Our coaching groups are one of the main ways we operate differently from other schools.
The coaching programme is fundamental to knowing our children well and forming the strong relationships that are crucial.
A coaching group contains approximately eight students from across all year groups with a member of staff who has trained to carry out these sessions.
The groups meet three times a week for ‘check in, check-up and check out sessions’ looking at areas as varied as health and well-being, careers and citizenship.
As a regular point of contact, coaches also offer one-to-one support about concerns or achievements. Another clear benefit is the relationships that develop between students of all year groups.
Any news and important information from across the school is communicated in the Coaching Chronicle every fortnight, so students can stay up to date on everything that is going on in their community.
Coaches also develop strong relationships with students’ parents or carers with who they meet three times a year. These days have become very popular with families who recognise the benefit of knowing someone in school who can be an advocate for their child.
We also achieve strong relationships through restorative practice. This process of building, maintaining and repairing relationships is integral. We have staff and students trained in restorative practice who lead others in coaching circles.
A Learning Relationships Agreement is set with each class and regularly revisited meaning each person impacted by the agreement has a voice. This also facilitates development in other aspects of the school ethos, such as developing students’ resilience, independence and motivation.
Many children at some point in their school life will have a special need of some kind. There are members of support staff available to guide on well-being, bereavement, family support, sexual health, personal development, academic support and careers as well as general help and support from coaches and year teams.
2. Flexible Learning
Activities take place after school each day and students commit to trying something new or develop a skill in which they have an interest.
Basketball, table tennis, trampolining and revision sessions are just some of the activities students can access, and these enrichment activities and sports clubs run Monday to Friday during lunchtime and after school.
Other aspects include trips, guest speakers, the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme, parental and community activities.
Flexible learning also encompasses academic intervention during time away from school, ensuring students have many chances to pursue what they enjoy and what they need to achieve.
In key stages 3 and 4 students receive a piece of personalised work, per subject, every half term.
Students are also expected to complete a pre-learning task, per subject, each half term thus allowing them to start the new half term from a more advanced point.
Students are rewarded with E-Praise points for their house for completing their Home Learning. Support is offered to help those who need it to be successful in this independent environment.
Summer pre-learning tasks are designed to set up great teaching and learning in September. Students completing the tasks will be entered into a prize draw for Trinity vouchers. There are no targeted tasks over the summer.
4. House System
Our House system takes its inspiration from local sporting heroes – amateur athlete and fund-raiser (Jane) Tomlinson, rugby star (Jason) Robinson, Leeds United captain (Billy) Bremner and England and Yorkshire cricketing great (Fred) Trueman.
All students are members of a House and each has a specific colour that students wear as part of their uniform. From Year 7 to Year 11, students have coloured ties (Green for Tomlinson, Purple for Robinson, Blue for Bremner and Yellow for Trueman), so wherever they are in school, at whatever age, students know and recognise they are part of a team.
All Houses choose an annual charity and points are allocated for fundraising activities that will benefit the important work they do. There are also competitions between Houses, ranging across sporting events, cooking, talent shows and individual subject contests.
E-Praise points are given as rewards, for representing the school and attending revision classes or taking part in extra-curricular activities in afterschool clubs; in coaching sessions and during lessons. These points are listed fortnightly in the Coaching Chronicle and at the end of the school year the Annual House Trophy is presented to the House with the most points.