Our recent Ofsted visit
As you know we were visited by Ofsted on the 22nd and 23rd January for a full inspection and we are delighted to share that Towers School has now been formally been recognised as a GOOD school.
In October 2016, our previous grading led to us taking a step back and asking ourselves the question, ‘What makes an exceptional school?’ We looked to the evidence that is out there, using research and the very best ideas from academies, maintained schools, free schools and the independent sector. We visited successful schools and saw what was truly possible: If you create the right conditions where teachers can teach and students can learn, if you raise the bar, zooming in and focusing on every last detail, if you build a culture where everyone buys in to the collective vision, you build a school where every child will succeed.
So, we launched our new vision in January 2017, at the heart of which was a drive to increase expectations for all. Our curriculum was developed, we introduced new policies and procedures and shared our vision with students, staff and parents who absolutely took on board our high expectations. This vision was recognised in our Ofsted monitoring visit of November 2017 who told us that we had, ‘established a clear and ambitious vision for the school and inspired staff and pupils to raise their aspirations; established high academic and behavioural expectations for every member of the community; transformed the culture of the school. ‘
We had seen what we wanted to be, we created the conditions and we became that school - a school which is full of happy, respectful and hardworking students; a school whose teaching is based on a rich and rigorous, knowledge driven curriculum; a school of which we are incredibly proud.
So, we are very pleased that our hard work has been recognised that we wanted to share a few of the key Ofsted comments with you.
- The principal and his senior team provide strong leadership. They have a compelling vision for their school.
- Expectations for pupils’ behaviour and learning are absolutely clear. Standards of behaviour are consistently good.
- There is a strong culture of learning and positive behaviour, which pupils and parents see as a strength of the school.
- Teaching is good across the school.
- Pupils value the consistent approach that they experience across the school.
- The clear and thoughtful approach to staff training is enhancing the quality of teaching. Their insistence on pupils’ good behaviour enables teachers to concentrate on improving the quality of pupils’ learning experiences.
- There is a rich choice of extra-curricular clubs and activities.
- Staff are caring, confident and diligent in the exercise of their duties
- There is a consistently effective approach to teaching and learning, based on high expectations of pupils’ engagement and achievement. As a result, pupils are making strong progress in their learning.
- Teachers are encouraged to invest in their professional development, learning from tried-and-tested methods within and beyond the school. They share what they learn with colleagues, helping to improve pupils’ experiences. Teachers speak passionately about how this improves their confidence and motivation.
- The ‘Towers Learning Model’ in which pupils revisit earlier learning to deepen and broaden their understanding, gives pupils increasing confidence.
- Teachers inspire their children with enthusiasm for their learning.
- Pupils are encouraged to learn and use increasingly complicated language.
- Pupils are well looked after. Well-trained staff provide excellent practical support for pupils and their families when they need extra help.
- Leaders encourage young people to take responsibility and show respect for each other.
- ‘Family lunch’, where pupils eat together in tutor groups, helps pupils to improve their social skills.
- Leaders promote a clear message of ‘We are strict because we care.’ Teachers’ high expectations and a consistently implemented behaviour policy support positive relations in the classroom.
- Pupils work hard in lessons.
- Decisive actions ensure that pupils take responsibility for their actions.
- Pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 are making strong progress across a wide range of subjects. Initiatives introduced by leaders since the last inspection have had a notable impact in increasing pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding over time.
- Sixth form students make good progress across a range of academic and vocational qualifications.
- The quality of teaching in the sixth form is strong. Teaching for A level courses provides substantial challenge to the students, who achieve well as a result.
- Students have many opportunities to develop their leadership skills and build their confidence.
Thank you to all of our parents who responded so positively to the online survey. And thank you for your ongoing support.
The Senior Leadership Team