Newham Learning is a partnership of 40 schools that work collectively to give every pupil the best start in life. We provide a range of services and support, building on the present local partnerships and networks to improve learning outcomes for all pupils across the borough.
Over the last year, we have adapted our original plans to support schools with the restrictions and changes that resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the future unknown, we have focussed on what we could influence and this was by supporting Head Teachers of Newham Learning schools in a range of ways. We introduced well-being check-in sessions, opportunities to work with NHS therapists, Mindfulness sessions, Continuing Professional Development and Learning (CPDL) on Social and Emotional Learning facilitated and led by the East London Research School and a WhatsApp support forum.
As time progressed, weekly sessions for Head Teachers were facilitated by Board members to focus on the issues of the day, so that all Head Teachers could listen to and contribute to discussions and issues that were affecting everyone. The myriad of challenges we have faced has included testing, tracking, free school meals, and laptops to name but a few, which have been an all too familiar companion through the last year.
In the Autumn term, we were able to tap into the collective resources and strengths of the partnership by creating and publishing over 50 remote learning videos to support schools. Whilst this is still a relatively unmined aspect of Newham Learning, in the future we intend to utilise the truly amazing practice taking place each and every day in our schools. We will share good practice and work collaboratively to continually strive to improve the outcomes for children and young people in Newham.
More recently, we continue our partnerships with the East London Research School and Education Endowment Foundation to provide a range of CPDL webinars and peer projects on play based learning; metacognition; child centered well being and Autism Spectrum Condition. Webinar sessions were facilitated by leading experts in each field and schools have opted to further explore topics in peer learning projects.
A highlight of these sessions was a webinar with Alex Quigley focusing on closing the vocabulary gap in these extreme times. Newham Learning is just one year old and, as a partnership of 40 schools that is truly led by schools for schools, so the future promises to be very exciting.
Despite the limitations with which we were faced from the outset, our community of schools has achieved great things. This bodes well for the coming years to continue to be dynamic and innovative, designed to enhance leaders and connect schools through collaboration, support and challenge.