An interview with Helen Pike, Senior Deputy Head, Academic, Head of Teaching and Learning, and Dr Craig Wilson, Executive Principal, CATS colleges, UK
About the school
Bournemouth Collegiate School (BCS) is a coeducational independent day and boarding school and is part of CATS Global Schools education group. BCS is based on two sites in Poole and Bournemouth, Dorset on the southern coast of England.
With around 670 students aged 2-18, the focus at BCS is to offer a fulfilling, all-round holistic education which places equal importance on academic and personal achievements and developments for all pupils throughout their BCS journey.
BCS Senior school have been using CEM’s Yellis and Alis assessments for over 10 years and recently chose CEM’s Professional Development bespoke package to get tailored insight and focus attention on more effective data use in school.
- A better understanding of how CEM reports can inform organisation-wide decisions to help with strategic planning
- Increased staff confidence in using data
- Benefitted from an independent, external data consultant with extensive experience using CEM data
Why did you choose CEM professional development?
We have been using the CEM data for a number of years and used it in Heads of Department sessions, with information being filtered down into subject areas. However, we hadn’t dedicated a significant amount of time focussing on using the data at classroom level.
At a senior level we used it to understand each cohort, but we wanted everyone to have the same understanding and the same responsibility for using it.
We have a range of teachers, from ECTs to experienced teachers as well as Heads of Departments, who were already more familiar with the CEM data. The staff had requested that they would like to spend more time looking at the data, but we were all at different points in our journey and we needed the kind of training that would meet the needs of everybody.
What are the advantages of using external expertise?
It was really useful to hear the consultant, Sue Holt, share their own real-life experiences of using data in different schools. Sue looked at our data and was able to accurately talk about our current cohort and historical data and helped us to reaffirm what we knew, as well as unpack the data in more detail.
When we spoke to the staff, they said to have that real knowledge and link it to our own data and having that expertise was most beneficial.
We ran our own sessions on the data in the past, but having someone come from outside the school has raised the profile and really helped the staff gain confidence in the data.
It has given them reassurance that the CEM data is accurate, but it has also given them a better understanding of how they could use the data further in their lessons, to use it to talk to the students, and their parents, or to and get a more holistic picture of the students as individuals."
How did you and your staff benefit from the session?
Staff have commented that this is the most useful training on data they have had. It has given them reassurance that the CEM data is accurate, but it has also given them a better understanding of how they could use the data further in their lessons, to use it to talk to the students, and their parents, or get a more holistic picture of the students as individuals.
The session has increased knowledge across the whole staff and helped them to look again at the data and think about how they can use it more effectively and adapt student learning.
How can you build on what was learned?
The session has helped us to use the data more effectively than we were doing in the past because of the increased knowledge.
The discussion from the session has continued and created a real momentum for us.
Going forward, we’ll be building the data into a permanent item in the Heads of Departments meetings each term. We will build in time to look at individual pupil and year group progress, as well as using it to inform departmental planning and follow ups.
It’s given us a new approach and was particularly useful in giving us momentum to refer back to the data and has really brought our discussions about data to life.