3. Leadership, whole school systems and accountability
Senior leaders take responsibility for creating our unique HPL vision, interpreting the HPL framework for our context, and are accountable for its success.
HPL has become the central focus of our SIP since we began our accreditation journey and has been a priority project we have invested in (26a, 59a). The pandemic, at times, has shifted the attention to other priorities such as remote and digital learning which has impacted the momentum of change and development; however, it is our central focus, with a team of senior leaders and project teachers who are ensuring the ethos of HPL is woven into the fabric of our school. HPL is the key presentation at all staff development days (01, 02, 06, 08, 13, 32, 60) and developing leaders on the NPQSL courses have looked at projects that complement our mission to embed HPL in all areas of CCS.
Teachers have ownership of High Performance Learning and, working together as a community of professionals, ensure that it is systematically embedded in everything the school does
HPL has been, and remains, the key focus when conducting lesson drops and observations (44, 44a, 62). Leadership team, phase, faculties and year leaders expect to see the lesson’s HPL focus or for students to be able to articulate it, upon entering lessons (16, 16a, 16b). HPL is central to our reward systems (07), staff appraisal framework (27, 27a, 27b) and is also part of our regular communications with parents (36, 36a, 36b, 36c, 50c).
High Performance Learning has been implemented in a way that reflects the unique context of our school
As an all through school we have had to consider the most effective methods across each phase of the school. For our primary phase, particularly EYFS and Key Stage 1, we have adopted HPL characters to capture the attention of our youngest students (25, 28), and in Key Stage 3 we introduced Ambassadors (16d) who report back on their HPL experiences across their range of lessons during regular meetings. These students were fully trained (16e). Training for support staff and TAs has been an equal priority to teaching staff in order that those key players are able to support students in varying contexts (06). Parent webinars, newsletters, website; explaining HPL and how children can be supported at home are firmly in place (30, 36, 36a, 36b, 36c). Over the past two years Empathy has been a key school focus, supporting the local community with food packages and hampers (62), as well as international fundraisers for the Australian Wildfires (63).
The whole school community is involved in developing High Performance Learning as our key priority
HPL is central to our SIP and RAPs (26a, 31), appraisal frameworks (27a, 27b) and parental engagement (37, 37a, 38, 36d, 36e). Parent webinars and termly updates on how to support their child on their journey to becoming a High Performing Learner and to put the ACPCs and VAAs into everyday context (36, 36a, 36b, 36c). The HPL team has not only included members of the leadership team, but also teachers in all phases of the school to ensure there is a spread of knowledge and support (59a). When new staff join the school they are invited to a training session within the first few weeks to bring them up to speed (12, 05, 06). We are quick to offer support and guidance to those who might be struggling to embrace and/or embed HPL within their own practice.
All our systems and processes are configured to expect High Performance for the vast majority (e.g. personal and pastoral support and guidance are configured to support academic success)
Lesson drop-ins and observations are directly linked to HPL (44, 44a, 61). We have completed pulse checks regularly throughout the process of systematically embedding HPL (19, 19a). Weekly briefings, training days and LT meetings have an HPL focus item (01, 02, 03, 03a, 04, 04b, 60). House points are directly linked to the VAAs (07) and the expectation of all classrooms is that there is one display dedicated to HPL (22a). We have had an overhaul of all our signage across the school. Phase 1 was implemented over the summer (2021) and the priority was HPL so that in all areas and phases of the school, HPL displays are now clearly evident (22, 22a). HPL is written within our school prospectus documents (30a, 30b, 30c).
There is a high level of trust in teachers and students to achieve High Performance Learning
Appraisal framework to enable staff to demonstrate how well they implemented HPL, but also to offer support with the mid-term reviews (27, 27a, 27b). CPD on training days, meetings and teach-meet events (19b, 02). Staff have been given a framework to aspire to regarding the expectations of teachers at CCS (60 – slide 11). HPL ambassadors in Key Stage 3 analysing HPL within their lessons (16d, 16a, 16b). Our teaching and learning policy, promotional video for EYFS and Year 7 intake and the Principal’s welcome all feature HPL as a central part of our identity (24, 30a, 30b, 30d, 43).
We measure our performance based on the type of student we want to develop (advanced performers, enterprising learners, intellectually and socially confident, college-ready, workplace-ready, life-ready, with a global outlook and concern for others) and how we are meeting our ambitions for students
Our students have the highest expectations set upon them, not just academically but also in terms of behaviour and citizenship. In terms of academia, the school uses FFTD data which is aspirational. We also set targets on grade above their minimum expected grades so that we are continually encouraging students to aim high. Our assembly programme (42) systematically develops the values we wish to see in our learners. Our students achieve throughout the age range with our primary phase consistently winning the area ballroom dancing competition (50d) and exhibiting their work in the National Gallery (50e). Our Y13 Medsoc students present confidently to external experts from the British Heart Foundation and Imperial College London in the final of the Science at Heart competition (50b), charity donations including hampers for the local community (62) and raising over £4000 for the Australian Wildfire recovery (63). Our community council, as part of our celebration day for work of Caroline Chisholm, our school’s namesake, visited her grave to clean and tend to her plot (50f.)
We aspire to be World Class and measure ourselves against international benchmarks
The pandemic has limited our ability to visit other HPL schools, in the UK and abroad. This is something we want to do moving forward. We have however made links with schools internationally (23, 23a). Our EYFS leader has been liaising with flagship schools and a meeting and virtual tour with a school in Dubai with one of our Assistant Principals, inspired a complete overhaul of our signage across the entire site (22, 22a). Our 5-year development plan currently focuses on the challenge of becoming a top 10% performing school (26d).