Links with parents
We value our strong links with parents. The school holds various events that provide the opportunity for parents to communicate with us in a two-way process. Each half-term, we hold a Parent's Consultation Meeting that is chaired by Mr Abbott.
Each September, we hold two introduction evenings for Years 7 and 10 respectively. For Year 7 parents, this provides the opportunity for them to meet with their child's Form Tutor in order to discuss any concerns or ask any questions following their child's first few weeks in the school. For Year 10 parents, this consists of a presentation followed by questions on the challenge of Key Stage 4 for their children, where students begin to take Exams and Controlled Assessments.
Throughout the year, parents are invited to attend Study Skills Workshops that are led by senior members of staff. These evenings are tailored towards particular year groups, and provide parents with the both the knowledge to understand how to support their children's learning/revision and also to provide information on the latest revision techniques.
There is a clear protocol for parents to follow when they have a question or concern about anything in school. For academic/subject-specific queries, parents should contact their child's teacher or the relevant Head of Department for that subject. For pastoral issues, parents should contact the Form Tutor or Head of Year. Contact can either be made by telephone call to the Main Switchboard, or via email (list of staff emails). The school also has a thriving Parent-Teacher Association. The PTA runs many fund-raising events, including Quiz Nights and car boot sales and providing refreshments at school productions and events.
Tracking student progress
Progress First: The progress of all students in each subject area is of paramount importance. Every half-term, each teacher reports a series of data internally, and shares the crucial elements of this with the pupils that they teach, alongside setting "targets to improve".
Every half-term, and for each subject taken, teachers record the following information: Current Performance Level ("working at grade"), an Effort Grade, an indicator of whether they are "on-track" to reach their target, and a "Minimum Expected Grade" (with reference to the end of the year in KS3, or the end of the Key Stage in KS4/5). The school uses this data to inform positive intervention.
The school uses SISRA software in order to analyse this data. Staff at all levels, including the Senior Leadership Team, Heads of Department, Heads of Year, Subject Teachers and Form Tutors, use SISRA in order to monitor underachievement. The data from SISRA is also used to identify underachieving students; this information is then used as a basis for weekly briefing sessions (Wednesday for KS3 students and Friday for KS4 students). Teaching staff are asked to share strengths and areas for development for each underachieving student and provide strategies to aid improvement. After each briefing session the student being discussed receives feedback from the Head of Year and their future progress is monitored.
If a student is selected for additional support by a Head of Year or Form Tutor, then contact is made with the parents and child, where a meeting will be held and agreement made on the best way of supporting the student to reach their targets. Where necessary, a Pupil Profile is created that highlights the pupil's preferred Learning Style and obstacles to progress. This is given to that student's subject teachers and regular reviews of progress are subsequently made.
PHSE and Health Days / Student Drop In Centres/Nurses Drop In
The PSHE Education Curriculum
PSHE Education is the planned provision for Personal, Social & Emotional development. It will help children and young people develop a secure sense of identity and to function well in the world as happy, successful and active members of society.
All students throughout KS3-5 receive one hour of PSHE per week. One half of this hour is used for a collective assembly as a year group; thematically linked to the lesson, each assembly provides an opportunity for collective consideration of contemporary issues, visiting speakers, pastoral notices and opportunities for involvement in the wider school community.
The second half is a taught session, with a singular focus on one of the three PSHE Attainment Target strands (AT's):
- Developing confidence and responsibility, recognising personal interests and abilities, skills of self-reflection and appraisal and making the most of their abilities, referred to as AT1: All About Me;
- Developing a healthy or healthier lifestyle; taking responsibility for individual aspects of their own living habits; this includes aspects of physical, mental, social, emotional and economic wellbeing, referred to as AT2: Health & Wellbeing;
- Development of personal and social skills to enable positive emotional development and interaction with others as well as the ability to make positive health choices and actively participate in society, including skills of empathy & tolerance, referred to as AT3: Relationships.
These three Attainment Targets are met through the five curricular strands of PSHE. Each strand is addressed every year throughout KS3-5, ensuring consistency and continuity by building on the work of previous years. The five strands are:
- CCR: Citizenship, Community & Responsibility;
- DRE: Drugs & Risk Education;
- RSE: Relationships & Sex Education;
- PEW: Personal & Emotional Wellbeing;
- PF&EW: Personal Finance & Economic Wellbeing.
Assessment or Progress in PSHE
The PSHE department follows mandatory school policies regarding the assessment of work and feedback of progress to students and other relevant stake-holders: to this end, pupil workbooks are marked at least once every three weeks (summative assessment) and formatively approximately every six weeks, usually coinciding with a task at the close of a unit of work. The principal aims of assessment feedback in PSHE are:
- Encouraging and sustaining student effort by showing their efforts and attitude to work are being recognised and valued;
- Providing an ongoing means of monitoring a student’s individual understanding and effort;
- An opportunity to identify areas of specific strengths or weaknesses for individual students or areas of interest with the potential for future exploration.
Unlike other National Curriculum subjects, PSHE does not have a numerical, tiered level system by which attainment can be identified and progress contextualised objectively by the teacher. Instead, the students engage in an on-going process of reflective self-assessment, evaluating their own efforts and success in relation to the Attainment Targets against which their progressed is evaluated. This serves as an indication of the student’s own sense of progress, offering a subjective and personal insight to inform an otherwise objective judgement on the behalf of the teacher.
External Support for PSHE
The PSHE curriculum draws on a wide range of external agencies and specialists in order to supplement and expand the learning experiences of the students as far as possible. A small sample of this co-operation include:
- Working with the NHS, nutritionalists and local health workers to provide a dedicated PSHE Health Day, covering aspects of diet & lifestyle, testicular & breast cancer awareness, Sexually Transmitted Infections, teenage pregnancy and the physical impact of alcohol.
- Collaborating with Warwickshire Fire Services, a programme outlining the problem and impact of arson was drawn up and delivered to Y7 through a series of assemblies, talks from Fire Officers and purpose-made resources;
- Interview technique, CV building and successful work habits are explored through the work-experience programme, supplemented through outside speakers from local employers and recruitment personal from universities and colleges.
- An opportunity for active citizenship through an annual charity appeal; working with Marie Curie Cancer Care, a series of assemblies delivered jointly with charity workers led to over £8,000 being collected by students – the largest single sum from a school the charity had ever received.
Our Year 11 Prefects hold a drop-in centre every lunchtime. This is a place where students of any year group can talk to a prefect about any issues or concerns that they may have. This could be about, for example, friendship issues or possibly how to cope with revision. The Prefects who manage this centre receive training and keep issues confidential, unless a student makes a disclosure that is a matter for Child Protection intervention. In such a scenario, one of the designated Child Protection Officers in school are informed.
The School Nurse holds a drop in ‘clinic’ every Wednesday lunchtime in the Bungalow, no appointment is needed. Naturally, these drop in sessions are taken in a discreet venue and are confidential.