Friday, 4 April 2014

St. Boniface's Catholic College Headteacher's Easter Blog 2014



St. Boniface’s Catholic College Easter Newsletter 2014
 

An extract from the 2013 Easter Message of Pope Francis:

“This same love for which the Son of God became man and followed the way of humility and self-giving to the very end, down to hell - to the abyss of separation from God - this same merciful love has flooded with light the dead body of Jesus, has transfigured it, has made it pass into eternal life. Jesus did not return to his former life, to earthly life, but entered into the glorious life of God and he entered there with our humanity, opening us to a future of hope.
This is what Easter is: it is the exodus, the passage of human beings from slavery to sin and evil to the freedom of love and goodness. Because God is life, life alone, and we are his glory: the living man (cf. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, 4,20,5-7).

Dear brothers and sisters, Christ died and rose once for all, and for everyone, but the power of the Resurrection, this passover from slavery to evil to the freedom of goodness, must be accomplished in every age, in our concrete existence, in our everyday lives. How many deserts, even today, do human beings need to cross! Above all, the desert within, when we have no love for God or neighbour, when we fail to realize that we are guardians of all that the Creator has given us and continues to give us. God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14).
So this is the invitation which I address to everyone: Let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.”
 

Welcome one and all to my first Easter Newsletter!
Well in case you did not notice a big event occurred on April 1st 2014 – St Boniface’s became part of the largest family of Catholic schools in the UK – the birth of CAST, the Catholic and Anglican Schools Trust took place at 12.01 on 1st April. We are now very proud members of a far larger movement that more closely unites us with the Catholic primary schools here in Plymouth and our sister secondary school Notre Dame. CAST consists of some 35 primary and secondary schools spread from Penzance to Poole. As you can imagine there has been an awful lot of hard work done not only in the schools to get things ready for the conversion but also at the diocese in providing support and guidance. Thanks must go to all involved.

 I am also very pleased to be able to attach at the end of this newsletter the findings of the recent second Ofsted monitoring report released on the Ofsted website yesterday, 3.4.14. As you will read and have hopefully witnessed for yourself the “school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of the serious weakness designation”. Put like that it does not sound at all encouraging but the only other strap line that inspectors are allowed to say is that “the school is not making…” From discussions with the inspector this is about as good a monitoring report as can be delivered by them so I am very pleased with all the hard work students, staff and parents have put in over these past 10 months or so in rebuilding our College. We are not where we want to be yet but this is a very good shot in the arm and will propel us onto the next level.

I have been very pleased to be able to present new “Kindles” to some of our pupils who have received 100 plus merits over this Spring term. I hope that these electronic devices foster a love of reading in the lucky pupils and am very much looking forward to giving out the next set at the end of next term. I know Toby in year 7 was definitely pleased!

Please do remember to follow my Blog, accessible directly from the College website and updated each school week.


Speaking of websites, can I draw your attention to the link below where Alasdair, one of our post 16 students spent a day in Whitehall talking with MPs as part of the CAFOD Hunger for Change:


 A note from Mr Evans regarding Y11 English:

 

A reminder to parents that the English exams come around quickly after Easter: Literature on 20th and 22nd May and English Only and English Language on 3rd June. Organised and planned revision, therefore, should begin in earnest over the half term break.

 Ensure that revision guides and copies of set texts are purchased and available to assist study.

BBC Bitesize is a very useful website to begin with as it has a clear exam focus with which to develop further work and return to for frequent short sessions.

 Past Papers and Mark Schemes are available on the AQA website at http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english#bm-GCSE

Mr Evans

Curriculum Leader

English

 

 

Devon County Finals U13 Tournament at St. Luke's College, Exeter. 

Teams involved were:

 Bideford, South Molton, Uffculme, Okehampton, Kingsbridge, DHSB and SBC. Some very large schools.

 We played 5 matches and won 2 of them. Man of the tournament went to Zac G for his fantastic tackling. Tries from Jon K, Oli H and Adrian P.

Well done to all in a fantastic day!

 

 

Our Gifted and Talented Groups have been and will be busy:

 

·         5 more able Year 12 students did a workshop at Notre Dame about prejudice and discrimination this term. They attended the workshop with students from DHSB, DHSG, Eggbuckland College, as well as students from Notre Dame. The day proved to be a thought provoking experience.

·         Next term, 10 high achieving Year 10s will have the opportunity to visit Exeter College (part of Oxford University). They will be able to experience what a lecture/seminar will be like at the uni, a tour of the campus and a chance to discuss entry requirements (as well as experience) that are needed to be considered by Oxford.

·         5 more able and G&T Year 9s are going to visit one of the Russell Group universities as part of The Future Scholar Awards. This award aims to give Year 9s an opportunity to start thinking about higher education and it gives them an insight in to how the top 25 universities select students. Students will attend seminars with other ‘Future Scholars’ that are led by university professors, use the university facilities, and take part in challenging activities. The Russell Group university our Year 9 students will be attending will be confirmed over Easter.

 

A report from a recent trip with Mr Lord for some post 16 students:

Yesterday I took 13 of our year 12 and 13 boys to Plymouth Universities Patient Journey Day at the University of St Mark and St John in order to give them an insight into some careers within the NHS.

 The boys took part in activities centred around physiotherapy, paramedics, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and dietetics. The boys were great ambassadors for the school and showed a keen interest in the activities provided. At the end of the day students were asked to give feedback to all schools and the professionals leading the day on what they had experienced. Notably Brian D. and Simon S. spoke at the front of a lecture theatre about their experience and what they had learned on a key area that day. The detail and clarity with which they spoke was impressive!

I am sure all found the day most educational.

 

 

 
 
 
A Duke of Edinburgh Open Evening is planned for Wednesday 23rd April starting at 6pm.

Open to all year 9, 10, 11 and 12 students.

The aim will be to introduce the DofE to parents, explain what it is and how it works and how they can support their son’s. Mr Claricoates also aims to sign up any final students for this years cohort.
For year 9 parents and students and year 11 parents and students this will be an information only evening and Mr Claricoates hopes to “plant the seed” for next year.

 
St Boniface’s are pleased to be involved in ‘Encompass’.  Encompass is a project involving early years settings and schools in Plymouth; Devon & Cornwall Police and Plymouth City Council.

The project (Encompass) has been designed to provide early reporting of any domestic abuse which could affect a child or young person’s well-being, behaviour or performance during the day. The school/setting is notified through a phone call or email following an incident.

Encompass ensures that at least one member of staff, known as the ‘key adult’ is trained to liaise with the police/Plymouth City Council and to use the information that has been shared, in confidence.  In this way, we aim to support each child or young person who has experienced a domestic abuse incident. The key adult at St Boniface’s Mrs V. Venn. If she receives an Encompass call, she will make sure that a person the child or young person trusts, is available to help the next day - if the child or young person needs this. Most of the time we will do nothing except keep a watchful eye to make sure the child has a calm day and feels as safe and secure as possible. At other times it may simply be a case of letting a child bring in a favourite toy or understanding the reasons behind a child’s tiredness or behaviour.

The confidential information received regarding the incident is ordinarily not shared with other staff – they may just be asked by the key adult to keep an extra close eye on the child or young person. All schools and settings do however have a duty to share information with other organisations if they feel a child or young person has been or is at risk of significant harm. There may be times therefore that the key adult must contact other organisations to share the information received. This is referred to in our child protection policy.

We are keen to support both children and families. Parents can come and talk to our key adult or whoever they feel most comfortable with if they choose. We can then advise of other people that can help.

We were all sorry to see our Driver/Handyman Mr King leave us at the end of this term. He has decided it is time for a new venture and leaves with our thanks and best wishes and an open invite to visit us – as long as he puts up a few shelves!

Have a lovely Easter all,

Mr. Davies

 

 

Key Stage 4 Celebration and Information, Advice & Guidance Evening

Tuesday 6th May 2014 6pm

 

Dear Key Stage 4 Parents,

You are warmly invited to attend the evening of celebration in St Peter’s Church for the current years 10 and 11. 
The evening will celebrate the achievements of the students in their GCSE years and include performances and reflections from both year groups on their time at St Boniface’s.

The evening will be hosted by the students and include reminiscences from and of the boys throughout their time here, as well as a celebration of their successes and experiences.  We welcome all students and parents to celebrate the time they have spent at the college along with Mr Davies, our Head Teacher, Father John, the pastoral teams and staff.

Please can you email Mrs Hudson via rhudson@stbonifaces.com to state if you will be attending, and how many seats you would like.  Students are to attend in school uniform and you do not need to request a seat for your son. Parking will be in the church car park and there will be refreshments.

We look forward to you joining us at this evening of celebration and information.

Yours sincerely,

 
Mr Robert Ramage
Deputy Head Teacher
Dr Alison Summers
Assistant Head Teacher

 

Year 7

The most exciting assembly of the year took place on Tuesday! The students sat patiently but in suspense, waiting to hear who had won the kindle for the 100 merit club! I was incredibly proud that so many year 7 students were in the draw! Well done lads! Toby HL from 7E was the winner and it was thoroughly well deserved! I think he was in shock, well done Toby! We were also very lucky to have a wonderful assembly presented by 7V and Mr Corkhill on the Great Escape, I hope it didn’t give the boys to many ideas! Thank you 7V.

7P had a very exciting RE lesson this week, taking part in a treasure hunt around the school. They were following Jesus’ footsteps over the last 24 hours of his life and learned about his journey to the cross. Well done for the respect shown during this activity 7P.

To continue the extremely high standards that Year 7 demonstrate, please can I ask parents to make a note of the following;

·         Students should adhere to the hair and uniform requirements at all times. Please ensure that the correct outer wear garments are being used (particularly with the adverse weather conditions currently). Students should only be wearing black or navy blue coats, thank you.

·         Mobile phones should not be on during the school day. They should be switched off and in bags so that learning is not disturbed.

·         Home learning should be completed for all subjects in a timely manner. Please can parents insist on checking planners and guiding the students with organisation.

·         Please can parents ensure their son has a reading book in his bag every day to support our reading scheme. This is to further help and improve literacy standards whereby all students will undertake 30 minutes of silent reading each day.

A short and sweet entry this week to round off our term.

I very much look forward to welcoming the students back on Tuesday 22nd of April.

Wishing you blessings over this Easter holiday,

Miss Beales

 

Year 8

I can’t believe that it’s a week since I wrote my last contribution for the College Blog.  The term has flown by! Well done to the Year group for the way in which they have approached school life over the last term. There have been many great achievements mixed in with some ups and downs but overall the boys have been fantastic.

Mr McCormick has been collecting the names of those boys who have gained 100 merits or more since the start of the year. Their names will go into the draw for a Kindle. Well done to them! Jordan W. deserves special mention though as he has accumulated 200 achievement points without a single behaviour (negative) point being recorded against his name! Outstanding work!

Mr Ramage and Mrs Venn led the assembly last week on the theme of distilling what we learn so that we can improve our performance in the future. The boys really enjoyed the message especially as Mr Ramage managed to weave a Formula One thread through it! Thanks to them both for a thought-provoking message.

A group of Year 8 and 9 are at the City College today looking at construction skills so we thank Mrs Hudson for organising that. I’m sure that they will have a very enjoyable day.

Many congratulations to the boys in 8T who organised a lunch yesterday for invited members of staff. Miss Heduvan and Miss Beales report that it was quite emotional as so much work had gone into it and the boys worked so very well together to make it such a success. Thanks to Mrs Polson for overseeing the event. I’m sorry that I missed it as looking after the lunchtime room stopped me from attending. It won’t next time!

Good luck to Mr McCormick for the weekend as he runs the Taunton half-marathon, his very first! Training has gone well and we wish him a very enjoyable day.

Finally, thanks again to the boys for all their hard work over the last term and to you, as parents, for your support.

A happy Easter to you all.

Mr. Tucker

 

Year 9

Well here we are at the end of another term, I know I have said it before but just where does the time go?

Thanks to all the year 9 tutors for all their efforts and fund raising events this term to raise money for their various charities, and special thanks this week to Miss McFarland and 9E who have organised a year 9 tutor football tournament for this Friday, fingers crossed the weather will be kind to us.

Congratulations to Devan on his selection for the Devon Rugby Squad last week end and commiserations to Liam who narrowly missed out, but will still represent West Devon which is no mean feat.

Congratulations also to Billy representing Plymouth Rowing Club whose boat came in second in the Head of the Plym race. And, congratulations to Gabriel on the completion of his national cycling event last weekend.

 Well done to all the lads this term on their behaviour and achievements there has been a marked improvement, there are still one or two issues with a couple of students, however,  these are currently being addressed. 100 club merit draw for those of you with over 100 merits will be on the first assembly next term, a Kindle Fire awaits the lucky winner. Can I please ask parents as much as possible to ensure your son does not bring any fizzy drinks - and in particular energy drinks – into school as these do have a negative effect on their behaviour, not easy to police I know but any help would be appreciated, they will be confiscated.

Anyway, to end on a more cheery note, I hope you all have a happy and safe Easter break and that the weather is kind to us, oh and enjoy those Easter eggs……

God Bless

Mrs Mcloughlin

 

Year 10

The Head of Year Prefects met to discuss the developments at the College and discuss areas they would like to see changed – ranging from canteen food – to uniforms!  We will continue to work with the students to ensure they have a voice.

I was particularly proud of the students involved in a meeting this week with Patrick from The Herald.  Patrick talked to the students about their experiences at the school and the 150th Anniversary.  Keep an eye out for a story in the paper soon!

I look forward to seeing you all at the Key Stage 4 Celebration and Information, Advice & Guidance Evening on Tuesday 6th May 2014 6pm at St Peter’s Catholic Church.  It will be a great way to celebrate the many achievements of boys in Year 10.

The annual Year 10 paintballing trips take place the week before half term in May – parents will be informed via email – so keep an eye on your mailbox.  Similarly, the College’s “Celebration Day” for the whole school will take place July 14.

Mr Scott

 

Year 11

 

The year 11 boys must be relieved that the Easter break starts next week with all the study they have been putting in recently.  However, although I would  expect your son to take full advantage of this opportunity to re-charge his batteries ready for his examinations that start on the 12th May, I also would expect him to be sensible enough to realise that he should use this valuable time to kick-start his revision programme.  He can get through mountains of work if he is organised during the next four weeks, but if he chooses to ‘take his foot off the gas’, especially over the Easter break,  he will be putting himself at a grave disadvantage and under increasing pressure to do well. 

 

Just doing the simple things over Easter will help his cause, such as tidying his notes and work space so that he can focus on the job in hand more clearly.  Practicing exam questions is always a great way to prepare for examinations.   Completing just two to three hours focussed revision a day over Easter will go a long way in helping him to thoroughly prepare.   As a parent or guardian please be conscious that your son probably isn’t always revising in his room and may just be pretending to revise for his examinations when in fact he is just listening to music or watching TV.   A short time of concentrated and focussed revision is clearly far more effective and worthwhile for your son than having him just sitting in a room pretending to revise just to appease you.   

 

Please find below some revision tips that one of our year 11 boys has suggested may be   helpful to his fellow students during this stressful time. 

 

John’s advice, that he is practicing successfully himself is:

 

1) Read the front cover of the exam paper

2) Read each question carefully, ideally twice

3) Spend roughly a minute per mark, and leave some time to check the exam paper

4) Be on time to the exam

5) Have your equipment for the exam - don't expect it to be lent in the exam

6) Be ready for the exam.

 

John continued by saying “If the above advice is followed, I feel that there will be no problems for any lad taking his exams.”

Thanks John for your comments and thank again for being so thoughtful of others.

 

Another outstanding example of a typical ‘Bonnies’ boy is Josh.  He has recently been    accepted on to Flybe’s four year diploma in engineering course, in collaboration with Exeter College.  Josh was chosen over numerous excellent candidates to win his place on the sought after apprenticeship programme.  He deserves his good fortune as he is a hardworking and conscientious student as well as being a great human being.  The course will be a blended programme of academic and practical learning and at the end of the course he will be a licensed aircraft engineer.  Congratulations on your success Josh, from everyone at the college. 

 

Regarding study leave, we will have year 11 leaver’s day on the 9th May, with formal examinations due on the 12th May.  Study leave will take the form of all students attending all subjects until the final exam in a specific subject area.

Teachers will continue to attend the lesson, so offering revision opportunities for your son as long as he needs it right up to the point when he takes his examination.

Once your son has taken his final exam in a particular subject area, he will no longer be required to attend that lesson, but he will still be welcome to use the lesson slot to revise for another subject.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the teachers, HLTA’s and LSA’s  for all of the time, effort and planning they  have invested in your son through both lessons, interventions and contact with you, to ensure he has  the best possible chance to succeed.

 Finally, I’d like to wish everyone on behalf of year 11, happy Easter.          

 Mr Redfern

 

Easter GCSE and A Level Booster Sessions 2014
 

Date
Time
Room
Course
Teacher
Monday
 7-4-14
09:00 – 15:00
G161
 
GCSE, AS and A Level Engineering
Mr Baines
 
 
10:00 – 14:00
G161
GCSE French and German
Mr Neethling
 
09:00 – 15:00
I181
Yr12 GCSE English resit
Mrs Davidson
 
10:00 – 14:30
E109
BTEC Sport
Mr Tucker
 
 
 
 
 
Tuesday
8-4-14
09:00 – 15:00
G161
 
GCSE, AS and A Level Engineering
Mr Baines
 
 
09:00 – 15:00
I118
Yr12 GCSE English resit
Mrs Davidson
 
 
 
 
 
Wednesday
9-4-14
09:00 – 15:00
G161
 
GCSE, AS and A Level Engineering
 
Mr Baines
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday
10-4-14
09:00 – 15:00
G161
 
GCSE, AS and A Level Engineering
 
Mr Baines
 
 
 
 
 
Friday
11-4-14
09:00 – 15:00
G161
 
GCSE, AS and A Level Engineering
 
Mr Baines
 
08:45 – 14:00
A24
AS History (British)
Mr Edwards
 
 
 
 
 
Tuesday
15-4-14
09:30 – 15:00
A2
GCSE English Literature 11L
Mrs Venn
 
 
09:00 – 12:30
A4
AS Geography
Miss Blackshaw
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wednesday
16-4-14
09:30 – 15:00
A2
GCSE English Literature 11L
Mrs Venn
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday
17-4-14
10:00 – 13:00
F141
AS Psychology
Miss Seward
 
 
08:45 – 14:00
A24
AS History (European)
Mr Edwards
 
 
 
 
 
 
Friday
18-4-14
 
10:00 – 13:00
F141
AS Psychology
Miss Seward
 

 

Mr Tew and Miss Blackshaw will be in the College for most days over the Easter break, VI formers wishing to study should contact them by email so that a room can be arranged.

 
Lord, the resurrection of Your Son
has given us new life and renewed hope.
Grant us wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it.

Amen.

 
Please see below the report on the recent second Ofsted monitoring visit:
 
 
 
Tribal
1-4 Portland Square
Bristol
BS2 8RR
T 0300 123 1231
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk
Direct T 0117 311 5359
Direct F 0117 315 0430
Email: christina.bannerman@tribalgroup.com


 

Mr A Davies

The Acting Headteacher

St Boniface's RC College

21 Boniface Lane

Manadon Park

Plymouth

Devon

PL5 3AG

 

Dear Mr Davies

 

Serious weaknesses monitoring inspection of St Boniface's RC College

 
Following my visit to your school on 19 and 20 March 2014, I write on behalf of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to confirm the outcome and findings of the inspection. Thank you for the help you gave during the inspection and for the time you made available to discuss the actions which have been taken since the school’s previous monitoring inspection.

 The inspection was the second monitoring inspection since the school was judged to have serious weaknesses following the section 5 inspection which took place in June 2013. The monitoring inspection report is attached.

 Having considered all the evidence I am of the opinion that at this time:

 The school is making reasonable progress towards the removal of the serious weakness designation.

This letter and monitoring inspection report will be published on the Ofsted website. I am copying this letter to the Secretary of State, the Chair of the Governing Body and the Director of Children’s Services for Plymouth and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Plymouth.

 Yours sincerely

Anne Looney

Additional Inspector

Annex

 

The areas for improvement identified during the inspection which took place in June 2013

 

<  Improve the quality of teaching so that all students make good or better progress by:

-   raising teachers’ expectations of what students can achieve in all lessons

-   using assessment information to match each student’s work carefully to their abilities and making sure more able students are given work that is hard enough, particularly in Key Stage 3

-   preventing low-level disruption in lessons by planning lessons that capture students’ interest and by following the college’s behaviour management polices consistently

-   making sure teaching assistants’ time and expertise are used well in lessons

-   using marking and discussions in lessons effectively so that students get clear information on how to improve their work and ensuring the students respond to their teachers’ marking.

n Raise students’ attainment in English by:

-   strengthening the quality of leadership in English

-   ensuring there is a strong focus on improving students’ literacy levels, particularly their writing, punctuation and grammar across a range of subjects

-   providing good support for more able students to enable them to achieve higher grades at GCSE

-   closing the gaps in the progress between disabled students, those with special educational needs and those supported by the pupil premium and Year 7 funding with all other students.

n Improve the support for disabled students and those with special educational needs by:

-   improving the quality of academic support and guidance

-   including students currently taught in the learning for life centre in daily lessons in the main school

-   ensuring leaders monitor the effectiveness of the support provided for these students and rapidly make changes where support is not making a difference.

n Further improve the impact of leaders and governors by:

-   bringing together the various action plans under one college improvement plan so governors can readily check that action is having an impact on students’ achievement and the quality of teaching

-   making sure governors have first-hand evidence to check on the use of the pupil premium funding.

 

Report on the second monitoring inspection on 19 and 20 March 2014

 

Evidence

The inspector met with the acting headteacher and deputy headteacher, the assistant headteacher (inclusion), the Chair and the Vice Chair of the Governing Body, middle leaders and teachers and groups of students. The inspector undertook a number of joint lesson observations with senior leaders to check on the progress in improving specific aspects of teaching, including those identified in the previous inspection report. During the lessons the inspector looked at students’ work and talked to them about it. The inspector scrutinised a range of documentation, including the school’s information on students’ progress, records of the monitoring of teaching and reviews of the work of the subject departments.
 

Context

 It is planned that the school will become part of a Multi Academy Trust on 1 April 2014. A new Chair of the Governing Body has taken up post since the first monitoring visit. Two new teachers have been appointed since the first monitoring visit.

 
The quality of leadership and management at the school

 The acting headteacher has created a school that is safe and secure and one which promotes positive values. This is recognised by the governing body, staff, parents and students. There is a strong feeling that senior leaders and teachers are working together to improve what the school offers for students and to raise standards. Leaders have focused well on the areas for improvement identified in the previous inspection and continue to review progress and impact very regularly against the targets set in the post-inspection action plan. This review process involves middle leaders and governors and is well backed up by supporting evidence.

 Systems for the monitoring of teaching and learning are rigorous and judgements have been checked and are accurate. This was further corroborated in all the joint observations conducted during the second monitoring inspection. Individual feedback to teachers on their teaching is good, and, in the best examples, targeted questions are used well to get teachers to think about how they might improve their practice. Those teachers whose teaching requires improvement, however, do not always get a sufficiently detailed analysis of where they need to improve.

Senior leaders have also concentrated well on the training needed to improve teaching. Particularly good use has been made of the ‘triad’ process in which three teachers from different subjects work together. This system allows teachers to observe the teaching of others, reflect on their own teaching and share good practice. Teachers feel well supported by the senior leaders in this drive for improvement. Systems for the monitoring of student progress regularly provide a good level of detail. This progress information is now being used more effectively by teachers so that they can plan lessons to meet the needs of all their students. Teachers are now more aware of the information on students’ progress, and recognise how helpful it can be when planning. There is also better recording and analysis of the progress of students in receipt of additional funding. It is now easier for the governing body to see more clearly the impact of that funding and the planned interventions, and to see how well the college is ‘closing the gap’ between the progress made by all students and those in receipt of extra funding.

 The behaviour policy has been well implemented. Although there is still some inconsistency in its use, it is acknowledged by staff and students alike that the more coherent approach to rewards and sanctions is much fairer and is ensuring better behaviour in the classroom.

Senior leaders acted quickly following disappointing results in mathematics at GCSE in 2013. An action plan was put into place, which addresses the areas of weakness, with clear targets for improvement. This is being regularly monitored and is bringing about some improvements in the teaching of the subject and in the progress made by students.

There has been considerable progress made towards the restructuring of the provision for disabled students or those who have special educational needs. A number of students have been re-integrated into the main school and there is a greater understanding by teachers and learning support assistants of their roles in supporting these students in the classroom. The assistant headteacher (inclusion) is heavily and appropriately involved in the quality assurance group which monitors and analyses provision for, and progress of, these students.

The governing body continues to monitor effectively the progress made against the targets in the post-inspection action plans and to challenge and/or ask for further evidence of impact of what has been done.

 Strengths in the school’s approaches to securing improvement:

< Students are starting to make better progress. The school’s information indicates that students are achieving better at this stage of the year than they were at the same time in 2013. This is both in terms of the progress they are making and in terms of how well they are on track to meet their target of five good grades at GCSE, including English and mathematics, in the summer.

< Marking has improved. The new marking system, where teachers identify two strengths in a piece of work and one area for improvement, is found helpful by students. Students also value the fact that immediate feedback is also given regularly by teachers verbally in class. This ensures that they know how to improve by the end of the lesson.

< There is a greater collaboration in subject planning and better checking of students’ progress in English. Information about how well students are progressing is being used well on a regular basis to identify specific areas for improvement for individuals and how they might be supported. There are now daily timetabled opportunities to read for all students. There is some good marking which picks up specifically on students’ errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar, but it is not consistent across all subjects.

< The quality of teaching overall has improved and there is good evidence that since the amount of observation has increased that there has been an increase in the proportion of teaching which is good or better. Teachers are more consistently planning to meet students’ needs: they identify new learning clearly and give students success criteria which are graded in difficulty. This process helps students see clearly the next steps to take to improve their work. The majority of lessons now include regular checks on progress. Students find this helpful as it allows them and their teachers to see clearly what still needs to be achieved before the end of the lesson. Teachers praise well, where appropriate, although not all are giving rewards as often as they might. In the lessons observed during the second monitoring inspection, teachers managed students’ behaviour well and there was a productive atmosphere in classrooms.

< Good use is being made of targeted and short term support sessions in mathematics. These are small groups where students work on areas of weakness before they re-enter the main class.

 
Weaknesses in the school’s approaches to securing improvement:

 < Although there is increasing re-integration of disabled students or those who have special educational needs into classes, teachers are not yet effectively analysing how well students are making progress against academic targets.

< Appraisal of teachers’ performance is not yet consistently including targets which relate sharply and precisely enough to how well their students are progressing.

 External support

The support provided by the local authority continues to be good. Analysis is detailed and advice is perceptive. There has been particularly strong support for the assistant headteacher (inclusion) with the plans for the restructuring of provision for disabled students or those who have special educational needs.