Haverstock School – Business and Enterprise College Essay Sample

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Introduction of TOPIC

Dear Colleague, Thank you for your interest in Haverstock School. I have been Headteacher for 12 years and over that time we have transformed ourselves into the self-confident, successful and ambitious school that you will experience if you visit us. The application pack comprises our school brochure, job description, a summary of the School Improvement Plan priorities, a copy of our Leadership Team Structure, data about the school and a copy of our most recent Ofsted report. Haverstock is a large community co-educational comprehensive school in the London Borough of Camden with a roll of 1300, including 210 in the Sixth Form. Our community is intellectually and culturally rich and diverse. We have students across the entire ability range, from the most able who will get A* at GCSE and A Level and will go onto Russell Group universities, to those with complex needs, some of whom have a Statement of SEN. We occupy a prime site in Chalk Farm, close to Chalk Farm tube and the Roundhouse. Our building is nearly 10 years old and superlative in its design, construction and finishes and has extensive ICT, for example we have 700 pc’s and over 60 interactive whiteboards. Each curriculum area has two fully equipped ICT resource classrooms. The new building is making an enormous difference to our performance.

The building has been identified as an exemplar of school design by the DfES. Haverstock is an improving school as evidenced by a number of criteria:  Achievement – our attainment is rising quickly and students are making good progress. Last year’s GCSE exam results were 66% 5 A*-C and 48% 5 A*-C English and Maths. Our target for this year is to meet the range of 65-70% 5 A*-C English and Maths. A’ Level results were 58% A-C and 100% A-E. We have set ourselves challenging thresholds of continued improvement for the next three years. Attendance – Student attendance this year was 94.3%, which is significantly above the borough average. Recruitment – we are now full in all year groups, are oversubscribed and have long waiting lists in all years.

Our recent Ofsted report in December 2011 judged us as a good school, with many aspects of outstanding practice. Our target now is for an overall outstanding judgement and we are well on the way towards this. We have a history of very productive work with local and national businesses, ranging from the local Morrisons

to General Electric, Santander, McKinsey and Olswang. We are a Business and Enterprise College with

sponsorship from Apax Holdings. We have developed a productive pedagogy personalised learning process which is the vehicle for curriculum delivery, monitoring and evaluation and is making great improvements to teaching. We are developing a bespoke Haverstock pedagogy – a teaching model tailor-made for our community. Raising attainment for all is our core business. We have excellent partnerships with many of our primary feeders and transition into Year 7 is effective and maintains the momentum on learning. The sixth form offer is broad and comprehensive and the staying-on rate is high and increasing.

Work experience forms an important part of the Year 10 and 16+ courses. Many students progress to higher education and our sixth form numbers continue to grow. We are currently at the feasibility stage of designing and building new sixth form accommodation. We review our curriculum offer annually at KS3, KS4 and Post-16. We have a two-week timetable based on 60-minute lessons. Our key priorities at Key Stage 3 are to improve literacy and numeracy and independent learning skills. At KS4 we have an extended core curriculum and have introduced a wide choice of subjects, including a number of vocational courses. We have extended our Post-16 offer this year to provide a range of appropriate courses for all of our students, including level 1, 2 and 3 courses as Sixth Form numbers have grown. We regularly review our curriculum, not only in light of national curriculum changes and 14-19 curriculum opportunities, but also as part of our drive to excellence and development of an innovative, bespoke pedagogy. Ofsted judged our curriculum to be outstanding. We are working hard to improve attainment with an emphasis on teaching and learning. We have an extensive database related to student achievement, which is used to set targets and monitor progress for individuals and pre-identified groups of students.

We have a strong Behaviour for Learning Manifesto which is the basis of our work here. Whilst we have a challenging community at Haverstock, behaviour overall is good and continues to improve. Students here feel safe, are happy and relationships between students and between students and staff are excellent. This is also clearly reflected in our Ofsted report. The school pastoral system is organised on a year basis and the teaching organisation is both mixed ability and setted. The tutor is the key pastoral person in the system. Registration takes place at the beginning and end of each day. We have a strong Student Council who really are involved in the development of the school and play an active part in school life. This includes involvement in the selection process for senior staff. There is a consultative structure for discussion of major school issues with all Curriculum and Pastoral team leaders who form the Management Forum. Briefing meetings are held for all staff at 08.30 every Monday and Wednesday and a bulletin for staff is published weekly.

A home/school link communication called ‘Haverstock News’ is also produced weekly. A copy is attached. We have a talented, hardworking, committed staff who are corporate and very supportive. Staff turnover is low and morale is high. Schools do not improve by chance. We have a very clear vision of our future and are making excellent progress in getting there. I have included an overview of our current School Improvement Plan, HSIP3. As a school we know where we need to go and there really is a shared vision for our future. We have a way to go before we are the school we want to be, but we have made a good start to our journey. In short, Haverstock is a vibrant school where much is happening. We are making sustained improvements, and making them quickly. I hope that on reading the enclosed information you choose to apply.

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