Our Core Offer is an entitlement for all schools within the trust, and is included as part of the MAT central charge each school pays. The way the offer is constructed ensures a clear focus on development, rather than purely monitoring. Research-led approaches and the sharing of best practice form the bedrock for the offer, with CPD for staff at all levels ensuring that all colleagues have the tools to enable them, their pupils, and their communities to flourish and succeed.
Our Offer Includes:
Support & Development Visits
Support & Development Visits are the primary mechanism of the trust to both accurately assess leaders evaluation of their school, and the work they are doing towards school priorities, and to provide challenge and support to ensure the sustained improvement of the school, in line with school, and trust priorities.
The visits will always have a trust-wide focus, but will also take into account individual school priorities, which will form part of the visit and subsequent monitoring and professional discussion.
Activities throughout every visit will be looked at through several ‘lenses’. This would mean that vulnerable groups such as disadvantaged pupils, and those with Special Educational Needs, would always be part of the focus of any visit. Other lenses will also be applied as standard, as well as consistent ‘temperature checks’ on the culture of safeguarding throughout the school, and pupil and staff well-being.
Each school will receive one visit each term, and it gives schools the opportunity to gain some external support and validation from the Director of Education. The visits are intended to be supportive, and in no way used as a ‘mock Ofsted’, with them being primarily focused on the impact of initiatives to sustain school improvement, and support the development of trust priorities at school level.
Safeguarding is everybody’s highest priority, and keeping this high on the agenda is something we believe in at Rise. The monthly DSL Network meeting ensures that school DSLs are kept abreast of policy updates, local and national trends, and have opportunities to share best safeguarding practices.
The network meetings are a safe place for discussions, finding solutions, and enhancing safeguarding practice across the trust. While the network meetings are primarily about the development of strong safeguarding culture and practices within schools, it is also an opportunity for DSLs to engage regularly with the trust lead for safeguarding, and to hear from external speakers regarding safeguarding issues.
One of the many benefits of being in an established trust is the opportunity for meaningful collaboration, with moderation of pupil outcomes being part of this.
Termly moderation is a way to both benchmark assessments in individual schools, and also to share practice across the group of schools. Whereas many focus on end of key stage moderation, we believe that every year group should have this opportunity, so run moderation sessions for each year group within school.
Moderation takes place each term before the central data collection, to ensure assessments are accurate. With the number of schools being fairly large, moderation takes place at cluster level, being led by experienced leaders within clusters to ensure consistency of approach and outcome. We also encourage additional moderation outside of schools within the trust to gain different perspectives on pupil outcomes.
Peer Review Triads
Opportunities to visit other schools and work with other school leaders is invaluable. Our termly peer review system allows for heads to work alongside each other, reviewing a predetermined specific aspect of school effectiveness, and providing peer support on improving this. This work is done in triads, with these triads being made up of heads from different clusters of schools.
The same aspect is reviewed by all triads in the trust, with outputs being collected centrally to look for trends across the group and identify whether additional training and support is required at a group level as well as for individual schools.
We pride ourselves on being scandalously inclusive and ensuring that all of our schools provide the best education to all of our pupils. While inclusion will be looked at through a ’lens’ in many other activities, over a two year cycle each school will take part in an inclusion review of their school.
The review will look at all aspects of inclusion, including SEND, and how the school implements inclusive practices. Recommendations to further enhance practice will then be given and revisited as part of the next cycle. Reviews are carried out by an experienced SEND leader to ensure the review is rigorous and is conducted by somebody with a high level of specialist knowledge.
Trust Lead Networks
Trust networks bring together different leaders from each school within the trust for training, development, and networking opportunities. These meetings are chaired by our Trust Leads and work to make sure our in-school leaders are highly skilled and able to develop their areas of responsibility in their individual schools.
Network meetings are held regularly, and between each meeting ‘gap tasks’ are completed to ensure leaders are having impact in their settings. We currently hold network meetings for Teaching & Learning, Reading, Writing, Maths, Inclusion, and EYFS.
As well as the sustained, and short CPD programmes we run for leaders, and those aspiring to lead in schools, we also offer further opportunities for leadership development at Rise. Our Subject Leader Hubs are a great way of bringing together leads from across the trust to discuss pedagogy and practice in a subject domain context, and also upskill our subject leads and their subject knowledge.
We also believe in CPD at all levels, and that includes for our most senior staff within the trust. Each month we hold a ‘Head Teacher Board’ meeting, a place where all the Heads and Executive Heads across the trust come together with the CEO and Director of Education for the day. This network meeting is to update leaders on developments within the trust, share best practice from schools, engage in the development of trust wide priorities, and also to engage in CPD.
While Heads and Executive Heads have the monthly CPD session through the HTB meetings, we realise that we also have a number of Head of Schools/Deputy Headteachers that also should have a cycle of CPD. Our offer includes a half-termly HoS/DHT network meeting similar to the HTB meetings, but with a greater focus on networking and professional development for those in these roles.
Cluster Partnership Training
Each term we bring together senior leaders within clusters to undertake a development session together. This is not only an opportunity to network with peers within the cluster and make links for meaningful collaboration, but also to upskill our senior teams in every school.
While this CPD is primarily used to provide training for senior leaders on trust-wide developments, it also allows for elements of bespoke training relevant to each geographical cluster and their development needs.
School Improvement Initiative Review
While every school receives a termly Support & Development Day, each school also receives an annual School Improvement Initiative Review as well.
While the S&D days provide support and challenge in many areas, The SII Review has a sharp focus on specific school improvement strategies implemented by the school, looking at the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of each initiative and measuring the impact vs cost vs time.
While the SII Review is by no means meant as a purely monitoring activity, it is a time for leaders to articulate why we use specific initiatives/methods of improvement, evaluate their impact and effectiveness, and look to either further enhancing this, or changing an approach if adequate impact is not seen.
Trust CPD Programmes
As a trust we believe in people development, and ensuring that all of our staff, regardless of role, have access to free, high quality CPD that is pupil focused, and enables them to do their job to the best of their ability.
We used the starting point of ‘If I joined Rise and progressed throughout my career, what trust-wide programmes would I have the opportunity to engage with?’ and built our central CPD offer from this.
We offer a range of research-led sustained, and stand-alone, CPD programmes for staff at all levels, including those in leadership, that aim to take each individual's practice to the next level. Unlike some other organisations, all of our trust-led programmes are free of charge for participants in Rise schools.
All of the teachers and leaders in our schools have access to the ‘Rise Curriculum’. A knowledge rich, logically sequenced curriculum that has been designed with ambition for our pupils at its heart, and so they remember more, longer.
Schools have access to the full suite of plans, vocabulary lists, resources, quizzes, and a range of supporting documents to aid in the delivery of the learning, for both pupils and staff.
While we do have a ‘trust curriculum’ it is not something that is imposed on our schools. Schools can take the whole of the curriculum, parts of it, or use it as a benchmark to see if their curriculum needs developing further and use the ‘Rise curriculum’ to support this. Where the latter is the case, if a school within the trust has stronger elements than the Rise curriculum, through school-based development, we seek to use those elements to strengthen the trust curriculum, making it as strong as can be for all of our pupils within the group.
Effective governance is a key component of great schools.
We will provide at least 3 clerk networks a year, providing guidance, support and greater alignment in our work.
We will devise and deliver at least 6 training sessions for local governing committees per year, including a focus on; safeguarding, advocating for SEND pupils, risk and resource management and understanding inspection.
Where local governance is vulnerable, we will provide additional resource and support to strength it.
SIAMS and Christian Distinctiveness
Christian distinctiveness, ethos, vision and values lie at the very heart of our church schools and are fundamental to providing an environment where all children and adults can flourish and succeed.
Ensuring and enabling a distinctive Christian education lies within each element of our improvement strategies but we are also committed to offering specific support for our church schools. This includes high quality CPD, supportive visits, guidance on preparing for SIAMS inspections, working with the trust strategic lead for Church School Effectiveness, the Diocesan Board of Education and SIAMS.