Each year we review all aspects of the College’s performance in a document called the Transformation Plan. As part of this process we identify the areas we will look to improve upon further. A key part of this process is the use of surveys of staff, students and parents which identify areas we are particularly strong at as well as those that need developing.
This image shows what parents think we do well at:
It is encouraging to see all three groups of stakeholders recognising the range of opportunities as being a strength but also how good teaching is alongside excellent facilities and also the continued emphasis on the individual student being at the heart of what we do. However, we are not complacent and continually strive to improve. This year we have identified the following areas for improvment:
There continues to be national changes to GCSE and the KS3 national curriculum that the College needs to respond to in order to ensure we are best meeting our students’ needs. We are responding by looking at IGCSE courses for our most able, alongside traditional GCSEs and applied options to ensure every student continues to be successful at the College.
HARINGTON FREE SCHOOL
The College has for a number of years been concerned about the quality of the local post-16 provision, particularly for our most able students who struggle to afford to travel or find the fees for an independent school. There is good provision locally for foundation courses and those wishing to pursue an applied route. It is our intention to consult on creating a Free School with Uppingham Community College that would cater for the needs of our most academic students.
There have been a number of changes to teachers’ terms and conditions over the last 12 months including the introduction of performance related pay progression. We have not yet as an academy explored the possibility of introducing different contracts for teaching and support staff but see advantages in doing so. The purpose of this strand is to ensure the successful implementation of the former and explore with Federation directors the advantages of the latter.
The professional development strand was very successful last year and has firmed the view that we are well placed to consider an application to become a teaching school. The College has been appointed as a National Support School which recognises its capacity to bring about improvement in other schools. It is our intention to offer training to teachers from across the locality which would encompass initial teacher training through to preparation for headship. This will be an effective way to both train our own staff and retain our existing staff through the opportunities this would bring.
Assessment is becoming more important with the national trend towards linear examinations, it is therefore critical that we are using high quality assessments throughout the academic year that accurately predicts student outcomes. This will enable parents to support their children more effectively and the College to intervene.
Due to the link with pay progression and the changes to the Ofsted framework it is critical to ensure our observations of teachers are accurate. We also need to ensure that the new performance reviews are consistently carried out so that all staff are treated fairly.
BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
We already offer a broad range of activities that are designed to promote independence and resilience whilst broadening students’ experiences. This year we are looking to extend this to include a range of scholarship opportunities to offer our most talented students experiences that will allow them to compete nationally in sport and music, as well as academically.
The College has made a significant contribution to developing the use of technology to improve the student experience. To sustain this requires significant investment in staffing and resources. Our aim remains to have a national reputation in the use of technology.
The Federation organisations of the College, Primary and Nursery are all maintained to a very high standard. It is the intention this year to explore an extension to the College to allow an additional 180 students to attend. We are looking to source a building suitable for the Harington Free School. Catmose Nursery is very successful and over subscribed