The Sacred Heart Language College Self Evaluation Summary for Parents

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1 The Sacred Heart Language College Self Evaluation Summary for Parents To ensure we maintain excellence as a school community we regularly review our work. We believe that good is not good enough if we are truly to serve the young people who make up our school community. This document is designed to provide parents with insight into this work as a summary of what we know to be true about ourselves as a Catholic learning community. Summer 2013 Reviewed and updated Autumn

2 Our School Context. What we stand for The Sacred Heart Language College is at its heart a Catholic Leaning Community. Our Catholicity is lived out each day through the mission statement being shared and understood by all. Our aims are clear: to enable everyone in our community to come to a deeper understanding of Christ to ensure that everyone in our community discovers and uses the gifts and talents given to each of us by God to live together as a Christian community bound together by love and respect for our human dignity To strive for excellence in all that we do. Christ s living presence is encapsulated in our mission, Confident in God s Love for us, we commit ourselves to his service. We see it as our responsibility to engender a sense of wonder and enthusiasm for learning in a safe and secure environment where all are known, valued and loved for who they are and for the greatness that lies ahead for them. It is our duty to find and celebrate success for all. We know our school to be outstanding but we are not complacent about what this means. We are a reflective and evaluative community determined to offer the best to the young people in our care. We are proactive in ensuring the best educational offer and outcomes for all of our students. As a testament to that are work is directed by our School Innovation Plan. (SIP) This marks the current stage in our thinking. We have progressed from our school improvement plan to school development, school enhancement to our current direction of innovation to be dynamic and creative in best serving the needs of our students. The school Innovation Plan was created reflecting the views of students, parents, staff and governors. This has been distilled into our seven key priority areas grouped under the headings of learning, leadership and community. They are: Shared vision and values based on our distinctive nature as a Catholic Educating community Effective and inspiring leadership throughout the school enabling innovation and development Outstanding teaching and learning where all are challenged to make progress against their personal best A dynamic and reflective learning community who are empowered to be innovative and creative in their leadership of learning Outstanding outcomes are achieved by all with a clear focus on high academic standards and progress A dynamic and outward learning community that has high quality partnerships with parents, other schools, faith partners and the international community. All are enabled to grow as responsible citizens with clear behaviours for learning based on an adherence to the Gospel values 2

3 Who we are A Catholic comprehensive learning community under the trusteeship of the Diocese of Westminster. We have a proven track record of offering high quality educational experience. We are inclusive; all are valued and able to make progress. Attainment is significantly above the national average with progress of students also being significantly above average. We have been judged to be outstanding in our last full Ofsted Inspection. We are a leading edge school. We are active in providing challenge and support to schools across the local area and in primary and secondary schools. The rigorous risk analysis of outstanding schools has continued to judge the school to be offering an outstanding quality of education based on key performance indicators. We provide challenge and high aspiration to all of our students. The vast majority of our students progress on to level 3 courses. The natural progression route is St Dominic s Catholic sixth form college an outstanding college. Extensive careers information and guidance is given to all students to ensure they have a suitable route for future success. In summary we are outward looking to ensure that we are reflective and constantly learning from what takes place within school and across other schools. We see this as a rich and essential part of our own professional development which strengthens our ability to activley reject complacency and strive for excellence in meeting the needs of our community. Achievement of our Students The results of students continues to be outstanding. The last five years has seen an upward trend in the success of our students. Rising from 76% 5A*-C in English in 2008 to 81% in These high academic standards have been maintained. We are particularly pleased of this achievement as it reflects real progress for our comprehensive intake of students with a broad, challenging curriculum offer. In 2013 attainment at the end of Year 11 was significantly above the national profile with 81% achieving 5+ A*-C or more including English and Maths. This includes outstanding performance and challenge for many students with 36% of grades being A* and A. The progress of students is outstanding form the time they enter the school to when they leave. In English 83% make expected levels of progress from KS2 KS4 and in maths it is 89%. We believe in challenge for all and are delighted that so many of our students make 4 levels of progress throughout their time with us. In English 46% of students have made 4 levels of progress 57% in Maths. As an outstanding Catholic school we are proud of the achievements of our students in their Religious Education courses. To ensure academic challenge a cohort of students follow an AS course of study in philosophy and ethics. The success rate is 100% pass 3

4 with 7 of the 24 girls entered this year achieving an A grade. All other students follow a GCSE in RE. The pass rate is 91% with 64% pass achieving an A* and A grade. Our curriculum has breadth and challenge. All students are provided with a pathway for success whilst maintaining their self-esteem by following an academic pathway. This breadth of curriculum offer is reflected in the outcomes for students with the English Baccalaureate. The English Baccalaureate is a national measure of results in English, mathematics, double science, a humanity subject and a modern foreign language. Our students gain significantly above the national picture, with 56% achieving the English baccalaureate against a national picture of 16%. Quality of our teaching and learning The quality of teaching and learning over time is Outstanding. Teaching is successful in ensuring that students are engaged and keen to learn, leading to strong reuslts. We believe that all are responsible for leading learning. The high standards and progress that our students make is clear evidence of this. Students work hard in their learning to achieve their goals. We have an aspirational target of 100% good and outstanding teaching for Although teaching and learning is strength we are not complacent. We pride ourselves on being a dynamic and engaged learning community where teaching and learning is talked about and effective practice shared. A key priority is challenging all students to make exceptional progress through an understanding of their learning. We have also held a Student Inset Day for the whole school that followed the structure of a staff inset day. Following a key note motivational speaker on the importance of lifelong learning skills all students followed a programme of learning and literacy workshops as well as a self-evaluation of their own learning skills and target setting for further improvement. We have had a whole school focus on creativity within the classroom. Our teacher training days have focused on creativity, developing outstanding teaching and learning, and researching practice that will enrich learning. This includes an emphasis on assessment for learning, literacy skills, classroom organisation and use of data to address the needs of all. Our teachers have rigorous performance development with clear objectives set to further develop practice. Lesson observations show effective use of questioning to deepen students learning experiences, with questioning that meets the needs of students of different ability to ensure all make good progress. Student feedback of their learning experiences is very positive as seen in our student survey and in student focus groups. Students tell us that they feel ably supported in their learning and challenged to do well Students make progress in their lessons and over time. Teachers particular strengths are the way they evaluate students progress against their learning objectives during lessons, identifying misconceptions and weaknesses, and then assisting students in identifying the next steps in their learning. To ensure consistency in best practice we have an agreed whole school approach to marking and feedback. Feedback is given to students emphasising what went well and providing guidance on how to improve with even better if guidance. Students are asked to think about what they can do to improve their work and write their own targets for their learning. Students spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is promoted very effectively through teaching and learning. For example, the imaginative and creative approaches 4

5 adopted in many areas of the curriculum provide students with opportunities for collaborative learning and reflection. Our Catholicity in context is lived out through positive relationships within the classroom. The curriculum content is inclusive and challenging and is designed to challenge the thinking of our students. The Behaviour and Safety of our Students Students tell us that they feel safe and secure in school. We know this through the work of the school council, regular meetings with the Head girl and senior prefect team and in the outcomes of our Student Survey. As a result of this students are enabled to engage in their learning and behaviour is a positive feature of our school community. Parents agree with this view of the school as a safe and secure learning environment with strong behaviour as highlighted in our most recent parent survey. Extensive support is offered to students to ensure they are happy and are able to thrive in their work. This includes our student services team, Heart to Heart peer support group, student buddy scheme, counsellor and chaplain/community development officer. Proactive measures are taken to try and ensure positive behaviour and the safety of students. This is also part of our Pastoral Curriculum Framework. For example a series of assemblies has been given to highlight the issue of inappropriate use of the internet and the perils of cyber bullying. The dangers of the use of the internet and cyber bullying also forms part of the ICT curriculum at KS3 and is followed up in the PSHE programme. 21 staff have undertaken CEOPs training on the dangers of the internet to heighten awareness and ensure the safety of all. Lesson observation show that students are engaged in their learning and behaviour is outstanding in the majority of cases. The assembly programme and the opportunity for a weekly whole school assembly ensure that there is a consistent message re. expectation of behaviour and the responsibility we all have to one another in supporting learning and allowing individuals to develop their God given gifts and talents. Where there are cases of poor behaviour swift action is taken. The Heads of Year and Senior Leadership Team work closely with parents to address any concerns. Permanent exclusion is very much a last resort. Our effective working with parents and external agencies to best meet the needs of a student ensure that this measure is a rarity. As a result of our commitment to ongoing careers information and guidance students are enabled to find a variety of pathways to further success upon leaving us. The majority of our students progress to St Dominic s Sixth form College for their A level studies. Attendance was at 94.3% in 2012/13 which is above is above the national average. However, we set a challenging target of 97% aware of the impact that absence from school can have on academic success and development of friendships. Our successes in tackling absenteeism is as a result of careful monitoring, liaison with home and hard work of pastoral and support staff in following up concerns. However, we are not content with this. To address areas of concern re. persistent absentees we have an attendance panel with governing body representation to meet with students and families where there are real concerns. Heads of Year monitor attendance on a weekly basis and liaise with parents re trends or concerns. An additional member of staff has been employed to ensure all absences are followed up on the first day. 5

6 The development of our student services is reflects the school s commitment to ensuring that all support services are centralised to enable swift and effective response. The school Chaplain is based within the student services area at the heart of our school. This provides a direct means of support for students alongside our school counsellor who joins us from the Catholic Children s Society. This is an invaluable resource ensuring that we can meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable students immediately. She liaises closely with the Heads of Year and where necessary with external services such as Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service. We also have a programme of mentoring for identified students who need support for organisation of their learning. The safety of all within our school community is given the highest priority and is threaded through every aspect of our work. Robust risk assessments take place to ensure the safety of students in the rich array of extension activities that enhance learning. The overwhelming majority of students say they feel safe in the context of a very secure environment. Child Protection training for all staff is regularly updated. Governors have received training re their responsibilities. Key staff and governors have undertaken safer recruitment training to ensure we have the right people joining us within the school to further develop our ethos. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development a real strength within the school and is inexorably bound to our Catholicity. In fulfilling our mission where all are valued and provided with the opportunity to develop their God given gifts and talents students get numerous enhanced learning opportunities that broaden their horizons and enable them to grow in their ability to successfully relate to one another. The work recently undertaken on the UNICEF Rights Respecting School initiative and the internationalism embedded within our language college specialism reflects the emphasis on developing global citizens with a lifelong curiosity and commitment to equality and the rights of others. Students are able to develop and grow in their understanding of their faith. There are regular opportunities to attend mass, as a whole school and on a voluntary basis at our before school mass every week. Leadership Our action is directed in our School Innovation Plan. This has a clear emphasis on community, learning and leadership. The senior leadership team has a relentless focus on ensuring the highest possible standards. They are not complacent and are constantly working to energise and enthuse our practice. The team is characterised by outstanding teachers who can lead by positive example. The senior leadership and Governing Body are committed to sustaining a culture of continuous improvement. Leadership of learning is embedded throughout the school. Our Heads of Department are experienced and determined to attain the highest for the students. We are clear about our strengths and development needs. There is detailed and rigorous self-evaluation at all levels of school leadership. Heads of Year and Departments analyse ongoing assessments and tracking data to ensure high standards are achieved and intervention measures taken where this is not the case. There is a clear self evaluation cycle within the school where we review how effective we are. All Departments and Year teams have a departmental evaluation and innovation plan. Within this they comment upon the performance of all students, analysing 6

7 particular groups as well as evaluating teaching and learning and behaviours within their aspect of school life. This evaluation links directly to their innovation plan guiding the work of their team. We undertake a programme of departmental reviews. These include an evaluation of teaching and learning through observations of all within the department, joint observations to ensure standardisation, a review of planned assessment through schemes of work, analysis of books, student focus group and a leadership discussion with the head of department. The process and outcomes for this review inform whole school planning and are shared with the governing body. The governors of the school are proactive in ensuring standards are maintained. The Governing Body are made up of Foundation Governors appointed by the Diocese, staff and representatives from the parents of our school. Miss Higgins reports regularly to the Governing Body on the work of the school. The governing body are well-informed re. national initiatives and reflective about what will best enhance our school offer and serve the needs of the local Catholic community that we serve. We have a designated Governor who overviews inclusion, safeguarding and the use of our pupil premium funding. Our Chair of Governors is accredited by the National College as a National Governance Leader and offers mentoring and support to other Governing Bodies as part of HMI led Ofsted action plans. The school is dynamic and outward looking. We actively pursue our specialism as a leading edge school. We support other schools in developing their teaching and learning. Our Overall Effectiveness We judge ourselves to be an outstanding Catholic school. Our Key strengths High aspirations that lead to outstanding outcomes for students. Inclusive practices where all are valued and made to feel safe and secure in their own leaning. Lively engagement in teaching and learning. Outward looking and dynamic leadership at all levels within the school. Active rejection of complacency and good being good enough. Mature engagement with an understanding of our Faith. Ongoing developments Creativity in the classroom to ensure greater independence as a foundation for lifelong learning. Personalised approached to CPD to ensure consistency in outstanding teaching and learning. All students clear about the steps they need to take to ensure progress on a daily basis. Geraldine Higgins Headteacher 7

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