Our vision is to open an outstanding mainstream secondary school for ages 11-16 in Southend-on-Sea that targets students who are at risk of underachievement or isolation. We will ensure that extremely high standards are set and adhered to so that every child can thrive in our care, providing them with the necessary skills to take their place in their community as independent adults.
We want to see each young person leave the school well-rounded, confident, happy individuals, who have been developed academically and holistically in equal measure through a flexible and creative educational experience. Some children require a different approach to learning to enable them to succeed.
Our school will be a learning environment, where every child is nurtured and valued, where the staff work together to identify the difficulties each child faces and where they are supported to overcome barriers through personalised learning. All stakeholders will contribute to every aspect of the child’s learning to empower them to fulfil their potential.
We believe children will want to attend Prince’s Community School because we are offering a different way of learning. Our students will have an active voice in their own education and will be able to make choices about how they learn. We believe they will engage in the exciting opportunities for learning available outside of the classroom, being given responsibility for their learning through the guidance of facilitators. We feel it is important that they not always be educated within a traditional classroom, but rather embrace the chance to be innovative. They will have more independence by working within smaller class sizes and they will know that staff will be there to encourage and support, not blame or criticise. Our ethos and vision ensures that communication between all parties within our school will be positive, instructive and supportive.
How will we achieve this?
1) ROBUST PASTORAL CARE that nurtures and supports each child.
Underpinning the curriculum our aim is to put every child in an emotional state so that they are ready to learn. Every childon entry to our school will have a Personalised Pastoral Programme (PPP) that they will access every week for the duration of their school career. This may include working with Counsellors, Learning Mentors, Key Workers, Outside Agencies, Pupil Support Officers, Peers, Parents and Staff in order to overcome any social, emotional, academic or behavioural barriers. Dedicated, specialist staff will oversee each child’s PPP to ensure that it is relevant for them and that they are making progress.
Our pastoral team will also work with curriculum leaders, local businesses and therapists to offer specialist therapy through Performing Arts, Martial Arts, Art and Music. Prince’s Community School will seek to offer yoga, breathing and relaxation techniques, self-awareness sessions, cognitive behaviour therapy, self-esteem groups, and anger management sessions to ensure that the physical and mental health of each child is nurtured through holistic provision. The role of tutors will be paramount in monitoring, evaluating and supporting the students in their care through working closely with our pastoral team.
Rationale: We firmly believe that children need to be in a state of mind that allows them to engage.
We believe that each child should be equipped with strong literacy, numeracy and ICT skills in order to access learning and give them the tools to engage with community and work. These will form the building blocks for the curriculum and will be embedded into every subject area. Every morning following registration, each child will have a half hour ‘Bitesize Core’ period to allow them to focus on each of these key skills. Additionally they will study English, Maths, Science and ICT as part of their main curriculum.
Rich Learning Experiences:
Other lessons will focus on PE, Art, Performing Arts, Humanities, MFL and Technology. Curriculum Leaders will work closely together to ensure that topics are not taught in isolation but have cross curricular links. Educators will not deliver a ‘one size fits all’ approach within the classroom. Lessons will be delivered to cover all learning styles and students will be involved in the decision making process of how they learn for each new project. Home Learning activities will support in-class learning.
Immersion in project based learning will encourage students to work effectively within a group whilst taking personal responsibility for key components of the project. Learning outside of the classroom will be integrated into programmes of study to widen their learning experiences.
Students will participate in a range of community work/projects, charity and volunteering work and at KS4 will have work experience opportunities. The school will utilise the services of Southend Job Centre to help advise students on preparing for life after leaving school.
Rationale: Students need to be exposed to an exciting and broad selection of learning experiences in order to engage and flourish. By empowering our students to take control of their education through negotiating aspects of their learning, they will become confident, independent learners able to take their place in society as active participants
3. APPROACH TO TEACHING AND LEARNING
Prince’s Community School will be an Impact Learning School. To increase the engagement, aspirations and attainment of every student, Impact Learning will rigorously increase the knowledge, perception and performance of every practitioner within our school from site staff through administrative/support staff through to Principal. All staff will receive initial and on-going training in the philosophy and practice. Prince’s Community School aims to be a Centre of Excellence for Impact Learning and will offer other schools the opportunity to train at our school to become Impact Learning establishments. We want to share good practice with other educational providers.
Rationale:. A ‘whole school’ ethos and approach allows for a consistency that ensures high standards are both expected and realised with students feeling safe, secure and supported.
Use of data and baseline assessment will be given the highest priority and used to set SMART targets for students. PCS will also use specific profiling systems such as SNAP B to assess the emotional/social needs of each child so that the appropriate support can be put in place for them. Early intervention is critical to ensure that learning is not disrupted. Every half term, each scheme of work will have clear assessment criteria and a range of AFL will be applied to monitor and accurately assess students’ progress. The children will be involved in their own self assessment, peer assessment, 1:1 review meetings with staff and will be aware of their own individual learning journeys. They need to know where they are going and what they need to do to reach their learning destination.
We want to build on each child’s talents and invest in their development so that they achieve their potential. We will strive to meet challenging targets so that every student attains a minimum of 5 GCSEs A*-C and makes progress through rigorous assessment, tracking and target setting. To adapt to the needs of learners and the Curriculum, class sizes will be flexible and reviewed regularly in order to deliver personalised learning. Each student will be encouraged to focus on their specific talents and programmes of study will be negotiated to encourage excellence.
Rationale: Assessment and monitoring of both academic and social and emotional progress allow for barriers to achievement to be quickly identified and reduced making for effective intervention.
5. STRONG PARTNERSHIPS
With Parents: Forming a strong home/school relationship is extremely important to us. We will aim to engage with parents and carers at every level. We recognise that we will need to re-engage parents that have themselves become disaffected with education. We will do this by offering services and opportunities for our parents, inviting them into the school regularly, communicating effectively with them, supporting them, and encouraging them to play an active role in their child’s school life. Our parents will be an integral part of our school community and will be supported with drop-in opportunities, parent classes, help with literacy, numeracy and ICT, specialist support services such as money advice, coffee mornings, PTA and Parent Council. Regular newsletters and access to our web site will ensure they are kept up to date on school matters. Parents will receive regular reports on their child’s progress and these will be used to inform review meetings with staff.
With the Local Community: We will build partnerships with as many local businesses, organisations, charities, schools, and community groups as possible. We believe that in order to provide the best for our children we need to be working together within our community to effect change. We will actively seek work placement, vocational opportunities, work experience and apprenticeships through our local connections and partnerships.
With Each Other: We will run school events, enrichment activities, school based projects, mentoring schemes between student peers or staff, social events, competitions, trips and visits, student council and a strong student voice. The Extended School will be essential so consequently, we will expect our staff and students to fully participate in our school community.
Rationale: It is only through working together that we can ensure that every student is fully supported and empowered to achieve in each aspect of their academic and personal development.
6. HIGH STANDARDS OF RECRUITMENT
As a learning community the school will have robust policies and procedures in place regarding the, recruitment, training, development and monitoring of our staff to maintain outstanding teaching and learning. Our team of professionals have extensive experience of working in traditional mainstream schools and recognise that whilst their provision meets the needs of most students, there are a number of ‘lost’ children who never fully engage in their learning or achieve the qualifications to prepare them for college, university or work.
Rationale: Outstanding teaching and pastoral care result in students making optimum progress. By identifying this expertise, developing it, and supporting staff to create enriching, effective learning experiences, all members of the school community can thrive and flourish.