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New addition to the OLEVI family

As Royal Wootton Bassett Academy becomes our latest accredited DOC, Deputy Headteacher, Stephen Kneller, tells us how the ITP and OTP started the school on their remarkable journey.

‘Royal Wootton Bassett Academy have been engaged with OLEVI’s programmes for over 5 years and, since 2012, have been a facilitation school for the ITP and OTP. When in 2010 and 2013 Ofsted graded the school Outstanding in every category, this was in no small part due to the effect of these programmes, which have been a driving force in the maintenance of high quality teaching and learning.

As a result of our Outstanding gradings, and on becoming a National Teaching School, Royal Wootton Bassett Academy has worked with two schools to develop bespoke ITP programmes. In both cases, the improvements in teaching and learning as a result of these programmes were heralded as of critical importance in them moving out of special measures.

In 2015 we were thrilled when OLEVI made an approach for us to become a Designated OLEVI Centre (DOC). The OLEVI ethos aligned perfectly with the school’s vision, and it seemed a natural progression – one that would allow the school to offer further solutions to their local strategy for improved teaching and learning through the establishment of facilitation hubs across North Wiltshire. It would also offer a far more cost effective solution to the training of new facilitators across the South-West of England.

Following an initial visit from CEO of OLEVI, Richard Lockyer, and Lead QA Consultant, Karen Hughes, Royal Wootton Bassett agreed to pursue accreditation as a DOC. This saw a process where the OLEVI team spent time with the Headteacher, George Croxford, key staff from the school and chair of governors, discussing the overall process, intentions and benefits of becoming a DOC. Learning walks allowed them to observe the OLEVI principles and the four capitals central to their ethos in action. We were delighted then to be asked to join the OLEVI family and become their tenth national Designated Centre!

To ensure the quality and integrity of the programmes facilitated throughout our region, we have also trained two representatives to become Quality Assurance Consultants, and, as a DOC, we continue to receive training, support and guidance in developing our individual strategy. As this article is being written that strategy revolves around the Teaching School’s Alliance desire to improve teaching and learning; the desire to establish facilitation schools across North Wiltshire; to improve teaching and learning in failing schools, and to provide a much more cost effective solution to developing facilitators of OLEVI’s programmes across the South-West.

Additionally, we plan to develop the range of OLEVI programmes that we are able to offer. This will include the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Programme (OTAP) and the Power of Coaching (POC), with the overall aim of improving educational outcomes for young people in our region. Our very strong international links offer an exciting avenue to move into in the long term as does, the idea of using many of the concepts associated with OLEVI’s programmes within our SCITT professional studies programme.’