Our vision for 2015 is achievement for all in a unique world-class school. One of the four pillars of this vision is developing and maintaining vibrant partnerships, many of which have been positively commented on by Ofsted in the last two inspections. Some of these partnerships are:-
In Year 10 Williams Lea provide a team of mentors to guide and support our pupils to develop a better understanding of the world of work. The mentoring programme is so powerful because its sets real challenges to the pupils, who have to reflect on their own skills, qualities and areas for development before applying for jobs within school that they carry out in their own free time throughout Year 10. The mentoring team form strong relationships with the individual pupils, who progress so rapidly that they are very well-prepared for their external work experience placements in Year 11. Williams Lea were awarded Business Partnership of the Year for their work with our school at the Learning Trust Educators Awards, 2010.
Another of the four pillars of our vision is placing creativity at the heart of excellent teaching and learning. We have a long history of working with partners from the creative sector, who can enrich our curriculum in many ways. This has been very powerful when the projects are jointly planned and evaluated with teachers. Although the creative and performing arts are a tangible strength of the school, we believe that creative learning opportunities should be found right the way across the curriculum. Sometimes this can happen as a result of cross-curricular working, or working with an external creative partner, but it can also be the result of organising learning differently within a subject e.g. through the consistent use of more open or higher-order questioning.
Multi-Disciplinary Team Partners
Not all of our pupils needs can be met in the classroom by teachers and teaching assistants alone. A large number of pupils need additional specialist support at some stage, and we work closely with other agencies to provide this. Sometimes pupils are withdrawn from lessons to receive this support or follow a tailored programme, but it is equally important for specialists from other disciplines to work with teachers and other staff to tailor the current learning environment to meet an individual or a group need that bit better. Our speech and language therapists, in particular, focus on this in-classroom support rather than withdrawal methods. Some of the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) are based in the school, while others, such as OT and physiotherapists, visit the school to assess and set programmes to be delivered by school staff.
Our MDT includes: pupil counselling, speech & language therapy, specialist CAMHS support, educational psychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, school nursing service, parent support advice, Connexions, and our own leads on SEN and Personal, Social & Health Education.