Assessing pupils' wellbeing and attitudes to learning pre and post lockdown

School Background

I am the Pupil Premium, Reading and Attendance lead as well as head of Year 5 and 6. We have 270 children in KS2 and approximately 30% pupil premium and around 20% SEND. As a school we are highly transient and have a lot of in-year movement. We started using the platform before lockdown 3, so in Autumn term 1 of 2020. It was myself with the support of the computing lead that started to use the system. In future, I intend to work with our Wellbeing/Pupil voice lead when the children return.

 

How are you using Wellbeing and Attitudes to Learning?

We used the platform with all children in KS2. The teachers were given the results for their class and we were looking at themes and patterns within classes/year band as a school, as well as identifying children who gave an indication of struggling that we had not noticed. As attendance lead I looked at the information for all the children who had persistent absence to see if it could help us identify patterns and themes. We identified an area (self-efficacy) that as a school we needed to develop and we had just started looking at the lessons and each teacher had taught a lesson related to that theme and then we went into lockdown!

 

What are the main benefits?

The well-being of the children is so important to us as a school and particularly in the present climate - there are more children than ever who are struggling.

Sometimes we can identify children who are struggling through their behaviours but we would like to know who we can support before they start to show struggling behaviours. We want to ensure that we teach children strategies for resilience and self-efficacy and make sure these discussions/lessons are open and transparent and explicitly taught so that children can use the language to communicate when they are not feeling as positive. We intend to use the lessons plans more to support this then children can succeed and barriers to success are removed.

I found the resource useful before pupil conferencing on attendance it allowed me to see whether the child had a positive attitude to school and were absent for other reasons or whether they struggled with school and therefore discussions could be had over how we could support them. The way you can quickly look at an overview of a child was useful for this. I would also use the resource to look at children who are not achieving as well as expected.

 

In what ways have you found the reports in Wellbeing and Attitudes to Learning useful?

We found the comparison report useful as there were differences within year bands; we were able to see that our older children were least positive and least satisfied with our school environment. With further investigation we found out that they were struggling the most with the covid bubble rules! Our year 3 children were the least resilient so teachers discussed approaches to support them.

The individual reports were great as you could look at the red zones and get a good snap shot of the child. It might be that the teacher just had a quick informal chat with the child and made a point of trying to develop the relationship so that they could support as necessary.

 

In what ways has this resource been effective in helping you to identify areas ofstrength and weakness when looking at pupils' positivity, self-efficacy, motivation and resilience at school?

We identified that children are generally positive and motivated more by success than reward but that self-efficacy was an area we could develop further. There were quite significant differences between year bands too!

 

How has the resource helped to direct your work with pupils?

We plan to use the resource including the lesson plans to further develop our work with the children in specific areas. Explicitly teaching strategies for resilience etc. will hopefully give the children the language they need to communicate how they are struggling and how they can succeed. It will link well to our Oracy work. We only got the opportunity to use one of the lesson plans.

 

Would you recommend Wellbeing and Attitudes to Learning to other schools?  Why?

I have already recommended this resource to the Southend Pupil Premium group as I think it is a good use of the Pupil Premium funding as it supports improving attitudes to learning as well as identifying specific children with emotional barriers.

Assistant Head Teacher, The Westborough School
Wellbeing and Attitudes to Learning: Survey and Strategies
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