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School Improvement Plan

School Improvement Priorities 2022-23

The principles of teaching and learning at Harrow High School are threefold:

  1. Learners need to develop an excellent, comprehensive knowledge base across all subjects
  2. Learners should develop an excellent understanding of key concepts and theories across all subjects to a level above that at which they are studying
  3. Excellent classroom practice and the highest expectations ensure that every learner in every lesson is encouraged to read, write, think and act at levels well above that expected for their age and current achievement profile such that progress over time is excellent for every learner in every classroom.

The School Improvement Priorities for 2022-23 has been determined as below:

1.1 Quality of education: intent & Implementation

The main focus for last year (2021-22) on curriculum intent was to quality assure individual subject curriculum sequencing rationales and maps so SLT knew that subject leaders had given careful consideration to not just what but how skills and knowledge they wanted learners to develop over time. This is now, for the majority of faculties, in a strong position and is readily available to all stakeholders on the website. This also forms a part of the faculty self-evaluation cycle where subject leaders will review and adapt their curriculum plans and intent in September. The monitoring, evaluation and review of curriculum intent will continue to be a part of the SIP for this year.

There were a number of strands to developing curriculum implementation last year. One of these was focussing on pedagogy in the classroom through Rosenshine’s principles. Teachers  had the opportunity to see, share & develop best practice on ‘Review’ and ‘Questioning’ using a triad model. We will be using our ‘learning walk’ model this year to monitor if this is becoming part of daily practice in lessons throughout the school. The next Rosenshine’s principles we will be focussing on this year will be ‘sequencing concepts’ and ‘stages of practice’. We have developed our ‘GET teaching’ handbook to provide teachers with a rubric of what is required in every lesson. For example, all lessons should begin with a retrieval of knowledge activity. This will then be monitored and reviewed through learning walks. 

Another aspect that we will be continuing to develop this year is the use of Curriculum Team Meetings. Middle leaders have planned this time to develop curriculum intent and implementation whilst also supporting colleagues in closing gaps with subject knowledge. This is informed by the faculty/department self-evaluations forms.

The literacy coordinator has led the use of challenging reading resources across the curriculum. This is in its infancy, but all departments have begun to plan the use of challenging reading resources using scaffolding strategies. The ambition is to have the same high expectations of reading for all learners by supporting the access to certain texts rather than ‘dumbing down’ for less able learners. This will take time to develop and refine further and will likely be part of the SIP for the next 2 years.

Finally, our homework policy has been amended to reflect how we want to use homework for building and retrieving knowledge particularly in KS3. Previously, homeworks were set from the knowledge organisers, then learners had to carry out a read, cover, write activity. We are now wanting to make use of Google forms using multiple choice responses. This way teachers and learners will get instant feedback on whether or not knowledge is being embedded over time. This also helps with the monitoring of homework and makes use of ‘Schoolytics’ which is a software package that links to Google Classroom which will in turn generate reports on homework setting and completion rates.

1.2 Quality of education: Impact

Attainment and Progress in 2022 at KS5 was excellent, and at KS4, was very good. We remain focused on diminishing the difference at subject level, and between groups of students, particularly disadvantaged learners. Changes in our curriculum and pedagogy over the last 3 years should allow our pupils to make even better progress in Summer 2023 and beyond, however we are planning to introduce two mechanisms which have worked successfully in raising standards in the Sixth Form:

  •  a consistent embedding of the interleaving revision programmes across the school, and 
  • half-termly Raising Standards Leader meetings between the RSL and all HoDs/KS Cos, for bespoke meetings focused on quality assurance, standardisation, CPD, etc, relevant to the requirements of the HoD/KS Co.

Our comprehensive Pupil Premium strategy will continue to focus support for learners with lower than chronological age, reading age, and those who need academic support for catch up. Our ambition is that all pupils will have a reading age, higher or equal to chronological reading age, by the end of KS3. The SLT secondment position this year will focus on supporting parents, and vulnerable learners to break barriers to achievement with a focus on increasing parent and student engagement. 

Whilst the quality assessments in KS3 have improved this year, we need to establish a more consistent approach when subjects assign performance in these assessments to achievement bands. This will allow us to track progress more accurately, and we need to communicate this better to parents. Across the school, but in KS3 particularly, we plan to use assessment data to drive feedback and pupil improvement not just in terms of interventions (NTP, corrective reading, etc) but also at a classroom level through a systematic use of Go Green Weeks. 

Our Inclusion, and more acutely SEND provision will expand this year, as we will have more personnel to deliver quality in class support, and out of class interventions. Central to this, is accurately, and regularly assessing pupils, to make sure SEND pupils, and those requiring extensive curricular catch up, are receiving the most appropriate intervention for them. A further foci is to continue embedding scaffolding strategies across the school, to stretch pupils at all ability levels, which is pertinent, as most Science and Maths in KS3 are mostly mixed ability groups.

Key Subject Foci: Combined Science, Religious Education, PE at KS4, Science and Maths at KS5

2. Behaviour, Safety & Care

Behaviour processes and consistency across the whole staff in the application of the processes is a main focus for the next year.  This is to ensure learners' behaviour around the school site is monitored and challenged by all staff from the line-up after social time to movement through the corridors in a specific and quiet manner.  The addition of a behaviour supervisor role to assist with learning walk call-out and developing learner adherence to processes will assist in creating a clear culture of excellent behaviour around the school and acceptance of staff challenge.

Attendance and punctuality remain key foci to ensure attendance to school is as high as possible.  The embedding of recent process changes whereby assistant heads of year challenge all absentees by 10am must take place and will require daily monitoring and challenge.  Lateness protocols will be enhanced by further actions by Heads of Year to ensure learners are on site by 8:45am.  More frequent parental contact to ensure they understand the process clearly will be coupled with greater challenge on not meeting these demands.

Developing more routes for support for safeguarding concerns must be developed including better online behaviour and mental health support and advice.  Daily procedures that have been devised to ensure all safeguarding safety plans are being followed must be embedded and with the DHT having less teaching time this will be easier.

3. Personal Development

The sequencing and content of the Personal Development curriculum needs to be adjusted to allow for core themes such as Mental Wellbeing to be covered over several years, and to make room for more relevant topics such as County Lines. PD is a subject often taught by non-specialist teachers, and form tutors, so CPD opportunities for teachers to teach RSHE including LGBTQIA+ will be developed in line with EEF guidance on designing and delivering effective CPD. The resourcing of the curriculum will also be improved, so that booklets are used throughout the curriculum, again to support non-specialist staff, but to also better scaffold lessons based on pupil need.

The tracking and monitoring of pupils' involvement in co-curricular, careers, and trips, broken down by pupil characteristics needs to be developed so that we can make sure our provision is involving as many pupils, and groups of pupils as possible. The launch of the City Year programme, will increase our capacity to deliver a range of co-curricular clubs at break times, and after school.

4. Leadership & Management

Following four years of highly focused improvement planning, a more traditional approach to School Improvement Planning for 2022-24 is now required which will be shaped around OFSTED Good and Outstanding Criteria. This is reflected in the new SLT structure and appointment. We will be looking to appoint a school improvement partner next year, perhaps through the challenge partners network.

To support this, we need to develop a high Quality Consistent Approaches to Line Management of Teaching Staff to provide more support to staff in focusing on the progress of their learners in every class. This will ensure staff are appropriately scaffolding learning for all learners, with a key focus upon Pupil Premium and SEN learners. We will need to review Performance Management in line with this and consider returning to the use of GCSE/KS3 outcome metrics as part of this, although these have been proved to be unreliable indicators of teacher performance by numerous studies.

We need to continue our intensive focus upon the drive for improving all aspects of equality at HHS. Significant progress has been made this year, however there is still room for development. This is covered in depth in a further section of this report. We will commence a full Staff Well-Being Survey early next year, although this may take a different form to the standard approach.

The last external review of governance was pre-pandemic, so it is important that we now undertake a new one early next yearExternal Review of Governance in 2022-23.

Safeguarding and bullying policies and processes are always under constant review and this will continue next year. An external audit will take part as part of this. We will also need to incorporate new guidance from ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ and DfE Behaviour guidance alongside recommendations and findings from our internal Bullying Review Work. 

Finally, Our Pupil Premium Strategy and Spend will be kept under constant review to maximise impact for all PP and underachieving learners. Reading provision will remain a key element of this.

School Beliefs

We believe in Excellence for All. This means:

Excellent Learning & Progress

Challenge and engagement, meeting and exceeding targets

Excellent Aspirations

Quality progression, passion for learning

Excellent Behaviour, Safety and Care for each other

Respectful challenge, showing empathy

Excellent Communication

Understanding each other, clarity of purpose

Everything we do as staff and learners will be true to these core values. They will be evident through our words, our actions and our commitments. We will talk about these values, we will promote these values and we will live these values.