Why this is leading practice
A new academy day and re-designed curriculum has enabled increased teaching time and the introduction of clubs for student enjoyment. This has facilitated greater depth in teaching and learning and increased challenge, leading to improved attendance at 94.4% and best ever academic result of 94% (5 x A* -C) at GCSE and 95% pass rate success in vocational subject .The restructuring of block time-tabling has also increased opportunities for work related learning within each qualification and improved personalisation leading to increased success in all subjects.
Impact to date
Improved results with 94% achieving 5A*- C in 2011 compared to 69% in 2009. 43% acieved A* - C including Maths and English in 2011 compared to 27% in 2009.
95% of all Y11 students gained a vocational subject.
Improvement in pupil morale and motivation through the introduction of aspirational lessons and the VIVO reward system throughout the school. Also pupil empowerment through School Council and the regular pupil consultation with regard to new initiatives.
Improved attendance at 94% which is monitored through the ECM Team working with parents.
Greater consulation with parents who now feel more involved in their childrens education and are very supportive of the school and what it is trying to achieve.Parents commented on greater information and events offered by the school.
Pupil mentors have been identified and trained to support other students and also used as learning detectives to feedback to staff. This again has raised standards with regard to teaching and learning.
Rationale / Start Point
The priority need to raise standards in the new academy in particular to improve achievement and attainment, led to a re-think of the effectiveness of the existing structure and content of the school day/week and the curriculum. Changes to the structure of the school day were designed to minimise movement, improve punctuality, maximise quality and depth of learning taking place. The new weekly structure included the introduction of clubs for students` enjoyment and interpersonal skill development, leading to improved student/staff relationships, effective team building and enhanced morale and motivation.
Block timetabling which has resulted in pupils only having 2 or 3 lessons per day. This has resulted in minimal movement around school and a calmer environment. Longer contact time between students and staff has resulted in increased teaching time and greater depth in learning. It has also ensured that appropriate differentiation takes place with a real focus on personalised learning in order that students are challenged and attain their maximum potential.
Restructure of the management team with teams being put in place to ensure sustainability. Teams such as the ECM team who liaise with parents and include those responsible for behaviour, attendance etc. A police officer is in this team and has his office on site - he regularly is involved in class sessions with pupils and links with parents and the local community to change perceptions with regard to policing. Team mettings are built into the timetable to ensure each team meets weekly.
Simple approach to the gathering of data. Appointment of a data manager who with her Team collects relevant data and have produced a system that is easily understandable for staff, parents and pupils. This data is produced so that it can be discussed and used to identify student underachievement and the appropriate action needed. Also this information is linked to the Personalised Learrning Team who liaise with staff to ensure that the relavant action is identified. RA PS (Raising achieve ment plans) are produced by all departments and identified students are given further relevant support to meet their needs.
A range of academic and vocational opportunities for all pupils to access. 33% pupils undertook ebac this year as well as all undertaking a vocational subject. Again reflective of the personalised learning approach.
Sustainability and Further Development
The TEAM structure within the school is valued as a sustainable process to ensure the further progress of students in English and Maths to beyond those expected nationally and move attainment closer to the national average.
Staff Champions have been identified within each academic Team. These lead on developing excellent Teaching and Learning which can be done through INSET days, team teaching, observation - whatever method is appropriate. The school is aiming to move from a 'good' school to an'outstanding' school by improving teaching and learning which was given as 75% good or better.
The new school building would be completed in February 2013. The Headteacher was already structuring her Teams to link in with the future development and the Zone Approach that was being adopted to link with this purpose built building.
Very forward thinking Headteacher who, working with her key Team members and Governors, was always seemed to be thinking ahead and looking to improvements to build on the success already achieved. Staff ans pupils were extremely supportive of her leadership skills.