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Bathgate Academy

Standards & Quality Report

Session 2012/2013


Introduction In session 2012- 2013, Raising Attainment was the overarching priority in the School Improvement Plan. This report details the progress made with the plan and is set within the context of Curriculum for Excellence and measured against the Quality Indicators within ‘Child at the Centre’ and ‘How Good is our School?’ Areas for Development Session 2012 – 2013 Self evaluation by staff, and audits of the views if pupils, parents/carers and stakeholders resulted in the following areas of development being identified and incorporated within the School Improvement Plan for session 2012 -2013. Progress made Priority: Raising Attainment Area for Development 1: Continue to develop high quality learning experiences that encourage a climate of high expectation, success and support with a direct impact on pupil experience and achievement. Targets: 1) Further develop support structure to continue to ensure that all pupil needs are met Very good progress has been made on the restructuring of pupil support within the school with the new pupil support model ready to operate in 2013-14. Communication of the changes has been made to pupils, parents and staff. These changes will allow more focus on tracking and monitoring within the teaching side of Pupil Support. Support for Learning have worked closely with other Faculties within the school to further develop the working practices of ASN pupils. This will continue to have a positive impact on all pupils in the school. 2) Further develop a learning climate to promote resilience, responsibility and a growth mindset Continued effort has gone into this area to build on previous years where selfefficacy was targeted as the school tried to encourage more pupil responsibility for their own learning. This year pupils in S1/2 were given learning logs and all staff, parents and pupils were shown how they were to be used to traffic light lessons, as well as provide a homework diary. There were many positive examples of good use of this within the school, particularly within the first term. There were enough positive signs to suggest that as the school takes this idea into profiling that pupils will respond and that ‘stickability’ will be where extra effort should be addressed.


This year the school moved to a more active tracking and monitoring system utilising SEEMIS. There has been good work here with evidence of pupil/staff interaction around working grades etc informing practice. It would be fair to say that whilst the system has started well there is recognition that more training will be required before staff use the system to the full. 3) Foster a coherent and consistent approach to a positive learning environment Very good work has been done within the school in maintaining the initiative on restorative practice. All staff have been fully trained previously and this year there was a ‘reminder’ session. Pupil discipline has responded really well to this nonpunitive/take responsibility for you actions approach and this has been one of many factors in reducing the level of serious disruption within the school. The Rights Respecting School award has been maintained and developed with a development post holder in the school looking to move the school onto a level 2 award. All pupils take part in activities related to this, with a strong group of pupils working to take it forward. The Head Teacher launched discipline focus points throughout the year, on low level issues like timekeeping etc. These focus periods allowed staff to home in on repeated small scale disruption and bring this to the attention of Year Heads quickly. This allowed these pupils to be spoken to early and brought back into working well quicker than had perhaps previously been the case.

Next steps: The evaluation of last year’s Improvement plan feeds directly into next years. Many of the points above continue to require work in the coming year. Development continues in the new Support for Learning structure and work in ensuring staff make best use of data, and the resources of SfL will be to the fore. Work will continue in profiling and providing young people the vocabulary of skills. This will further empower pupils and make them part of their own learning. Work will be undertaken in several areas with SEEMIS building on the TMR process began this year, but also on its use in behaviour referrals (as well as a merit system). The school will continue with its RRSA and restorative work, as well as appropriate discipline foci when needed. Area for Development 2: Continue to develop and plan for the major structural changes resulting from CfE/National Award implementation Targets 1) Continue to develop an assessment and reporting structure in line with CfE.


Major work is still ongoing in this area. This year there have been ISIS days given over to the discussion of assessment and moderation with examples from other schools and sectors disseminated and used. This has given staff more confidence in their own judgements and has led the school down the line of trying to provide more opportunities for moderation activities/cross marking etc. Reporting timelines have been changes and again work has begun on peer cross checking of reports, as well as clearer instruction on the type of comments that should be produced. This will continue to have a positive impact on the monitoring of progress and the identification of next steps for all pupils. 2) Explore the delivery of sustainable cross-curricular projects and interdisciplinary learning A very good start was made on Inter Disciplinary Learning with the development post holder producing an audit of all Faculties work and linking these with higher order thinking skills. This will lead to Faculties developing closer links over the next year, and a real focus in all areas on telling pupils the skills that they are developing. This meta-cognition in turn, will assist pupils in their profiling and give them ownership of their own learning. Improvement groups within the school, as well as individual staff have led events within school related to Numeracy, Literacy and in particular Health and Well –being. The Comenius link in the school continues to build and impacts positively across the school. 3) Ensure that all the elements of CfE are included in the broad general education and link to the senior phase Again major work has been undertaken in this area in the past few years. Courses are audited and faculties have built on this work to produce more specialised courses for youngsters in S3 (these choices do not preclude any course choice in S4). Pupils have access a much richer curriculum, with innovative ways to overtake the experiences and outcomes emerging. Use of mobile technology in PE and Science, as well as presentations and themed events are becoming common. Electives produced and are running in S3. 4) Prepare National Awards for full implementation (if required) for session 2013/14 Staff ISIS day looked at possibility of ‘banking’ units. Staff have kept up to date with networks and a small group are actively involved with SQA activities. Staff have been preparing courses for next year with consultation with colleagues from other schools who are a further year down the line. Course outlines are underway and schemes of work are being produced. Pupils will benefit from a well considered and thought out plan for their National Qualifications. Next steps: The school will continue to build on its links with Primary, particularly with regard to CfE. ISIS days have been set aside for discussions and work on moderation and assessment across sectors. Work will also be undertaken on reviewing CfE at a strategic level and a consultation on any changes to S1-3


provision. Work will be ongoing on cross-curricular and inter-disciplinary work as the school builds on the work of the development post holder last year. There will be significant time allocations to faculties to allow for continued work on the implementation of the Nationals. Area for Development 3: Continue to build and develop high quality experiences for staff development including opportunities for leadership and professional dialogue Targets 1) Look to set up new working group model that encourages leadership and use this to develop a more task orientated Improvement Group process New working group model set up and delivering mixed results. Some groups EG AAL have produced very good work-producing a policy, piloting and then using an ISIS session to show the impact in the classroom. This inconsistency has led directly to the introduction of the Workstream idea. 2) Increase opportunities for job shadowing/mentoring and coaching There has been continued development of the In-house CPD programme with some very good courses being offered both on INSET days and Fri afternoon. Evaluation from staff has been very positive but the main concern is that there are very few staff attending the Fri sessions. There has been good work with the mentoring within the school. The Deputes mentoring development post holders and a strong probationer mentor team. Coaching is at a very early stage with only one member of staff being coached this year. Peer Learning Visits have been patchy, even after it was introduced to the QA cycle, however the majority of staff have had at least one peer visit. 3) Refine the current Professional Review and Development procedures Limited work has gone on this area and the procedures are still basically the same as last years, however there is now a better link with PRD and CPD and a strong wish from staff for improvement in this area. Next steps: A major change to improvement Groups will see the staff take part in an identified workstream. These will be identified by Senior Management and will involve time over and above (already agreed through Working Time agreement) the five Friday afternoons of previous years. It is thought that some of these


workstreams will last longer than a calendar year. There will be continued development of the school’s in-house CPD programme, together with a renewed effort for peer learning visits, this will become part of the validated self-evaluation cycle of the school. There is a need to revisit the procedures for Personal Review and Development and either through a workstream (or individual remit) this will be addressed. Area for Development 4: Continue to build a learning community and increase positive perceptions of the school Targets 1) Increase positive perception of school in local community Good work continues to be done in this area. A very impressive, and up to date web site has been set up, with a healthy amount of daily activity on it. The school newsletter has benefitted from having a dedicated member of staff working on it. Participation in local events – Gala day/Highland Games/Theatre and Music productions is very good. The school still seeks to develop links with local employers but good work continues to be done with events like the mock interviews.

2) Address the Health and Well-being needs of the school community There has been very good work in this area throughout the school. A Health and Well-being audit, using the tool developed at network level was very positive and showed many examples of work being developed and utilised across the school in this area. There have been stand alone events including ‘Seafood in Schools’, health promotion weeks that all give learners a greater understanding of personal health goals. 3) Further develop an aspirational learning community There is a continued drive within the school to develop even higher expectations from pupils, improve their engagement and motivation. Initiatives such as our work in MCMC, close links with Colleges and real effort from Faculties in making the links between the curriculum and positive destinations are helping drive these aspirations amongst pupils. There is an increase in attainment within the school, and a decrease in indiscipline. Again the work in this area contributes significantly to this.

Next steps: To continue to build on these developments the school the school will seek to find ways of encouraging and acknowledging wider achievement. We will seek to develop courses that meet the needs and wants of our pupils whilst still raising aspirations.


Context of the School

Bathgate Academy is a non denominational school which serves the town of Bathgate and surrounding area. The school aims to provide a secure, supportive and challenging environment based on mutual respect where staff and pupils develop their skills to the highest level. We also seek to promote education as an active partnership through our home and wider community links. Effective cluster working ensures continuity with our five associated Primary schools: Balbardie, Blackburn, Murrayfield, Simpson and Boghall. The roll in session 2012-2013 was 913. Young people’s attendance was above the national average. Free school meal entitlement is, SIMD is decile 4. 28% of pupils go onto Higher Education, 37% go into Further Education, 18% into employment and 5% into training. The pupils in the school belong to one of three houses which form the basis of class organisation. In S1-3 pupils follow Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes. In S3 pupils select eight subjects for deeper study and can choose electives or a 2nd modern language. Pupils are timetabled in one cohort in S4-S6. Currently senior pupils choose up to 5 subjects but, after consultation, this will become up to 6 subjects with the introduction of new National courses.

How well do children and young people learn and achieve? (1.1; 2.1)

The overall quality is very good and we continue to offer a comprehensive and rounded experience. Our success rate with positive destinations continues to improve. Study Support provision is improving with most subject areas benefiting from high levels of participation. Sporting and cultural links between school and community are improving. Students have achieved at local, national and international level. The vast majority of pupils show interest and are on task during lessons and, in particular, pupils demonstrate a high level of motivation when learning tasks engage them in active learning in a collaborative setting. Pupils in most subject areas enjoy high quality learning experiences combined with improving feedback. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and almost all are aware of this. Pupils are improving in their ability to self-manage their learning. Pupils have been given more opportunities to adapt to different group arrangements for learning They will benefit further from improved consistency in the quality of their learning experiences. The school has a well established but evolving transition process that includes information to support the transition in learning. This process will be developed further by providing a framework for moderation and standardisation for staff to discuss progress in Literacy and Numeracy as well as improving consistency in Methodology. Almost all pupils enjoy coming to and learning in school. Teaching staff use a wide range of approaches to provide stimulating learning activities. Aspects of Assessment for Learning and Cooperative Learning are becoming increasingly embedded across the


school with some areas of excellent practice. Strengths

Learners attainment across nearly all indicators improved dramatically which is evidenced in STACs data Most pupils are confident, responsible and contributed well to activities organised by the school and community Learners are generally motivated and participate actively in their learning. Learners are beginning to become aware of the development of their own skills needed for school, work and life. Learners awareness of profiles (in junior school) and their responsibility for their own learning is beginning to increase. Departments are increasingly using IT solutions, including edmodo to track pupil achievement and learning interventions School has improved tracking and monitoring approaches to ensure a more sustained and robust personalised approach to gathering and using pupil data. Learners can expect a more personalised approach to ensure a successful learner journey through school Pupil learning logs are developing and embedding the need for pupil responsibility to learning Learners continue to participate in school assemblies, Charity events, pupil voice, RRSA events allowing the sustained development of wider school and community responsibility Learners leavers positive destinations continue to improve. Pupil exclusions and incidents of serious disruption have dramatically declined. Areas for Development

The structure of Pupil Voice and formal learner evaluation of learning and teaching needs to be enhanced yet further. The accreditation of leadership opportunities for all pupils, especially at senior level, needs to be enhanced and developed More work may be required to ensure breadth, depth and progression in the Es and Os across the school, especially as we review our BGE. Further progress is required to ensure that all learners in all classes are aware of the development of skills and that this is tracked effectively across the school. Further development of whole school tracking and monitoring procedures is required to ensure consistency, coherence and impact. Seemis should be used to track all pupil interventions including behaviour. There is evidence of a small number of pupils who lack motivation in a small number of classes that still needs to be addressed The development and access of quality and regular updates to ensure a focus on learner positive destinations needs to be improved. Although good quality feedback by most teachers is evident to make pupils aware of progress, a more consistent structure across the school needs to be implemented to ensure all pupils are aware of where they are on their


learning journey The priorities in the school improvement plan need to have greater impact on classroom delivery of our core business.

How well is the school helping children and young people to develop and learn? (5.1; 5.3)

Our curriculum has been developed with a clear rationale based on shared values. It is designed to promote challenge, enjoyment, breadth and depth, progression, relevance, coherence, personalisation and choice in learning for all pupils. The curriculum takes account of our local circumstances and of local and national advice. Clear pathways showing learner journeys have been constructed. Teams and individual teachers have introduced well-considered innovations to meet the needs of learners. Class teachers are building capacity to deliver a consistent approach to differentiating tasks and planning activities to demonstrate an improvement in all learners’ progress. Lessons are well planned and generally teaching is well paced and appropriately brisk. Constraints in ICT resources are being addressed and investment in methodology training for teaching staff is improving the quality of learning activities planned for our full range of learners. We ensure we implement legislation and guidelines on all appropriate child planning and safety. We regularly meet staff to clarify responsibilities in implementing legislation and council policies. We invest in appropriate training and implementation of practice with support staff and this is reflected in positive feedback from parents and other stakeholders. Strengths

The vast majority of staff constantly develop, review and implement curricular and pedagogical change on a regular basis to improve the pupil experience Work with our cluster partners is improving especially within the context of literacy. Work with DORA and introduction of literacy jotters are having a positive impact. Development of the S3 BGE has been on-going and based on the Es and Os. The imminent introduction of a new Pupil Support model has been based on evidence gathered throughout the academic year to ensure all pupils have access to regular learning interventions without reducing pastoral support The introduction of our Nurture Base to support pupils with greatest needs is impacting positively. New spreadsheet providing information on learners needs is used by the majority of staff to impact positively on teaching and learning. More robust arrangements for induction into the next phase of learning, including partnership working with SDS, Transition to Work continues to ensure our learners are prepared for positive and sustained destinations. Changes to the transition programme for p7-S1 has been positively received by pupils and primaries. Opportunities for inter-disciplinary learning are evident throughout S1 – S3 in some faculty areas.


Areas for Development

Although the BGE curriculum currently has a clear rationale and design opportunities for certificated personal achievement are required, as is further examination of our S3 provision. Promotion of literacy, numeracy and health & wellbeing takes place throughout subjects in the BGE where relevant. However, this may be required to be better audited and promoted. Department SQR indicate that working and collaborating with a range of partners needs to be improved. Faculties need to ensure they offer courses for all earners including vocational accredited programmes. More effective arrangements are required to ensure continuity and progression which builds on prior attainment in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing Further planning of assessment, moderation, curriculum and sharing of standards is required across most curricular areas. Continue the development and recognition of skills progression across the school and importantly how we build on the skills development work currently in place in many of our primary cluster schools Best practice examples of reporting to parents needs to be developed and allowing staff opportunities to view peer reports to build

How well is the school improving the quality of its work? (5.9)

Individually and collectively, staff are committed to improving the school’s performance through enhancing experiences and outcomes for all our youngsters. There has been a collective improvement in understanding the need to move forward as an organisation. The Improvement Planning process has had increased stakeholder involvement and the promotion of this feedback culture will develop further as we provide formal mechanisms and channels for our pupils, parents, partners and staff to comment on current provision and assist in taking the school forward. Strengths

Department STACS meetings ensured all staff were aware of SQA attainment data and how it directly affected their department figures. Introduction of school wide focus periods to drive forward improvement quickly has successfully impacted on school ethos, improving daily interactions between pupils and staff. Introduction of CPD sessions on each In-Set day based on meeting learners needs was actively encouraged with all staff and learners benefiting from this. Introduction of AQL allowing developments to be reviewed and evaluated quickly to gauge success or otherwise.


Staff continue to ensure appropriate mentoring and support for students and newly qualified teachers. Staff continue to use self-evaluation to help share good practice and this has become a feature at departmental meetings. Pupil mentoring programme across senior year groups positively impacting on pupil motivation and attainment. Staff reflect on current practice and evaluate any new initiatives, ideas and changes which have been introduced when evaluating their departmental improvement plans. Introduction of new ICT is beginning to impact positively on learner experiences. Areas for Development

CYPT move into a designated space within the Academy. Opportunity for closer working with these partners. Staff to engage in a range of professional learning to support Curriculum for Excellence implementation including raising attainment strategies, developing good practice in assessment, moderation and profiling; and becoming familiar with the new qualifications allowing them to develop courses and programmes. A new self-evaluation processes to be put in place utilising a VSE approach to ensure our existing QA programme is complimented with more robust evaluative and validated evidence. Staff Workstream groups to be formed to replace previous Improvement Groups to provide a strategic, coherent approach to various aspects of learning and teaching.

How well is the school working with partners? (8.1)

We engage well with a wide range of partners who make positive contributions to young people’s learning in and out of school. However, across departments work needs to be done to improve the range of partnership working and how it directly impacts on pupil learning. The introduction of a business links co-ordinator will assist in this planning. Guidance continues to work effectively with partners to ensure learners have appropriate and high quality access to a diverse range of employment pathways. Partner links especially in the field of health and well-being are established and produce excellent outcomes for learners. Strengths

Effective partnership working exists in certain areas of the school which impacts on support for our learners particularly when supporting pupils to positive destinations. College and campus arrangements allow greater personalisation and choice for pupils in terms of courses. Regular information evening for parents regarding curricular change has been


on-going. Use of Head Teacher Surgery has been effectively used by parents. The appointment of a school businesses link development officer will allow further partnership working to support the development of skills for learning, life and work this enriching learning and improving achievements. Regular internal hub meetings ensure our most vulnerable learners are well supported. The Anti-Bullying group carried out surveys of Pupil, Staff and Parent views of bullying in the school. The results are now being used to inform the review of our Anti-Bullying Policy Areas for Development

Overall Faculty involvement in partnership working viewed as a weakness and therefore an areas of future development Parental involvement in school life is improving but still remains a concern. Closer working with Parent Council is effective. Use of parental questionnaires at parent meetings will be introduced Continue to develop parental knowledge of CfE and consultation on any proposed changes. Greater strategic planning with CLD is required Joint planning and evaluation is required with all partners to maximise benefits for individual young people.

How does the school ensure equality and inclusion and promote diversity across the school?

MCMC work across the school continues to be highly effective. The development of the New ‘Support Hub’ faculty which will co-ordinate all aspects of Pupil Support is underway and will be fully implemented in August 2014. Monitoring and tracking, development of Raising Attainment strategies, final consultation on our Senior Phase and work to ensure all pupils have access to appropriate courses and levels are all on track and are producing positive outcomes for our learners. Charity events and Induction opportunities, potential links with a school in Malawi, staff development opportunities to build expertise within EAL and continual development of our Rights Respecting philosophy all ensure we meet our wider obligations.


What stage is the school at in taking forward Curriculum for Excellence?

The school has consulted on our Senior Phase proposals with all relevant stakeholders and will be ready to introduce this in June 2014. Learner entitlements are being met although there is still concern over our ability to meet the requirements surrounding physical education and religious education entitlement in S4. The school will begin consultation over our S3 curriculum to ensure it reflects the values and principles of our BGE and that it articulate fully with Senior Phase planning. Improvement Priority 2013 -2014: Raising Attainment What are your key areas of development to take this priority forward? Our key areas of development focus are;

Priority 1: To continue to develop a curriculum that is appropriate and best meets the needs of all learners allowing them to attain at the highest level possible. Priority 2: To continue to improve the pupil experience within the classroom by embedding effective and high quality teaching and learning Priority 3: To develop, implement and evidence a robust QA and Self Evaluation culture of improvement which has a direct impact on the pupil learning experience. Priority 4: To continue to build a collaborative culture where improvement and sharing of good practice is embedded in our school ethos

Based on the above information, at this point in time, how would you evaluate your school on the following quality indicators? 1.1 2.1 5.1 5.3 5.9 8.1

Improvements in performance Learners’ experience Curriculum Meeting learning needs Improvement through self-evaluation Partnership with the community, educational establishments, agencies and employers

Very Good Good Good Good Good Good


Bathgate Academy Standards & Quality Report 2012 2013