipulatives with children of all ages to improve their mathematical understanding.