Teaching and learning remains a high priority for the Academy and a program for development has been developed to ensure that learners are given a learning experience that is both varied and engaging.
The Academy has appointed senior leaders with specific responsibility for teaching & learning / pedagogy to ensure its continued high profile. A teaching and learning team of ‘outstanding’ staff, with representatives from across the majority of clusters, support this process and ensure teaching and learning remains a priority within the faculties through sharing good practice.
Lesson gradings using Ofsted criteria for 2011/12 shows that the majority of lessons are good or outstanding. Senior leaders continue a high presence within lessons. Middle leaders continue to visit lessons within their clusters on a regular basis and have an excellent understanding of their area of learning.
The new training programme for 2012-13 has been developed to meet the needs of the Academy and its staff. The program continues the development of teaching and learning, gives opportunities for CPD, supports and develops staff with their classroom practise and reviews elements of key areas on a regular basis. All of these sessions ensure good practise is shared cross-curricular across the Academy.
Students in year 7 have completed a PLTS ‘passport’ which has enabled them to identify transferable skills across the curriculum.
The Excellence Centre and Skills for Life provide both short and long term bespoke support for students in more challenging circumstances. The SENCO has trained staff in the effective use of LSAs in lessons. Many subject areas are confident and consistent in the use of layered success criteria.
Most pupils have good literacy and numeracy skills as evidenced by the high percentage of pupils that achieve a level 5 or above in English and Maths at K. S. 3 and a Grade C or above at K. S. 4. Students whose skills are weaker are given extra support during the early stages of K. S. 3 to enhance and strengthen their knowledge and skills. Pupil voice indicates that many pupils enjoy these subjects and realise the importance of gaining a qualification in both subjects to further their education or gain employment.
Sixth Form student voice interviews have indicated very high levels of student enjoyment in many areas of the curriculum. Students have a good awareness of the UMS marking system as well as a greater knowledge and understanding of the structure of courses. They were clear that they placed much value on the quality and availability of support in the lead up to examinations.
Student retention rates in years 12 and 13 and from 12 to 13 are very high and evidence high levels of student satisfaction with courses.