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16th May 2014

The Bromfords School and Sixth Form College

Newsletter Ofsted Feedback Special Edition Headteacher’s News Dear Parents/Carers We felt that it would be really helpful to provide you with an update on all the progress and improvements that have taken place and that are underway since our Mr M Coulson, Acting Headteacher & recent Ofsted visit in January. We Mr R Westergreen-Thorne, Executive Head have also undertaken a series of parents’ meetings and open school tours which have generated a number of key questions which we felt would be appropriate to share with all our parents. We have therefore entitled this newsletter as a ‘Special Edition’. We are sure you will enjoy all the articles relating to our work. We are also delighted to provide you with a summary of feedback we received from two visitors from The Department of Education last week. The visitors spent a day in the school talking with Governors, the Local Authority, both senior and middle leaders and then joined us on a tour of the school. They were able to report back that they could see clear progress and improvement from January, particularly in behaviour. We are all greatly encouraged by this important and positive feedback and have fed back this great news to students in assemblies this week.

DON’T FORGET! Next Parent Voice Meeting: Thursday, 12th June at 7pm Our Parent Voice sessions are clearly popular with those who attend and we would welcome more parents coming along.

All staff and students are proud to have their hard work acknowledged but equally we all accept there is still much to be done. Please enjoy reading about all the updates in this Special Edition.

Mr M Coulson Acting Headteacher

Mr R Westergreen-Thorne Executive Head

This edition of the Newsletter has been posted home to bring you up to date with developments at the school. Just a reminder that the Newsletter is published every other Friday and is normally given to all our students to bring home. Do check their bags to make sure that you get a copy.

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The Bromfords School and Sixth Form College

Student Voice One thing that is very important to us is the involvement of students in their learning. Student voice at The Bromfords School has been improving rapidly this year. Mrs Hörmann has introduced a system that enables all students to feel empowered and develop leadership across the school. The Student Executive Team simulates the Senior Leadership Team and consists of a Sixth Form Leader, other Sixth Form Deputies as well as the Year 11 Head Boy/ Head Girl and Senior Prefects. This group of student leaders meet weekly to discuss various issues, as well as manage and lead the form reps across year groups in fortnightly meetings. These issues are then taken further in School Council meetings and then finally fed back to the SLT and to the rest of the school in assemblies. Designated students take leadership in preparing these feedback presentations.

DON’T FORGET! Year 7 Parents’ Evening Thursday, 22nd May 2014 4.00pm - 7.00pm

The most recent question and answer session was based around issues raised by students across the school including positive behaviour, teaching and learning and the quality of the premises.

Data, Setting and Reports So that we can track the progress of our students and communicate this to you on a regular basis we now have a system of half termly assessments for all students. This clear picture of how they are doing is then linked to termly progress reports to parents. To support this development we introduced from January a much more accurate system of assessing students progress. This will increasingly have an impact upon students work and if you have any queries about your own children’s progress then do contact the school. Now that we have this accurate data on students potential and current progress we have made some adjustments to classes where students are set. This means that each set has children in it of similar potential which will make teaching and learning more effective for all staff and students.

Cover and Supply Teachers This is a high priority for parents and students alike and we have made significant changes to the system of cover including greater quality control over the work set by absent staff. We are reducing to a minimum the number of supply teachers we employ by taking on three extra Cover Supervisors, our own staff, who the children get to know. They started with us at the beginning of term and they will make a difference as they take lessons for absent staff.

Additional Support Sessions It was suggested that we advertise extra sessions such as revision and catch up opportunities in the Newsletter. This is a good idea but, by their very nature, some catch ups need to be at short notice and do not fit with Newsletter deadlines but we do agree with the general point. The same applies to extra-curricular activities. The posters advertising the activities on offer this term are now in Form Rooms for students to see.

Lost property can be viewed on Monday, 31st March from 3:15pm – 3:30pm in the schools main foyer. Any items unclaimed will be donated to a local charitable

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The Bromfords School and Sixth Form College

Academy Status Our Academy status has nothing to do with our current position as a school. The majority of secondary schools across the country are now academies and all schools, whatever their status, are inspected in the same way.

Marking The evidence from both our monitoring and from external visitors is that there have been improvements and that most books are marked regularly. However, some examples have been brought to our attention where this is still not happening. As a result we have reviewed our monitoring arrangements and made changes to ensure that all books are regularly marked. Your help in bringing any concerns to our attention would be very welcome.

Homework ‘Show My Homework’ is being rolled out across Years 7-10 and has been well received. For those of you yet to see it ‘Show My Homework’ is a computer programme where staff enter information about the homework they set and you as parents can look at home to see what your children have been given. At the moment you are able to access the information via your children’s classes but by September we will be in a position to enable you to simply enter their name.

Communication A number of points were raised in the recent meetings for parents and examples were given where we could have done better. This is very important to us and we are trying hard to address any issues that are brought to our attention. Any questions or queries will be followed up and the new website which will arrive later this term will help to make a difference.

Inspection Some concerns were raised about how students now felt following the inspection report. All year groups have had a recent assembly to thank them for their support and go through some of the improvements and changes that have been made.

Feedback We are going to continue to canvas the views of students, parents and staff about the school over the next few weeks.

Year 6 A number of excellent points were made at the recent parents meetings about Year 6 students moving to Bromfords. As you may be aware we have appointed Chris Holmes as ‘Head of Year 6’. This is a new post to support the transition of Year 6 students to Bromfords. This will help ensure that the transition to Year 7 is as smooth and effective as possible.

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The Bromfords School and Sixth Form College

Behaviour We have been working very hard to ensure that behaviour is good in lessons and around the school. Our view is that behaviour is good in many lessons but that there is still some unsettled behaviour at times. This is being addressed and has been very positively noted by parents who have taken our recent tours of the school. Visitors who come to the school are increasingly positive about what they are seeing.

Safety, bullying and being happy and settled at school It was very reassuring to see the views expressed at the recent parents meetings regarding the very important areas of safety, bullying and children feeling happy and settled at school.

Governors’ News During the last few weeks all governors have participated in the parent meetings held to discuss the last Ofsted report. They highlighted several recent appointments which ensure the school now has the management capacity and experience it needs to drive through rapid change. Executive Head Richard Westergreen-Thorne has proven experience of improving schools in difficulty and is ably supported by Martin Coulson. John Edwards is leading the work to improve teaching skills with passion and professionalism, and Jochen Tree has ensured the school now has the systems necessary to determine student progress, and thus teaching requirements, on a regular and personalised basis. This team is now leading a substantial programme to restore and enhance professional standards across the school. There are individual work plans for teaching, academic achievement, behaviour and leadership, each of which is supported by a governor who chairs the project board. Progress is also monitored by an Ofsted inspector and we are optimistic that standards can be fully restored by Spring Term 2015. Significant progress has already been achieved. Governors, as directors of the company which runs the school, take full responsibility for its current position and apologise for the failings which have occurred. We would, however, like to emphasise that the school remains sound on key dimensions. The 2013 GCSE outcome of 58.5% passes graded A*-C, including English and Maths, is only just below the national average of 60% and our forecast for 2014 is 63%. The school’s A level results in terms of student progress are better than the national average and, whilst we acknowledge that some low level misbehaviour is disrupting a few classes, the vast majority of students are diligent and hardworking young people. The parent meetings provided much welcomed feedback and we encourage you to continue providing your suggestions for improvement.

Grang e Avenue Wickford Essex

Lastly, we are always keen to strengthen the governing body and if you, or anyone you know, feel you could make a contribution to the work described above we would be pleased to hear from you. Please write, enclosing a CV, to Don Morris, Chair of Governors, at the school. Page 4

16th may 2014 newsletter  
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