University of Edinburgh

Count Us In

Presented on Monday 23 June 2008

The Journey to Excellence

Christine Knight, HMIe

journey to excellence

Part 1:Aiming for excellence

Part 2:Exploring Excellence

Part 3:How Good is our school? Child at the centre

Part 4:Planning for Excellence

Part 5: Journeys to Excellence

Notes: As Scottish schools 'grow up' in their approaches to and experience with self-evaluation, we need to focus more on its purpose.

What comes after self-evaluation – ACTION!
Are there other activities - Support/challenge and challenge/support - appreciate enquiry through building on strengths - visioning whereby you paint a picture of the future – where you want your school or service to be in three years' time - and create that future.

Which is most professionally challenging?
Who should do this?

ten dimensions

Examination of features of excellence

features of excellence

Notes: Each dimension is supported in four ways - voices in your head, teased out into features and sub-features, short illustrations or snapshots, and grids showing the positive aspects of what is good and what excellence might look like based on real schools.

A Culture of Learning

  • Making learning an object of attention
  • Making learning an object of conversation
  • Making learning an object of reflection
  • Making learning an object of learning
    John Macbeath

What do you think of this list?

The big ten classroom factors?

  • having a positive attitude
  • the development of a pleasant social / psychological climate in the classroom
  • having high expectations of what pupils can achieve
  • lesson clarity
  • effective time management
  • strong lesson structuring
  • the use of a variety of teaching methods
  • using and incorporating pupils' ideas
  • using appropriate and varied questioning [Reynolds]

Notes: Some people need to focus on the craft of teaching. For too long we have not focused sufficiently on this.


Notes: All of the QIs – again emphasising the structure with colour.

Showing that the capacity to improve depends on so many factors and can touch all areas.

Planning for Excellence


Key Ideas for Planning for Excellence

  • Start from shared vision and values – use dimensions of excellence
  • Use HGIOS3 indicators judiciously to find out current position - and then move on
  • One high level improvement plan
  • Focus on outcomes for children
  • Real engagement of all partners

Key ideas - 2

  • A dynamic process with adjustable targets
  • Proportionate planning
  • Flexibility for schools and services as long as they deliver
  • Plans are aspirational and do not include maintenance agenda

Planning your own journey

  • Start with quality indicator - learners' experiences good starting point.
  • Choose theme or aspect of theme, for example, "our learners are motivated and actively involved in their own learning and development".
  • Choose small number of pupils.
  • Read sections in JTE Part 1 and 2
  • Read section in "Count Us In: Achieving success for deaf pupils"
  • Go to JTE website and look at learning trail
  • Observe your pupils
  • How can you move from good to great?
  • Make a plan, try out some things
  • Evaluate and review.