Aim: To improve the quality of T&L so that a greater proportion of teaching is good or better and learners’ outcomes improve significantly.

Background: When the school came under new leadership in 2014, outcomes were poor with boys’ achievement at 8.5% A*-C and boys’ and girls’ 22% A*-C, leading to a combined of 27%. In 2015 an Ofsted inspection confirmed teaching was inadequate but that new leadership had the capacity to improve and the school was given a ‘serious weakness’ grading. This was a significant judgement for the school. It meant there was confidence in the new Leadership team and the school could work with NQT and SCITT providers.


Year 1

The monitoring of teaching and learning was a key focus with lesson observations and work scrutinies taking place each term. This was tracked by SLT and fed into the training programme for all staff and middle leaders. A coaching programme was introduced for teachers judged to be requiring improvement. A T&L research based room was established with a library of books and "model" resources which staff were encouraged to use in their classroom space. Teaching Tips were shared on a weekly basis and a T&L shop was set up.

  • Outcomes rose to 32.4% 5 A*-C in 2015

Year 2

CPD supported the increase in the quality of T&L. The academy used both internal and external courses, as well as support from the Trust and SLEs. The impact of training was monitored through line management and department meetings. Records of students attending extra-curricular activities were analysed. The variety of activities available to students increased with new clubs developed. Additional trips linked to learning took place, for example the Horrible Histories trips and English theatre trips.

  • Teaching improved significantly
  • Staff who attended the teaching & learning groups and coaching courses indicated an improvement in their teaching.

Year 3

Lesson study was introduced which used a trio model and involved collaborative planning, lesson observations and collaborative reflection. Staff received dedicated IRIS CPD training, highlighting the uses and benefits of staff recording themselves teach. Some of these recordings were subsequently used as part of whole staff CPD training, focusing on specific areas of the ADP.

Year 4

At the start of the fourth year, early careers teachers made up around a third of all teaching staff. As a result, an internal course was designed by the SLT with the structure of the sessions being based around the book ‘Making Every Lesson Count’. Whole staff training focused on 'Closing the Vocabulary Gap' and developing word-rich classrooms. Extra-curricular activities including Debate Mate, Creative Writing Club, History Club and History Reading Club promoted wider reading.

Evidence: Staff feedback, Ofsted report, Co-op feedback

Impact: By the end of the third year (Feb 2019)

  • Ofsted inspectors judged the school’s overall effectiveness as ‘Good’ and the ‘Quality of teaching, learning and assessment’ as ‘Good’
  • All teaching staff participated in lesson study
  • 30 members of staff used IRIS to record themselves teach
  • All staff visited another school or worked with a subject specialist visitor


The vision and excellent leadership demonstrated by the Principal of the school was highly significant in impacting on both the improvement of the school and the implementation of the research project. There was a genuine vision of excellence in everything that was achieved. SLT and Middle Leaders completed coaching cycles which enabled them to deal with challenges more confidently and unlock the potential in staff. We balanced ownership and accountability, subsequently building trust with staff. The significant improvements in behaviour and safeguarding meant the culture changed. Extra-curricular activities were crucial to this success and demonstrated to students that staff were willing to go the extra mile.

Contact: Michael Thompson