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Quality and Standards Report 2006

Foreword

This report provides information on the work and achievements of the school during session 2005/2006. The work undertaken by over 800 pupils and more than 60 teaching staff cannot be described in detail, so this report provides a summary of activity and success in a number of key areas, and indicates the areas for future development.

The school was inspected by HMI in April/May 2002. The follow up report to the inspection was published in June 2004, confirming the progress made by the school. This session we have further developed the good practice identified by the HMI.

The considerable achievements are the result of the effort and commitment shown by pupils and parents, but particularly by both the teaching and non-teaching staff in school. I wish to acknowledge the work that has been done, and to thank all those who have contributed to the school's success.

Carole Ford

Head Teacher


Introduction

Kilmarnock Academy evaluates the quality of its work using the H.M.I. document “How good is Our School”. This document identifies seven key areas under which progress and achievement may be measured.

These are

•  Curriculum

•  Attainment

•  Learning and Teaching

•  Support for Pupils

•  Ethos

•  Resources

•  Leadership, Management and Quality Assurance

The process of self evaluation is built in to the work of each department and of the school as a whole. This report summarises this process and gives an outline of future developments.


Background Information

Kilmarnock Academy serves an area of central Kilmarnock including one area of multiple deprivation.

The associated primary schools are Hillhead Primary, Kirkstyle Primary and Loanhead Primary. Witchhill Special School is a member of the Kilmarnock Academy cluster.

The school is a mainstream comprehensive, serving pupils in the age range of 11 - 18. The predicted roll for session 2006/2007 is 790.

During session 2002/2003 Kilmarnock Academy embarked on East Ayrshire's Learning Partnership project and worked closely with primary, pre-five establishments, social work, health and community personnel. The Learning Partnership work has continued in session 2005/2006.

The staffing complement is approximately 62 f.t.e. teachers.

The school has an active School Board.


Aims and Priorities

The school aims were reviewed during session 1999/2000 and were agreed to be

•  To educate pupils to their full potential

•  To provide a broad, balanced curriculum which will cater for the needs of all pupils

•  To create an atmosphere of mutual respect, care and support for every pupil

•  To provide a range of extra curricular activities

•  To treat all pupils as individuals, valuing the contribution each can make to the life of the school and the wider community.

•  To prepare pupils for responsible citizenship.

In session 2005/2006 the agreed development plan aimed to build on the identified success and progress of previous sessions.

These focused on

  • Introduction of broad banding in S1 to improve attainment
  • Review of S3/S4 curriculum to increase vocational element
  • Review of QA framework
  • Review of attendance and latecoming procedures
  • Increase celebration of achievement
  • Increase emphasis on enterprising approaches

How Do We Know?

The Evidence

In auditing last session's improvement plan and in arriving at this session's, the school measured progress against the HGIOS indicators. The audit process involved all staff, pupils and particularly the improvement planning committee.


Curriculum

The curriculum is under constant review in departments. Across the school as a whole a number of areas are under development. The HMI categorised the curriculum as very good and we have maintained as appropriate a curriculum as we can deliver.

S1/S2
The 5-14 programme has been implemented for a number of years. The literacy programme has been acknowledged nationally, winning the Scottish Education Award for Raising Basic Standards. We have continues with our literacy approaches. We introduced broad banding in S1 and are happy that this system is contributing positively to levels of attainment.

S3/S4
Standard Grade courses are fully in place where appropriate. College courses have been continued in Hairdressing, Childcare and Motor Vehicle Maintenance. Classes following these courses also pursue a course in Enterprise . In several subject areas – Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, Home Economics, Art – Standard grade has been replaced by Access/Intermediate courses. The Prince's Trust xl club continues and a number of pupils follow individual college course.

S5/S6
The National Qualifications programme of courses is now fully in place. Continued refinement of option choices has been undertaken on an annual basis to meet pupil need.


Future developments

S1/S2
Extension of broad banding system into S2. More use to be made of cognitive test results.

S3/S4
Replacement of S grade with Access/Intermediate courses will extend to further appropriate subject areas. Introduction of a Craft through Enterprise course.

S5/6
Refinement of the delivery of National Qualification courses continues.

Enterprise activity will continue to be enhanced for all year groups.


Attainment

Achievement in S.Q.A. examinations is summarised on page 10 and 5 - 14 National Test results are given below.

The school concentrates its attention on results at S grade or Intermediate/Access levels since these provide the most comprehensive, objective set of data and these are the most reliable predictor of future pupil achievement. We will continue with our current improvement strategies.

We have succeeded in reducing the no award figures.

5-14 Percentage achieving level E or above in S2

June 2000

June 2001

June 2002

June 2003

June 2004

June 2005

June 2006

Target

Reading

55

57

69

68

72

61

63

60

Writing

37

45

52

65

65

45

43

50

Maths

49

59

65

43

65

41

55

62

We continue to place great emphasis on attendance and have now introduced a computerized phone system to contact parents of absentees.

Future developments

In English the concerted attack continues on improving writing skills and 5-14 results are encouraging. The literacy programme will continue. The Mathematics Department will continue to extend the use of ICT. Broad banding of classes in S2 will be introduced.


Learning and Teaching

The school has in place a policy on teaching and learning, with the focus on consistent practices across departments. This continues to be reviewed in the light of research findings, our own evaluations and initiatives such as Assessment is for Learning.

Principal Teachers monitor individual teacher performance in delivering the curriculum, and the results obtained by pupils.

Guidance staff, Learning Support staff and staff working in the educational support base monitor individual progress, and develop strategies for improvement. All pupils have Personal Learning Plans and a small number have IEPs. The implementation of the Additional Support for Learning Act has made an impact on our referral and recording systems.

Assessment and reporting procedures are under review as we refine our computerised tracking and reporting system. Comments from parents on our reports are very few but generally complimentary.


Future developments

As we implement a programme of classroom observation for all staff, the dissemination of good practice should continue to improve the quality of teaching and learning across the school.

The tracking of pupil results including the use of cognitive test results should continue to shed light on areas where improvements could be made.


Support for Pupils

There are a number of mechanisms in place to support pupils in school.

The guidance staff operate a timetable of individual interviews to monitor and support pupil progress, and deal with individual pupils when referred by staff, parents or other pupils. The school implements East Ayrshire's SAT / CAT procedures and ASN systems.

The P.S.E. programme is designed to promote positive approaches to school, to health issues and to issues outwith school. Where possible this is delivered by guidance staff, and the programme is reviewed regularly. Progress on the programme is closely monitored.

Curricular choice and vocational guidance are included in the P.S.E. programme, and use the services of the careers officer, outside speakers, open days and conferences.

Learning Support staff use primary school information and a testing procedure to identify difficulties and areas requiring support. As pupils move through the school staff monitor progress of individuals with difficulties, and liaise with departments to identify strategies which will minimise problems for pupils. All pupils have Personal Learning Plans. IEPs have been in place since September 2000. For the future, Coordinated Support Plans will be implemented where appripriate.

We have in place a Social Worker, a Child Nurse Advisor and a Community home link worker who contribute to individual support programmes for pupils and to whole school developments. A number of induction programmes such as the Prince's Trust, and a literacy project provide additional support. The school won the Scottish Educational Award for Raising Basic Standards for this project.

At all stages communication is maintained between staff, parents and outside agencies.


Future developments

The use of tracking information from cognitive testing should improve individual and departmental progress. The literacy group will continue.


Ethos

Staff aim to produce a caring, supportive ethos for pupils and a number of initiatives are designed to promote this.

The introduction of an Assertive Discipline system has resulted in a reduction in minor disciplinary incidents (punishment exercises) and in exclusions.

The Triple ‘P' award system – Promoting Positive Performance rewards pupils for good behaviour and conformity to school regulations. The pupil council meets regularly to discuss issues of relevance to pupils and the school as a whole.

The School Board meets on a monthly basis and is active in promoting the good work of the school.

The school environment has been improved following suggestions from the Environmental Committee. The school has embarked on the Eco School programme and hopes to achieve a bronze award in the near future.

The school actively seeks support from outside agencies and has strong links with a number of organisations.


Future developments

The school environment is under constant review by a staff committee, to improve our surroundings for pupils and staff. The Kilmarnock Learning Partnership will continue to implement the assertive discipline system. We hope to achieve a bronze award in the Eco school programme and to achieve Health Promoting School status.


Resources

Accommodation in Kilmarnock Academy is very tight and there is little scope for flexibility. In particular, there are no indoor social areas for pupils and this is a very unsatisfactory situation.

Classroom resources are allocated on a formula basis, agreed by staff. Extra resources for particular initiatives are allocated in response to departmental bids.

Use of resources and space is subject to constant review by the SMT . Departmental budgets are also monitored.

Staffing is available according to East Ayrshire's formula, and allocated to departments on the basis of pupil numbers and subjects. Problems with the availability of supply staff are increasing.

Staff are involved in the staff development and review process. In addition, staff development requirements emerge from staff questionnaires and discussion in departments.

The school fund is managed by a committee.


Future developments

The focus for staff development in session 2006/2007 will be a curriculum for excellence and enterprise. The report on Enterprise in schools will be implemented under the auspices of a recently appointed PT and the EDO .


Management, Leadrership and Quality Assurance

The school operates a formal Q.A. system. Each department uses a customised document to ensure regular, systematic review of procedures and outcomes.

The improvement plan arises from an audit of the previous plan, staff, pupil and parental questionnaires, and local and national priorities. A committee considers all these sources and creates a draft document for staff comment. The resulting plan is therefore comprehensive and firmly based on the strengths and development needs of the school.

The plan is reviewed throughout the session to ensure that implementation is proceeding.

The SMT have a clear and agreed role in departments and present a unified view of the school's aims. Similarly, within departments, Principal Teachers are aware of their responsibilities.


Future developments

Increased use by departments of computerised assessment and reporting system will lead to more assured evaluative judgments. Remits will alter to accommodate changing personnel and the needs of the school.


Achievements and Successes

The school is proud of its reputation in the community as an institution which supports pupils and parents, and delivers a high quality education.

Results at Standard Grade and Higher are very good, and pupils and staff are to be congratulated on these.

The range of extra-curricular activities on offer is impressive, and pupil participation in concerts, shows, charity events, sports and other activities is at a high level.

All S4 pupils are involved in a Young Men's or Young Women's Health Day and S1 pupils participate in a Health Fair. The school organized healthy eating promotions throughout the year, such as Healthy By Half, when healthy options are offered at half price in the dining hall.

The school is part of the Assessment is for Learning project. Our home reading project has been highlighted by SEED and will feature on their website.

Our nurture group initiative has been identified by SEED as an example of good practice.

The joint brass band with St Joseph 's Academy has been recognized nationally as an example of good practice. It completed a tour of Lake Garda in June.

Future Priorities

The school priorities for session 2006/2007 are

  • continued emphasis on literacy
  • extension of the work of raising boys' achievement group
  • extension of work on a curriculum for excellence
  • reduction in NEET figures
  • introduction of a global link
  • further development of enterprising approaches