News from Mr Ramsey

CURRICULUM INITIATIVES 2018/19

Over the last few months, Mr Freakley and the Heads of Department have been working on a number of curriculum developments that will make a positive impact on progress, skills and outcomes next year. The following changes have been agreed:

Target Setting and Reporting

Having reviewed the government’s changes to assessment at Key Stage Three, we will be adopting the following strategy:

Our Key Stage Three curriculum runs in Years 7 and 8 with GCSEs starting in Year 9. In Years 7 and 8, we will use the national database to generate student targets. This database is called Fischer Family Trust. We use the FFT20 target which creates a target based on the levels achieved by the top 20% of students of a similar ability.

However, instead of having one single target, we will give each student a range and refer to this as the Minimum Target Level expected at GCSE. The ranges will be: Levels 7-9, 6-8, 5-7, 4-6, 3-5 and 2-4. This takes into account that students do exceed their targets at GCSE and setting one expected outcome target in Years 7 and 8 is too soon; we need to give all our students the chance to out perform their targets.

In Year 9, we will look at all of the data generated over Year 7 and Year 8 and then set one Minimum Target Level for GCSE.

In Years 12 and 13, we will set targets for each subject chosen by using the national database generated by ALPS.

Reporting

We will be moving to one ongoing report which will have all the data in relation to progress, attendance, consequences/rewards and attitude to learning. It will also contain Key Learning Guidance from each subject building up to the exams and one form tutor comment a year.

For Year 7 and Year 8 it will have the following included:

Subject

Teacher

MTL Range

Current Performance

Attitude to Learning

Maths

6-8

On Target

Good

Attendance

Lates

Rewards

Consequences

96%

4

28

10

Current Performance will be judged against the MTL (Minimum Target Level) and will be judged as: Above Target, On Target, Below Target. Attitude to learning will take into account effort and attitude in lessons. This will be judged as Outstanding, Good, Inconsistent or Unsatisfactory.

For Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11 it will look like:

Subject

Teacher

MTL

Current Perfor- mance

Predicted Level

Attitude to Learning

English

6

4+

5+

Good

Attendance

Lates

Rewards

Consequences

95%

4

20

10

The additions to 9, 10 and 11 reporting are: it will now be one MTL; we will now report fine levels within the level, so that we can see if a student is at the top, middle or lower end of the level and we will now also include a Predicted Level for the end of GCSE. This shows where we anticipate a student being based on all current data when they complete their GCSEs.

Assessments and Data Drops

Years 11 and 13 will remain with assessments being based on tests. For other years, we will move to a data drop timetable where teachers will use: tests, classwork, home learning and any other indicators from ongoing learning to provide a current level of progress and a prediction of progress in 9, 10 and 11. Formal exams remain in place for all years.

Home learning

This will be our updated approach to “homework.” We want to develop more independent skills and provide students from Year 7 onwards with resources and strategies that are successful at GCSE and Post 16 study and build their academic confidence and mental resilience throughout their school career. English, Maths, Science, Geography, History and Modern Languages will set Homelearning tasks as present but will also focus more on: Book Polishing, Mind Maps, Study Skills, Text Marking, RAG (Red Amber Green) learning and ongoing key learning. Other subjects will be focused on setting learning tasks which develop skills.

As part of this process, students will be provided with two books/folders. They will have an assessment book/folder in which all of their key learning tasks, assessments and tests will be completed. Each of these will have an Assessment For Learning response from the teacher and the student will set individual learning targets based on the marking and feedback received. Students will then be provided with a class book/folder. This will contain all planning, book polishing, mind maps, RAG and resources created to develop their learning. We will be teaching these skills across all year groups from September.

We believe that these changes will have a positive impact on outcomes.

Headmaster’s commendations

This week I would like to congratulate Benedict Aird 9Y for his outstanding presentation of work and book polishing in English.

Also Domagoj Mlinaric in 7Y for spending 5 hours on his homework to produce an outstanding hydraulically controlled robot. The best robot I’ve seen to date!

And finally, Alfie Chambers and Alfie Williamson who have been fantastic helping pick up litter around the school!

Site Security and Safeguarding for Pupils, Parents and Visitors

A reminder that all visitors are requested to enter the school via the Brampton Road entrance and to present themselves at Reception where they will be signed in/recorded using the Inventory Visitor Management System and issued with an identification badge. During the school day, no visitors should park in the Jennings Road car park. Pupils who arrive late for school must sign in at Reception. Any pupil who is late for games for any reason and is unable to walk to Sandpit Lane with their Year Group, must report to Reception.

P A Ramsey

Headmaster

Successful Ofsted Inspection at Verulam School

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