School Summary Self Evaluation

Plymouth High School for Girls: School Summary Self Evaluation 2018-2019

School Context

Inner city selective 11–18 girls’ grammar school: entry by 11+ exam (593 Yrs 7–11) and entry to Sixth Form (187) requiring APS of 5.5 and above incl. English and Maths (grade 6). Majority come from within the city with 21.20% from outlying areas.

Students have a range of social backgrounds, from prosperous outlying villages to more challenging areas of the city. PP budget for 2018/2019 is £159,380. 4.73% state that English is not their home language of which 2.55% are EAL students. In the last 6 years, 16.89% of students have been eligible for FSM (and E6), which is a higher average than other grammar schools in the area.

School motto "For Life Not School We Learn" drives our vision. Members of South West Academic Trust; partnership of 11 SW grammar schools + Exeter University; member of Plymouth CiC working with 16 Secondary’s and Primaries. International work is particularly strong (International Schools Award reaccredited 2015-18); 12-year partnership with Ahantaman School, Ghana. Links with Confucius Institute China.

Students benefit from many enrichment opportunities: additional GCSEs: Astronomy, STEM activity; Formula 24 Greenpower race; National Bar Mock Champions 2013-2017; Mock election 2015, Model UN, public speaking competitions, subject-linked visits; French/German exchanges, House Festivals; charity events; Duke of Edinburgh Award; Young Enterprise Winners 2016 Plymouth, SW Regional finalists, Gold Sports Mark Award; inspirational speakers - local politicians and Heather Fell, an Olympian athlete.

Leadership and Management Grade – 2

  • Successful OFSTED (Nov. 2016) confirmed school’s self-evaluation rating the school as good.
  • “Leadership team has maintained the good quality of education since the last inspection” and; “has addressed all areas identified in the last inspection”; “senior leaders and governors have a common and accurate view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses”, “the school development plan is sharply focussed” [OFSTED, Nov. 2016]
  • 97% parents strongly agree or agree the school is led and managed effectively (Survey Nov. 2017)
  • 98% would recommend the school (Survey Nov 2017)
  • A refined system of monitoring and evaluation is ensuring that middle leaders are supported to ensure greater accountability and sharper improvement planning.
  • A tighter appraisal system and more targeted CPD has resulted in teaching staff being more sharply focused on improving their practice.
  • Middle leaders encouraged to participate in training for leadership “senior leaders support middle leaders in raising standards [OFSTED]; aspirational HODs training provided by Interim Deputy Headteacher with responsible for Strategic T& L
  • Curriculum is broad and enriching; constantly under review and changes being implemented. Extra subjects to yr 8 and above offered e.g. Astronomy, Wellbeing.
  • “Governors use their professional expertise to good effect” [OFSTED]
  • Leadership structure reviewed: HoDs appointed in MFL and Science areas where outcomes have previously been low

Focus 2018-2019:
  • AMBITION: Ensure highest standards of teaching and learning in all areas
  • CONFIDENCE: Create internal CPD courses focusing on leadership skills and developing expertise of support staff
Ensure effective induction of new staff and staff in new roles
  • ENTHUSIASM: Monitor student and staff wellbeing and workload – ensure effective programme is established and decisions are made with this in mind

Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment Grade – 2
  •  Lesson observations are no longer graded as per OFSTED guidance but evidence that an increasing number of teachers achieve Outstanding criteria:
  • Grade 1:2011/12 = 15%; 2012/13 = 31.5%; 2013/14 = 40%; 2014/15 = 48.9%; 2015-16: central record kept - no longer graded
  • Evidence of improvement supported by parents (Survey Nov. ’17): 96% either ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ that teaching is of a good quality and 86.4% of students interviewed said teaching had greatly improved over last 3 years. (External Consultant report June ’15) Central lessons observation record now indicates specific areas for staff development
  • Ofsted Inspector confirms accuracy of lesson observation judgements of Interim Deputy Headteacher responsible for Teaching and Learning; building on this with a HOD shadowing programme to quality assure judgements
  • CPD Groups 17/18 linked to SIP focus Growth Mindset; all staff engaged in Action Research; some have led city-wide or SWAT training sessions e.g. Science and Maths day hosted here, Maths Jurassic Hub and SWAT/PLT conference.
  • Clear and frequent QA process ensures rigorous monitoring of classroom standards
  • Teachers give students good feedback (work scrutiny, student interviews); strategies are being developed to make this more incisive and effective. “work to sharpen teachers’ assessment has had a positive effect and pupils’ work in key stage 4 shows that they are achieving higher standards” [OFSTED] PD Groups 17/18 continuing this work
  • “Improvements in the quality of teaching in the sixth form have brought about better outcomes for students in most subjects” [OFSTED].
  • Students’ attitudes to learning very positive as reported in internal monitoring & A2L data. However, work continues to develop their resilience (Wellbeing curriculum).

Focus 2018-2018:
  • AMBITION: Develop consistency of assessment and feedback system; considering their effectiveness to ensure students are challenged to achieve their best
  • CONFIDENCE: Develop use of Chrome books and Google Classroom as a tool to engage students and further improve teaching and learning
  • ENTHUSIASM: Ensure students are more active in their approach to their learning and lessons incorporate active learning techniques

Personal Development, Welfare and Behaviour of students Grade – 1
  • Wellbeing of staff and students is central to the ethos of the school as demonstrated by our curriculum, dedicated Student Support Base, TAC interventions and bespoke CEIAG (Investor in Careers award reaccredited 2016)
  • Tutoring system reformed: specialist Year 7 transition team, small tutor groups (20) from Years 7-13
  • Safeguarding Audit and Review by Ofsted inspectors (Nov ‘16) supports our judgement; monthly training given
  • E-safety mark achieved and improving, accreditation being investigated
  • 100% of parents agree or strongly agree their child feels safe at school (Nov ’16).
  • Audit and parental survey agree bullying is rare and is dealt with effectively. (Peer mentors/Specialist member of staff)
  • Students behave considerately towards each other; their behaviour adds greatly to good teaching and learning; close supportive relationship between staff and students observed across school (External Consultant report June ’15)
  • Vast majority of girls are proud of their school and most take on some responsibility and/or participate through wide range of opportunities e.g. School Council led by Head Girl Team; Student Voice; Subject Captains; House Teams; Student Leaders; Sports Leaders etc. Exceptional uptake of some e.g. DoE (87% completion for Silver, Gold: 12% of cohort, Silver: 48% of cohort, Bronze:60% of cohort.
  • Strong House system fosters close, supportive bonds and outlet for creativity in termly whole day Festivals
  • Attendance, (Yrs 7-11) 14/15: 95.65%, 15-16: 95.3%, 16-17: 95.72%, 17/18: 96%
  • Sixth Form Attendance, 14/15: 93.5%; 15-16: 91%; 16-17: 92.9%; 17-18: 91.3% effective use of KS5 administrator who coordinates interventions.
  • Strong curriculum links to extend global awareness; SMSC development to become active citizens.
  • Wellbeing curriculum continued into Year 8 to promote long term resilience of students and build on Yr 7 curriculum.
  • Leadership skills developed through wide range of opportunities: Head Girl Team; Subject Captains; House Captains, organising mock election, 3 House Festivals, competitions; Sports Leaders etc.
  • Strong curriculum links extend global awareness/SMSC to become active citizens: led mock election, MUN, magistrates, Ghana exchange, Parliament Trip, Ethiopia/Swaziland trips, Auschwitz scholarship
  • CIAG effective as evidenced by dedicated Careers Coordinator, Investors in Careers Award (2016) and UCAS mentoring system

Focus 2018-2019:
  • AMBITION: Review and establish rewards and sanctions systems so that students aim for the highest possible standards in all aspects of their school life
  • CONFIDENCE: Use tutor time to develop the responsibility of students and challenge them to achieve their highest academic potential 
  • ENTHUSIASM: Develop growth mindset principles and remove target grades as a tool for students to achieve and exceed their potential 

Outcomes for Students Grade – 2 (Main School)
  • GCSE - attainment is above National average: progress 8 score of +0.09. 35.59% achieving 9-7 grades with 82.29% achieving 9-4 grades.
  • Sixth Form: A*-B grades at A2: 49.11% in 2018
  • 2017/18 VA scores: A2 = -0.17. New curriculum changes implemented across the curriculum.
  • New data analysis package being used to facilitate earlier and more effective target setting.
  • Destinations: 94 students (2018): 57% University,10% Higher Education, 24% Gap year (with university place 2019 or intention of securing university place in 2019) or other study, 5%Gap year (with the intention of securing apprenticeship or employment in 2019), 3% employment or apprenticeship, 1% returned to home country. Clear programme of preparation for further study/employment being delivered.
  • “Students currently in the sixth form are making better progress than previous cohorts” [OFSTED]
  • Current Student Progress Years 7 – 13: See current data sheet and ‘TAC’ [Team Around the Child] comments, tracking students during the year. This data is used by tutors as well as teachers to monitor progress.
  • 96% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child is making good progress (survey May ‘14)
  • Refined system identifies need for intervention (TAC process) to minimise underperformance

Focus 2018-2019:
  • AMBITION: To improve outcomes for all students, including raising academic resilience and responsibility
  • CONFIDENCE: Embed the House system across the school to increase the enthusiasm and buy in to all aspects of school life
  • ENTHUSIASM: Develop links with other schools, outside agencies and alumni to encourage the drive within students to achieve the highest academic standards

Overall Effectiveness Grade – 2
  • OFSTED report supports our judgements of ‘Overall Effectiveness’ as 2 with capacity for sustained improvement
  • Culture and ethos established of high expectations and aspiration, in a safe, caring and supportive environment
  • Middle Leaders empowered to drive improvement together with Senior Leaders, with rigorous monitoring and a focus on tracking student progress central to this aim.
  • Parental survey (Nov 2017) shows 98% of parents feel their child is happy at school.
  • A thoughtful and caring approach to a wide ranging and enriching curriculum enables students to thrive; “For Life Not School We Learn”