Tours and Training Programmes
Designed very much for those at the start of their journey, our Snapshot (Panorama) tours, led by two of our student ambassadors, will provide visitors with the opportunity to see the main features of our unique school. After the tour, Maria Walker, Marketing & Communications Leader, will be available for you to ask broad questions about the history, ethos and practices of the school
The Big Picture
Due to the wide range of innovation at Stanley Park High, many visitors ask for ‘an overview of our key structures and an snapshot of our cohesive curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. As a result, the day will initially focus on how the primacy of relationships has driven our schools-within-a- school model. A further session on our responsive curriculum, including our unique project-based Excellent Futures Curriculum and our Year 9 Taster Options programme, is followed by an opportunity for an in-depth tour of the school. After a meeting with students, visitors then find out about our authentic assessment processes, emphasised by our Student Led Conferences.
Excellent Futures Curriculum Programme
Only 1% of schools offer a 'radically different curriculum' (Key Stage 3: The Wasted Years, Ofsted 2015). Stanley Park High is in that 1%, developing a curriculum with "unique elements that generate successful learning" Ofsted November 2015
Despite the curricula freedoms afforded by academy status, evidence suggests that the secondary curriculum is narrowing, with the increasing encroachment of GCSE curricula into Key Stage 3. In contrast, Stanley Park High has embraced these freedoms.
Our most popular package offers a detailed insight into our successful ‘EFC’, which has been a key feature of the school since 2008. What was the reason for change? How was it envisioned? What are the barriers and how are they overcome? How are staff recruited, trained and developed? How are projects planned and re-crafted? How is assessment in tune with the curriculum and the pedagogy? Why does this promote community engagement, including the all too critical need for the support of parents?
During the day there will be an opportunity for an immersive visit into our large purpose-built EFC studios. Over lunch students will share their thoughts on their learning, including a practical demonstration of e-portfolios on their personal Chromebooks.
Vocational Education Programme
Often viewed as the holy grail of the English education system, but one that has not achieved the success of other countries such as Germany and Switzerland, where it has viewed as having parity with its more traditional academic cousin. What is Stanley Park High’s approach to vocational education, one that enables clear pathways from Year 9 to further and higher education? How do you recruit the specialist teachers to deliver such a provision? How do you create environments to support such learning? What about employer engagement? Crucially, what does it do for student motivation and aspirations?
During the day there will be an opportunity to conduct a learning walk of all of our realistic vocational spaces and interview students from a number of courses.
Assessment, Recording and the Stanley Park Student Conferences Programme
Life without Levels? Stanley Park High operates without grades or levels and has chosen authentic assessment where young people are affirmed in meaningful ways.
Assessment practises are so very often the spanner in the works of a well-oiled curricula and pedagogical machine. How can synergy be created between these variables? What is authentic assessment and how can it be implemented? How do you prepare students, subject teachers and parents for this fundamental change? What is the critical role of the tutor in the holistic assessment practices, including our widely praised Student Led Conferences and Parent Review Weeks?
Where possible we endeavour to time this day with key events in our assessment calendar, often involving immersion in a Student Led Conference.
Architecture of Ideal Learning Environments Programme
Ofsted 2015 states that it is "an innovative and imaginative school where pupils are very successfully prepared for their future lives" Our focus on Human-Scale principles and relationships has enabled this to happen.
The science behind the design of educational environments is still very much in its infancy. With few notable exceptions, schools are designed as they have always been. Stanley Park High is one such exception, with visitors coming through our doors with an audible “wow”.
At a time of increasing school size and the emergence of titan schools, many have argued that ‘humanity of scale’ (alongside a focus on developing relationships) should inform the design and practice of our schools so that young people are known, valued and can flourish. This package is for existing schools or those interested in setting up free schools to promote responsive, human scale learning environments. What is vision-led design? What building design is required to create a human scale environment and how do you go about creating it? Drawing on the existing research base, how can classrooms and other learning spaces – including the often underused circulation, social and outdoor spaces - be agile and flexibly designed to maximise learning across a wide range of subject areas? What about the all-important fixtures and fittings? How can these contribute to the immersive experience?
During the day there will be an opportunity to tour the school and observe lessons and social time in a fantastic array of environments. Students will also be available to give you their thoughts on their learning space.
Professional Learning Programme
Recently there has been an increasing desire in the profession for a personalised, creative and reflective evidence-informed culture in order to drive long term school improvement. This coupled with a realisation that universal school-based Inset programmes, often to cascade short term initiatives from central government or respond to examination results and Ofsted reports, had seen their day.
How do you create professional learning opportunities that allow for real improvement at individual, group and school level? How do you empower all to believe they have a true voice in school improvement? How is this achieved whilst acknowledging accountability and ‘performance management’?
During the day you will explore the myriad of professional learning opportunities at Stanley Park High e.g. Future Think Tanks, 3:33 Sharers, Stanley Talks and Tweet all about it. There will also be the opportunity to view the processes behind the creation of Professional Learning Journals, documents that are shared and critiqued across the school.
This can be devised after an initial consultation or Panorama Tour of the school. They can include a mixture of the packages, honing in on certain areas that are of specific interest to a group of people. Some recent examples have included:
KS3 Curriculum re-design and Vertical Tutoring (Senior Leaders from Stamford Welland Academy)
Establishing a Culture of Improvement: The EFC; adaptable Learning Spaces and Applied Learning (Head teachers from Victoria, Australia)
Project-Based Learning and Assessment without Levels (Trainee student teachers from London Universities and ATL delegates)
Transition, Learning Culture and the small school ethos (University research delegates from Ataturk University, Turkey)