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Our latest Newsletter can be viewed on WGSP Newsletter 17th May 2019

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A Win-Win Situation!

Deciding to become a teacher is one of the hardest decisions you will have to take as teaching is not right for everyone.Teaching can be very hard work and at times scary when you think about the responsibility you have in supporting the children you will teach. It can be a high-pressured career, with the continual media headlines, outlining stories of how difficult the classroom and school environment can be, so it is important to celebrate and share the rewards that come with role too.

"Teaching is an incredible job. It's different every day and building those relationships with your class and helping the children to fulfil their potential, is an amazing privilege." Schools Direct Student

Making the right choice for you in selecting the organisation to help you become a teacher is the next most important decision you will ever make. You need to be sure that when you qualify as a teacher, the training you have received, enables you to hit the ground running and that you would be supported in your future teaching career.

Our WGSP Schools Direct Primary Programme provides a dynamic and supportive environment in which to train to teach. Our programme provides a more practical on-the-job teacher training route than the traditional PGCE delivered in universities.Student teachers will be in school from day one and are taught by expert practitioners from our schools as well as receiving a comprehensive CPD programme. Students are also enrolled with the University of Gloucestershire which provides the academic element of the programme.100% of our previous students rating our programme as Good!

Our weekly newsletter shows what our partnership provides for our schools and the priority we place on developing our staff and providing them with information and resources to support them in their work with our children. This support is provided as a matter of course to all our student teachers as they are our teachers of the future!

We are looking for aspirational teachers and the school leaders of the future. We want the most ambitious students who will embrace all the opportunities we offer and begin their route to become an outstanding teacher.

"I have loved this course and will be recommending it to so many people. Thank you for helping me grow and believing in me, even when I doubted myself." Schools Direct Student

Having Schools Direct students in our schools also brings lots of benefits to our partnership.It brings a fresh perspective to school staffing teams as well as giving our schools an opportunity 'grow their own' teachers who will work more effectively in the school in which they have been based.

Student teachers receive increasingly comprehensive training that focuses on new approaches to teaching and they bring with them lots of new ideas and an infectious enthusiasm for learning. Hosting a student helps develop the mentor teacher to have a deeper understanding of pedagogy and ways to support other teachers.It also makes them reflect on their own practice and improve their own quality of teaching.

A win-win situation for everyone!

Please share the information on our programme and how to apply with colleagues, parents at your school and friends who may be considering teaching as a career as applications are accepted now for 2019-20: WGSP Schools Direct


Small Steps

The WGSP Pupil Premium Network met this week to share ideas and experiences of supporting pupil premium children by removing barriers to learning. The network consists of heads, deputies and pupil premium champions from WGSP schools and local secondary schools and a Gloucestershire LA performance adviser.

The success of the Pupil Premium Audit Tool which was produced by the network earlier in the year and rolled out across Gloucestershire schools was celebrated. Feedback showed that schools felt it was a very useful tool which asked key questions to help improve the management of pupil premium children. It was also felt that the tool would be useful for early years settings which could adapt it for their own use and which may help with transition of young children into school.

The main focus of the meeting was attendance and the group shared strategies to manage and improve attendance rates which had been successful in their own schools. The consensus was that the key to improving attendance was to strengthen parental engagement which could be helped by making use of the recently published EEF toolkit on parental engagement and learning from the EEF funded project on texting to support parental engagement. This project had been established as a result of recent research in the United States which had found evidence that texting information to parents about children's attendance and homework submission records was successful in increasing their attainment. The latest research on attendance was also shared - this had concluded that the most effective strategies were those which were based on individual approaches i.e. tailored for the child / student. It was also recognised that children / students should be praised for any small improvements in their attendance as small steps lead to big steps over time.

The next meeting on 16th October, will focus on sharing experiences of Pupil Premium Reviews and reviewing barriers to learning. So please come and join us!


Definitely More than Just A Jolly!

At our Partnership Network meeting this week, 26 of our headteachers reviewed the way we provide CPD and discussed the fact that CPD is not just a jolly but needs to demonstrate real impact and value for money.We also discussed the latest research that shows CPD made up of a 'one-off' session is unlikely to have much, if any, real impact, and that effective CPD needs to be of a sequence of events, where the initial 'input' of an expert is just the beginning with staff being given the opportunity to 'try out' the new ideas, evaluate, discuss implementation and impact with peers followed by further CPD with the expert to review progress so far and set the next steps.We have decided that this approach alongside developing networks for YR-Y1, Y2-Y3 and Y4-Y5 which include all core subjects, will achieve more impact and is the way forward for our partnership next year- so watch this space!

Other sessions on the day included:

  • A review of our draft strategy 2019-22 which outlines our plans for the next few years and the impact we hope they will have.
  • Claire Ridsdale, Liz Thomas and Liz Southwell, our expert trainers, also delivered top tips and key messages on the Statutory Assessment 2019 so Far for KS2 writing, KS1 reading & maths and science.This provided heads with a solid base on which to support assessment in their schools.This will be followed by a dedicated session on 9th May, when heads will have the opportunity to undertake supported moderation and look in depth at assessment in these key areas.More information in next week's newsletter.
  • A Headteachers' Guide to Phonics delivered by Laura Jones, one of our SLEs.The heads had great fun trying out the low-priced phonics games which Laura uses – this included an adapted version of Pass the Bomb!
  • Annalise Price-Thomas outlining the proposal for the development of Local Inclusion Hubs across the county. The vision is for clusters of schools to share good practice across schools and provide funding for group and individual interventions to meet the needs of pupils earlier and more effectively.

The day was definitely not just a jolly but just one part of the development of our partnership and our schools which will have impact on the outcomes for our children!


The Future is Very Bright!

WGSP are delighted to announce that after many years of hard work by schools in the Forest, Lydney C of E Primary School has been designated as a Teaching School and will lead our alliance which will be known as:

The Forest of Dean Teaching School Alliance

WGSP will work very closely with the FoDTSA and will continue to provide high quality CPD but will now do so on behalf of our alliance.

This is the start of an exciting journey that will benefit the children and staff of the Forest of Dean and we look forward to the many opportunities that it will bring.


Training the Next Generation of Teachers

Our WGSPschoolsdirect programme for September 2019 has now gone live on the DfE website Get into Teaching where you can search for more information on our programme using one of the following:

  • Name: WGSPschoolsdirect
  • Training provider code: 2C1
  • Training programme code: 3CPC

You will also find more information on the Schools Direct section of our website.

Nothing matters more to the success of our pupils than the quality of teachers in our schools. To ensure that this continues, we set our bar high when recruiting students and provide them with a thorough training programme which makes use of the many experts across our schools as well as experts from outside of our partnership. As the Schools Direct approach means students are in school from day one, every day spent in the classroom working alongside class-teachers and mentors, is training. Students also receive a dedicated CPD programme covering all aspects of the curriculum and pedagogy and are fully supported by their school-based mentors.

We've made sure that a strong culture of support exists for our students and provide opportunities for them to work across a range of key stages and types of school. As a result, we have students who emerge from their training fully prepared for the intensity of their first years in the profession and passionate and inspired about the difference they can make in the years ahead.

We are looking for potential candidates to train to teach with us. Do let us know if you are interested in teaching or know someone who is! We have unlimited spaces for the programme which runs through the year from October to the end of June.

So what are you waiting for?

Come and join us!


WGSP CPD Programme 2018-19

We have lots of exciting events organised this year. Information about the WGSP CPD Programme is being added to the website over the next few weeks so watch this space. If you would like to be added to our CPD update circulation list, please email info@wgsp.co.uk and we will add you to the ever growing list of people who want to know more!

Leigh and Julia


  • ABOUT WGSP

    The WGSP is a strong cohesive partnership of the 39 primary schools in the Forest of Dean from Newent down to Tutshill plus one in Tewkesbury and the Gloucester & Forest APS.

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  • RAISING STANDARDS

    Raising standards within our schools by sharing information and good practice, peer review, supporting leadership progression and succession planning.

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  • CPD

    CPD opportunities which improve standards in our schools and meets the needs of staff and governors within our partnership.

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  • SCHOOL TO SCHOOL SUPPORT

    Providing a supportive network for our schools by offering support to schools and within schools by our schools.

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  • SCHOOLS DIRECT

    We are looking for the next generation of stand-out teachers - students who are excited about making a difference to our children and our schools - come and join us!

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  • WGSP MEMBERS

    The West Gloucestershire Schools Partnership comprises of 39 primary schools in the Forest of Dean and one in Tewkesbury, the Gloucester and Forest APS and Heart of the Forest Community Special School

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  • GOVERNANCE

    Information, tools and resources to govern our partnership.

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  • DFE GUIDANCE

    This Documents library will provide copies of or links to key documents used in education which are already in the public domain.

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