In 2013 teaching and learning was graded outstanding by Ofsted with over 40% of lessons observed being awarded a grade one. This strong profile is reflected in the regular learning walks and lesson observations that are all part of the internal quality assurance process of the Academy. Regular pupil voice activities indicate that students enjoy their learning across the subjects and this is reflected in positive outcomes. Student engagement is also reflected in our high retention figures in the sixth form and also extremely low NEET figure.
Two senior leaders with specific responsibility for teaching and learning work with a wider team to continuously drive up standards.
Teachcasts and CPD
The staff are regularly given opportunities to share best practice. Colleagues disseminate ideas during morning briefings and the focus is always on practical ideas to engage students and develop pedagogy. We have a rich and diverse training programme for staff development and teaching and learning is always at the forefront.
Staff have access to an online resource bank of learning tools and games which can be adapted to the different subject areas. This has been a welcome addition to classroom practice and we are always trying to embrace new technology to enhance the learning experience.
Skilled practitioners have been appointed as teaching and learning coaches to support colleagues with specific areas for development. This new initiative has proven successful and all staff are encouraged to develop themselves continually.
In line with Ofsted practice we no-longer grade lessons, however, we have a rigorous quality assurance programme involving leaders at all levels. Included in the process are lesson drop-ins, teacher voice, student voice and book sampling alongside formal lesson observations.
The Academy trains many staff new to the profession including School Direct and PGCE students. A programme of development is available for both trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers who work alongside mentors.