At Vittra we realise that good quality work in preschools and schools is about constantly assessing our own operations in order to improve and develop the education that our children and pupils are receiving. If we are to offer them all an equal education, the quality work needs to be systematic. Our systematic quality work thus helps us to ensure that our children and pupils receive high quality education, that they achieve the educational goals, and that they take their development as far as they can.
Our quality indicators
At Vittra we constantly check that all our operations comply with the fundamental requirements set out in the relevant steering documents. Our operations and our quality work are thus based around the laws and regulations governing the operations of preschools, compulsory schools and recreation centres, including curriculums, national steering documents, the Swedish National Agency for Education’s General guidelines and Vittra’s educational platform. We work on our operations’ goal fulfilment based on two aspects of quality:
- Functional quality – to what extent are the national goals for the education/school form being achieved?
- Perceived quality – how happy are our parents, pupils and staff with the preschool/school?
Follow-up of knowledge requirement
At Vittra we divide the school year into six periods, and each period is followed by a development and preparation day (DP day), during which the teachers assess the most recent period, and plan and prepare for the next. This system means that we maintain a complete picture of the children and pupils’ knowledge development, ensuring that no-one falls through the cracks. Regular monitoring enables the school to identify areas for improvement and so quickly change the way of working and introduce initiatives to promote knowledge acquisition. In other words, systematic quality work creates good conditions for ever greater achievement levels.
Functional quality is a tool that teachers and managers use to self-assess the results of their teaching and their fulfilment of the goals set out in the preschool curriculum. Assessment of goal fulfilment takes place twice each school year. The tool describes what defines ever-increasing quality and is used as the basis for reflection throughout the school year during planning and assessment. Functional quality is used as a tool for assessing the teachers’ attitude and how good the teaching is at the preschool. The assessment is performed by external assessors from other preschools. Over a couple of days each year, they visit the preschool and make their assessment. The results are presented to the assessed preschool in a feedback meeting that is led by a moderator and attended by the preschool manager. The tool is also used as the basis for reflection throughout the school year during planning and assessment.
Preschool inspection is a tool that is used to determine whether the preschools meet the basic statutory requirements. External inspectors work with the preschool manager to establish whether the individual preschool is in compliance with the requirements in the Education Act and the guidelines in the preschool curriculum. The tool also serves as an ongoing support for self-assessment.
Each year, every school publishes a least four reports on knowledge outcomes: in the middle of each term and at the end of the term. Many of our schools carry out more frequent follow-ups than this. On these four occasions, the school’s results are collated at group, subject and school level. For Years 1–5, this means that they receive reports via our learning platform SchoolSoft four times a year, as well as forward-looking comments in the various subjects at the end of the school year. For pupils in Years 6–9, grade forecasts are issued in the middle of each term and the pupils then receive their grades at the end of term and at the end of the school year. For pupils in Years 6–8, the grades in each subject are supplemented with comments in subject rubrics. The data used for the analyses are the goal fulfilment figures for the different years and subjects plus the national tests.
At the end of the school year, all pupils in compulsory school receive a Vittra report documenting the pupil’s general development. All this documentation is then used as the basis for the individual development plans that are drawn up for every pupil – what does this particular pupil need in order to succeed?
The knowledge outcomes are compiled at the end of the year at the level of both unit and principle organiser. The results from the national tests and their correlation with the grades are also collated at this point, and these form the basis for the analysis and the activities that are planned at each level.
Follow-up of values requirement
In the middle of each term, we receive the results from our Big and Little quality surveys, in which pupils, parents and staff assess the quality of the operation. The surveys also show how well we are doing on our values-based work. The surveys are carried out for all our operational forms: preschool, preschool class, compulsory school and recreation centre.
Based on the various goal areas in the curriculum, the principal organiser has formulated questions to check the extent to which the schools are discharging their duties with regard to values. The results of the surveys are analysed at group and work team level as well as at unit level. The analysis then forms the basis for the preschool or school’s focus areas, plus their action plan for the coming school year.
Each school’s pupil health team plays a central role in the ongoing values-based work and has a system in place to cover all aspects of promotion – prevention – counteraction. This is set out clearly in the annual plan that each pupil health team draws up for their school. Over the year, reports of violations, accidents, absences and action programmes are compiled and followed up. It is based on these and other relevant results, such as poor fulfilment of knowledge goals, that the pupil health team targets its interventions and resources. Read more about our pastoral care here:
To create as broad a picture as possible, the principal organiser also follows up on any complaints, offensive behaviour and other incidents reported to the principal organiser and the Schools Inspectorate, and these are collated and analysed in order to take further action. This is an ongoing process throughout the year, and each area has a specific consultation date for each term. Each operation’s plan to combat discrimination and degrading treatment is quality assured by the principal organiser, which also follows up attendance/absence figures and produces summaries of the number of action programmes per school.
Shared methods and activities
The systematic quality work is carried out at all our operations and in line with our shared methods and activities. The quality work follows a cycle that can be applied to everything from a lesson to a school year. The stages in the cycle are:
- plan the operation for the individual and the group, based on the goals
- perform the teaching based on selected methods and approaches
- follow up by gathering results and assessing goal fulfilment
- analyse the results based on the teaching goals
Our systematic quality work, as related to what we do, can be divided into four different levels: daily, periodic, quarterly and annual.
Daily assessment – teachers
Each day, our teachers carry out the following as an integral part of planning and assessing their own teaching.
Periodic assessment – work team
After each period, the operation is assessed by all the teaching staff and by each work team, with a focus on how the children and pupils are progressing towards the curriculum’s goals for knowledge and values. This assessment makes it possible to put in place the right measures, create activities and change the teaching in order to ensure that the children and pupils achieve their goals. The assessment thus forms the basis for the planning that each member of staff does for the upcoming period. Since here at Vittra we prefer to work across subject boundaries, with several subjects woven into each other to create multiple knowledge hooks on which the children and pupils can hang new information, the work team collaborates closely on planning the teaching. The planning is then documented in SchoolSoft. The key here is naturally to have excellent teamwork, as this is essential for us to really see an effect on pupils’ results. Within the work team, we can properly analyse how things stand. What do we need to do to best meet the needs of the children and pupils and how should we allocate our resources to make this as successful as possible? One group of pupils may need us to temporarily invest a little extra effort in them.
Quarterly summaries – unit level
Every quarter, each unit collates, processes and analyses their quality results. Based on this analysis, they then draw up activities and actions to achieve even greater goal fulfilment. Points 1–5 here are carried out at least once a quarter, which is twice per term.
- Results summaries: assessment of knowledge results, assessment of functional quality in preschool, and in the middle of the term also the results of the quality survey, a questionnaire completed by parents/guardians, pupils and staff.
- Assessment and analysis – individual and group level: The work team conducts an analysis of the results, the causes of the latest results and measures to further improve goal fulfilment. This analysis is documented along with the work team’s action plan.
- Assessment and analysis – group and school level: The school’s pupil health team and the school’s management team at compulsory school and preschool further analyse the results based on the work teams’ summaries. Any necessary measures and initiatives are agreed, including changes to the organisation or the allocation of responsibility.
- Feedback to staff: The team leader passes on the decisions to the rest of the educational planning team. The headteacher/preschool manager reports to their immediate boss, the operational manager.
- Feedback to pupils: The personal mentor and/or subject teachers involve the children and pupils in the results and analysis by talking about the planned changes.
Annual cycles – principal organiser level
Our systematic quality work involves a reporting and feedback flow between the principal organiser (Vittra) and the unit (e.g. Vittra Samset). This includes a quality report in June and an action plan at school level in September, plus an overall quality report from the principal organiser in December. In between these, there are rolling activities and follow-up dates at both school and principal organiser level.
The reported results are used to analyse the effects of the work by the preschools, schools and principal organiser with regard to the national goals, so that new, relevant measures for improved goal fulfilment can be developed.
Transparency is an important element of our quality work; we want our parents/guardians to have a clear picture of what they get when they choose one of our preschools or compulsory schools. This openness is also an important factor in enabling us to internally share best practices across the different operations. At Vittra we therefore publish annual quality reports – one at principal organiser level and one for each unit. The quality report gives an overview of how we work on quality, plus it provides a good picture of where our strengths lie overall, and which areas need further development. The quality report then forms the basis for the development and operational planning for the coming school year, and an action plan is drawn up at each school. The action plan contains priority development areas and goals that build on the national goals for preschools and compulsory schools.