Academic Expectations and Aspirations in Senior

Presentation to Year 5/6 parents
Wednesday January 15th 2014 19.00-20.00
“Academic Expectations and Aspirations in
Senior School”
Gareth Johnson – Academic Deputy Head
The format for this evening
• Presentation – brief summary of Academic Development
in Senior School since September 2011 (40 minutes).
• Q/A – further clarification and anything else academic you
want to know about Senior School (20 minutes).
The underpinning themes in Senior School…
• We are constantly evaluating our own performance as a
Senior School and looking for ways to improve all aspects
of it.
• The new Senior School Management Team is extremely
proactive and quick in resolving all academic issues.
• We will always have ambition to be the independent
Senior School of choice both locally and further afield –
and we are getting there!
• The culture in Senior School is now such that all
colleagues (specifically Middle Leaders) take on major
• All colleagues are subscribed to a “Continued Academic
and Professional Development Plan”, whose aim is…
“…to always strive to become a better version of ourselves
and to never lose our heart.”
Breakdown of the presentation
The most important things we’ve been doing are…
• Enhancing the educational provision for our pupils.
• Tightening up.
• Increasing accountability of performance (pupils and
• Encouraging the best professional development
opportunities for staff, including making Teaching &
Learning the central theme for all internal training.
And the proof that it’s working is…
• Constantly improving external examination results, raised
entrance requirements and university entrance successes
including Oxbridge.
• Pupil (and staff) numbers and recruitment.
• The “state” of our Senior School Common Room.
Enhancement of educational provision
Curriculum review and new subjects.
Pupil voice.
The “flexible curriculum” and satisfied customers!
Provision for high-achieving pupils, including scholarship
assessments prior to joining.
• Learning support and EAL (English as an Additional
Language) reform.
• Teaching provision using subject specialists across the
whole College.
Tightening up
• The new school day.
• Pupil registration.
Accountability of performance
• Arrangements in years 7-11 and pupil monitoring via
teachers and form tutors (Academic Tutoring).
• The academic role of form tutors and Heads of Year.
• “Early intervention”.
• The new sixth form arrangements.
• Pupil interviews in years 11, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth.
Accountability of performance
Staff and departments
• Lesson drop-ins by Heads of Department (HoDs).
• Pupil work scrutiny via HoDs and via Form Tutors.
• Pupil academic reviews and pupil voice.
• Appraisal and lesson observation.
• Post external examination department accountability.
• The new “Department Review”.
Professional Development Opportunities
Middle Leadership Programme.
Senior Leadership Programme.
Twilight training and Teaching and Learning focus.
The “Shared Best Practice” Forum.
Whole school initiatives (e.g. appraisal reform).
HoD training days.
External opportunities – new/aspirant HoDs in the North
of England.
• (My role in the above and also in the Independent
Schools’ Qualification in Academic Management).
And the best part about it?
• It’s extremely cost-effective and in the most part free!
Specific Opportunities for Middle Leaders
Department Reviews.
Academic Gifted and Talented/Scholarship Co-ordinator.
Academic Data Manager.
Academic Assistant Timetabler.
(Examination Board IGCSE Principal Examiner and other
roles at awarding bodies).
The proof that it’s working?
External examination results
• Value-added scores in the past three years.
• Headline A-level results in June 2012/2013.
• Headline AS-results in June 2012/2013.
• Headline GCSE results in June 2012/2013.
• University entrance statistics (including Oxbridge).
Scholarship entry requirement
• Lower Sixth September 2013 (6 GCSE grade A*s).
Pupil numbers in Senior School
• September 2010: 505.
• September 2011: 507.
• September 2012: 517.
• September 2013: 535.
And this is by raising not lowering the academic bar!
Staff recruitment
• Director of Sport (additional role).
• Director of Outdoor Education (additional role).
• IT Manager (additional role).
• Computing teacher (additional role).
• The quality of applicants for jobs in Senior School.
The “state” of our Senior School Common Room
Perhaps most importantly…
• A happy and engaged body of teachers which prioritises
Teaching and Learning both in discussion and practice.
• A supportive and proactive new Senior Management
Team which empowers junior colleagues in order to give
the feel of collective academic responsibility in a bid to
continually raise academic standards in Senior School.
Thank you for listening…
Gareth Johnson
Academic Deputy Head
[email protected]

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