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stirling council childrens services

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									Stirling Council Children’s Services
Report on Progress with HMIE Recommendations
Wallace High School
March 2004

Context

The HMIE report on the inspection of standards and quality in Wallace High School
was published in June 2002. The school and the Authority have worked in
partnership to address the recommendations in the report.

Since the publication of the HMIE report, the school has undergone management
changes which included the appointment of a new headteacher and the
implementation of new structures as part of the implementation of A Teaching
Profession for the 21st Century.

Wallace High School has had, unusually, a high proportion of staff in acting
appointments this session which has had some impact on the implementation of the
recommendations. However, the school is making steady progress towards meeting
the recommendations.

Recommendation 1

The school should further strengthen its approaches to improving overall
levels of pupils’ attainment and monitoring pupils’ progress particularly in S1-
S4

Members of the Senior Management Team have been involved regularly in
classroom visits and have a high level of awareness of the effectiveness of learning
and teaching throughout the school. Systems are now in place to formalise
approaches to monitoring and evaluation.        This includes a clear focus for
classroom visits and written feedback to staff.

Monitoring of attainment throughout the school has improved. Interim reports have
been reintroduced for all learners and any concerns are raised with parents at an
earlier stage. Advice has been provided to staff on strategies to support young
people who are at risk of underachieving.

There was systematic sampling of attainment by Principal Teachers and Depute
Headteachers. Guidance staff have an overview of individual children’s attainment in
a range of departments.

Better use is made of 5-14 attainment information from primary schools. There has
been improvement in the progression of learning for children from primary to
secondary.

A range of activities to support learning takes place at lunchtimes.

The headteacher had provided training on development planning for departments.




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School reports are monitored by Senior Management and Principal Teachers. The
Reporting Group, led by a Depute Headteacher have collated and issued examples
of good practice.

Recommendation 2

The school should continue to develop strategies to increase levels of
attendance and manage the behaviour of the small minority of pupils who
caused disruption to some lessons

A Positive Behaviour Group has been established and a policy developed which
involved consultation with parents and young people. It was based on the report
‘Better Behaviour, Better Learning’. A rewards system has been introduced

Staff development has been undertaken on a whole school and departmental basis
to promote strategies to support positive behaviour. This has included staged
intervention training. Positive behaviour strategies including team building with S1
and Interact workshops have been developed through the Integrated Community
Schools initiative.

Additional administrative time has been allocated to contact parents immediately in
relation to absence.

As part of the implementation of the Discipline Task Group recommendations, the
school now has access to an Inclusion Support Worker who supports vulnerable
children and attendance. There is evidence that the Inclusion Support Worker is
making a difference to the attendance of individual children, particularly where
patterns of poor attendance were beginning to emerge.

Recommendation 3

Building on existing best practice, the school should involve all staff in
developing learning and teaching approaches to ensure a consistently brisk
pace and high level of challenge in lessons

Sustained progress has been made towards this recommendation. All staff have
been involved in staff development, focussing on sharing good practice, led by
members of the school’s Pace and Challenge working group. Pace and Challenge
and Positive Behaviour have been given a high profile and staff have been
encouraged to engage in staff development through Authority provision and with the
assistance of outside agencies. An external consultant delivered whole school staff
development which focused on learning and teaching and emphasised Pace and
Challenge and Positive Behaviour approaches.

The headteacher was a member of the Authority’s working group which developed a
draft Learning and Teaching Policy.




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Recommendation 4

Teachers should continue to extend the use of ICT across the school in order
to enhance the quality of pupils’ learning

Since the inspection, the Authority has provided additional network support for ICT
across the school and a further 64 computers have been allocated to a wide range of
curricular areas. There are now 222 computers networked in the school.

All teaching staff now have a personal e-mail address. Learners have e-mail
accounts through the secure Think.com environment. Plans are in place to develop
Personal Learning Plans, currently used in S1, on line

There has been significant staff development in this area.

Computers in the resource centre and study area are used extensively by young
people. In the new promoted post structure, a manager has a whole school
responsibility for the development of the use of ICT.


Curricular Issues

Personal and Social Education (PSE)

An audit of PSE courses and activity has taken place. This has given the opportunity
to identify and highlight aspects of PSE which are embedded in the curriculum,
particularly through English, Religious Education, Health Education, Science and
Physical Education.

Developments through Integrated Community Schools, such as teambuilding for S1,
Interact sessions, Speak-out days and planned Creativity workshops have
significantly enhanced the PSE provision. However, the overall content, coherence
and structure of the PSE curriculum from S1-S6 requires further development.

As an aspect of PSE, the Pupil Council, has been reviewed and re-launched in
August 2003 to ensure that all young people have an understanding and awareness
of the role of the Pupil Council. One member of staff has taken responsibility for the
running and promotion of the Pupil Council which is now more involved in school
decisions. Feedback sessions have been introduced into the calendar of meetings.

English

In S1/2 there are now unit outlines and a master folder. All are fully differentiated to
meet a wide range of abilities. All S1/2 children cover all units to ensure consistency
of learning by S3.

There is a guide to Developing Skills from S1-S4 and guidelines for Reading into
Writing, Knowledge about Language and Reading Records.

Performance information from primary schools is used more consistently to ensure
appropriate individual progression.




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Mathematics

There has been steady progress in this area. S1 and S2 courses have been revised.
Monitoring of 5 – 14 attainment has been improved. There is increased partnership
working with primary schools.          New resources have been purchased.

The Principal Teacher now has individual plans from each member of staff to ensure
consistency. Intermediate 2 is being further developed to provide a route to Higher.

Considerable staff development has been undertaken on the use of ICT in
mathematics. Young people are now making greater use of computers in their
learning.

Geography

There has been sustained progress in Geography. All of the recommendations have
been overtaken. Scottish Geography is now embedded with a series of differentiated
units. Geography teachers use the children’s 5-14 language levels to ensure that
they are studying appropriately challenging units.

Learners are now developing their thinking skills in S2.

Folios for learners, which track their progress and set targets, have improved the
pace of learning.

Home Economics

The number of learners opting for Home Economics has increased as a result of
Intermediate 1 courses being offered in S3 instead of Standard Grade. The impact
on the attainment and achievement will now be monitored and evaluated by
department staff.

Learners are using ICT more effectively in their learning.

Deficiencies in accommodation and resources have been addressed. Small items of
equipment have been purchased for the department. Both practical rooms are now
fully equipped for classes of 20.

Although ongoing maintenance repairs have been undertaken, the refurbishment of
the school through PPP will fully address the issue of accommodation for Home
Economics.

Modern Languages

Cluster meetings are now established. There is a timetable of support to primary
schools. The progression in students’ reading in S1 and 2 has improved.
There has been good progress with the programme of study for 5-14.

In Standard Grade there is now a consistent approach to topics. Each now includes
a grammar section. Access 3 has been developed and will be extended to an
additional language next session.     An assessment folder for all summative
assessments has been developed.

Supplementary grammar texts have been introduced but planning and structure still
require to be reviewed and a greater variety of reading texts introduced.


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Wallace High School, with support from the Authority, has made steady
progress. With the new management structures in place the school has the
capacity for further improvement.




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