By Ashley Bennett, Assistant Headteacher at Ysgol Emmanuel, Rhyl
The use of PASS at Ysgol Emmanuel has empowered staff with the confidence to support professional judgements for nurture needs with the statistical, empirical evidence that it offers.
At Ysgol Emmanuel in Rhyl, the health and wellbeing of our pupils is just as paramount as their academic development and growth. In fact, all practitioners and stakeholders in our school hold the pedagogical view that establishing a nurturing environment is the key factor to facilitating purposeful learning.
To ensure we have a systematic and effective method for assessing, monitoring and supporting the health and wellbeing needs of all pupils from age 4-11, we have built the use of the Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS) survey into our academic calendar, in half terms two and five. What has become apparent through the PASS data at whole school level are the headlines that can be made in relation to the different areas relating to wellbeing.
As well as taking a temperature check of the whole school, PASS often shines a light on pupils who may otherwise try to mask their worries. One of our pupils completed the initial PASS survey and, despite no outward concerns being raised by staff, the initial data suggested a lower than usual score in the factor that looks at ‘Self-regard as a learner’. As a result, we decided that the pupil would benefit from a nurture intervention in the form of a Coastal Schools initiative, which is delivered by specially trained staff. Coastal Schools is a programme that is similar to Forest School but uses the coast as the setting; here team skills and confidence development are a focus.
To support the initial results highlighted by PASS, Ysgol Emmanuel also completed an internal screening process at the start of the intervention and then again at the end. This is a screening tool that assesses different areas of personal development, which is linked closely to the new Donaldson curriculum in Wales. The screening that was completed is largely comparative to the PASS areas. Our school chooses to use this screening to triangulate all data and provide qualitative data to measure the impact of each intervention. While quantitative data suggested that the pupil became more confident and resilient, the use of data provided the opportunity to measure this statistically.
At the end of the school year, the pupil then sat the final PASS survey. The results highlighted that there was an overall improvement in their scores - in particular, factor three ‘Self-regard’ had improved to 45 out of 100, demonstrating ‘High satisfaction with their school experience’. This demonstrated the growth that the pupil had made in relation to their overall health and wellbeing areas concerning factors such as confidence, resilience and learner self-value.
The use of PASS at Ysgol Emmanuel has empowered staff with the confidence to support professional judgements for nurture needs with the statistical, empirical evidence that it offers. As a school which is a place of professional learning, we have gone on to support other schools and counties with their use of PASS. This is testimony to the commitment we have for health and wellbeing and the new curriculum facing Wales.
Ysgol Emmanuel, Rhyl is one of our Centres of Assessment Excellence