Implementing change: Six strategies for success

Written by: Kayleigh Greenacre | Published:
Photo: iStock

Facing significant change and some challenging targets in her department, Kayleigh Greenacre stuck to six key management strategies to help her team achieve success

Bedford Academy is an 11 to 18 school with a large number of pupils from different cultural and social backgrounds. In September 2014 the academy took on a new approach to teaching GCSEs: mixed-age classes consisting of year 9s, 10s and 11s, which were all to complete two single GCSEs within each year.

This approach aimed to maximise pupils’ overall chance of achieving more GCSEs, and making rapid progress within each subject. The academy previously taught GCSEs over two years (year 10 and 11).

After working at the academy for four years within the Arts and Sports Learning Village (faculty), I was appointed as the acting director of learning for arts and sports, overseeing six subjects: art, dance, drama, music, media, and PE.

The team I now manage consists of approximately 18 teachers across these six subjects. A key aim of my role is to ensure that all staff are actively developing their teaching practice in order to then ensure all pupils are making required progress in each subject.

As part of my Impact Initiative for the Teaching Leaders Fellows programme, I was set the goal of increasing the percentage of key stage 4 pupils achieving four or more levels of progress from
33.3 per cent (dance), 31.8 per cent (drama), 50 per cent (media) and 0 per cent (music) in 2014 to 100 per cent of pupils by 2016. Increasing rates of progress across key stage 4 is a priority for the academy, as part of its Improvement Plan.

Increasing the proportion of pupils making four or more levels of progress across media, drama, music and dance will raise students’ aspirations for progressing to further study or training after year 11 and improve their employability prospects. Both Pupil Premium and White British Boys are a particular priority across the school – progress needs to rise in order to maximise pupils’ opportunities later in life.

In order to achieve this, I am encouraging teaching staff to be motivated, driven and focused on supporting each individual pupil within their classes.

Throughout the first year of my Impact Initiative, I have used a range of strategies to guarantee all pupils in the faculty are given the best possible chance of succeeding in each subject. I have detailed below the strategies that we found particularly effective and which have already been having the clearest impact.

  1. Make sure that all staff members in the team are clear about any new initiatives/policies that have been introduced and understand how these work, especially those which will affect them directly. This is key to establishing consistency across the faculty.
  2. Ensure all teaching across the faculty is of a consistently high standard. This has been a key focus during the past year within my team; making teaching and learning a priority, and therefore offering the team regular CPD, advice and strategies to use within their classrooms.
  3. Share good practice across the faculty. I arrange a regular slot each fortnight in our team meetings where staff members take it in turns to share an outstanding resource or strategy that others can adapt and use themselves.
  4. Ensure each subject is offering regular interventions for their pupils to push and challenge them, and encourage higher success.
  5. Track and monitor data and progress across the subjects and meet with each subject teacher to gain regular updates from them on each class. Then act upon these updates accordingly.
  6. Regularly review intervention and general teaching across the subjects before producing actions plans within each subject to ensure all pupils are making progress.

The impact of these strategies is measured differently, however many of these are already clearly evident. By the summer of 2014, all of the teachers across the faculty were considered to be good or outstanding.

Teaching and learning has been, and still is, a key focus in our faculty, therefore the continuing delivery of CPD, sharing of good practice and other strategies have all helped towards developing staff in the team.

Any pupil interventions which took place were monitored and checked regularly by myself and subject leaders – this will continue this year and action plans will be created to ensure all subjects are planning to support each pupil to help them make at least 4 levels of progress. The results in summer 2016 will help us measure the impact of these strategies.

  • Kayleigh Greenacre is director of arts and sports at Bedford Academy. She is also a 2013 Fellow on the Teaching Leaders Fellows programme.

Teaching Leaders

Teaching Leaders is an education charity whose mission is to address educational disadvantage by developing middle leaders working in schools in the most challenging contexts. Applications for the
2015 cohort are open now. Visit


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