School Improvement plan - latest update

Please find below the latest update against the priorities in the school improvement plan.  Previous updates can be found at the bottom of the school improvement page here.

Update: October 2019

  1. Build leadership accountability and capacity
  • Making sure that leaders and staff in their teams have the support (both time and guidance) to do their jobs well, and know what they are expected to do and who they are responsible to.
  • Making sure each team has a set of improvement priorities and that there is access to support from within the Trust

The school has developed a clearly defined leadership structure from September 2019 which means that leaders and staff know exactly who they are responsible to.  Additional time has been provided for meetings and CPD, with guidance and support from the trust offered on a regular, on-going basis. Each team is currently using this to identify key priority areas for further development and support as necessary.

  1. Develop curriculum to meet students’ needs, both in mainstream classes and within Horizon.
  • Building on the curriculum development this year to confirm the subjects to be offered, the structure of the curriculum and the examinations that are taught so that students can be well- prepared for their next steps in their future and for becoming a successful adult.
  • Checking that, for subject areas, the topics covered, how they are taught and the time allocation given all allow students to make the best possible progress.
  • Making sure that departments have the resources that help students learn
  • Looking at key elements that support learning across the curriculum eg literacy, numeracy and ensuring that these are part of a coherent approach
  • Looking at how students are grouped to make sure they get the teaching they need at the correct level.

Curriculum changes planned last year have been implemented from the start of term.Students are now studying a wider range of subjects at Key Stage 3, including humanities as well as PSHCE/RS.The Y7 Curriculum for Life programme has been developed and is underpinned by the principles of literacy and effective communication.

From Y9 onwards, increased time has been allocated to the core subject areas with options course provision beginning more promptly.

The trust is providing support in different subject areas to ensure topics being covered allow students to make the best possible progress.This has included the sharing of good practice and resources.

New grouping arrangements for students in Y9-11 took effect from September.These are in place to ensure students are grouped correctly to ensure teaching at the correct level.

The curriculum and grouping arrangements will be under review throughout the year with further changes planned

  1. Strengthen the use of assessment to provide a secure understanding of how well pupils achieve
  • Decide how to set individual subject targets so that students’ progress can be tracked more accurately.
  • Developing ways that student progress is measured so that support can be offered where needed, and checking that students are getting the right amount of challenge.
  • Helping students to remember what they have learnt

New assessment procedures are in place for Key Stage 3 which will allow students’ progress to be tracked more effectively throughout Y7 and Y8.  A review is currently underway of the individual subject target setting process at KS4. This will ensure that students are set challenging targets across all subject areas.  A new marking policy is in place which will help inform teaching and support student progress and learning.  Subject reviews are currently being conducted to look closely at the curriculum being delivered to ensure it allows students to build on knowledge and remember what they have learnt.    

  1. Improve outcomes for students
  • Using department time and support from the Trust to develop the teaching, learning and examination preparation processes.
  • Use of clear intervention and support strategies that help get students back on track if not making good progress; this will include strategies known to be particularly effective with the disadvantaged, more able, SEN as well as the wider cohort.
  • Ensuring teachers are held to account for the quality of their teaching and the impact of their work on pupil achievements

A programme of support from the trust is in place across different subject areas to help develop teaching and learning.Subject leaders have carried out an analysis of outcomes from 2018/19 and are using this to identify key priority areas for the coming year.They have begun to look closely at the data of underperforming groups to identify intervention and support strategies that may be required.

Teachers are now part of a new performance management process which will ensure they are held to account for the quality of their teaching and impact of their work.

  1. Provide high quality staff development targeting needs effectively
  • Ensuring that teachers are supported to teach well – make sure they are updated on new examination requirements and have access to resources to help them
  • Making sure that support staff are getting training and guidance so that they can develop their expertise still further

A regular programme of CPD is in place for teaching staff to include directed time and inset.  This will include core areas identified to help improve learning and teaching across the school, as well as the requirements for the new examination specifications.   Support and training is being provided from within the trust and other external bodies such as Pixl. Peer to peer support from within the trust is also being implemented with support staff to allow them to share ideas and improve good practice. 

  1. Develop further Post 16 provision
  • Building on changes started last year to make sure that students are on the right courses that allow them to succeed and that systems are in place to track their progress and take action if there are concerns.

Changes implemented in January last year have begun to take effect with a new Co Head of Post 16 in place.Systems now in place have ensured that Y12 students who enrolled in September were placed on the correct courses to allow them the best possible chances of success.More effective monitoring is in place to track progress and raise any concerns early so that action can be taken swiftly.The expectations of our Post 16 students have been raised.This includes the introduction of supervised independent study periods on their timetables.Support for Post 16 is also being offered through the trust, with a new tutor programme also in place covering guidance on careers and higher education.

  1. Improve communication with parents/carers
  • Improving information for parents/carers on changes in the school as well as daily notices and information.  Reviewing and improving the student progress information sent home
  • Clarifying expectations and systems with regard to homework, rewards, attendance and sanctions
  • Developing clearer structures so that parents/carers can raise any worries with the right team
  • Develop feedback systems so that parents/carers can let us know how they feel about their child’s educational experience

A new school website was launched at the start of the Autumn term and this includes advice and guidance for parents on how they can support their child at school, as well as details on who they should contact if they have any concerns.Work that began last year on improving the quality of student progress information being sent home is continuing with changes being made over the course of this year.The school will be launching a news sheet shortly.

  1. Review academic year, staff structures and department rooming arrangements
  • Review the school year/day arrangements and consult if any changes propose
  • Recognise the strength of siting departments in similar areas, and plan for this move.
  • Review the staffing structures in the school to support team work and allow staff to focus on key priorities
  • Ensuring a plan to maximise the use of the excellent facilities within the school, prioritising where there is a need for change

A review of the structure of the school year is currently being carried out. If changes are supported by staff, a further consultation of parents/carers will then take place.From the start of this term, all Mathematics classrooms are now located in the same area of the school. English classrooms have been relocated to allow them to be located closer together and there are plans to relocate Science in the future.    

  1. Strengthen staff feedback and well-being processes
  • Ensure that staff feel well-supported through this period of change, and are able to raise concerns
  • Have feedback processes to allow input into various aspects of the improvement plan

Core subject teams are now based together in departmental resource rooms to allow them to support each other and for more effective communication between them.All teams have subject leaders responsible and these areas who report directly to a member of the senior leadership team. 

  1. Ensure Personal Social, Health, Careers Education in place for all year groups, together with enhanced careers and tutor programme
  • PHSCE programme in place for all year groups
  • Careers programme enhanced, with reference to required Gatsby benchmarks
  • Tutor time developed, to take into account move to year based tutor groups throughout the school, supporting communication and feedback from students as well as support for personal and social development

PSHCE is now in place for all students in Years 7-10.  In Y7 this is taught as part of the Curriculum for Life programme and in Y8-10, as discrete lessons for one period each week.  The trust is supporting in ensuring that schemes of work and resources to deliver this are appropriate.  The school has now moved to a horizontal tutoring structure with each year group being overseen by a Year Group Leader and an attached member of the leadership team.  The use of tutor time is being developed across the school with tutor team briefings now being held weekly.