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: December 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

A Governance programme of work is in place and has been shared with senior leaders who attend and present at LGB meetings when required.  An effective programme of Middle Leader training has begun. Middle leaders are also working with their teams on improvement priorities identified from subject reviews in the first half term. Support is being provided from their peers in the trust, helping to accelerate improvement.  Weekly line management meetings are in place for all senior and middle leaders along with a new, regular programme of middle leaders meetings. The school has introduced weekly morning briefing sessions for all staff, year groups and subject teams to aid communication.  Subject leaders are also working with Pixl to ensure they are aware of and utilising support and knowledge from colleagues to develop good practice in subject leadership and examination requirements. 

  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 the 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.

A further review of the curriculum has taken place and draft proposals for implementation in September 2020 have been presented to the Local Governing Body.  These have been designed to build on the developments from last year, provide adequate teaching time in different subject areas and ensure that the school continues to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that prepares students for examinations and the next steps in their lives.  Grouping arrangements for students in Y7 and 8 are being explored further as part of this proposal to ensure they benefit from the approach provided further up the school.

  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

At KS3 we have updated our target setting and progress tracking by introducing the pathways system which we launched with year 7 parents at our parent information evening. Students in year 7 and year 8 have now been placed on pathways that, for each subject, are based on national progress data using the students key stage 2 assessment and tests carried out in school. At KS4 we have reviewed our target setting process and subsequently altered it. Students are now receiving aspirational targets based on national progress data, different for individual subjects and based on key stage 2 starting points. Departments have had the opportunity to review targets and subsequently adjust them where they feel it is appropriate.  Assessment procedures within all subject areas have been modified to ensure students are being assessed in line with their targets and appropriate feedback is being provided. 

  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

All subject areas carried out detailed reviews of their curriculum and teaching during the Autumn term.Support was provided from the trust.This has led to the development of detailed action plans with key improvement priorities being identified and action being taken to address them.Increased departmental time has been provided to teams for this purpose.

A new online behaviour system ‘Classcharts’ has been implemented across the school and all staff have been provided with the required training to make effective use of this.The system will be reviewed in the Spring term 2020 and adapted accordingly as we move forward.

A programme of early interventions for Y11 students has been put into place following their recent mock examinations and analysis of the data.Parents have been informed throughout the process to ensure that attendance to sessions in the spring term is as high as possible.

  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

The first term provided an opportunity for numerous CPD sessions for staff. Areas covered to-date have focused on training on new systems designed to support student well-being and progress - including sessions on new safeguarding, behaviour management, assessment tracking and appraisal systems - the development of leadership, utilising external and trust programmes, and effective classroom practice. Within the latter, staff have engaged with training on marking and feedback, questioning, starters for learning, meeting the needs of students with ASC, supporting disadvantaged students, approaches for de-escalation, differentiation, the development of schematic knowledge, and meta-cognition & effective revision. Support from trust has been provided for departments to look at the curriculum content being taught in various subject areas and how this is planned and sequenced over time. 

  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.

Post 16 students have enjoyed a successful and engaging first term to the academic year, with the Year 12s settling well into their new courses and Year 13s adapting effectively to the higher demands of their final year. All students have benefitted from our newly developed tutor programme, with many Year 13 students benefiting from the newly introduced 'Unifrog' sessions, successfully applying for university and apprenticeship places. Weekly sessions have been implemented for Y12 students with the aim to help them develop their mindset and coherent strategies, helping them become confident and self-managing learners, effectively supporting the challenging transition from KS4 to KS5.  

All students have been formally assessed in the first term and new processes are in place to accurately monitor their progress. The Post 16 team and teaching staff have reported, analysed and applied suitable strategies and interventions to support all students. A Post 16 Parents Information evening has taken place with the expectations highlighted for the upcoming year and providing an opportunity for parents to ask questions about courses. A study skills event for students and parents to listen to an external speaker, sharing some effective revision techniques has taken place for the first time as well as an early Year 12 parents evening to discuss student progress on their courses to date and to monitor how well they are settling into Post 16 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 half termly newsletter has been developed, with two issues published to date.  The newsletter includes an update from the Headteacher, an overview of the half term from each Year Group Lead and news of events, activities and successes across the school. Initial feedback has been positive.  A new parent communication platform for Oaks Park High - WEDUC - is in the final stages of testing and will be launched to all parents week beginning 13th January. The app will improve parent communication by delivering news, updates and reminders direct to parents' mobile phones, and allows for discrete groups to be set up.  Parent forums will be set up this month, having been announced in December. Parents will be recruited in this month, with the first 'forum' taking place in February.

A new style progress report has been created for each year group and by the end of the first term, parents in all year groups have received this.This has provided clearer details of how students are progressing across all their subjects in relation to their targets so that any issues can be raised and dealt with quickly and effectively.

  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 school year was carried out in the second half of the Autumn term. After consultation with staff, students and parents, governors approved proposals to implement a 2 week October Half term from 2020.Term dates for the next academic year have now been published to parents.A staff consultation on making changes to the school day has recently been carried out and the proposals will now be put forward to governors before a parent consultation takes place shortly.

A thorough review is currently taking place looking at how different departments across the school can be sited together.This, alongside a review of our current staffing structure which has also begun will allow subjects to be grouped together more effectively, allowing staff to work closely with each other, building on strengths and supporting in teams where required.

Work has also begun to look at how we can best utilise our excellent facilities and where changes/improvements are necessary.A number of areas have been identified for potential changes to improve them and final plans will be drawn up in the spring term.

  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

Staff have been consulted on proposals to move to a 2 week half term from October 2020 as well as changes to the timings of the school day. The school is currently working on plans to set up a staff forum in the spring term which aims to look at how staff well-being can be developed further and provides them with an opportunity to raise concerns in an effective manner.

  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

A new PSHE coordinator has been appointed at the school who will oversee the ongoing development of PSHE this academic year and ensure that the school meets its statutory requirements moving forward.  All year groups have had sessions on drug awareness in the second half of the Autumn term and, for the first time, an evening session for parents was also offered.  Work is continuing on developing our careers programme and a review  is taking place to make better use of our independent careers advisor to ensure a greater number of students have access to this service.