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: June 2020

  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 LGB has successfully recruited a new Parent Governor. The appointment will be confirmed at the upcoming LGB meeting in June.Following the TLR review consultation, a new TLR structure has been confirmed and staff have been successfully appointed to their roles, to either start in April 2020 or September 2020. The new TLR structure is one that supports department development and subject focused teaching and learning, supports effective pastoral, tutorial and behaviour support, supports cross curricular and whole child development eg Literacy, SEN, Pupil Premium, Curriculum for Life, PSHE and has one that has clear line management systems so that support and leadership are built into structures moving forward.Having this structure in place moving forward will assist in creating accountability and line management structures that link members of SLT to middle leaders and support staff teams.The school has also successfully recruited two new Deputy Headteachers and two Assistant Headteachers, all who will officially take up their roles in September 2020.

In addition to the TLR review, a restructure of the support staff teams has also been carried out following a consultation in April 2020.  This will allow the school to benefit from a support staff team that supports curriculum areas and also supports effective pastoral, tutorial and behaviour support, along with cross curricular and whole child development eg Literacy, SEN, mental health.  It will provide a high quality administrative system to support the work of the school and communications with others and also has clear line management systems so that support and leadership are built into structures. 

All those appointed within the support staff team will either continue in their current roles with clearer and more specific job descriptions or begin their new roles in September 2020.

  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.

The curriculum for September 2020 has been finalised and approved by the LGB.  It has been designed to ensure that students experience a broad and balanced curriculum so that they are well prepared for the next steps in their futures.  The school has looked closely at allocated teaching time for all subjects throughout key stages 3 and 4 to ensure that students are able to make the best possible progress.  A review was carried out of the curriculum within Horizon school.  Following consultation with parents, the school is proposing to adopt a new curriculum in Horizon school that will allow students to experience a broader range of subjects at KS3 as well as a programme of social development that helps prepare them for adult life from Y7 onwards.  The school has looked at student groupings and will move to a two band structure in Y7 and Y8 from September 2020, similar to that currently in place for Y9-11.  This will allow a wider range of setting in Core subjects and will mean that support can then be provided for those groups that require it the most.  From September 2020, all subject areas will be cited together in subject teams ensuring that teachers are able to share good practice and support each other in all aspects of learning and teaching. 

  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

Subject teams and SLT have been mainly working on the generation of CAG for submission to exam boards. This has comprised of three main stages, collection, standardisation (at department level) and quality assurance by SLT. Due to the remote nature of working it has not been possible to carry out the work on embedding the KS3 assessment model into day to day classroom practice. This will be a priority for the start of the new term. Due to Years 7 and 9 not receiving a parents' evening because of the lock down we will be providing written reports for both year groups. Year 7 reports will be written by tutors whereas year 9 reports will be written by subject leads. A handover process from MAH to JS (incoming Deputy Head) has begun and will continue over this half term.

  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

Many subject teams have been using time during the lock down period to update curriculum plans and ensure schemes of work are in place for teaching from September.  Some departments have been working with the Trust who have provided support in this area.  Mid-year Performance Management reviews have been carried out for all teaching staff who have been asked to provide evidence towards meeting their objectives.  With the current Covid-19 situation, the usual planned programme of interventions stopped for all students in Y11 and Y13. Staff were asked to award Centre Assessed grades for all subject areas.  The school has made sure that clear procedures were put into place for this process and that these included thorough quality assurance and checking at each stage. 

  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 measures put in place in response to the Covid 19 crisis have led to a shift in approach to staff development. Staff have been provided with training and resources to support the delivery of virtual learning via Google Classroom, Loom (recorded lessons) and Google Meet. Additionally, staff have been enabled to access online training events from a variety of organisations including Pixl and Bluesky. Such access has been particularly useful for our trainees and NQTs as a means to address developmental needs. Resources are currently being developed to enable in house training of staff during the closing weeks of the new year on key systems – including CPOMs and Classcharts.

  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.

Following the cancellation of the external exams for the Year 13s, we sadly said goodbye to our students prematurely. We have continued to support them with their applications into higher education and future careers. We are delighted to have 65% of our students successfully applying to universities this year, a significant increase from previous years.

Our focus has also been on supporting our Year 12s during an extended period of remote learning. A coordinated process that included the introduction of Google ‘Meet’ and ‘Loom’ providing students with personable sessions, that targeted their individual needs. We were able to accurately track and monitor their progress, with the Post 16 leadership working closely with their teachers. The levels of engagement have been positive with the majority of students adapting amazingly well to the new approaches. Teachers have now welcomed the Year 12s back into face to face lessons, with supporting learning and preparing the students for Year 13.

During this unique and unsettling summer term, we have coordinated a PSHE programme that has aimed to maintain the student’s well-being. We appreciate how challenging this period has been for our students, causing anxiety for many. The platform has provided various resources, with access to webinars and online conferences, with interactive quizzes and assignments for students. Importantly this has given our students an opportunity to express any concerns they have, and for our Post 16 team to support and guide where necessary.

  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

The school has done a considerable amount of work in trying improve upon how it shares information and notices with parents and carers. Over 81% of our parents are now regular users of the Weduc app which we now use as our main form of communication.  The lockdown situation has meant that we have been unable to run any more parent forums following on from the first session that was well attended or any further Headteacher drop in sessions.   Our school Newsletter has been very well received by parents and members of the wider community as a forum for sharing school news. We have been unable to share the parental feedback survey with parents due to the current Covid-19 situation and this is something that will be picked up again in September, if and when schools fully reopen. 

Staff have been using the Google Classroom platform to set work and communicate with students during the lockdown period.  This has also been used as a tool to run virtual assemblies and lessons for Post 16 students.  The feedback around the use of Google has been positive overall.  The school is exploring some new software for the setting of homework from September 2020 using the ‘Classcharts’ system that we currently use for managing behaviour.      

  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

The LGB have confirmed arrangements to make changes to the structure of the school year from September 2020, which will now include a two week break during the October half term.  Following a staff and parental consultation, they have also agreed to make changes to the end time of the school day.  From September 2020, the school will move to a five period day with a split lunch for Y7/8 and Y9-11.  School will end at 2.50pm for all year groups apart from Post 16.  Extensive planning has taken place to allow subject teams across the school to be sited together from September 2020.  The lockdown period has allowed building work to take place to ensure this can happen.  From this September, all subject teams will be based in specific areas of the school to allow them to work closely together, support each other and share good practice.  Along with the TLR and Support staff reviews that have also been carried out, these changes will have a significant positive impact on the quality of teaching and learning students receive as well as the working practices of staff within the school moving forward.  

  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

Many staff at the school have expressed an interest in setting up a staff forum to look at staff wellbeing. However, with the covid-19 situation further work on this has been postponed until the new academic year.

  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

The development of Oaks Park’s PSHE has continued throughout the period of school closure. Programmes of study that meet statutory requirements are in place for the coming year with thought currently being given to how best to address issues of wellbeing and racial injustice in a timely and supportive manner. Staff are currently looking to rebook training on teaching sensitive topics scheduled to take place during the period of school closure. RE will be taught to Year 8 separately from PSHE from September and work on a programme of study. Staff are currently looking to rebook training scheduled to take place during the period of school closure.