Alexander McLeod Primary School

Challenge Partners 

In 2016 we began working with Challenge Partners to further drive the success of the school.  Below is a brief description of who the Challenge Partners are and the aims of the organization:

Honest and insightful conversations driving school improvement. The Quality Assurance Review is central to Challenge Partners’ school improvement work. Our quality assurance and assessment is built around this professional peer-led review with its laser focus on teaching and learning, curriculum and outcomes, and leadership at all levels.

The reviewers and the school’s senior leaders team up to examine where the school currently is and where it is heading, as they jointly identify areas for development and look at key challenges for the coming year.

On this programme, each school hosts an annual review, and reciprocates by sending their headteacher and senior leaders to review other schools in the network. This process provides continuing professional development (CPD) for all leaders involved. All those involved are trained by Challenge Partners prior to their first review and each team is guided and supported by an expert lead reviewer.

Quality Assurance Review offers schools

  • An initial audit on joining Challenge Partners
  • An annual or biennial audit as part of their evaluation cycle
  • Scrutiny of their own self-evaluation
  • Challenge for the forthcoming year
  • Development opportunities for senior staff
  • Accreditation of areas of excellent practice to share with the network

Below are some of the key highlights from our reviews which are led by a team of senior leaders from a range of schools across the country as well as an OFSTED reviewer:

  • The Headteacher provides inspirational leadership. He is very effectively supported by senior staff and leaders at all levels. Leaders have established a culture of inclusion and innovation, in keeping with the school’s mission, to ‘engage children and staff through a creative, inclusive and inspirational curriculum.’ 

  • An exceptionally strong sense of purpose permeates the school. This is underpinned by a determination that all pupils do as well as they can, and is evident in the rapid progress pupils make, often within challenging circumstances. 

  • The school has a justifiably high reputation for its stimulating learning environment. Pupils rise to the expectations, modelled by teachers, in presenting their work imaginatively and creatively. They are inspired by the wealth of high quality work from across the curriculum displayed around the school. 

  • Teachers use questions effectively to gauge pupils’ understanding. In--depth marking leads to personalised feedback. Pupils become increasingly adept at self and peer assessment. Older pupils often develop their own criteria at the end of a unit of work, modelled on the ‘learning walls’. They are set flexible targets and are very clear about the steps they should take to achieve them.
Challenge Partners Review 2023