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Leadership Blog: The Power Of Peer Review

Posted on 8th Mar 2019 by Chris Barnes

By the time of our next eNewsletter in a fortnight, our Prep children will have returned from their Ski Trip, Reception will have presented their play, and as a whole school, we will have had our annual Learning Review.  A busy yet seemingly normal fortnight in the life of Edenhurst!

At Edenhurst we teach children how to give and receive feedback in order to improve their work. Effective feedback is positive. We encourage children to be Kind, Helpful and Specific in their feedback to one another and as teachers, we model this. We teach them to start their critique by saying, “This piece of work would be Even Better If…” We call this an EBI - teachers love acronyms!  We want our children to be reflective and aware of their own learning process and that of others. Scientists call this Metacognition.

The Bellevue Schools take part in a similar annual process of review.  It is an opportunity to share best practice and gives the visiting team - led by the Head of another school within the group - as much development as it does the hosting school. All members of our senior team have all taken part in this process during the last couple of months and found the process invaluable. We are using this experience to improve our work at Edenhurst.

Our visiting team will be led by Mr. Lee Sanders, the Head of Brabyns Prep School in Marple, near Stockport.  They will be at Edenhurst on 20-21 March and spending time in all areas of the School. This is very much a process of ‘collegiate conversations’, with our staff having the opportunity to showcase the learning that is taking place.  Those visiting are in similar roles to everyone here. They are looking to ‘catch us being good’ and to take ideas from Edenhurst back to their own schools, much as we have found ideas in each of the schools that we have visited.

The Learning Review team will, amongst other things, track the experiences of pupils within lessons; interview a random selection of pupils; interview parents (see this week’s Friday Communication for further details) and immerse themselves in the life of the school for two days in order to gain ‘the full Edenhurst’.  We welcome them and look forward to sharing their findings at the end of the process.

Edenhurst will be even better as a result of our Learning Review.