PREPARING FOR OFSTED
Governors have been fully involved in the improvements to the school over the past few years. When Ofsted ask governors how well we think the school is doing, we want to be secure in our answer, so this week, Governors met twice, once for a governing body meeting and secondly a training session, to focus on summarising the overall performance of the school.
Of course we aren’t Ofsted inspectors, but we used the guidance they produce to make judgements and looked at a wealth of national and in-house data and reports that we request from the school each year as well as the views of the Local Authority, other education professionals and the views of our stakeholders – parents, pupils, staff and the community.
We looked at five areas:
- The context of our school
- Teaching and Learning
- Behaviour and Safety
- Leadership and Management
The school has judged each of the five areas to be GOOD and following our discussions, governors unequivocally support those judgements. We hope that Ofsted agree!
It would be impossible to reflect hours of discussion, but here is a summary of some of the facts about the school and its strengths that we are proud to celebrate knowing that we can provide or point inspectors towards secure evidence to support each statement from a range of sources. We do not apologise for the length of this list… our school is doing very well!
- Our multicultural and harmonious school has pupils from 31 nationalities speaking 29 languages
- We have 52 service children on roll and a dedicated teacher to support their activities
- Our pupils feel safe and enjoy coming to school. There is strong culture for good behaviour and positive relationships between staff and pupils and this leads to a positive culture for learning
- Our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development is embedded throughout all subjects and pupils are made aware of British values through assemblies and tutor group work
- We have closed the gap significantly between the performance of all pupils and pupil premium pupils and our spending of Pupil Premium funding has been used effectively to make that difference
- The needs of our most vulnerable pupils are consistently supported by our Pupil Support Services with effective liaison with outside agencies
- 90% of Year 11 pupils (2013/14) went on to further education
- Our attendance figures have improved significantly over the past two years and in December 2014 it was at 95%
- Our exclusion rates have dropped significantly due to our Behaviour for Learning Policy
- Our pupil numbers in Year 7 have risen each year for the last three years – parents and pupils like our school and recognise the positive impact that teachers are having on raising standards. Our transition programme from Year 6 to Year 7 is very successful and nearly all of the cohort attend summer school
- The quality of teaching has had an upward trend since the last inspection. In January 2015, 86% of teaching was graded as consistently good or better
- We have an extended leadership team to support and develop leadership. Our Middle leaders have responsibility for ensuring that every pupil makes good progress and are held to account by senior managers
- The Rapid Reading programme has had a positive impact on the reading levels of specifically targeted pupils in KS3
- Our Connaught on Track assessment system is accurate. We know this because our pupils predicted outcomes at GCSE reflected their achievements. Pupils’ progress is assessed every 6 weeks and this is communicated to parents
- We celebrated our best results ever in 2014 and did not follow the national trend of a drop in English and Maths results. In fact our progress in English and maths was higher than the national figures
- The school leadership team work relentlessly; raising pupils’ aspirations and achievements, driving improvements and ensuring every pupils wellbeing, safety and enjoyment while at The Connaught
- Governors reflect these ambitions and have high expectations for every child, are focussed on improving performance and hold the Headteacher and senior staff to account
There are always things to improve in a school – our development areas must include:
- Ensuring teachers are consistently producing good lessons
- Ensuring a high standard of marking and high quality feedback so all pupil groups make good progress
- Ensuring that performance management interviews monitor the challenging targets for staff and that staff are enabled to achieve these targets
- Further raising attendance and continuing to reduce persistent absence so that pupil are in class and learning
- Ensuring that behaviour for learning remains integral as part of continuous professional development so that lessons meet the needs of pupils
- Succession planning to develop more leaders across the school
- Continuing to embed The Connaught on Track assessment progress so that pupils take more responsibility for their progress and parents gain a better understanding of their child’s progress
- Stretching the most able pupils to achieve more A*/A grades
- Closing any gaps in achievement
Our school’s motto of “Be the Best You Can Be and our Olympic Values continue to drive us all towards our vision of success for all.
Jane Pratt, Chair of Governors, January 2015