Haringey, United Kingdom
About Fortismere School
‘The school is outstandingly effective.’ Ofsted 2011
Fortismere is a high achieving dynamic mixed foundation secondary school, highly regarded by the local Muswell Hill Community that it serves. Fortismere has a strong focus on outstanding progress and attainment for all of our students as well as cultural enrichment. In December 2011 Ofsted rated the school ‘Outstanding’ furthermore it is one of the Top 200 Comprehensives in the country as rated byThe Times newspaper and also named as one of the top six comprehensive schools in London. We areheavily over- subscribed in all years.
Our vision statement
‘Fortismere will continue to be an outstanding, popular and successful school. It will win hearts and minds though adding value to its students and staff, playing a key role in its wider community and leading innovative practice that impacts nationally and internationally. All staff from both teaching and non-teaching teams willshare this vision and be committed to contributing to a dynamic environment which results in significant and measurable year on year improvement in all key stages. Fortismere will have an active mind, a finger on the pulse and a big heart.’
Examination results are consistently excellent, in comparison with other top schools. Over the last three years our GCSE results have ranged from 83% to 88% A*-C grades andfrom 42% to 45% A*/A over the last 3 years. 88% of our students make expected progress in Mathematics whilst 79% make expected progress in English.At A Level our A*-B grades have increased from 67% to 70% over the last 3 years, with many gaining AAAA/AAA. The majority of students will continue their studies at University.
Outstanding outcomes areachieved by constantly challenging and raising aspirations and by insisting that good behaviour enables great learning. Traditional values of tolerance, courtesy and respect are important at Fortismere. We also believe in a holistic educational package that is more than just academic success.
KS3 and KS4
Students learn in mixed ability or set teaching groups with an emphasis on outstandingteaching and learning. Students are able to study a wide range of subjects at KS3, with 40% opting for a second language, Mandarin is very popular. Students are able to start KS4 curriculum in Year 9 where there is a rich and varied choice to suit the individual. Students have the opportunity to study three separate Sciences, range of courses in the Humanities, Arts and Technologies, as well vocational courses. Student progress is monitored and challenging targets are set at all stages to encourage aspirational achievement.
The sixth form is oversubscribed with more than 500 students competing for 400 places. There is a wide range of AS subjects with the majority of students studying four or more, with many continuing with four to the full A level. There is an impressive range of subject choices including traditional Alevel choices as well as subjects like Further Mathematics,Economics, Classical Heritage andGlobal Perspectives, later two are Cambridge pre –U qualifications. Academic progress is strongly supported by target setting and monitoring. There is an excellent further education programme where students visit a wide variety of intuitions, are mentored individually and in groups to apply for the Oxbridge, Russell Group and Ivy League universities. Many of our students gain places to read subjects from a wide range of disciplines. In the last three years over 50 students have taken up places at Oxbridge and Medical School.
The sixth form have a separate building and tutor group however they are all fully integrated into the school’s pastoral system, attending vertical tutor groups every Wednesday.Sixth form students also run the student Council are College Ambassadors and over160 students volunteer to run individual mentoring sessions. They also support Enrichment.
Support for Students: Vertical Tutoring (The College System)
We operate a vertical tutoring system where all students belong to a college.
We have: 6 colleges (Alexandria, Petra, Olympia, Ephesus, Colosseum and Rhodes) .Each College is like a small school with about 200 11-16 pupils and 80 associate sixth form members. Colleges have 11 tutor groups of about 18 students from all age groups. Each tutor group has a lead tutor and a co-tutor. All adults in the schoolwith the exception of the Headteacherare involved in a tutor group and a college; we would expect all new staff to play an active role in college life. Colleges have a Head of College, Deputy and Senior Tutor. Each College has a Head Boy and Girl who, amongst other things, promotes student voice in the college.College time is active and positive and brings together students from all age groups. We aim as far as possible, for students to lead VT sessions themselves.
The aim of VT is to promote good communication between home and school, to give students proper leadership opportunities and to build positive relationships across age groups.
Parents/ Carers are actively involved; there are subject evenings and deep learning conversations for each year group, as well as termly reports to inform progress. Emphasis is place on ‘partnership’ between school and home to enable students to reach their full potential. An active parent group,FSA supports the students’ education by raising significant amount of money each year. A weekly newsletter is sent home weekly and can be found on the schools website.
A rich tapestry of opportunities and activities are offered from all subjects, to enable students to develop their subject specific skills. Students are encouraged to participate in sporting events and join teams via their colleges as well as at higher level representing the school. Fortismere has a strong commitment to the D of E award scheme. Students regularly attend residential activities and field courses. Fortismere has a strong tradition of Music, Art and Drama, students participate in productions both in and out of school, they attend theatre and visit galleries and exhibitions. STEM activities are also strong and students across the years participate in clubs and competitions. The school has strong links with many companies and external organisations.
All students from Yr7 to Yr13 participate in a whole school enrichment activity on alternate Wednesday afternoons. The whole school and wider community are involved. Students, Teachers, Support Staff and parents may offer and teach an activity. The activities which students sign up for on a termly basis are as diverse as Astrophysics, Magic, Kayaking, Golf, Chess, Parkour, Making Models, Song, Making, Yoga, Latin and playing the guitar. There are over 70 activities that the students can choose from.
We believe that every Fortismere student should have the opportunity to participate in an activity outside of the substantive curriculum. The school’s Enrichment programme and the activities offered in VT ensure that this happens. The range of activities that are available across the school regarding subject enrichment ensures that our students have the resources and support from the staff and school to enable them to develop their personal skills as far as they can take them.