Case studies: Secondary schools
Cwmtawe Community School, Neath Port Talbot, has high expectations of its pupils. Using a range of assessment data, the school sets challenging target grades for all pupils in each subject and monitors closely pupils’ progress towards achieving these targets. A rigorous mentoring system supports pupils who are not making suitable progress and also ensures that more able and talented pupils are not allowed to perform below their ability.
Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Camarthenshire has adopted an innovative and flexible approach to developing its curriculum by increasing the range of subjects and modules delivered through the medium of Welsh. This has provided pupils with more opportunities to learn through the medium of Welsh or English depending on their particular interests, needs and aspirations. These developments have increased the proportion of pupils speaking Welsh and improved standards of Welsh literacy. The Welsh language is now a prominent and inclusive feature of school life.
Flint High School, Flintshire, has successfully embraced a new vision and sense of direction. Greater emphasis on distributed leadership has empowered staff more effectively at all levels. The commitment of pupils and parents to this vision has helped raise aspirations, changed the school’s culture and contributed to a greater sense of pride in the school. As a result, pupil outcomes have improved significantly. The changed ethos is particularly evident in levels of respect, working relationships and pupils’ behavior and engagement in learning.
At Ysgol Bryngwyn School, Camarthenshire, teachers from different departments work together in ‘triads’ (groups of three) to help each other improve the quality of their teaching. Based on trust and open professional dialogue, the benefits brought about by these ‘triads’ have led to significant improvements in the quality of pupils’ learning.
The partnership working between Bishop Vaughan Catholic School and Morriston Comprehensive School, Swansea, provides sixth form students with a wide choice of subjects and vocational courses across the two sites. Through the well-designed strategies put in place to ensure the effectiveness of this partnership, there has been a positive impact on standards of education, the number of young people not in employment, education or training and the opportunities students have to fulfill their potential.
Inspection report - Bishop Vaughan Catholic School, Morriston Comprehensive School
An innovative, thematic approach to curriculum planning in Year 7 helps develop pupils’ literacy skills
Ysgol Eirias, Conwy, has established a themed approach to curriculum planning in Year 7 that has improved standards of literacy and helped pupils to develop their independent learning skills. The programme recognises that good literacy skills underpin effective learning for all pupils, whatever subject or theme they are studying. The school’s careful planning helps pupils develop a range of skills and to be well equipped for achievement and success within education, life in the wider community and the world of work.