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School Improvement

School Improvement and School to School Support


Internal Consistencies


Over the last seven years the federation has developed and enhanced a set of Internal Consistencies (ICs). These ICs are at the heart of our School Improvement model. They have been proven to ensure a school is securely ‘Good’ within three terms.


Collaborative capacity is at the heart of the 80:20 rule. This rule was adopted by the First Federation in 2006 to enable all schools to have a common language and structure for school improvement.


  • IC’s and the Pareto Rule

  • The 80 (the ICs) are non-negotiable and are a shared concept of what makes a securely good school

  • The 80 is how we will ‘hardwire’ the values (the pedagogy) and beliefs implicit in our system manifesting itself in day to day practice.

  • Within the 80 is a rigorous attention to professionally driven improvement.

  • The 80 is never fixed it is continually refined and added to by the 20

  • The 20 is the area which creates new knowledge and drives even better outcomes for children

Schools requiring improvement need to implement the ICs with rigour and speed. The ICs gives them the systems, structures and framework to become good. We have found that the ICs can be implemented within one school term, embedded in the second term and become fully established professional habits by the third. We have also found that as schools accelerate towards becoming good they intensely test the ICs and create new knowledge. Good schools need to:

  • focus 80 percent of their time on the 20

  • 20 percent of their time on the 80.

The Pareto Rule facilitates collaborative capacity, as it is through schools having direct access to examples of best practice and the ability to have working peer models that sustained accelerated improvement is achieved.



PAS – Progress and Standards meetings


Fundamental to our school improvement model are the Progress and Standards meetings. These weekly meetings ensure that teams of professionals systematically evaluate and scrutinise children’s progress and attainment.  Through these meetings all staff are challenged to improve their knowledge of assessment and teaching and learning.



AIMs – Academy Improvement Matrices


The First Federation has developed a set of Academy Improvement Matrices (AIMs) which enable Teachers and Seniors Leaders to clearly understand and plan for the next steps to improvement. The matrices uses the Trust’s knowledge of School Improvement developed over seven years and are aligned to the current Ofsted Framework and Teachers’ Standards. The matrices include:


  • Teaching and Learning

  • Assessment

  • Learning Environments

  • Behaviour

  • Leadership

Signature Curriculum and Pedagogy


Early Years and Primary Pedagogy is rooted in our understanding of how children learn and develop.



Lovat in 2003 defined pedagogy as “a highly complex blend of theoretical understanding and practical skill”.



This highly complex blend is at the heart of all outstanding Primary Schools. Each school is enabled to develop its own ‘Signature Curriculum and Pedagogy’ relevant to their unique context. Schools use their local environment and community to produce an exciting, innovative, and challenging curriculum which also engenders a strong sense of place. The signature pedagogy incorporates the Trusts set of Internal Consistencies and statement of Key Learning Skills.